Limiting Meat Key to Healthy Diet, Says BU Prof

March 9, 2001

by Cheycara Latimer, student newswriter

Eating fruits and vegetables ¡ limiting meat ¡ is the secret to a healthy diet, says Dr. Janelle Walter, associate professor of family and consumer science at Baylor University and program chair for the McLennan County division of the American Heart Association.

While meat is a good source of protein, the average person tends to eat an excessive amount. On average, one should eat no more than two servings of meat per day.

"People have this idea that we always have to eat a lot of meat," Walter said.

A few ways to maintain a healthy diet is to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Also, adults should have at least two servings of milk products a day to maintain a strong heart and muscles. Children, on the other hand, should have smaller amounts or an amount that is proportional to the age and size of the child.

Another way to maintain a healthy diet is to learn how to cook vegetables properly. According to Walter, there is a distinctive key to cooking vegetables properly without killing the natural flavor or the nutrients. Vegetables, such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower, have their own unique flavor, but become bitter if overcooked.

Walter gave these instructions to properly prepare vegetables:

1. Bring a half cup of water to a boil in a pot.

2. Cut vegetables into quarters.

3. Put into pot and cover.

4. Turn temperature down to low or medium low.

5. Cook leafy vegetables for 10 minutes and starchy vegetables for 20 minutes.

"The fork should just slip in when your vegetables are ready and they should not be too mushy or too hard," Walter said.

If you're looking for a healthy way to celebrate a special occasion, Walter suggest these recipes for dinner and dessert.

Main course:

¡ 1 lb. of asparagus, cut tougher ends off

¡ Put in a half a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes.

¡ Serve with rice and baked chicken or fish fillet.

For dessert:

¡ 1 egg

¡ 1 cup of milk

¡ 2 tsp. sugar

¡ 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

¡ Beat together and put in small baking dish.

¡ Place small dish in a larger pan containing about 1 inch of water.

¡ Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

For more information on how to cook a healthy meal, visit http://www.deliciousdecisions.org/, a service of the American Heart Association.

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