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Showing posts from May, 2011

Family Nutrition: Bye, bye pyramid hello plate?

I cannot believe how excited I am to come back from my very short vacation and read that the Food Guide Pyramid will be laid to rest.Rest in peace buddy, it has really been fun. I don’t know about any of my  colleagues, but I have never been a fan or used this tool in my practice and I am excited to see that the USDA is moving forward with hopefully a more progressive tool.
As some of you know the USDA launched the food pyramid in 1992.It is a pyramid that provided examples of how many servings to eat of specific food groups: grains, breads cereals, dairy, meats, fruits, and vegetables. Although the pyramid did give a visual example, it was not user friendly when deciphering good fats verse bad fats or whole grains verse refined grains and such.The pyramid has had some makeovers over the years but has still been found to be confusing and unfriendly.
According to reports, the food guide pyramid will be replaced with a new icon this Thursday June 3, 2011.It is thought that the new icon…

Miraculous Misconceptions: Common Myths about Olive Oil

This week alone I received questions from three people about olive oil.The questions were so interesting that I decided to turn them into a quick blog.Most of you have probably heard that Olive Oil contains a combination of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.To keep it simple we’ll call these the ‘good fats.’‘Bad fats’ are saturated, hydrogenated, or Trans fats such as shortening, butter, margarine, palm oils, and coconut oils.
Unsaturated fats, or your poly and mono unsaturated fats have proved to decrease blood cholesterol and reduce risk of heart disease and as this research continues to be published, a lot of the general public has moved to olive oil for their cooking source, spritzer, or salad dressing.
As the use of olive oil multiplies, rumbles have spread like wildfire that olive oil is bad to cook with because it can turn to a saturated fat or that olive oil loses its nutrient composition at high heat.When researching these claims I went to the International Olive Oil…

Common Challenges: Dealing with childhood obesity

Child Obesity is an epidemic that affects 16.3% of adolescents and children and over the past two decades the number of children who are obese has doubled while the number of adolescents has tripled. Not only does obesity affect children’s self esteem but it is also a precursor to many serious and chronic diseases such as sleep apnea, asthma, hypertension (high blood pressure), and Type 2 Diabetes.
Most find it surprising that obesity can be diagnosed as young as two years old. We still think of toddlers as dependent little beings unaffected by their habits, likes, and dislikes.The truth is that body mass index (BMI) should be assessed starting at two years and compared with growth charts.Children whose weight is greater than 95% are considered obese.The healthy rolls parents look for when feeding their infant child to assess nutrition status become more of a risk factor at age two and many pediatricians and dietitians are recommending initiating changes at this young age.
We all kno…

Food Trends: The guts on probiotics

To explain probiotics simply, they are the beneficial bacteria found in food or supplements that help destroy the ‘bad bacteria’ and maintain gut health.Some food products such as yogurt, fermented and unfermented milk, and miso have probiotics in them.You can find out if products you eat contain probiotics by checking out the ingredient list.If the ingredient list states live or active cultures, lactobacillus, or acidophilus you can bet the product contains probiotics.
It is thought that probiotics can help treat diarrhea, prevent yeast infections and urinary tract infections, help with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and also help heal eczema or skin disorders.
I have a lot of clients ask me what my thoughts are on probiotics. As there is not a lot of research that ties definitive results from probiotics, I think there is enough published information that allows for a hypothetical conclusion that probiotics are beneficial for specific situations.Read on to see some examples.

Common Challengs: Saavy Snacking

If you haven’t ready my blog titled ‘The Vicious Cycle of eating too little’ now is the time to do so. If you have, let’s move on.Remember how we discussed focusing on eating every three to four hours, well let’s talk about what types of snacks are best to initiate in between those long gaps.
Glucose, which is mostly derived from carbohydrates, is your body’s first source of energy.Carbohydrates can give you quick bursts of energy and are absorbed and digested within 1 to 1.5 hours after consumption. Since most of us don’t eat every hour or so, it’s important to look at our snacking so we can figure out how to extend the satiety until our next meal.
There’s a lot of data out there that suggest adding a protein to carbohydrates when snacking. As a reminder protein rich foods are meat, eggs, milk, and cheese.  Peanut butter and foods such as quinoa are also good sources of protein. Because proteins are more complex than carbohydrates, adding a protein to a meal can delay digestion, the…

Food Trends: Anti- oxi – what?

About ten years ago I had a routine check up with my doctor.I got a call two weeks later from my physician telling me to make an appointment ASAP because I had an irregular test and needed to get some biopsies.At the time I was in my mid twenties and pretty scared so I called my closest friend, along with my boyfriend (now husband).My boyfriend was real supportive, although he wasn’t sure what quite to do to reassure me that everything would be okay.My dear friend, also a dietitian, called me and said “what can I do for you, do you want me to bring you some tomato sauce?”I will forever remember this comment and she doesn’t have a clue how this made me laugh as I endured testing every three months years after to insure I did not develop Cancer.
Most who are not as geeky as I may wonder why in the world that is so funny to me.Tomatoes are known to have lycopene in them which are considered to be an antioxidant and antioxidants are suspected to prevent cancers, coronary heart disease, a…

Food Trends: A note about Stevia (zero calorie sugar substitute)

We’re all on the lookout for that sugar substitute that withholds calories, tastes good, and is natural and safe.Recently I was asked what my thoughts were on Stevia?Well to tell you the truth I didn’t have many thoughts on the product because basically I didn’t know much about it, except that in my mind it was a zero calorie product that could be substituted for table sugar.I put this thought in my attic with the hopes of getting more acquainted at a later time.
As I get myself more familiar lets start with the derivation.Stevia is an herb that comes from South America and has been used by the Guarani Indians of Paraguay for over 100 years.This is advertised on the Stevia website along with a statement that it provides zero calories because the body doesn’t metabolize glycosides from the leaf or processed forms.Essentially Stevia is absorbed by the gut and broken down into Stevol which is excreted from the body as a waste.There is no accumulation of the product along with no absorpt…