Nutrition For One Please
The average person has an idea of general nutrition information. Most people recognize that grilled meat is better than fried and wheat bread is healthier than white bread. However, people get confused when trying to piece together what they should be eating at meals and snacks on a daily basis. Often times it takes a registered dietitian to help someone understand how many calories he/she needs, where those calories should come from and how to fit them into nutritious meals and snacks throughout the day.
In 2008, I began working with Gary Bishop to assist in his journey to lose weight and improve his health. Here is his story:
"I have always been consistent in working out, particularly cardiovascular exercise. However, I have never seemed to do very well on the diet part. I guess I was like many other people who felt like you could eat as much as you want as long as you exercised. This worked fairly well in my younger years but after passing age 40 it did not work as well. Like everyone else, I would try the latest ideas of "hunger curbing methods" such as drinking water before and after meals, but they would only work temporarily. Finally I read about Texas Health Fort Worth Executive Health Program's registered dietitian Amy Goodson in my City Club newsletter and decided to set up an appointment. I thought I should finally consult with a professional to discuss healthy eating. During our meeting she asked many questions such as what I ate currently, where did I eat out, what did I eat for each meal, how often I exercised, etc.
Next, Amy explained to me about nutrition including protein, carbohydrates, fiber — soluble and insoluble, portion size, number of meals per day, proper calorie intake, good fats and bad fats, what to eat at different kinds of restaurants (Mexican, Italian, Chinese, etc) and the correct combinations of food for each meal. Finally after all the years of conflicting information, I felt I had finally heard the correct answers.
Within a couple days, Amy sent me a personal meal plan that included all sorts of ideas for meals and snacks. The part I liked the most was the plan for eating at fast-food restaurants for lunch. I consider this real information for the busy lifestyles all of us live today. There was also a list of different foods and brands to pick up at the grocery store that were healthy. I would take the information that Amy provided to grocery store to make sure I picked the proper brands and types of various food products.
I began to lose weight steadily and did not get hungry. I really felt good about eating healthy and of course, excited about the weight starting to come off. I lost 20 lbs easily within about 5 months but still needed to lose another 10 to reach my goal. I felt like I had reached a plateau. So I e-mailed Amy and told her my situation. Within hours, Amy emailed me back with three options to lose the weight. I picked the additional day of exercise. It worked quickly and the additional weight came off. A few weeks later it was time for my annual physical. I was very anxious to see if the weight loss would improve my cholesterol readings. Well, my reading had dropped over 40 points since the previous year and my doctor allowed me to come off my cholesterol medicine. I was very excited! I admit that I have days when I don't eat like I should, but 90 percent of the time it is easy to stay on track. It has been 15 months since meeting with Amy and the weight continues to stay off. "
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Myth vs. Fact
Myth: "It is a 100 calorie pack...it has to be healthy!"
Fact: Just because it is 100 calories does not mean it is healthy! Many 100 calorie snacks are high in processed sugar and white flour leaving them with little to no nutrition value. It would be healthier to eat a tablespoon of peanut butter, a 2% string cheese, a handful of almonds or even a serving of a 100% whole grain cereal. These foods are nutrient rich, providing lots of vitamins and minerals per bite.
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The Executive Health Scoop
A simple annual physical? Not in the Executive Health Program at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth!
Spring into good health and visit the Executive Health Program for your comprehensive physical! The Executive Health Program takes a comprehensive approach to your health. In Executive Health, we pride ourselves in giving individualized care to each patient that walks through our door. Two physicians on the medical staff at Texas Health Fort Worth — Dr. Robert Machos, Medical Director of the Program, and Dr. Carla Castaneda — work with the program's registered dietitian to provide you with nutritional information and education necessary to help you make lifestyle changes to improve your health.
If you have an immediate nutrition or exercise question please visit www.Texashealth.org/AskAmy and our registered dietitian will get right back with you!
For more information, please contact Clint Sanders at 817-250-3877.
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30-60-90 Guidelines for Your Health
Exercise is good for you, but how much do you need? Do you have to exercise the same amount for weight loss as you do for weight maintenance? Are some exercises better than others?
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans have established three different time requirements for exercise based on an individual's weight and fitness goal. Though both the Dietary Guidelines and American College of Sports Medicine agree that people of all ages should be participating in some form of moderate activity at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week, there are some specifics to promote weight loss.
30 Minutes of Exercise/Day — To reduce the risk of developing chronic disease (heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc), one should participate in moderate activity 30 minutes a day, most days of the week. This can be accomplished in one 30-minute bout of exercise, two 15-minute bouts of exercise or even three 10-minute bouts of exercise over the course of the day.
60 Minutes of Exercise/Day — To manage body weight and help prevent weight gain in adulthood, one should participate in 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity most days of the week.
90 Minutes of Exercise/Day — To lose weight and sustain weight loss in adulthood, one should participate in 60-90 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity most days of the week without exceeding daily caloric requirements.
How do you know if you are exercising at an appropriate level? Moderate exercise intensity can be defined as a level of activity you could maintain for an extended period of time. You could not do it all day, but you should be able to hold a conversation where you need a breath every couple of sentences. On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being easy and 10 being hard, you would be working between a 6 and 8. Vigorous exercise activity can be defined as a level of activity that is fairly difficult to maintain for longer than an hour. At this intensity, you probably cannot hold a consistent conversation because you would be breathing too hard. On a scale of 1-10, you would be working between an 8 and 9.
The main key to exercise is doing it consistently! You can also improve your health by trying to move more throughout the day. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator, park at the back of the grocery store parking lot and power walk in, walk the golf course instead of riding in the cart and try parking in a lot further from your work building. The accumulation of regimented exercise and increased daily activity may help improve your health as well as your energy levels! Please consult with your physician before starting an exercise program.
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Supermarket Savvy -- Have you checked the serving size?
In February 2010 the New York Post published an article discussing the challenges with the serving size on food labels. Many "individual" food items have more than one serving per container such as a can of soup, a pint of ice cream and even a bag of animal crackers. You think you are eating 120 calories, but wait! If you look closer there are actually three servings in the container so you just ate 360 calories! The question becomes, "Do you really know how much you are eating?" Unless you are examining the food label and using a calculator, you may not!
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to simplify grocery shopping and label reading for the consumer. They are considering two things that might help you grocery shop smarter. First, the FDA is considering putting food labels on the front of the package. This way the calorie and serving size information will be starring at you on the shelf. Second, they are re-evaluating serving size and making the serving match how much is in the actual package for applicable items. For example, a muffin's food label would provide the nutrition information of the whole muffin, not just half of it.
With 64 percent of America overweight, we have to wonder if making the food label more visible will help people be aware of calories and thus eat less. After all, that is the goal. So many Americans snack mindlessly. It is not uncommon for people to come home from work, grab a bag of chips and munch until dinner. They likely have no idea that every 6 chips they eat can be 150 calories.
Putting the food label on the front of the package might jolt reality and hopefully help them think twice about grabbing another handful.
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The key to eating wisely is paying attention. In order to know how many calories you are consuming, you have to flip the package over and scan the food label, specifically the serving size. Then you can evaluate if you are getting the best caloric bang for your grocery buck!
If you are a person who does not like to think about nutrition or calculate calories, it is likely best for you to buy foods that have one serving per container. This should keep you from over-eating this particular item. It is impossible to avoid foods that have multiple servings per package, but buying less of them should help you on your nutrition journey. However, if you don't mind a little calculating, there are some creative things you can do to avoid eating an extra serving at a snack or meal:
- When you get home empty the package and divide it into individual servings. Then put those in snack baggies.
- Separate loaves of bread, packs of bagels and containers of tortillas in half and put half in your refrigerator to freeze for next week.
- Write a list of what snacks you will have for the week, gather those foods and group them together in the appropriate serving sizes.
- When you cook a bag of rice or pasta, immediately refrigerate half of it.
- Locate your measuring cups and spoons and have them handy for measuring things like cereal, grains and peanut butter.
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Healthy Bites Recipe of the Month
"Waffle Parfait" -- One serving is a healthy snack and two servings is breakfast!
Breakfast and snacks are two important components to everyone's day or at least they should be! Many people, however, rely solely on carbohydrate at breakfast and snacks which can leave them feeling famished hours later. The key is to add some protein and healthy fat to your carbohydrate. Protein and fat slow down digestion and thus keep you feeling satisfied for a longer period of time.
Let's breakdown the "Waffle Parfait" ingredients... The base of this nutrient rich parfait is the Kashi® Honey Oat Waffle which is a good source of fiber and plant protein. Next the low-fat Greek yogurt provides 10 grams of protein and is a great source of calcium for good bone health. Blueberries are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help fight off disease and finally, flaxseed meal is a great source of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Together, this combination provides a variety of nutrients, vitamins and minerals!
"Waffle Parfait" Recipe
- 1 Kashi ® Honey Oat Waffle
- 4 oz low-fat Greek Yogurt
- ½ cup berries
- 2 Tbs. flaxseed meal
Toast waffle then cover in yogurt. Add berries and sprinkle flaxseed on top of the parfait for a tasty treat!
Nutrition Facts per Serving:
Calories: 266, Carbohydrate: 25 gm, Fiber: 4.5 gm, Protein: 14 gm, Fat: 7 gm, Cholesterol: 7 mg
If you are looking for a healthy snack eat one parfait, but if you need a healthy breakfast double the serving and get a meal rich in whole grains, fruit, healthy fat and calcium!
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Nutrition 101 -- Spring Into Healthy Snacking!
To snack or not to snack? That is the question!
Snacking has gotten a bad "rap" over the years! Most people think of snacking as having a candy bar, sitting on the couch with a bag of chips or spooning a pint of ice cream into your mouth, but as a registered dietitian, I am going to argue snacking can be healthy and even good for you. It's all about what is in your snack!
Snacking can be a great tool for weight loss as well as weight maintenance. First, small meals and snacks eaten frequently throughout the day keep your body energized and your blood sugar stable. Second, having a healthy snack mid-morning and mid-afternoon will help you from feeling famished at the next meal and hopefully prevent you from overeating. Finally, eating snacks opens the door to include more nutrient rich foods throughout the day such as fruit, yogurt, almonds and high fiber granola bars.
The key to snacking is this: snack as a noun; not as a verb. Snacking as a verb or "grazing" gets people into caloric trouble. Many individuals will graze throughout the day on bite size foods such as pretzels, chips, candy off someone's desk, nuts, etc. This can add up to a lot of calories if not careful because the person never ate that much at one time; they grazed. On the other hand, if you have a planned 150-250 calorie nutrient-rich snack mid-morning and mid-afternoon, you will feel satisfied and be less likely to graze on nearby foods.
So what should your snacks consist of? Every snack should have two parts. First, all snacks should have some form of high fiber carbohydrate such as a fruit, an oat-based granola bar or a serving of 100 percent whole wheat crackers/pretzels. Carbohydrate is the body's #1 source of energy and thus should be eaten in small servings often throughout the day. However, that is not all! Second, make sure your snack has a lean protein or healthy fat such as Greek yogurt, 2% string cheese, almonds, natural peanut butter or even avocado. Protein and fat slow down digestion and help you feel full faster and stay satisfied longer. Check out these five healthy snack options:
- 1 serving whole wheat crackers and 1 oz 2% cheese
- 1 high fiber granola bar and 10 almonds
- 6 oz low-fat Greek yogurt and 1 cup berries
- 1 apple and 1 Tbs. natural peanut butter
- 1 whole wheat pita and ¼ cup avocado
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Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth
Executive Health Program
1325 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 50
Fort Worth, TX 76104
Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD
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