Friday, April 11, 2014

Food Trends: Do I need a Calcium Supplement?

Check out Carmen's blog posted on health central 4/7/2014.

  • This is a question that my clients, particularly women, ask me on a regular basis.  Calcium and vitamin D deficiencies have been hot topics for a number of years.  Here are the facts that can help you determine if you need a supplement.

    Why are calcium and vitamin D important?

    Most of the body’s calcium is stored in your bones.  In your body, calcium is needed for muscle contraction, blood clotting, maintenance of cell membranes, enzyme and hormone function, and central nervous function. When you don’t consume enough calcium, your body pulls this needed calcium from your bones. Over time, this can lead to hollowing of the bones, otherwise known as osteoporosis. This causes weak bones, which can lead to fractures, particularly of the hip, wrist, and spine. Vitamin D helps you to better absorb calcium and store it in your bones.

    How much calcium do I need?

    Unfortunately, after the age of 30, your bones decrease in density and become more fragile if you aren’t getting enough calcium.
    • Adults under 50 years of age need at least 1,000 mg of calcium each day. 
    • That number increases to 1200 mg per day for women over 50. 
    • Once you reach the age of 70, both men and women need at least 1,200 mg per day to maintain bone strength.
    Can’t I just get calcium from the foods I eat?

    Calcium is best absorbed from the foods that we eat. So if you can meet your calcium needs through diet, you won’t need a supplement. The best sources of calcium are dairy products, including milk, cheese, and yogurt.  One cup of milk contains about 300 mg of calcium. Vegetables such as kale and broccoli are good sources of calcium, and fish with soft, edible bones (like sardines and salmon) also contain calcium. Many products such as bread, cereal, pasta, and juices are now fortified with calcium.  Milk substitutes, including almond and soy milk, contain even more calcium than a glass of cow’s milk.

    How do I get vitamin D?

    Vitamin D is a hormone that is produced when the cholesterol in your skin is exposed to sunlight, which converts it to vitamin D. Many people have become vitamin D deficient as a result of limiting sun exposure and working indoors.  Sensible sun exposure of the arms and legs (10-15 minutes a few times each week) is one of the best ways to get your needed vitamin D. 

    The current recommendation for adults is at least 600 IUs each day, and recent studies suggest that we may need even more. If you are looking to get vitamin D from your diet, dairy products are fortified with vitamin D.  Fatty fish, egg yolk, butter, margarine, beef liver, and fortified cereals are also good sources of vitamin D.

    I think I need a calcium supplement.  Which ones are best?

    When you look at the label of a calcium supplement, you need to look at the amount of “elemental calcium” (not the total calcium).  Elemental calcium is the amount of calcium that your body can absorb. The most recommended calcium supplements are calcium carbonate and calcium citrate. Calcium citrate appears to be better absorbed, since it doesn’t need as much stomach acid for absorption; however, calcium carbonate is well-absorbed when taken with food.

  • Talk to your physician before starting any vitamin or mineral supplement, since calcium and vitamin D supplements can interfere with some medications.  There are common some side effects of taking a calcium supplement, including bloating, gas, and constipation. Very high doses of calcium can cause more serious effects such as kidney stones, so be sure to talk to your physician about the appropriate amount of supplement needed. A registered dietitian can help you evaluate your current diet to determine if you are meeting your needs and can show you ways to safely increase sources of vitamin D and calcium in your diet.
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    Friday, April 4, 2014

    Spotlight: Get Cooking Class starting week of 5/5/2014

    Kindred Nutrition is so happy to announce our Get Cooking! Seminar will start the week of 5/5/14.

    The classes will be in our waiting room at 700 Monclaire Avenue, Suite C, Frederick MD 21701

    The seminar consists of 4, 1hour weekly classes.

    Cost is $165.00 for the series  or   $65.00/class

    Topics included:

    Class 1:    Preparation and Planning
           - How to "prepare" 5 meals in one hour.  During this class our registered dietitian will go over a 5 day meal plan, provide a grocery list, and put all 5 meals together so they will be ready to freeze or cook.  Recipes will be provided and all meals will have been pre- prepared  and offered for a taste test.

    Class 2:    Savvy Sides
           - This class will focus on different sides that can be incorporated into dishes.  We will focus on fresh, frozen and some canned goods that will accompany and round up any meal.  An emphasis will also be made to increase fruit and vegetable consumption. Recipes and grocery lists will be provided. All sides will be pre-prepared and offered for a taste test.

    Class 3:  Recipe Substitution and Modification
           - This class will demonstrate how to modify common recipes and make them healthier.  Recipes and grocery lists will be provided.  All recipes will be pre-prepared and offered for a taste test.

    Class 4:  Breakfast Basics
           -Now that you have some ideas about meal planning and dinners let's focus on how to get a healthy breakfast into the mix.  We will focus on breakfast recipes that can provide the energy you need to start the day.  All recipes will be pre-prepared and offered for a taste test.

    To register call 301-580-0008 or email

    Feel free to share this with friends, family, and colleagues.

    Thursday, April 3, 2014

    Introducing additional hours

    Kindred Nutrition is happy to announce that we have added 8 more appointment hours to our week.

    Carmen is having so much fun with us she can't wait to build her client base even more!

    Kindred will now be open:

    Monday 8:00 AM-5:30 PM
    Tuesday 8:00 AM- 6:30 PM
    Wednesday 9:15 AM -5:15 PM
    Thursday 10:00 AM- 2:00 PM
    Friday 8:30 AM- 11:30AM

    Thank you to our Kindred Community. It is because of your success and your referrals that we continue to grow.

    Also our GET COOKING class will go live the first full week of May.  Who's in?          301-580-0008    

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

    Miraculous Misconceptions: 5 Common Nutrition Myths Debunked.

    Carmen Roberts, RD.

    Check out this blog written by Carmen posted on Health Central.

    • It’s hard to figure out what is healthy for you to eat when there are so many mixed messages in the news. As soon as you find out something is good for you, someone else tells you it’s bad for you!  Here are some common nutrition myths I hear.

      #1- All fats are bad and are bad for you

      We all need some fat in our diet, since dietary fat is an essential nutrient.  It helps you to absorb certain vitamins, and it gives you energy.  But when research came out decades ago that strongly supported the link between fat intake and heart disease, the grocery stores became flooded with fat-free and low-fat products.  What we now know is that it’s not the fat we eat, but the type of fat we choose to eat.  Saturated fat (which comes primarily from animal sources) and trans fat (which is found in many packaged products and baked goods) has been shown to increase your LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease.

      The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that no more than seven percent of our daily calories should come from saturated fat, while less than one percent of our total calories should come from trans fat (which has also been shown to harm your HDL or “good” cholesterol).  Replacing these fats in our diets with both mono- and poly-unsaturated fats can help to lower your LDL cholesterol.  The AHA suggests that 25-35% of our total daily calories should come from these healthier fats.  Good sources include avocadoes, olives, vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and fish.  This is how the Mediterranean Diet gained popularity. People who consume this diet, which is high in mono- and poly-unsaturated fats have a low risk of heart disease. So it’s not the fat—but the type of fat—that’s important.

      #2- Carbs make you gain weight

      There are many diets today that focus on low-carbohydrate eating for weight loss.  Here are the facts: the calories from carbohydrates are digested more quickly than the calories from fat and protein.  Therefore, people who eat a high-carbohydrate meal are often hungrier sooner than those who eat a meal with higher amounts of protein and/or fat.  Research has shown that people who eat lower carbohydrate meals have greater success with short-term weight loss. Howeverit’s not the carbs that are causing weight gain—it’s the greater calorie consumption because of hunger. So what’s the answer?  A diet that is balanced with protein; healthy, high-fiber carbohydrates; and heart-healthy fat not only provides you with a feeling of fullness for longer, but makes you consume less calories overall.

      #3- High-fructose corn syrup is worse than regular sugar.  

      High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has been around for decades, and is used in place of sugar in packaged products because it is cheaper and extends the shelf-life of foods. Most studies have shown that table sugar and HFCS are metabolized by the human body in the same way.  HFCS became a hot topic a few years ago when a Princeton research study was published that showed that rats fed HFCS gained more weight than rats who were fed table sugar, despite eating the same amount of calories.

    • However, since then, other studies have shown no difference in weight gain in rats that have eaten both types of sugar.  Most researchers agree that eating HFCS isn’t any different than consuming regular table sugar. The bottom line is that Americans consume too much sugar—in any form—and this is what is contributing to overall weight gain from empty calories.

      #4- Eating late makes you gain weight. 

      I’m sure you’ve heard people say things like “everything you eat after 8 p.m. will turn to fat.” In many cultures, it is customary to eat a large meal later at night and, historically, these people are not overweight because of it.  So why is this a myth?  Many Americans that eat late at night also eat more calories because they are sitting in front of the TV, snacking, and eating high-calorie foods. Bottom line: It’s not what time you eat, but how much you eat, no matter what time of day!

      #5- All calories are created equal.  We know that to lose weight, we need to burn more calories than we take in.  Our bodies need a balance of calories coming from fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Recent research indicates that people who follow a diet that is very low in fat and high in carbohydrate may actually burn less calories than those who follow a diet with moderate amounts of fat, protein, and carbohydrate. It seems that the right balance for overall health and weight management is a diet that contains a moderate amount heart-healthy fats, lean protein, and low-glycemic carbohydrates.
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