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Stony Brook Nutritionists Say the New Diet Trend is Skipping the Trend
Back to the basics and whole foods are healthier options overall than following a fad diet

STONY BROOK, NY, MARCH 30, 2015 – Looking for a new diet? Trying to determine what will be on your dinner plate by glancing at the headlines, well think again. While some consumers may feel like the ideal diet is always changing, Stony Brook Medicine Nutritionists say – “nutrition, like medicine and science, is evolving with new research tools enabling new discoveries and better recommendations.” However, most of what makes up a high quality diet doesn’t change with the latest research study.

Registered Dietician, Josephine Connolly-Schoonen, PhD,Executive Director, Nutrition Division Stony Brook University Hospital, and Registered Dietician, Leah Holbrook, MS, Clinical Instructor of Family Medicine, Stony Brook Medicine, share some tips on how to eat better and getting rid of those fad diet trends.  

“First and foremost, cook more of your own food,” says Connolly-Schoonen. “Research is clear on this, food prepared at home is healthier – less salt, less sugar and fewer calories. It also gives you the opportunity to eat higher quality food at a lower price than what you would pay in a restaurant or prepared food market.”

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Registered Dietician, Josephine Connolly-Schoonen, PhD,Executive Director, Nutrition Division Stony Brook University Hospital

Pressed for time? Who isn’t! Connolly-Schoonen says consider batch cooking. “Prepare foods that reheat well, can be eaten cold or that can be frozen for an easy meal at a later date.”

Some ideas: Think bean-based soups or salads, casseroles that feature skinless poultry and vegetables or versatile frittatas. “The best and healthiest dishes are often the ones that result in a colorful, simple end product,” says Connolly-Schoonen.   

“The majority of the food you eat should come from a source that was once growing or living in nature and looks most like its living self,” says Holbrook. “Vegetables, beans, whole fruits, quinoa, brown rice, nuts, seeds, olive oil, seafood and lean poultry make up the foundation of a healthy diet and should be consumed fresh with as little processing as possible.” She also explains to limit added sugars, fried foods and “convenient” snack foods such as chips. “Instead, turn to fresh fruit for something sweet and let vegetables, cooked or raw, be your vehicle for healthful add-ons such as hummus, flavored oils or vinegars.” Holbrook suggests combining natural sources of sweetness such as sweet potatoes with the earthy flavor of cooked lentils or a piece of fresh fish topped with a fruit salsa.

“Despite the barrage of beverages that claim to do everything from improving your memory to helping you shed pounds, the best choice is plain water, seltzer, tea or coffee,” says Connolly-Schoonen.  The exact amount of water an adult needs to drink is inconclusive, but 8 cups per day is a good goal (perhaps more in hot weather). Water and seltzer (naturally flavored or plain) provide calorie-free hydration without sugar, artificial sweeteners, dyes or mystery additives. Unsweetened tea or coffee, hot or iced, also make for a healthy option. If you need to lighten up your coffee or tea, try low fat milk. Herbal teas with a pleasant flavor, such as berry or lemon, can be iced for a refreshing choice, as well. 

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Registered Dietician, Leah Holbrook, MS, Clinical Instructor of Family Medicine, Stony Brook Medicine

“Make changes gradually,” says Holbrook. “Try cooking from fresh ingredients once or twice a week, and substituting water for half of the beverages you currently drink. Set a goal of three natural snacks a week, instead of chips or candy. Continue to expand on your healthy options over time. This may be a challenge, but your health is worth it.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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