Thursday, December 4, 2014
The Food and Drug Administration has been working to update the Nutrition Facts panel that appears on packaged foods. The new proposal includes many changes to help make choosing more healthful foods easier but one big change is the proposed addition of "Added Sugars."
The addition of the line "Added Sugars" will help consumers see the difference between naturally occurring sugars and those that are added to the food. While the body might not recognize any difference in natural or added sugars the amount of added sugar that we are consuming is much higher than the recommended amount.
Colleagues at Appetite for Health have created a useful infographic that shows amounts of added sugars we consume, common names of added sugars and some of the foods that contribute the largest amounts of added sugars to our diets. This infographic can be a useful tool to guide you as you read food labels, plan menus and work to balance your nutrition.
Checkout the infographic at - http://www.appforhealth.com/2014/12/names-for-sugar/
Connie Diekman, M.Ed., RD, CSSD, LD, FADA
Nutrition Communications Consultant
Friday, October 24, 2014
While the research in gut immune health is still underway what seems to be especially important is the consumption of plenty of plant foods. The variety of bacteria in plant foods, along with the variety of phytonutrients makes plant foods - grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds - good choices to fuel a healthy immune system.
If your diet is still a bit animal food heavy, take sometime to look for ways to sneak in more plant foods - try a few of these ideas.
- Add shredded carrots and squash to chili or try 2 -3 different beans
- Try dried fruit, nuts and shredded veggies in your next batch of muffins
- Stretch your omelet veggies to squash, broccoli, green peas and carrots
- Add diced beets to a beef casserole - they look like meat
- Cut the amount of beef you use in a dish but adding chopped mushrooms
- Fruit salsa flavors meat nicely and cranberry sauce on salmon is a nice twist
- Chopped dried fruit and throw it into yogurt with some nuts or seeds
- Combine brown rice and veggies for a colorful side
Thursday, October 9, 2014
At the same time the study looked at the incidence of hip fractures, especially in post-menopausal women. What the researchers found was that there seems to be a slightly increased risk of hip fracture with the consumption of larger amounts of soda, whether it is sweetened or not.
While the cause of this increased risk was not clear, what the researchers did report was that failure to consume enough calcium, while consuming more phosphorus from the soda, could be a factor. The researchers also noted that women who consumed more soda tended to have higher body mass indexes (BMI) so weight could be a factor.
So what does this mean if you are a soda drinker?
- If you are drinking soda in place of calcium rich dairy - take time now to make that switch
- Work to include at least 3 servings of dairy each day - ChooseMyPlate.gov - provides good ideas
- Assess your body weight and develop a plan to achieve a healthier weight if you need to - a Registered Dietitian can help you do that
- Make physical activity a part of your day - a good goal is 30 minutes, most days of the week
Friday, October 3, 2014
Friday, September 26, 2014
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Last week, sorry the start of a semester can be crazy, another study came out looking at which diet yields more weight loss. The results pointed to the benefits of the low-carb diet But there are some question marks.
The study, which appeared in the Annals of Internal Medicine, was a 12 month randomized, parallel design study, meaning that two different groups followed similar study trial plans with the only difference being the type of diet they followed. At the end of the 12 months the results showed about an 11 pound weight loss for those on the low-carb diet and a 4 pound loss for those on the low-fat diet.
The study did have some limitations so the outcome may not be generalizable to the everyday "real" world. The limitations were 1) diet information came from recall of food consumed, which is of course very subject to memory lapses. 2) the dietitians who collected the recall information knew which subjects were on which diet and even though they followed a standard method, this could impact data collection. Finally, 3) the study also looked at heart health parameters but did not go long enough to see if the diets had any impact on heart health.
So what does all this mean.
1 - we still don't know if or what the "perfect" weight loss diet might be
2 - both diets averaged close to 1500 calories at the end but during the study the low-fat diet often was at a higher calorie level - so was it the calories
3 - weight loss should be a lifestyle focus, not a diet focus
If you need help finding the right diet for health - and a healthy weight - contact a Registered Dietitian (RD). If you are a WUSTL student you can meet with a Registered Dietitian in Student Health. If you are not a student you can find an RD at www.eatright.org
Connie Diekman, M.Ed., RD, CSSD, LD
Friday, August 22, 2014
As summer winds down and high school seniors head off to college many of them might be thinking about the dreaded "Freshman 15!" Fortunately not only is that weight gain not inevitable some studies say it really is a myth and few college students gain that much.
If you're headed to Wash U or any college for the first time this fall there are some things you can do to keep your weight in a healthy range. Staying at a healthy weight not only is good for you but it helps you feel more energetic and it makes it easier for you to do the things you'd like to do at college.
Here are a few tips to help you maintain a healthy weight.
* Don't feel compelled to sample everything on the menu in the first month
* Do keep physical activity in your schedule
* Don't skip meals
* Do establish a meal and snack pattern - every 3 - 4 hours is a good meal spacing
* Don't skimp on sleep - fatigue leads to overeating
* Do learn about proper portions sizes
* Don't snack right from bags or boxes of food - you will overeat
* Do take time to sit down and eat your meals and snacks
In addition to these tips, make sure you check the dining services website to learn more about nutrition. Many universities have Registered Dietitians on campus, and Washington University is one that does, so find out if you can make an appointment to talk - healthy dining?
Have a great first year!
Connie Diekman, M.Ed. RD, CSSD
Friday, August 15, 2014
Carbs Aren't Bad For You!
Thursday, August 7, 2014
Foods and Inflammation
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Food labels can help you choose which food product best meets your nutritional needs but sometimes using those labels gets time consuming. A new food labeling tool brings nutrition information from the Nutrition Facts Panel on the back of packages, up to the front.
Monday, February 3, 2014
Developing a Healthful eating plan is easiest when you use MyPlate to guide your choices. MyPlate graphically shows you how to balance food groups to maximize your nutrition. With 3/4 of the plate coming from plant foods MyPlate provides the opportunity for a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
MyPlate is the visual representation of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, guidelines that are aimed at promoting health, achieving a healthy weight and meeting nutrient needs. You can learn more about MyPlate by visiting - http://www.choosemyplate.gov/index.html
When you visit the website you will notice that the site not only guides you on how to make food choices but it offers tips for shopping, reading labels and physical activity. The new year is just barely started so there is still time to start the year with a new – Healthier – routine.
Connie Diekman, M.Ed., RD, CSSD, LD
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
US News & World Report Best Diets for 2014 provides their recommendations for diets to checkout this year and the list does not include some “popular” choices. The winners in the Best Diet Overall category were - 1. The DASH Diet; 2. TLC Diet; 3. Mediterranean Diet.
The Best Diets list is designed to help consumers choose a diet that will meet their needs and goals. The list provides the “best” recommendations in 7 categories besides the best overall. The rankings were done by a team of health experts who scored the diets for short and long-term weight loss, ease of compliance, safety and nutrition.
The popular Paleo diet tied for last place with the Dukan diet. You can see more results at http://health.usnews.com/best-diet
If you’re planning to start the New Year with a new diet, consider a few of these points.
· Look for a diet that includes all food groups
· Look for a diet that provides guidance on portions
· Make sure your physician approves of the diet if you have any medical conditions
· Remember to include activity in with your diet plan
· Consider using www.Choosemyplate.gov for well-balanced advice
For a personalized plan, contact a Registered Dietitian. You can find a Registered Dietitian in your area by visiting www.Eatright.org and clicking on Find A Dietitian.