House Call: Healthy Eating on a Budget Pt. 6

Updated: Mar. 24, 2023 at 5:35 PM EDT
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - Welcome back to UHC’s House Call on WDTV. Michelle DuVall with the clinical nutrition department at UHC talks about helping you make simple, healthy swaps or additions to your meal. We will focus on vegetables as March is National Nutrition Month.

1). How can we improve upon the protein source we select?

Many Americans get the right amount of protein needed from meat, poultry, and eggs, but do not meet the recommendations for seafood or nuts, seeds, and soy products.

Consider swapping ground beef for ground chicken, turkey, or soy. You can even switch out part of your meat for canned beans. Adding pureed beans and quinoa to your burger patties is a great way to introduce plant proteins into your diet. Also, add beans or lentils to salads, soups, or pastas.

2). What are some easy ways to add protein to your diet?

Protein provides nutrients in your diet such as B vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and B6) vitamin E, iron, zinc, and magnesium.

The following ideas are a snap when adding protein to your diet. Sprinkle nutritional yeast on foods such as eggs, salad, soups, or pasta dishes, as it can add a subtle cheesy flavor and also packs eight grams of protein in 1 ½ tablespoons. Add hummus to your sandwich instead of other spreads that are high in fat. Add seeds such as chia or flaxseeds to your baked goods, smoothies, oatmeal, or yogurt.

3). Adding protein to your snacks seems almost impossible, what do you suggest that we try?

Snack on a couple of tablespoons of natural peanut butter or other nut butters with an apple, banana, or celery sticks. It is simply delicious. You can also add peanut butter or other nut butters to oatmeal for a great start to your day. A hard-boiled egg is a snack that is hard to beat. Remember that a handful of pecans, almonds, or walnuts is a very filling snack that can get you through to your next meal.