Monthly Archives: July 2014

Eat Right for Life

A Decade-by-Decade Guide to Eating Your Way Healthy

Reviewed by Wendy Marcason, RD, LDN

Eating the same way in your 40s as you did in your 20s? Ignoring your nutritional needs when you’re 60? Not you! Build your best, healthiest body by adjusting your diet and eating habits to address the specific needs of each decade.

20s: Bone Building

In your 20s, you’re still building up bone density, so this is the decade to help your bones grow strong and healthy. “You really want to make those bones as dense as you can while you’re young, during those bone-growing years,” says Ruth Frechman, RDN, an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson. She calls it “filling the bank” because in later years, your body will lose some of that bone, so the more you start with the better off you are.

Enter calcium, which not only builds strong bones but is also important for healthy muscles, nerves, and heart. You need 1,000 mg per day, so enjoy dairy products, opt for calcium-fortified orange juice and cereals, and load up on beans, leafy greens, almonds and canned salmon with bones.

Young women don’t need to pass up dairy products for fear of gaining weight. Instead choose fat-free or low-fat milk and yogurt, reduced-fat cheese and for a sweet treat pick nonfat calcium-fortified hot cocoa, says Frechman.

30s: Baby on Board

These days, women are having babies well into their 30s, which makes folic acid an important nutrient this decade. Folic acid helps prevent neural tube birth defects like spina bifida. Unfortunately, “Many studies have shown that folic acid is one of those nutrients that we tend to run low in,” says Jeannie Moloo, RD.

For women who plan on becoming pregnant, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommend consuming 400 micrograms per day of folic acid from fortified foods and/or supplements, in addition to foods high in folate. Many breads, cereals and grain products are fortified with folic acid; fruits and vegetables are good sources of folate. If you’re trying to get pregnant, your doctor may recommend a folic acid supplement.

Moloo also calls the 30s the “prevention decade,” meaning, if you haven’t already, it’s time to start thinking about how to prevent chronic diseases that become more prevalent as we age.

Look to foods containing healthy fats such as omega-3 fats and monounsaturated fats.

  • Found in nuts, olive and canola oils and avocados, monosaturated fats improve blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease, and they may help with keeping blood sugar levels in check (potentially helpful for appetite control and reducing the risk for diabetes). A few studies have looked at monounsaturated fats as being beneficial for specifically reducing belly fat, but firm findings are lacking.
  • Scientists believe omega-3 fats (found in fish) may influence how fat is used and stored in the body. It’s possible omega-3s push fat more toward energy use than to storage in your body. Omega-3s may help reduce body fat with or without cutting calories. Animal studies have supported the theory; human studies are encouraging, but not as conclusive. Add exercise on top of upping omega-3s and you can lose more body fat.

40s: Keeping Score

If you haven’t been treating your body right, the 40s is where this will start showing up. “You are starting the aging process,” says Frechman. “So you really want to make sure you’re in tiptop shape.”

The 40s are a good time to be vigilant about eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. They’re packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants plus low in fat and calories. Adults need at least 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cup of vegetables a day. Explore new tastes by trying a new fruit or vegetable a couple of times a month.

Antioxidant supplements are not a substitute for eating a variety of fruits and veggies, as scientists are just learning how different antioxidants work in synergy with one another to keep the body healthy. “With supplements, you don’t know for sure if you’re getting all of the benefits that you could be getting from the whole foods,” says Frechman.

Try snacking on fruit like apples, bananas, and clementines, opt for veggie-packed broth-based soups, salads piled with greens and smoothies with berries. If you don’t like the taste of vegetables raw, try roasting them, which makes them sweeter.

Another important nutrient for the 40-and-over set is fiber, which can help protect against heart disease and some types of cancer. Women under 50 need 25 grams per day, but most adults get only about half that amount. Luckily, the fruits and veggies you’re eating for the vitamins and minerals are rich in fiber, and whole grains and beans are other good sources.

50s: Calorie Counting

The 50s are a time of big changes thanks to perimenopause and menopause. “Hormone fluctuations can be very dramatic, and with hormone fluctuations can come changes in metabolism,” says Moloo. “It’s a time when women tend to have weight creep on, and it’s that very metabolically active fat around the middle, which has been shown to drive diabetes and other health-related issues.” So Moloo suggests decreasing calorie intake and increasing activity levels if you start to experience weight gain.

Also essential: Vitamin D is used in every cell in the body, says Frechman. It’s essential for bone health and researchers believe it may reduce the risk of some cancers, heart disease and infectious diseases. Vitamin D is difficult to get from food—the best sources are fortified milk, orange juice, and cereals and also fish like salmon and tuna.

The recommended daily amount of vitamin D recently increased to 600 IU per day for women ages 19 to 70, but the majority of adults don’t get enough. Consult your doctor or registered dietitian about your need for a supplement.

60s and Beyond: Protein Power

Protein, along with regular strength building exercise, is essential for maintaining muscle, which we tend to lose as we age. Consuming enough protein may also be linked with bone health.

The average woman needs about 5 to 6 ounces of protein foods each day. Good sources include meat like beef, chicken, fish, pork and lamb. Not a meat eater? You’ll also find protein in, eggs, beans, tofu and nuts, as well as low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt and cheese.

Vitamin B12, which helps your body make red blood cells and keep the brain and nervous system healthy, is another vital nutrient for women over 60. You can get B12 through any food that comes from an animal: meat, fish, dairy products and eggs. However, as people get older they can develop a reduced ability to absorb vitamin B12, says Frechman. She recommends talking to your doctor to see if you need a supplement.

Each decade brings with it specific health concerns—and different nutrition needs. Eat right for your age and you’ll sail through the decades feeling great.

Article from Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Join our Medical Weight Management Program to learn more about common nutrition topics that interfere with our weight loss goals. The next class will begin in August.  Space is limited so call for more information!



Eating to Boost Energy

Eating to Boost Energy

By Tara Gidus, MS, RDN, LDN, CSSD

Let’s face it, we are in an energy crisis. We, as a society, are busy, overweight, stressed, out of shape and have poor eating habits — all contributing to low energy levels. One way to fix our energy deficit is how we eat. The right combinations of food can give you a much needed boost. Follow these strategies to maximize your energy.

    1. Eat often. Eating every 3 to 4 hours can help to fuel a healthy metabolism, maintain muscle mass and prevent between-meal hunger that leads to unwise snacking. If you’re currently only eating 1 to 2 meals a day, this will be an adjustment. As you’re learning how to eat more frequently throughout the day, remind yourself that you will feel better and be more focused when you have fuel in your system on a regular basis.
    2. Eat light. Eating just enough, but not too much, helps to curb cravings and reduces chances of overeating. Keep in mind portions are often too large. If your meal carries you 5 to 6 hours without hunger pangs, it’s likely that you’re eating too much. Eating light will also prevent you from getting too full and feeling sluggish.
    3. Balance plate. A balanced meal includes whole grains, lean protein, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, fat-free or low-fat dairy and a small amount of healthy fats. Balance out your plate with all the food groups for sustained energy.
    4. Snacks are a bridge. Don’t skip this important eating event. Snacks should have protein and fiber-rich carbohydrates to provide lasting energy. Grab an apple and a handful of nuts, carrots and string cheese, or Greek yogurt and fresh berries. Keep in mind that snacks are not intended to fill you up, but to bridge you from one meal to the next.
    5. Remove energy zappers. Skip the soda, sugary coffee and energy drinks. These foods may leave you buzzing for an hour, but will likely cause an energy crash.  Quench your thirst with water, fat-free or low-fat milk, low-calorie flavored water or unsweetened tea.

Article from Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Join our Medical Weight Management Program to learn more about common nutrition topics that interfere with our weight loss goals. The next class will begin in August.  Space is limited so call for more information!



How to Add Whole Grains to Your Diet




Choose Whole Grains

Adding more whole grains to your family’s meals is a smart move. Not only do they provide the vitamins, nutrients and minerals needed to keep your family healthy and strong, but whole grains also contain dietary fiber, which may help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other health complications.

Grains are divided into two subgroups: whole grains and refined grains. Whole grains contain the entire kernel — the bran, germ and endosperm. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend making half of the grains you eat whole, so use whole grains instead of a refined-grain product.

How to Find Whole Grains

Remember, being brown doesn’t make bread whole wheat and being white may not mean that bread is made with just refined white flour. Finding whole-grain breads takes some label reading skills. Any bread labeled “whole wheat” must be made with 100-percent whole-wheat flour.

Also, did you know that even if bread labels advertise “seven-grain” or “multigrain,” they are not necessarily whole grain products? Check the Nutrition Facts Panel to make sure whole-wheat flour is listed as the first ingredient and find loaves made mostly with whole-wheat or other whole-grain flour.

Add Whole Grains to Your Meals

Want to add more whole grains to your meals? Change your cooking style to include more whole grains and boost the fiber content of meals. Partner whole grains — brown rice and vegetable stir-fry or a whole-wheat pita stuffed with salad. Fortify mixed dishes with high-fiber ingredients, perhaps bran or oatmeal added to meat loaf.

Looking for other ways to make half your family’s grains whole?

  • Start with breakfast. Choose a fiber-rich, whole-grain breakfast cereal, oatmeal or toast. Check the grams of fiber per serving; more fiber will keep you feeling fuller, longer.
  • Choose whole grains over refined items when selecting breads, buns, bagels, tortillas, pastas and other grains.
  • Experiment with different grains such as buckwheat, bulgur, millet, quinoa, sorghum, or whole rye or barley. To save time, cook extra bulgur or barley and freeze half to heat and serve later as a quick side dish.
  • Enjoy whole grains as a snack. Three cups of whole-grain, air-popped popcorn contains 3.5 grams of fiber and only 95 calories. Also, try 100-percent whole-wheat or rye crackers.

Article from Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Join our Medical Weight Management Program to learn more about common nutrition topics that interfere with our weight loss goals. The next class will begin in August.  Space is limited so call for more information!


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Healthful and Safe Eating on Vacation

Healthful and Safe Eating on Vacation

Summer vacations are a time to relax, revitalize and enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of new places. When it comes to maintaining a healthful eating plan on vacation, you can still enjoy the new, fun and exciting foods that come with traveling without packing on the pounds. Here are a few tips to eat right while on your summer vacation:

  • Sample small amounts of high-calorie food. You don’t have to avoid it entirely. Just reduce the amount you eat to a few bites.
  • Share large portions. Many restaurants serve very large portions, so don’t hesitate to split orders.
  • Space meals throughout the day. It can be easy to “graze” while on vacation. Try to set meal times and stick to them.
  • Engage in some type of physical activity most days. There is no better time to walk than on vacation. You see the new sights up close and keep your body healthy at the same time.
  • Monitor your alcohol intake. Alcoholic beverages are high in calories and also can lead to overeating.

If a road trip is part of your vacation, packing healthy foods is a great way to maintain your diet. Try these tips for good eating on the road:

  • Pack a cooler with fresh vegetables and fruit for snacks, like cut broccoli florets, carrot sticks, and apple and orange slices.
  • For beverages, bring canned or boxed 100-percent fruit juice, canned tomato juice and bottled water.
  • Bring boxes of raisins and re-sealable pouches of dried fruit like apricots.
  • Deli sandwiches, yogurt and low-fat cheese make a great lunch.
  • Get out of the car every hour or two to take a short walk and stretch your legs.

Be sure to keep your backseat treats safe with these easy tips:

  • Pack easy-to-transport, shelf-stable foods. Good choices include cereal, trail mix, popcorn, single-serve applesauce, cans of tuna, peanut butter sandwiches, fresh fruit, carrots or celery.
  • Don’t let perishable food sit unrefrigerated for more than two hours, and make sure coolers remain at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In hot weather, place coolers and lunch bags in the back seat instead of the trunk. The environment tends to be cooler in the car, especially when the air conditioning is on.
  • Make sure everyone in the family washes their hands with soap and water before and after eating. If you don’t have access to a restroom, pack moist towelettes or hand sanitizer.


Article from Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Let our Medical Weight Management Program help you with your weight
goals. Our program includes a personal trainer, a registered dietitian, and a doctor of physical therapy. We are offering a one time introductory rate! The next program will start in August. Space is limited! Call or email today for more information.

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Be Kind To Your Kidneys

Red flag: When a website mentions “toxins” and the need to “detox.”
The human body already has a built-in detox system: the liver, kidneys, and colon, and it doesn’t need expensive juice cleanses or supplements to function. Just eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and lean protein, and minimize processed/restaurant foods high in salt, sugar, and fat. Be kind to your kidneys with more tips from Nutrition Action.

Be Kind To Your Kidneys

Article from Nutrition Action.

Let our Medical Weight Management Program help you with your weight
goals. Our program includes a personal trainer, a registered dietitian, and a doctor of physical therapy. We are offering a one time introductory rate! The next program will start in August. Space is limited! Call or email today for more information.

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Benefits for Pilates

What are the benefits of Pilates?

With regular committed Pilates workouts you can expect to:

-Tone and build long, lean muscles without bulk
-Challenge deep abdominal muscles to support the core
-Engage the mind and enhance body awareness
-Efficient patterns of movement making the body less prone to injury
-Reduce stress, relieve tension, boost energy
-Restore postural alignment
-Create a stronger, more flexible spine
-Promote recovery from strain or injury
-Increase joint range of motion
-Improve circulation
-Heighten neuromuscular coordination
-Offer relief from back pain and joint stress
-Correct over-training of muscle groups which can lead to stress and injury
-Enhance mobility, agility and stamina
-Compliment sports training and develop functional fitness for daily life activity
-Improve the way your body looks and feelreformer