We’ve Moved!

12 Aug

Check out the new site!  Same great nutrition information, new name, new address.

Kait’s Dish on Nutrition


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Thanks for moving with me!



July’s Favorites

5 Aug

Special K Crackers – You can eat 24 crackers for only 120 calories and reap the benefits of 3g of fiber! Might as well decrease your risk of colon cancer while snacking!

Orville Redenbacher’s 94% Fat Free Smart Pop Kettle Korn – Mini Bags at 100 calories a pop make a great whole grain snack.

Bear Naked Fit Granola Vanilla Almond Crunch – Naturally flavored with only 4g of sugar, I like adding 1/4 cup to greek yogurt and berries for a quick breakfast.

Watermelon-Best when it’s in season, watermelon packs tons of vitamin C which helps the body build collagen and slow down the aging process. Can you say, Forever Young?

Fage 0% Greek Yogurt: Full of protein, low in sugar – 1/2 c. keeps me full all morning long.

photo courtesy of: http://www2.kelloggs.com/P

Week one down.

3 Aug

As my first successful week as a vegetarian comes to a close, I’ve decided I need to make some adjustments.  After talking to a few other vegetarians, I think I’ve learned a few tricks of the trade.

1. Vegetarians are really supposed to replace meat with vegetables.

Not new, right? Surprisingly, most new vegetarians end up gaining weight rather than losing weight their first few weeks as a vegetarian.  This goes against my earlier post on how cutting back meat may promote weight loss.  The reason?  Eating only vegetables won’t give you the satisfying feeling protein does after a meal so you load up on carbohydrates.  Protein and carbohydrates do have the same number of calories/gram, however, in an attempt to feel full, people generally end up eating twice as much as if they would’ve just had the meat.

2. Don’t forget about protein.

Eating rich protein sources from soy products, beans, and legumes will help you feel satisfied after a meal and provide you with the protein your body needs.

Fun Fact: I ate Boca Vegetarian Sausage the other morning. It was awesome. I never used to eat real sausage before, so maybe I don’t know what I’m missing, but it’s worth a try if you’re looking for a healthier alternative to your favorite breakfast meat.

3. Listen to your body.

Not eating meat isn’t a sure fire way to being healthy.  Meat has many essential amino acids and vitamins necessary to your body’s function.  Fortunately, the body does store some of these essential nutrients, like B12.  Most likely, if you’ve been eating meat your whole life, your body has built up B12 stores.  Your newly vegetarian diet will still get the B12 it needs from your body’s stores for a long period of time (generally, 1-5 years).  However, if you start feeling tired, short of breath, or experience palpitations, these could be symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency and you should see your doctor. Should your vegetarian lifestyle last longer than a few years, you may want to consider talking to your doctor or dietitian about a B12 supplement.

Another micronutrient to consider is Iron.  Women are generally already deficient in Iron because of their monthly losses and general lesser meat consumption than men.  Two types of iron exist: Heme iron (found in meat, poultry, and fish) and Non-Heme iron (found in nuts, grains, fruits, veggies, and tofu).  Heme iron is better absorbed by the body (~20%) compared to non-heme iron (~2-10%), however, both forms can be better absorbed if eaten with an acidic food (high in vitamin C) such as oranges, tomatoes, or strawberries.  This is important for vegetarians because they generally don’t eat foods rich in heme iron.  Some iron is stored in the body as ferritin, but only for 2-3 days until it gets sloughed off with other mucosal cells.  Because of this, it is important to regularly consume foods high in iron to prevent deficiency.  Vegetarians can try foods like fish with lemon or a tomato and grain salad.  Since I’ve just learned to enjoy fish, I’m aiming to eat at least 2 servings of fish/week to keep up with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Healthy Americans and to reap the benefits of iron.

Fun Fact: Vegetarians that only eat fish (and vegetables, fruits, and grains-of course) are called pescetarians.

But look out, when Fe needs exceed Fe absorption, Iron deficiency (ID) occurs.  ID is the most common nutrient deficiency in the world, as well as the most common deficiency in the United States.  For men (19-70y), the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Iron is 8 mg and for women (19-50y), the RDA is 18mg.  Women ages 51-70y have an RDA of 8mg.  Deficiency symptoms include: fatigue, lightheadedness, impaired cognitive function, diminished work capacity, and inability to regulate body temperature.  Should you start feeling any of these symptoms, meat-eater or not, talk to your doctor.  I’m a big believer in getting as many nutrients from food sources (rather than pill sources) as possible, but if your Fe status is really suffering Fe supplements are available.  Also, consider talking to your doctor or dietitian about a vegetarian supplement which will supply all necessary nutrients your diet may be lacking.

Check back often for more news on my new vegetarian lifestyle and my tips on living healthier.

Red, Red Wine

1 Aug

A new study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that drinking moderate amounts of red wine daily may hold many cardioprotective benefits.  Red wine has long been promoted as healthy by the French due to their high consumption and considerably low rates of obesity, but what ‘s in this magic juice that’s providing all of these health benefits?

The answer: Resveratrol,  the natural plant product found in red wine that has been shown to mimic the effects of caloric restriction.  Cutting back on calories has long been shown to decrease obesity, risk of cardiovascular disease, and slow the aging process, but new research has found that it may promote weight management as well.

Two German studies looked at resvertrol in the form of  moderate red wine consumption (about 8.8 fl. oz/day for 21 days) and its effects on adipocyte (fat cell) proliferation and differentiation.

Results of the study concluded that red wine consumption, and therefore resveratrol consumption, positively interfered with adipocyte function and may help to protect against obesity and obesity related diseases (heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome etc).

So, what does this mean for you? 

Well, if you are currently a non-drinker, it doesn’t mean you should start.  The same health benefits can be achieved through cutting calories alone.  However, if you do enjoy indulging in a cocktail from time to time, try switching to red wine.  It’s not as sweet as white wine and may prove more satisfying, which can  help you stick to only 1 glass.  Try mixing it with fresh fruit like apples, pears, or oranges for a Spanish Sangria or tone it down with club soda for a lighter treat.  Also remember that even though red wine has some proven health benefits, it still carries around 100-120 calories/glass and that consumption out of moderation may still leave you with a headache or the need for a looser belt.

Dietary guidelines recommend no more than 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks for men.

Just for fun: Red Red Wine by UB40

Eating more meat may mean becoming meatier

25 Jul

Another reason to vary your veggies..

A new study published July 24, 2010 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that decreased meat consumption may support weight loss and produce a healthier body weight.  The 5-year study followed over 300,000 men and women from 10 different countries.  Subjects reported their height and weight at the beginning of the study and again after 5 years.  

After factoring in all variables, researchers concluded that increased meat intake was associated with weight gain and a higher body weight.  The meats that contributed most to weight gain included red meat, poultry, and processed meat.

Note to Jon: Lay off the lunch meat.

A Day in History

24 Jul

So as many of you may know, I have a food service internship in Virginia for the summer.  On this past Tuesday, something monumental occurred. To be more specific, Tuesday, July 20, 2010 will now forever be known as the day I became a full vegetarian (I think).

The day started out normally.  Work was fine, I was helping in the kitchen and during lunch service.  My friend, we’ll call her Susan to protect her privacy, was serving Rosemary Roasted Leg of Lamb.  Now, I help these ladies every day.  They’re very sweet and never get mad when I inevitably burn pizzas, drop things, and mostly make a mess. We talk about their grand kids and school and every day subjects.  However, this Tuesday was different.  Susan and I were talking about the lamb.  She told me this horrific story about how when she was my age she went to visit her friend in Mexico.  The friend’s father had a farm and used to do his own meat…processing.  To cut to the chase, she used the phrase, “when they are killed, they cry like babies”.  I almost couldn’t finish lunch.

So after much contemplation, I’ve decided that I can’t be a part of that.  I think it’s bad energy to put something that had such a terrible way out into your body.  I told her the next day about my new lifestyle change and she apologized endlessly.  She said that she didn’t mean to influence me and I could just not eat lamb (I never had before so it’d be easy to stop).  But I decided that most animals probably had a similar way out.  Maybe not quite as graphic, but I’m sure there are some stories.  Ever read the book, Skinny Bitch? Yikes.

So for now, I’ve hung up my thought process of “everything is fine in moderation”.  Meat is good. We need B12, Iron, complete proteins.  No more.  My days of being a chicken finger connoisseur are over (for now).  I’m going to eat only fish. (Susan began telling me a story about how she only eats fish with no skin because they don’t….) but stopped because I said we’d have to take baby steps with this whole complete vegetarian change.  So far, day 5, I’m doing well. (I really wasn’t eating that much meat before), but I know there will be temptations.  My Uncle Jim makes killer steaks.  But, I’m going to resist.  As a health professional I want to be experienced in many different diets, so even if this is just a phase, I can said I’ve done it.  Maybe it won’t last (I just bought the greatest knee-high leather boots for fall) but, it’s something new to try.

Don’t worry, I’ll keep you updated.  For more information on vegetarian diets or to learn about the new 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans which suggest a move towards a more plant-based diet, check out http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/dietaryguidelines.htm.

photo courtesy: http://www.peta2.com

Bring on the Barley

23 Jul

New research in the Annals of Family Medicine shows that Barley may not only help lower cholesterol but also reduces the amount of fat your body absorbs. Still not swimsuit set? Bring on the Barley!

photo courtesy: http://www.orugallu.net/vinDu/?p=100