Health Tips Tuesday: ways to eat healthy

(WGGB/WSHM) – With so many food options at our fingertips, what are the best choices you can make to make sure you are eating healthy?

Dr. Kathleen Mueller, an integrative medicine physician of Trinity Health Of New England, spoke to Western Mass News to tell us what options are optimal for our health.

To start off, what are the best ways to eat healthy? What are your top suggestions?

Mueller: “I think sometimes, we get really complicated about should we eat and when should we eat it and how do we do it. I think it’s quite simple. We should eat real food, not too much, and mostly plants…and when we fill in any gaps with our eating habits with fruits and vegatables, we can really maximize the health benefits and anti-inflamitory points of our food.”

What foods should you say we should avoid the most?

Mueller: “So I think there is great data that shows processed foods are really just not good for us and I find it really interesting that we think we can eat what ever we want and expect our bodies to take care of us, but when we are eating a lot of things made with flour, fats that are baked, and that are not whole foods, we can’t expect our bodies to take care of ourselves. It’s okay for indulgence for here or there. If we go all day without eating a fruit or vegetable, it doesn’t work for us.”

You mentioned eating plant-based, but what are some other foods that are great options for us?

Mueller: “I said mostly plants. I don’t think we need to be vegan, I don’t think we need to be, and there is nothing…it’s actually a health approach…but I feel moderation is important and you can have chicken, fish, or beef. Animal protein is okay for us, but it doesn’t mean that we have to be radical. We need to reduce processed foods and increase plant based foods, but it doesn’t need to be exclusive.”

How would you say you can maintain a healthy weight because I know many struggle or fluctuate with diets, going off and off of them. What are your best tips to maintaining a healthy weight?

Mueller: “One of the things that we know is that people who get more fiber in there diet actually do better with their weight and the average American, if your following the standard American diet, which is called the SAD diet for a reason, we only get somewhere between six and tweleve grams of fiber a day. We need to shoot for about 20 to 30. The only way we can do that is eating specific fruits and vegetables, lots of nice whole grains. That means brown rice, quiona, going actual to the plant source for our healthy carbohydrates and lots of fiber in them helping us maintain our weight.”