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What makes a “good” meal?

Updated: Apr 24, 2020


Health professionals are forever touting the benefits of healthy, balanced meals. But what exactly does that mean?

We checked with Ismini Soteropoulos, MS, RD, LDN, a registered dietician at BI-Lahey Healthcare’s Lifestyle Health Program to get a better idea of what a “good” meals could look like. And here’s the news – it’s up to your personal taste. If the thought of skinless chicken breasts and steam veggies makes you sad … then there’s good news for you! Ismini makes a strong point that “healthy” does need to be bland, boring or tasteless.

Here’s three things to think about during your transformation to better health:

What do you like to eat? The biggest mistake in dieting is following someone else’s food plan. It might work well for a while but it rarely lasts long-term. The secret to success is developing your own food plans based on the flavors and types of foods you love. If Mexican is your thing – awesome. Chinese buffet was your favorite? We can work with that too! Let your dietician know what you love to eat – and let the magic begin. Heathy can taste yummy … really … it can

What’s on your plate? A serving of protein is a must to manage hunger. Protein creates a sense of satiety and helps to ward off pesky cravings. Lots of vegetables and some fruit round out the vital vitamins and nutrients your body needs and wants. Adding starchy carbs like potatoes, rice, pastas and breads will depend on your weight loss goals. It takes thoughtful process over time to figure out the right amount of carbs for your body and weight loss goals. This where your dietician’s expertise in invaluable to sort through what works for you and what doesn’t.

Can small changes make a difference? Absolutely! Eating all the same foods while altering the amounts of each one is a great start to lasting change. Take spaghetti and meatballs for example. Rather than a big bowl of pasta with a couple of meatballs … try a cup of pasta with 3 or 4 meatballs. It’s the same meal with less carbs and more protein and the potential of being much more satisfying for longer period of time.

Check out the video library for Ismini’s take on What makes a good meal?

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