Eating healthier in 2019 comes with easy substitutes

December 31, 2018

HUNTINGTON — Every year there seems to be a fad diet promising to help people lose weight and get healthier.

In 2018, there was the rise of the ketogenic diet, or the “keto” diet, which are foods low in carbs and high in healthy fat content designed to deplete the body’s glucose storage and burn off weight. There was also the paleo diet, eating only foods that were available to our ancestors, and the alkaline diet, which promotes foods high in acidity and eliminates dairy, grains and refined sugars.

These diets come with their own pros and cons, but going into 2019 there may be a simpler way to get healthier, said Kelsey Abad, marketing manager of The Wild Ramp in Huntington. Abad recommends replacing processed foods and foods high in sugary content with items that are fresher and produced locally.

“Things that are fresher generally are going to be more helpful in terms of their vitamin content,” Abad said. “You want to think about eating as fresh or as local as possible, because local products are usually traveling a lot less to get to your plate.” Abad said there’s also research that a healthier diet can come with adding more color to the dinner plate.

“You want to diversify what’s on your plate so that everything is just not one color. That can be really helpful,” she said. “This comes from eating dark leafy greens, eating bright oranges, bright yellows and red things with a lot of lycopenes.”

Lycopenes are antioxidants found in many common red fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, red carrots and pink grapefruits.

For people who eat sugary cereals for breakfast, Abad recommends swapping them out with an oatmeal breakfast, apples and cinnamon or toasted almonds.

“Nuts have those kind of helpful fats that are good for you, that are good for your hair, good for your nails and are good for your skin,” she said.

For dinnertime, it’s a good idea to eat foods that will keep you hydrated, especially in the winter months. She recommends soups that are based with bone or vegetable broths.

Abad said when it comes to beverages, people can benefit by replacing at least one can of soda or cup of coffee with a glass of water. She recommends replacing soda with kombucha, a fermented tea that has a fizz and is rich in probiotics.

“At least substitute out one cup of coffee with heavy cream and three lumps of sugar instead with black tea and a spoonful of honey,” she said.

Travis Crum is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. He can be reached by phone at 304-526-2801.

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