Eating for the health of it

Dietitian offers tips for 2018

PLAINS TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) -- Health-based resolutions are among the most popular ones each new year. For many, that means taking a closer look at the food we're eating to get the results we want.

The first thing many of us think about when trying to eat healthy is to eliminate the junk food. But a local dietitian says you should focus just as much on the healthy food that your diet may lack.

"What are you doing now that's different from what you'd like it to look like?" It's the first question Geisinger Outpatient Clinical Dietitian Janet Milner asks any patient about their diet. Her answer for the nutritional boost many seek is more fruits and veggies and the more diverse, the better. "They contain a lot of phytochemicals, fiber, antioxidants so the more color, a little more variety as to what you may enjoy, that will offer a variety of nutrients and fiber," she said. 

While Ms. Milner stresses red, yellow and green choices, she doesn't diss on cauliflower just because it lacks color. "It's very nutrient dense but it's part of the food choices I rotate with. Will I also make it with red peppers. Do I incorporate carrots as part of that dish?"

Starchy vegetables like corn, potatoes and peas have their place but remember they're higher in calories and carbs and can raise your blood sugar more quickly during digestion. Add soybeans, quinoa and buckwheat to your meals. They're among high protein plants that help rev-up your metabolism and maintain muscle mass. 

While we're talking about things to add to our diet, be careful about how you top off your salad. All those raisins, craisins, nuts and even salad dressing can undermine a totally healthy meal. Too much of a good thing is for real. Ms. Milner recommends striking a dietary balance at mealtime. "If half my plate is abundant with fruits and vegetables, then I have only a quarter of my plate for lean animal protein and perhaps another quarter for a complex carbohydrate or starchy type foods to make a nice balance."

Ms. Milner says be mindful of not skipping meals or going too long between meals without eating. If so, your blood sugar will drop and short-circuit your energy level and lead to poor food choices.
 


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