TODAY | March 13, 2012
>> liz joining us from north carolina . good morning, liz.
>> good morning, al. good morning, joy.
>> what's your question?
>> my question is this i recently had abdominal surgery and i wonder what i could eat to encourage healing?
>> first, i'm sorry about your surgery. i hope you are feeling better and stronger every day. it's a super smart question. there are things that can help aid in wound healing . first, make protein a top priority . protein helps with the regeneration of healthy tissue. typically without surgery, we need about 50% of our weight in grams of protein. that means if a woman weighs 150 pounds she needs 75 grams of protein each day.
>> how much is that?
>> well, if you go out of your way to include something that's packed with protein -- chicken, turkey, fish or nonfat dairy with each and every meal you get to that point. during surgery, i recommend people add an additional 20 grams of protein on top of that. that same woman at 150 pounds normally needs 75 grams of protein. after surgery she needs 95 grams of protein each day for a couple of weeks. that will help. three other healing nutrients to include -- vitamin c. so get a lot of citrus fruits , bell peppers , strawberries. also beta carotene , sweet potatoes and carrots. lastly zinc is important. you can get a lot in pumpkin seeds and dark meat poultry. the nice part about the zinc foods is they are double duty because they also have the protein. feel well.
>> thank you so much. we're going to a viewer e-mail from sharon from texas. she writes, my blood work showed elevated blood sugar and cholesterol. i know i should limit carbs but i'm concerned if i eat mostly meat and veggies that i won't be addressing the cholesterol issue.
>> this is common. people get multiple diagnoses at the same time. it can be confusing and daunting. she's lucky because the same meal plan can help slash her cholesterol and steady her blood sugar . this is what to do. for each meal i want an ample amount of lean protein -- fish and seafood. nonfat dairy, poultry. also unlimited amounts of nonstarchy vegetables like broccoli, green beans , cauliflower, spinach and kale. one to two servings of high quality starch like whole grain cereal, quinoa. in the afternoon, a handful of nuts. anything goes. and one piece of fruit. this winning strategy has ample amounts of protein to stead blood sugars. it's low in sugar with a lot of fiber and low in saturated fats . it gets rid of the bad ldl numbers, drives them down. she'll be in great shape.
>> time for one more. amy from pennsylvania joining us via skype. what's your question?
>> good morning. hi, al. hi, joy. i have a 23-month-old daughter. i was wondering what would be some well balanced healthy meal options for toddlers? i feel like i feed her the same thing day in and day out. i can tell she needs a change.
>> here are ideas to get you and her out of the rut. make waffle fingers in the morning. toast a whole grain waffle, slice it into strips. she can have fun believing it's nail polish and dip it in yogurt. try rice pudding . i love to add brown cooked rice into vanilla yogurt, top it with cinnamon and you have rice pudding . i'll put more ideas on twitter and facebook.