Local Chef Explains How To Eat Healthy And Tasty - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

Local Chef Explains How To Eat Healthy And Tasty

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PHILADELPHIA -

Twenty-six and a half million Americans have heart disease. The disease is also afflicting more and more at a young age, as an increasing number of those people are age 40 to 59.

This is all more of a reason to be heart healthy. And being heart healthy can taste good too.

"You can control what ends up in here and what ends up in there."

Marc Winans is a bit of a control freak. You have to be a bit of a control freak when you're a gourmet chef who also teaches the finer points of fine dining at The Art Institute. However, what makes his food perfectly delicious, butter, cream, bacon fat and more, could be his heart's worst enemy, especially given Marc's tragic family history.

"My grandfather passed away in his mid-50's from a heart attack, my uncle passed away a few years ago, same thing, heart attack, and I had a cousin who was 40, passed away from a heart attack, so I got scared," says Winans.

The 37 year old immediately dumped the cigarettes, but he didn't follow a doctor's suggestion to start taking cholesterol lowering medicine.

"If I don't need to take it, why should I?" he says.

Instead Marc underwent a series of tests, and cardiologists at Temple found no significant plaque buildup in his arteries.

His challenge now: changing the way Chef Marc tests his students' culinary skills.

"Taking smaller bites," he says.

However, what about preparing meals for himself and for his huge traditional Italian family?

"Making substitutions for things," he emphasizes. Chef Marc has made changes that include leaner turkey instead of beef or pork, fruits and nectars instead of sugar and syrup, broth instead of butter and spaghetti squash instead of pasta.

And most importantly, blend your own using healthier choices, he says. How it's cooked is another way to maximize flavor.

"A little bit of variety, so it's not so boring," he says, and Marc did all of these dishes with not one drop of butter, not one spoon of sugar and only a pinch of salt.

"You trick yourself a little bit," he explains.

Check out some of the trick ingredients that normally would be on the no-no list:

"For a little bit of flavor and color," Chef Marc says. "Little bit of peanut butter, again, not a full serving cuz a full serving is 2 tablespoons, 16 grams of fat."

Chef Marc says that the old way of counting calories is outdated and not specific enough.

"I'm not a calorie counter, I look more at the fats, carbohydrates and sugar," he says.

"Everything is good in moderation," Chef Marc reflected. "It's not worth your life… I would take steps to avoid it. I'm too young. I'm not ready to go to the other side yet."

He says your heart and your waistline will thank you. Bon appetite!

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