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Showing posts from March, 2011

Food Trends: Artificial Food Dyes- what’s the verdict?

How about all that chatter this week regarding artificial food dyes?Not only was this in the news, blog posts, all over my facebook but it was also a big story on Good Morning America.The FDA’s advisory panel was to finally attend a “colorthon” for two days this week to discuss a hypothesized correlation between food dyes and hyperactivity.
Some studies have linked food dyes to hyperactivity in children and even suggest it could predispose to different Cancers.After reviewing this evidence, the British government mandated manufacturers to display government warnings on all foods containing food dyes.Guess what happened?Suddenly companies were substituting beet extract in place of the red dye #40.Fooducate ™ alerted me to the fact that Kellogg’s changed the red dye #40 in their Nutrigrain Bars to beet extract in Britain but no changes have been made in the United States.
Although the FDA labeled food dyes such as red dye #40 and yellow #5 as generally recommended as safe (GRAS) many p…

Common Challenges: The Vicious Cycle of eating too little

Everybody has an individual resting metabolic rate (RMR). This is the minimum amount of calories it takes for your body to function, including breathing, absorption and digestion.An activity factor is added to your RMR that configures how many additional calories are needed to function on a daily basis.The more activity you engage in, the more calories your body needs to function.Once you add the activity level to the RMR you have your total energy expenditure (TEE) or estimated amount of energy it takes to perform all activities in a day. When your body is not getting enough of the minimal amount of calories it needs to function, your body will think its starving.Every time your body thinks its starving it breaks down stored protein and fat to provide energy to ‘get things done.’If this becomes a consistent event, the next times you eat your body will store all nutrients as fat to prepare itself for the next fast.In addition, your metabolism stalls and learns how to use fewer calori…

Common Challenges: Blood pressure - What’s salt got to do with it?

High blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension, can be a silent, chronic disease.Blood pressure readings explain the pressure that is built upon the wall of your arteries.The higher the reading, the more pressure you have against the wall of your arteries and the harder it is for your arteries to pump blood which puts stress on your organs. Hypertension is a risk factor for stroke, heart attacks, heart failure, and is the leading cause for kidney failure.
Mild to moderate hypertension can go without symptoms. Since most of us only check our blood pressure at our annual physicals, many can go without a diagnosis for years.Once the hypertension is advanced symptoms include headache, drowsiness, confusion, nosebleeds, nausea, and vomiting.A diagnosis for hypertension is usually given once three separate readings of blood pressure are high.It is recommended to get all readings at least a week apart along with a complete medical exam. Normal blood pressure reading is 120/80 mmHG or …

Family Nutrition: When your child is ‘failing to thrive’

There’s so much information about child obesity out in the press and media, but what if you are dealing with the opposite end?It can be very scary as a parent to watch your little one fail to gain weight. As you travel back and forth to the doctors waiting for the dots to appear on the growth chart a million things can go through your head.You sit and wait and then finally get the ‘diagnosis’ failure to thrive.What do you do next?
Failure to thrive is more of a descriptive diagnosis that is the result of an underlying condition or situation.It’s loosely defined as the inability to gain weight for approximately three consistent months.
What should you do with this diagnosis?The first suggestion is to insure your infant or toddler gets a full medical exam.You want to rule out any metabolic disorders, malabsorption disorders, or food intolerances or allergies.Believe it or not, something such as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disorder) can contribute to a lack of weight gain.Infants and…

Food Trends: Hooray for the FDA

I was so pleased to just read the consumer update Beware of Fraudulent Weight-Loss ‘Dietary Supplements’ posted by the FDA two days ago.Since I’ve become a dietitian, the magic bullet supplement or diet pill industry has been a thorn in my side.I’ve had many clients and patients over the years describe their habitual visits to GNC, the Vitamin Shoppe, or lately the internet purchasing hundreds of dollars of items that are supposed to help with weight loss, melt the fat off, or expedite the burn.Now the FDA is speaking out and I’m thrilled.
Not only was I happy to see this consumer update, but I learned something as well.Did you know that federal regulators have evidence that some dietary supplements contain hidden prescription drugs that haven’t been adequately studied on humans?The FDA also found that some weight- loss drugs still contained sibutramine, which was taken off the market in 2010 because it caused strokes and heart problems.“We’ve found other weight-loss products markete…

Common Challenges: Pre Diabetes

In the health field arena we hear this term quite a bit as the obesity epidemic continues to soar and I was shocked to find out that the American Diabetes Association estimates that as many as fifty seven million Americans suffer from this disease, most undiagnosed.
What in the world is pre Diabetes you say?Well it is when your blood glucose is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as Diabetes.There are two tests that determine this, the oral glucose tolerance test and the fasting plasma glucose test.Any of us who have been pregnant remember the oral glucose tolerance test, a challenge where you drink glucose and test blood sugar levels at different intervals up to two hours post.Normal is considered under 140 mg/dL two hours post food. If your oral glucose tolerance test is between 140 mg/dL and 200 mg/dL you are considered pre Diabetic.Your fasting plasma glucose is a blood test that is collected in the a.m. after fasting.Ideally this should be under 100 mg/dL and…

Food Trends: The Value of NuVal ™

I learned about NuVal on Facebook.Laugh as you may but Facebook has really become a great community for Kindred Nutrition.I find the greatest resources here and I am always delighted to share with colleagues, clients, and friends.
For those of you who may have not heard of NuVal yet, it is a nutritional scoring system on individual foods.The system was developed by nutrition and medical experts and simply provides a number score for all foods in your grocery store.The scale is 1-100 and the higher the score the better the nutrition.
In my experience, teaching and learning nutrition labels is always challenging.I have always craved an easier method and I believe this is the answer.Let’s look at some of the examples shall we?Many of our pantries may be lined with Sunshine Cheeze Its which have a NuVal score of 20. Would it surprise you that Old Fashioned Kettle- Cooked Cape Cod Chips 40% Reduced Fat has a NuVal score of 31?How about breads?Arnold Natural Flax and Fiber bread has a NuV…

Family Nutrition: Brinner

Isn’t serving breakfast for dinner magnificent? Last night was one of those nights where I forgot to take ingredients out of the freezer.I was travelling all day from client to client and my kids had long days at school followed by shots at the doctors.They were a little grouchy to say the least and I was losing my mind.As my hunger pains kept getting louder and louder, the last thing I wanted to do was order out.What to do, what to do? That’s when my husband suggested using the awesome farm fresh eggs.
As you can see, my husband whipped up a quite the breakfast burrito.A serving of each had two farm fresh eggs, an ounce of milk, two ounces of cheddar cheese, and a vegetable medley of asparagus, mushrooms, and tomato. Boy was it good!I topped it off with Frank’s original Red Hot and my husband topped it off with salsa.We also had one cup of fresh strawberries as a side which was perfect to the palate.All in all I estimate this dinner to contain about 410 calories, 360 for the burrito…

Common Challenges: Quick ideas for 500 calorie dinner meals

Ideas for 500 Calorie Dinner Meals
Every evening at dinner time I feel hungry, rushed, and discombobulated.Frankly, I’m a complete mess.The day is unwinding, my children are tired and starving, and I keep going through the list in my head that I didn’t get completely finished.Most of my clients voice that they feel the same way with the addition of the considerations of likes and dislikes of the family they are cooking for or eating with.
I always think a great rule of thumb is to keep a meal less than five hundred calories with snacks fewer than two hundred.Here are some examples of some five hundred calorie dinners I put together.Take a look and try them out.Are you surprised by the amount of food? Do you think you’d be able to feel satisfied with these?Good luck and be well. Day 1Calories5 oz baked chicken breast
125K.C Masterpiece Honey Terriyaki Marinade 1.5 T501/2 cup brown rice

1601 1/2 cup green salad
501 T Italian Dressing

451 Tsunflower seeds (on salad)


Total480 Day 2

Food Trends: Say Heck No to HCG

It is my opinion that the topic of nutrition is like politics.Everyone thinks they know a lot about it, and for the most part people do know the basics, but when it comes down to the need to make individual change, there’s a lot of talk and little visible action.This is why for the most part when strangers, friends, and even family speak of nutrition; I keep my mouth shut unless it’s worth discussing.It is not my desire to come off as a no it all even though the amount of organic chemistry, biochemistry, and anatomy I’ve ingrained in my head far outweighs most of the general public or that my years of experience proves results with many clients.I am mostly happy that people are interested in the subject and always very interested in what’s out there.Still, at the end of the day 65% of the United States is still overweight with one third being OBESE.
So it is not unusual, that I have been relatively quiet on the HCG ‘diet’ except for a couple of conversations with my dietitian colleag…