Dieticians give suggestions on eating right for New Year

Published 10:03 am Wednesday, January 20, 2016

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight and eat healthy, but it could be a difficult process to begin without the correct dietary guidelines.

Being healthy requires eating the recommended doses of fruit, vegetable and meat servings, not being afraid of carbohydrates and incorporating a steady flow of exercise.

Merit Health dietician Fran Nosser doesn’t recommend skipping meals and suggests eating every three or four hours, which helps keep the metabolism going. Going a long time without eating can slow the metabolism and make the body burn calories inefficiently.

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“We need five servings a day of vegetables. A serving is half of a cup if they’re cooked and a whole cup if they’re raw,” Nosser said. “But there’s no food that will increase your metabolism, it’s mainly activity and increasing your exercise.”

Nosser said a good way to get the recommend amount of vegetable servings is to whip together shakes or smoothies consisting of fruit, vegetables, milk and yogurt.

The schedule of a person’s life determines whether they have time to eat three or five meals a day.

“If they can eat three meals a day and get their nutrients and get everything they need in their diet through those three meals that would be great,” Nosser said. “Or if it’s easier, better and more satisfying to eat five times a day that would be good too.”

Nosser suggests including more whole foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean meats in your diet.

“It is good to eat meat. It helps with your satiety and it helps keep you from being hungry and your next meal,” Nosser said.

Lean protein like turkey and lean beef and chicken and tuna fish and low-fat cheese, those are good things to incorportate in your meals just because they help you from being hungry during the day.”

Breakfast is often regarded as the most important meal of the day and Chief dietician at Merit Health Gwen Robinson suggested eating a protein, some type of carbohydrate, a whole grain or wheat toast as ideal breakfast options.

While rapid weight loss can come from cutting out carbs, Robinson said it it puts the body in a ketotic state, which occurs when the body doesn’t have enough glucose for energy. Robinson said carbs are the cheapest thing in our diets and gives the body vitamins and fiber. In her opinion, Robinson believes carbs shouldn’t be completely eliminated from a diet.

“That’s where we get most of our energy from is carbohydrates. Maybe you just need to just change the type of carbohydrates,” Robinson said. “Eating the whole grains, those are the better types and are more satisfying to us because they are not as easily digested.”