(NAPSI)—When the party’s at your place, you want to put out a spread that both tastes good and is good for your guests. Experts can offer a few tips on how to make a meal that is both delicious and healthful.
Consider this: The National Cancer Institute estimates that at least 35 percent of all cancers have a nutritional connection. It could be obesity, insulin resistance, sex hormone changes or impaired blood glucose levels, depending on the type and location of the cancer.
So when planning a menu for your next family dinner, major occasion or get-together with friends, you want to offer a healthy meal. Consider both the different dishes and how they’re prepared.
Here are four tips from Dr. Julianne Dunne, gynecologist and obesity medicine specialist at Westmed Medical Group:
1. Side with the good guys: When it comes to side dishes and appetizers, stick to fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and healthy fats and oils. Instead of potato chips, pita chips and corn chips, offer a crudité selection of celery and carrot sticks, cucumber slices and zucchini spears. Use these in healthy dips, such as guacamole (avocados are a source of healthy fats), hummus (chickpeas are high in protein) and salsa (full of vegetables). Also, offer a selection of nuts.
2. Meat the latest standards. A recent report from the World Health Organization said eating processed meats may increase the risk of colorectal cancer. It may be best to choose grass-fed or pasture-raised meat that is free of antibiotics and hormones. Look for the term “certified organic” on the label to avoid pesticides, fertilizers and GMOs. Choose unprocessed, nitrate-free and low-sodium options.
Explains Dr. Jonathan Finegold, Gastroenterology, Westmed Medical Group: “It’s well established that a diet high in red meat, especially processed meats, is a risk factor for colon cancer. I recommend a balanced diet high in fish, chicken and vegetables. There can be some red meat but it should be grilled to medium—not well-done—consistency and certainly not fried or overcooked. Lean meat such as a filet mignon may be better than a fatty T-bone steak.”
3. Go wild for fish. When serving fish, your best bets are wild salmon, sardines, mussels, rainbow trout and Atlantic mackerel. A great choice for an entrée can be poached salmon served with steamed broccoli and mashed cauliflower. This meal is high in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber but low in calories and carbohydrates.
4. Cooking caution. The National Institute of Cancer warns that when meat, fish and poultry are cooked using high temperatures—such as in panfrying or grilling directly over a high flame-chemicals that are potential carcinogens can form. Safer methods of preparation include steaming, baking at or below 350° F, boiling or poaching. If you’re going to use the grill, turn the meat frequently and avoid any burnt, blackened or charred portions.
You can find more good advice at www.westmedgroup.com.