Healthy Alternatives For A New Year - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/1/05-East Texas

Healthy Alternatives For A New Year

Dieting off those holiday pounds is at the top of many lists of new year's resolutions.  And satisfying everyone in the family can be tricky.  When it comes to a diet, everyone wants something different.

Reduced fat or 100% whole grain.  High fiber or low sugar or vitamin fortified.  High protein or low carb.  Those are just a few of the responses from Parade Magazine's annual survey of "What America Eats", release recently.

"We found that people have gotten the nutritional message, I don't know that they understand what healthy is but they certainly are looking for healthful foods," said Fran Carpentier, Senior Editor for Parade Magazine.

One challenge to family meal times, listed by 45% of those surveyed, is finding something that suits everyone's individual dietary needs.

"Food manufacturers really need to look at their portfolios and offer consumer products that fit those individualized needs," Dr. Pat Verduin, Senior Vice President, Research & Development, ConAgra Foods, Inc.

To solve the time crunch after work, more than 46% of Americans say they use slow cookers at least once a month and more than 22% report weekly use.

"It's easy.  You put the meat in there, you put the sauce in there, you come home and all you have to do is one or two things, add some noodles and voila, you have a great meal," said Verduin.

And if you follow the experts' advice and just eat smaller portions of healthier foods, you'll still be able to lose those holiday pounds.  Nutritionist say there are other healthy alternatives for families on the go.  They say if you have to eat fast food, choose those low in fat and calories.

They also recommend a steady balance of exercise.

Chris Gibson, reporting

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