Nutritious Dietary Patterns

Dietary patterns (also called eating patterns) are the combinations and quantities of food and beverages consumed over time. Consistent evidence indicates that, in general, a plant-based dietary pattern is more health-promoting than the current average U.S. diet. However, a “plant-based” eating patterns doesn’t mean only plants; pairing high-quality protein foods, like eggs, with plants is essential for the synthesis and maintenance of muscle tissue, and for achieving optimal vitamin and mineral intakes.

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend three healthy eating patterns, all of which include eggs. But what are the sample eating patterns, and what are the key differences between them?

To learn more about healthy eating patterns, including those recommended in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, and how eggs fit within those patterns, explore the following PowerPoint, and feel free to share it with friends!

Healthy Eating Patterns: How do Eggs Fit?

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Enjoy your food, but eat less – Top 5

Enjoy your food, but eat less-Here are my top 5 things to “eat less” to achieve better health

1.Restaurant food (uniformed choices): Dining out is common, but even registered dietitians cannot always tell how many calories are in the food and what has been added. Many people rely on dining out for a variety of reasons, but they can ask for menu modifications. Also, the best thing to do would to be to check out the menu ahead of time and plan ahead! Most restaurants have websites with nutrition information listed as well as this great tool Healthy Dining. If you don’t have time before arriving to the restaurant, feel free to ask for nutrition information with your menu! Please know I am not saying you cannot have your favorite pizza or burger, but consider having them less often! Most importantly-educate yourself on what you are eating!

2. Refined foods: Foods being stripped of their vitamins and minerals and having to be “fortified” back in and long ingredient lists are just the beginning of the problems with refined foods. Foods from MyPlate and simple recipes can help with this! Scrambled eggs with veggies with a slice of whole wheat toast and a cup of skim milk to start your day- easy and healthy. You can also replace “snack foods” crackers, chips cookies, etc with less refined options like a hardboiled eggs, fruits, veggies, and many more “whole” food options.

3. Sugar: I’m not saying give it up, but research shows we eat too much. Consider limiting soda, juices, and sweetened beverages, sugar filled cereals, desserts and more. Sugar might be hiding places you do not expect it (high fructose corn syrup), so watch the amount you know you are drinking and eating. Also, sometimes these are loaded with saturated and trans fats (baked goods), so eat less of these and you’ll get a double benefit!

4. Sodium: Most of us are unaware of the amount of sodium we actually consume each day! The more processed foods we eat, the more sodium we get in our diet. Try to not use the salt shaker and consider using other spices to flavor food. A good rule of thumb for label reading is to look for no more than one milligram of sodium per one calorie of food (you’ll quickly see how sodium adds up). Refer back to number 2 and have more whole foods-you’ll automatically end up with less sodium in your diet.

5. Alcohol: Like food, many of us do not know how many calories we consume when we drink alcohol. The calories add up quickly (and even more quickly for mixed drinks). Also, along with alcohol consumption comes the likelihood of overeating or mindless eating.

So those are my 5 tips for eating less. Another thing to do overall is decrease the portions and you’ll decrease many of these anyway! See my previous blog post on the SuperTracker on how to learn portion sizes.

 

USDA Launches New Online “Super Tracker” –Track and Record Your Health in 2012

Enjoy your food, but eat less.  This was a statement that is rather confusing and created a lot of buzz in the nutrition world.  Eat less of what, how much less?  The USDA new “Super Tracker” may help the public with this.  You can see based on your specific profile how much you should be eating and eating for optimal health from all the food groups.  Perhaps you can consider a SMART goal or two related to using the “Super Tracker”. Today, I’ll give you some guidance that has worked for my clients in the past and even in my own household

So step one is start to record and track your progress. The Super Tracker has some great tips and tools including food-a-pedia, activity tracker, and more.  It even has a place for your top 5 goals, once you personalize your plan.  I think it is a pretty user friendly website-much easier than previous versions.  Personally, for me, it is motivating to see everything tracked right in front of me.  Used appropriately, the tracker can be a great tool.  If this tool does not work for you, search for one that will! There are plenty of trackers-even on smartphones.

One thing that I suggest that you try is measuring your food (measuring cups and a food scale can be very affordable). It can be challenging when decipher a food label or even the tracker to eyeball what the portion should look like on the plate. However seeing what exactly you eat vs what is a serving is quite interesting!  I’ve tried it with my husband lately (shh don’t tell him I am talking about him).  He was surprised at what he saw and has started to make an effort to think about the amount of food he put on his plate (even without the measuring cup).    Are going to measure forever-no eventually you will be able to it without measuring cups or scales.  Also you probably won’t pull out your cups at a restaurant or party, so it is good to learn at home and then you can visualize the portions when you are out.  Ultimately, if you see your portions creeping up go ahead and start to measure your food again to get you back on track.  You can also use household items for portion sizes, although this only works well for some people.

Remember that it a lifestyle change you are looking to achieve and new habits must be formed.  It can take some time to get used to something new.  Some say 21 days is the time it takes to create a sound habit.  So will you feel hungry at first?  Perhaps-you may be used to overeating and will need to learn how it feels to be satiated without being stuffed.  Will there be struggles-yes!  It is part of the experience, but move on to the next meal or snack- it is a mind game that you can win.

There are awesome tools to help you achieve your year (and lifetime) of health!  You do not have to do it alone.

The Fast Food and the Furious

By: Kasia Ciaston

Today’s blog post is from guest writer Kasia Ciaston.  Kasia is a Dietetic Intern at Loyola University and is ENC’s first intern!

Today is National Fast Food Day. Should we be celebrating or criticizing this day of readily prepared foods? The assortment of additives, preservatives and fat contents make these energy-dense foods controversial, but there’s no debating their popular reputation here in the United States. Whether you’re a supporter of the $110 billion fast food industry or a fan of foods with more pronounceable ingredients (monosodium gluta-what?) today is the day to observe and maybe even take part in a fast-food meal at your favorite hot spot.

For those of you frequent-fast-foodies out there who are always on-the-go or don’t have time to cook – there are ways to make healthier choices at the fast food establishments you enjoy. Share my top 10 savory fast food swaps and your clients will see a savings….in their waistlines!

  1. Instead of the jumbo double-decker cheeseburger (440 calories, 25 grams of protein), opt for grilled chicken (300 calories, 28 grams of protein) instead – lean protein may lead to a lean body!
  2. Drink water or unsweetened iced tea instead of sugar-sweetened sodas or juices for caloric savings in the hundreds. A large Coke contains about 310 calories and 86 grams of sugar – that’s almost half a cup of pure sugar!
  3. With salads or subs – choose an oil based vinaigrette dressing instead of anything with the word ‘creamy’ in the name. Using less dressing than you usually do adds to the caloric savings.
  4. Mayonnaise on the side please! – Approximately 2 tablespoons of mayo adds up to 200 added calories or more. Use ketchup or mustard, which have zero grams of fat.
  5. Instead of fries, onion rings, or tater tots – go for a side salad, baked potato, fruit parfait, or even pack your own healthy snack!
  6. Blended or iced coffee drinks are calorie and sugar bombs! Ask for no whipped cream, non-fat milk, or sugar-free syrup to ease the blow to your insulin levels.
  7. Watch out for higher fat toppings like processed cheese and bacon.
  8. When possible ask for extra vegetable toppings! The added fiber will keep you feeling fuller for longer.
  9. Choose brown over white (whole wheat) bread that is. The USDA recommends making half of your grains whole grains. Don’t forget to stay active!
  10. Walking for only 20 minutes a day may add up to a pound of weight loss per month!

Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian Healthy Eating

Enjoy!
Marcia

There are several modalities of vegetarianism, from strict vegetarians to lacto-ovo-vegetarians. Usually, lacto-ovo-vegetarians will eat dairy foods and eggs, but not meat, fish, or poultry. Certainly, a diet rich in plant foods has the potential to offer health benefits and positive outcomes in prevention and treatment of conditions such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, obesity and cancer. Nutrient intake and nutrient bioavailability are essential to prevent deficiencies. Calories, macro and micronutrients distributions are important to provide adequate nutrition within an energy allowance that maintains a healthy weight. Macronutrients provide calories and are the protein, fat, and carbohydrates, while minerals and vitamins are micronutrients and do not provide energy. Water is essential to life but does not provide energy.

Here are some recommendations in how to plan a nutritionally-adequate lacto-ovo-vegetarian meal plan.

Protein: It is a vital structural and working substance in all cells and commonly associated with meat consumption. Nevertheless, lacto-ovo-vegetarians can meet recommendations easily from low-fat dairy, beans, peas, nuts, and eggs. Protein in plants may not be completely digested. Eggs provide one of the highest quality protein available in any food while containing 13 additional vitamins and minerals in different amounts with only 70 calories per one large egg.

Carbohydrates: Whole wheat grains pasta, cereals, quinoa, amaranth, oatmeal, brown rice, fruits and vegetables such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, and winter squash will provide the body ample carbohydrates for immediate energy.

Fats: Good source of healthy fats are nuts, seed, avocados, olive oil, and olives.

Vitamins and Minerals: Common concerns among vegetarians may include lack of vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, riboflavin, zinc and calcium.

Vitamin B12: Is only found in animal products and is important in human nutrition because it is involved in new cell synthesis; helps to maintain nerve cells, and is required to convert folate into its active form. Significant sources for lacto-ovo-vegetarians are milk, cheese and eggs. Soy products, including soy milk, when fortified with this vitamin are a good source of B12.

Vitamin D: Is found in animal products and is synthesized from exposure to the sun. Milk is usually fortified with vitamin D. Eggs do not need fortification since they are one of few foods that naturally provide vitamin D.

Iron: Is vital to many of the cells’ activities, and absorption depends on its source. Heme iron is well absorbed and is found in animal products. Non-heme iron, which is not well absorbed, comes from plant foods. Eating iron rich vegetables with vitamin C rich foods, such citrus fruits and juices; broccoli, peppers and tomatoes will enhance iron absorption. Legumes, eggs, whole-grain fortified and enriched breads and cereals as well as dark green and leafy vegetables, tofu, edamame, and nuts are good sources of iron.

Calcium: The relationship between calcium and osteoporosis is well documented. Osteoporosis develops early in life and becomes apparent during the later years. Good sources of calcium are milk and milk-based products, kale, collard green, mustard greens, almonds, tofu, legumes, texture vegetable protein, and calcium fortified orange juice. Although spinach is rich in calcium, it is poorly absorbed due to presence of oxalates.

Zinc: It is a very versatile mineral, participates in immune reactions, taste perception, and wound healing, among others. Good zinc sources include legumes, hard cheeses, whole grain products, nuts, tofu and miso. The absorption of zinc from plant foods such whole grains is hindered by phytic acids.

Riboflavin: Most notorious role in the body is the release of energy from nutrients in all body cells. Foods that contribute the most riboflavin include milk and milk products. Other sources are whole-grain or enriched bread and cereals, dark green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, turnip green, asparagus, spinach and eggs. Nutritional yeast also provides good amounts of this vitamin.

For wellness and health, being a vegetarian or omnivorous involves a healthful meal plan. It is also recommended integrating the holistic concept of balance among the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of the individual.