Tips of the trade

Health experts weigh in on the diet debate

Here are some other watchwords:

Serving size. Supersized portions lead to supersized people.

“Americans have a warped sense of portion size,” said Andrea May-Murphey, a clinical dietitian at Oroville Hospital. “Portion control is important to keeping a healthy waistline.”

One solution is Dream Dinners, a fix-and-freeze service with a kitchen in Chico. Customers pick meals with premeasured ingredients off a set menu, prepare them at the facility, freeze them and reheat when needed. Dream Dinners emphasizes balanced meals low in fats. Check for details.

Lean. Fats have a place in a healthy diet; we just have to pick sources with care.

“Actually,” May-Murphey said, “if you tried to eliminate trans fats completely from the diet, you potentially could create depletion of much-needed nutrients or other health concerns.” Trans fats occur naturally in some foods—dairy, meat and some plant oils.

Her suggestions? “Choose low-fat dairy products and lean meats such as white meat of chicken, turkey or fish. Avoid frying foods and choose oil sources derived from plants like canola or olive oils.”

Active. May-Murphey and Enloe dietician Heather Matlock advocate what the next story calls for: exercise. (See “Move it!”.)

“Along with proper dieting,” Matlock said, “an active lifestyle and regular exercise is key to maintaining good health.”