In honor of National Nutrition Month, local experts dish sound advice on what to eat to be healthy and feel great this spring.
When it comes to fad diets, such as the Ketogenic diet or the Whole30 program, Morehouse General Hospital's Registered Dietician Joy Regan said those diets are not healthy.
"They will help you to initially shed the weight, but once you get off the diet you will gain all the weight back again," she said. "This creates the yo-yo dieting effect. The Ketogenic diet puts your body in a state of ketosis and that is not a normal state. Most fad diets can be harmful to your body long term because they cut out entire food groups. Each food group supplies you with something that your body needs, so to cut out an entire food group is not healthy."
MGH Certified Dietary Manager Jerry Haynes said preparing food in advance is a great idea to help lose weight healthily.
"When you prepare your food in advance, at home, you can easily control portion sizes," he said. "It is important to know what is in your food and fresh ingredients are always best. If you prepare food at home you know exactly what you are eating, versus going out to eat where portion sizes are too large and often food is loaded with fat and sodium."
The American Dietetic Association offers 10 simple steps to making good eating decisions:
- Size your servings right
-Switch out the saturated fat
- Make good habits more delicious at home
- Fit fruits and vegetables into your diet
- Eat less salt
- Watch out for solid fats and added sugar
- Enjoy more seafood and choose a variety of protein foods
- Make half your grains whole
- Keep your food safe
- Move more
Regan offered several tips that are good for your body in order to lose weight and maintain weight loss.
"Eat more fruits and vegetables," she said. "Eat more lean meats and more fiber, and eat less processed foods. Don't overeat. Eat small frequent meals and not large ones. Large meals are bad for your body because they stretch your stomach out and take a long time to digest.
"Listen to your body and don't eat out of boredom. Take walks and try to exercise daily. Read labels to see how many calories you are consuming. Cokes and juices have empty calories and a lot of sugar in them that is not necessary."
Haynes added that before beginning a diet it is always a good idea to get a physical exam first.