Ask the Nutritionist
Q: I recently had a total hysterectomy. All the diets I have been reading about only tell you to have greens/vegetables. Can you suggest a menu for me?
Dianne, Conroe, Texas
A: We recommend following a diet that is rich in fiber, phytonutrients, and healthy fats.
Fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains are excellent sources of fiber and phytonutrients. Fiber helps you feel full for a longer period of time. Phytonutrients are natural components found in plant-based foods that give plants their rich pigments, as well as their distinctive taste and smell. There are thousands of phytonutrients that may strengthen the immune system, help prevent cancer, and provide other health benefits, including promotion of cancer survivorship.
Healthy fats, such as olive, flax, and canola, are very good for your heart health, and good sources of additional calories. Nuts and seeds are also sources of healthy fats.
Your goal is to aim for 5-10 servings of colorful fruits and vegetables, and about five servings of grains every day.
One serving is equal to:
- 1 cup leafy greens, berries or melon chunks
- 1/2 cup for all other fruits and vegetables
- 1 medium fruit/vegetable (i.e. apple, orange)
- 1/4 cup dried fruit
- 3/4 cup juice
Here are some suggestions for a menu:
Breakfast (Choose one from each of the following three options)
- 1 cup cereal/1 whole wheat bagel/1 whole wheat toast
- 1 cup lowfat milk/1 cup lowfat plain yogurt/1 Tbsp light cream cheese
- 1/2 pink grapefruit/1 small pear/ 1 small apple/1/2 box raisins
- 1-2 graham crackers with 2 Tbsp peanut butter
- 10 Kashi TLC crackers with 1 string cheese
- 10 medium grapes
- 1 cup popcorn, air popped
- 10 almonds
- Kashi 7 grain bar
Fluids (at least eight 8-ounce cups per day)
- Choose mostly water; sparingly opt for 100% juice (cranberry, apple, orange).
- Meat: choose mostly chicken and turkey, baked or broiled
- Fish: baked or grilled is best
- Salad: every time you make a green salad, add about 1 Tbsp of a healthy oil: olive, flax, canola; sprinkle about 1 Tbsp of sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
- Vegetables: Fresh or frozen, steamed or stir-fried with canola oil
You can find more healthy food ideas in our Recipe Archive.
We encourage you to meet with a Registered Dietitian one-on-one if you are interested in getting personalized menu options based on your food likes and dislikes, whether you want to maintain, lose or gain weight, or if you have any other questions related to diet.