Health Alert: “Five Steps to a Healthier You!”

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va.(WDTV) -- It is the perfect time of year for individuals to reflect on the last 12 months and look forward to the year ahead. Tonight on Health Alert we are going to discuss “Five Steps to a Healthier You!”. Joining us in the studio is Becky Foster, director of food and nutrition services at United Hospital Center.

Question: So when it comes to adopting a healthier eating style as it relates to meats, what is the best solution?

Answer: The recommendation here is two-fold:

First, I recommend that everyone eat more omega-3s in their diet for 2018. The solution is here is to seek out more seafood.
Consuming more foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help you keep your blood pressure down. Aim to eat two servings of fish per week, particularly fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines and other types of tuna. If you’re not a fish lover, opt for walnuts and flax, which are good non-fish sources of omega-3s.

Secondly, I also am going to tell you to eat less meat. I know this is not going to be popular, but just try incorporating tofu into your diet.
Many individuals cut back on meat for environmental reasons, but what they may not know is that it helps their heart, too. When you replace meat with soy, you’ll naturally eat less saturated fat and research shows that saturated fat increases low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. While tofu may not have a real “flavor,” it’s very versatile—it soaks up the flavors of a stir-fry sauce or marinade like a sponge, giving it more taste.

Question: What is your suggestion for eating more vegetable?

Answer: Eat roasted vegetables: Roasting vegetable caramelizes their natural sugars, which ultimately changes their taste. It’s a fast and easy way to incorporate vegetables into dinner, too. Put your favorites in a pan in the oven and continue cooking. Before you know it, the vegetables are done and you have a delicious, healthy meal to enjoy.

Another great way to incorporate vegetables into your daily diet is to try something new. You may find that you love grilled vegetables or steamed vegetables with an herb you haven’t tried like rosemary. You can sauté (panfry) vegetables in a non-stick pan with a small amount of cooking spray. Or try frozen or canned vegetables for a quick side dish — just microwave and serve. When trying canned vegetables, look for vegetables without added salt, butter, or cream sauces. Commit to going to the produce department and trying a new vegetable each week.

Question: What is the benefits of fiber in our daily diet?

Answer: Getting enough fiber can help prevent cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, a number of cancers, and even help you slim down. One of the easiest ways to up your fiber intake is to eat more whole grains. Quinoa, whole-wheat couscous, bulgur, and polenta are all quick and easy cooking ingredients to add to your weekly routine. However, you can also:

-Eat breakfast cereals that contain barley, wheat, or oats.

-Switch to wholemeal or multigrain breads and brown rice.

-Add an extra vegetable to every evening meal.

-Snack on fruit, dried fruit, nuts, or wholemeal crackers

Question: Should we eliminate sugar from our diets entirely?

Answer: No, however as Americans, we are all guilty of eating too much sugar. Luckily, you can still make treats that satisfy your sweet tooth and cut back on your sugar intake at the same time. Try a different recipe, change the ingredients or take smaller proportions. Bake low-sugar treats to satisfy sweet tooth. Cutting back in the smallest way can make a big difference. For instance, you can make your own sauces and salad dressings, avoid snacks and juices with added flavors, and keep less sugary treats in the house.