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Four Main Line Health nutritionists reveal: “The one thing I'll never eat…”

Main Line Health October 31, 2014 General Wellness

Judy Matusky, RD, LDN, nutrition specialist at Bryn Mawr and Paoli hospitals

Food I wouldn’t eat: Pork Belly. One thing I wouldn't eat is pork belly. I know it's a culinary darling for many chefs, but at almost 500 calories per serving with 92 percent of those calories coming from fat, it's not friendly for your heart or waistline.

Food I would recommend: Tofu. Even though most of us have heard of it or maybe even tried it in a stir-fry, we are not eating it as often as we should. Tofu is an excellent plant-based protein, which makes it a healthier substitute for animal protein. It's a blank canvas that works well in a variety of dishes. I like to slice, season, and roast it in a 400-degree oven for a crisp, chewy texture or I will mash it with celery, onion, turmeric, and a small amount of mayo for an 'egg-less' egg salad. I love using silken tofu as a creamy, high-protein addition to my favorite smoothie.

Lynn Nichols, outpatient dietitian for the Diabetes Management Program at Riddle Hospital

Food I wouldn’t eat: Liver. I worry about the heavy metals and other poisons that cows have been exposed to or given in their food or vaccines. In addition, liver can be bad for certain groups of people, including those with gout, heart disease, kidney problems, elevated cholesterol and blood pressure levels, post-menopausal women, and pregnant women. If you are going to eat liver, it should be organic.

Food I would recommend: Salmon. It's a delicious source of protein with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and it's high in a number of different vitamins, including Vitamins D, B12, and B6, niacin, magnesium, and selenium. It's a very versatile fish that can be prepared a number of different ways. I like mine grilled! Whenever possible, I prefer mine to be wild-caught Alaskan salmon, since it is usually lower in mercury levels.

Chris Hurley, outpatient nutrition counselor for the Diabetes Management Program at Main Line Health Newtown Square

Food I wouldn’t eat: A Dairy Queen ice cream cone, because they make me feel sick. Instead…

Food I would recommend: Double-churned ice cream. It tastes great and is lower in fat. I also freeze Greek yogurt instead for an even healthier alternative.

Mary Ann Martin, outpatient nutrition counselor for the Diabetes Management Program at Paoli Hospital

Food I wouldn’t eat: High-calorie, high-carb smoothies. Smoothies can be very nutritious, as long as they're made with the right ingredients and made with portion size in mind, but some smoothies from restaurant chains can have additional, unhealthy ingredients. One popular smoothie packs more than 1300 calories, 186 grams of carbohydrates, and 18 grams of saturated fat. I feel more satisfied when I'm eating my calories versus drinking them. (Still don't want to give up smoothies? Try these tips to keep yours healthy.)

Food I would recommend: Vegetables. Whenever possible, I recommend increasing intake of foods from the 'plant world.' I like to fill half of my plate with vegetables, and then have a side of fresh vegetables on the side too, like a salad. It's one of the best things to have in your diet, but some people still just don't get enough veggies.