Author Archive for Shelley Schwartz

03
Nov
13

Ask The Dietitian

My doctor told me that I am a “carrier” for celiac disease but I don’t have it…what does that mean?

-private, Illinois via email

 

Celiac disease is linked to heredity, meaning you only can develop celiac if you carry the gene(s) that predispose you to it.

Not everyone who carries the celiac disease gene(s) ultimately will develop the disease-only about 40% of the population has one or both of the necessary genes, only 1% of the population actually has celiac disease.

So having the genetic potential doesn’t mean you’ll be diagnosed with celiac disease and need to give up gluten; in fact, the odds are stacked against it!

 

If you have a question that you would like to ask, please email us @: info@exercisenutritionalhealth.com 

 
03
Nov
13

What to Eat to Prevent Osteoporosis

Many of us, especially women, have heard the importance of keeping your bones strong. We’ve all seen the “got Milk?” commercials and have heard how calcium helps prevent osteoporosis. But there are more surprising ways to help strengthen your bones and get calcium. Here are some tips to help you start better preserving your bones today.

Calcium is obviously important when it comes to strengthening bones. But did you know that Vitamin D is just as important in building strong bones? Vitamin D and calcium work as a team when it comes to bone strength. Without Vitamin D, the body cannot fully absorb the calcium taken in through milk and other food sources. Thus, it steals the needed calcium from the skeleton, weakening bones and increasing the risk of injury as well as osteoporosis. According to the American Dietetic Association, the daily amount of calcium needed for strong bongs differs for each age group. For children ages four to eight, 800 milligrams is recommended. For nine to ten year olds, 1,300 milligrams, nineteen to fifty year olds require 1,000 milligrams daily and those older than fifty need 1,200 milligrams per day. It is recommended that this power nutrient come from foods rather than supplements. This is because the body is able to absorb calcium through foods better than supplements. Foods that contain calcium will most likely contain other nutrients which will contribute to healthy bones. Supplements are usually recommended for those who have an allergy or intolerance to dairy products. Some good sources of calcium include milk, dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, almonds, and fortified cereals and orange juice. 

But there is more you can do besides eating to help prevent bone loss. Studies show that strength training and weight bearing exercise like hiking or running, helps strengthen the bones as well. The recommended amount of exercise to strengthen bones is just thirty minutes per day. That’s all it takes to improve the density of bones. Other examples of weight bearing exercise include aerobics, stair-climbing, and lifting weights. 

To help prevent osteoporosis, get regular screenings by your doctor. Osteoporosis is often called the silent disease because there are no symptoms. Once diagnosed with the disease, there is no cure, but there are ways to help preserve the bone mass.

03
Nov
13

Cervical Cancer Awareness

Cervical cancer is a cancer of the cervix which is almost always caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). It may or may not have symptoms but can be found with regular Pap tests. Cervical cancer is the third most common type of cancer in women across the globe. Like most other illnesses, what you eat, along with lifestyle, can help prevent cervical cancer.

The top risk factors for cervical cancer include lowered immune system, stress, caffeine, use of oral contraceptives, smoking and poor nutrition and a deficiency of folic acid. A few other risk factors include being sexually active at an early age and having a high number of sexual partners. The risk from vitamin deficiencies can be reduced by changing the diet and consuming more healthful foods, particularly fresh fruits and vegetables. When the deficiencies are depleted, the immune system will strengthen as well as the weak cells throughout the body. Cervical dysplasia is the abnormal growth of cells on the cervix wall, which can lead to cervical cancers. The good news about cervical dysplasia is that with the right nutrition, it can be nearly reversible. Cabbage, broccoli and brussel sprouts are the best for reversing the growth of these abnormal cells. Foods with folic acid are also helpful in preventing the cancerous cells. Fresh, crispy greens, fortified cereals and grains are the best sources of folic acid. Supplements can be used to help the vitamin deficiencies, but the whole natural foods are always the best option when trying to improve your health. The antioxidants found in fresh fruits and vegetables will be better for the prevention of abnormal cell growth, while the vitamins C, E and beta-carotene are especially helpful in fending off this cancer that seems to be on the rise. If cervical cancer is not detected and treated early enough, it may lead to infertility.  To make sure your health is at its’ best, eat a variety of fruits and veggies each day, exercise regularly and visit your gynecologist yearly to spot any abnormal cells early on. There is a vaccine available to women to help in the prevention HPV which is the most likely cause of this cancer. It is available to girls as young as nine years old, and helps prevent up to four types of HPV, two of which cause almost 75% of cervical cancer cases. Talk to your doctor about more information on the vaccine and how to protect the women and girls in your family. 

 
14
Jan
13

ask the dietitian

My doctor told me that I should try a cleanse…why would I want to do that and how do I choose one?

- Pam, FLorida via Facebook

Great question Pam!  There are many cleanses on the market today but they are not all created equal!  You can find pill, suppositories, and even juice cleanses.  Some juice cleanses can cost up to $60 per day and many report that they feel/see no change when they are finished.  Plus, users report that they are hungry and have spent much of their day in the restroom with unpleasant side effects.  Who wants that!  Many pill cleanses claim to cleanse or “detox” a specific organ, liver, pancreas or colon.

There are many reasons to cleanse…to rid your body of toxins that are in our air, food and water, weight loss, anti-aging benefits, reduce stress, restore antioxidants, boost the immune system and  to encourage vital organs to perform their functions more efficiently.

The cleansing system that I use in my office with my patients is a WHOLE BODY nutritional cellular cleansing and replenishing system.  This program helps support the body’s natural ability to remove toxins and impurities while providing the body with an abundance of nutrition.  The products are organic, contain no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or sweeteners, no fillers, nothing genetically modified, and uses undenatured whey protein from New Zealand (New Zealand does not use herbicides or pesticides.  Undenatured means the protein is processed in such a way that harmful organisms are destroyed, but the heat sensitive amino acids that make it bioactive, called branched chain amino acids, are not harmed.  This makes them more readily available to your body for absorption).  For more information on our Cleansing & Replenishing system, please contact us @ 708.670.0084.  Contact us to learn more about our January cleansing special!

14
Jan
13

are you hypertensive?

The term high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, may get some people nervous about their health. High blood pressure may run in the family or maybe your doctor has mentioned it during one of your visits. Either way, it is important to know what high blood pressure is, what it does to your health, and how you can prevent it.

Blood pressure is defined as the force of blood against the blood vessels as it flows through the body. High blood pressure is a threat to your health because it means your heart works harder to get blood to different areas of the body. So what is a normal blood pressure? Your doctor will most likely tell you that a normal blood pressure should be lower or about 120/80. What does this mean? The top number, or the larger number, is the systolic pressure. The bottom or lower number is the diastolic pressure. According to the American Heart Association, the systolic reading measures the amount of pressure within the arteries when the heart muscle contracts. The diastolic reading is the measure of pressure in the arteries between muscle contractions. If you are at risk for high blood pressure your reading would be somewhere around 120-139/80-89. Hypertension is diagnosed in two stages. Stage one hypertension readings would be around 140-159/90-99, and stage two readings would include 160+/100+ numbers. Keep in mind that blood pressure changes throughout the day as changes in activities such as exercise, sleep and stressful events occur. Your doctor may want to do multiple tests to check for consistent high readings, in which case they prescribe medication and recommend lifestyle changes. High blood pressure can be risk factors for heart disease, kidney disease and stroke.

This is a lot of information and some of it can be alarming if you or someone you know has recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure. However, with lifestyle changes, you can control and even prevent hypertension and the risks associated with it. To prevent high blood pressure, maintain a healthy weight by eating a well-balanced diet high in fruits, veggies and whole grains and low in Trans and saturated fats. Be physically active on a regular basis. This doesn’t have to mean spending hours at the gym; it can be taking a walk with your family or a friend, taking the stairs instead of the escalator, or ten minutes at time of activity throughout the day. Another way to prevent hypertension is reducing the amount of sodium in your diet. Don’t be mistaken for table salt as the only source of sodium in your diet. Sodium hides in pre-packaged, processed foods, frozen entrees, and even canned vegetables. Always read the food label for sodium content. Another change you can make to reduce your risk is to get a handle on stress. This may be easier said than done, but there are surprising ways to relieve stress. Just listening to music by yourself for a few moments, or reading a favorite book or magazine can help. Be social, talk to friends regularly about stressful situations and chances are they will make you laugh about them or at least make you feel better. Hypertension can easily be reversed and prevented through the choices you make every day.

21
Dec
12

Ask the dietitian

With the holidays coming up, I am concerned because we pick at food throughout the day and it sits out for a long period of time.  Sometimes we end up eating it for leftovers during that next week.  How safe is this? 

-Tanya, Kansas City via website

 

Whether you are noshing all day or serving foods buffet style, it can definitely make it easier to have the food available for your guest when you are entertaining a large number of people.  The most important thing to remember is to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold!  Here are some simple rules of thumb…

 

  • Keep hot foods at 140 degrees or warmer by using crock pots, warming trays or drawers, or chafing dishes.  Harmful bacteria can grow rapidly below 140 degrees.
  • Keep your cold foods at 40 degrees or colder by placing the food container into a bowl or serving tray full of ice.  Be sure to replace ice frequently!  Keeping the foods at the proper temperature slow the growth of harmful bacteria.
  • While it is always best to avoid waste, be careful to avoid food-borne illnesses in the process.  When in doubt…throw it out!
  • Any chilled food that has been resting in the melted ice for more than 2 hours should be discarded.
  • Refrigerated leftovers should be used within 4 days.  Frozen leftovers are best consumed within 2-4 months.
  • Two hours are definitely the maximum time that foods should be at room temperature (indoor dining only- for outdoor dining, discard foods after 1 hour when temperature is higher than 90 degrees).  This includes the time it takes to prepare and serve the foods.  Perishable foods that have been at room temperature for more than 2 hours should be tossed into the trash…no questions asked…this is a must! 
21
Dec
12

eating through the holidays

While the holiday season is more than gathering with family, friends and coworkers to exchange gifts, food often plays a major role in our holiday traditions.  This is a crazy time of year for many but it is also a time to celebrate!  Unfortunately with all the shopping, holiday cooking and parties, many people find themselves frequently dining out at restaurants.  As the majority of us know only too well, any attempt at healthy eating goes sailing out of the window during the holiday season.  That’s why this months newsletter is going to focus on making good choices at dining establishments while enjoying this festive time of year!  Remember, these are just suggestions…try all of them or just a few of them.  You decide!

 

  • Do not order alcoholic beverages until your food arrives
  • Ask the server not to bring bread to the table OR ask them to remove it once everyone has a piece.
  • Many restaurants provide portions that are over 2 servings of food!  There are a few suggestions you can try…order an appetizer as your meal (they are usually smaller portions), see if the restaurant offers 1/2 portions, share an entrée with someone, or pack a “doggy bag” immediately when the food arrives at the table.
  • Look for foods that are steamed, broiled, baked, grilled, poached or roasted
  • Ask for all salad dressings, sauces, condiments and gravies to be served on the side so you can control the amount used.
  • Avoid foods that contain; “butter” or in “butter sauce”, “fried”, “crispy”, “braised”, “creamed”, “in cream sauce”, “hollandaise”, “au gratin”, “in cheese sauce” “escalloped” and “hash” in their description on the menu.
  • If you are at a fast food establishment, try salads, baked potatoes, a plain small hamburger or grilled chicken sandwich without the sauces (or on the side).  Keep in mind that most fast food items are high in sodium so be sure to offset this by consuming low sodium items at other meals.
  • REMEMBER, you are the customer!  Many restaurants are happy to make simple changes or substitutions to your order.  It never hurts to ask!
21
Dec
12

Ask the dietitan

I know it is early but I am already fearing the holidays.  How can I avoid holiday weight gain with all the parties coming up?

-Nicole, via website inquiry

You know the expression “I never met a cookie I didn’t like”?  If you love cookies, you can never just have one.  Since you cannot enjoy one cookie and move on, you figure “I blew it” and proceed to consume the entire bag.

This all or nothing way of thinking is very common.  Think about it as if you were a boxing match: You don’t lose if you fall down-you lose if you stay down!  I always tell clients to enjoy but don’t go over-board and get right back on track.  The point is to change the way you think about food, to establish healthy eating habits-not to deprive yourself of something you love.  Attitude is key when it comes to eating healthy and exercising around holiday time.

In addition to attitude, be sure to exercise throughout the holiday season as this will help offset some of the extra calories you maybe consuming.

At a party…1.Don’t show up hungry and bring a healthy dish to share, 2.Consume foods that are closest to nature in greater quantities, 3.Avoid sugary drinks; stick to water and natural juices and 4.If you have alcohol, nurse a drink throughout the evening.

A healthy attitude as well as some simple tips can make this a wonderful and healthy holiday season. 

 
21
Dec
12

Know your thyroid

Do you know where your thyroid is? Do you know what it does or why you need it? The thyroid gland is the gland which stores hormones and regulates the body’s metabolism. The thyroid is shaped like a butterfly and is located at the lower part of your neck, between the Adam’s apple and the collarbone. Although it is small, it has a major role in the body’s daily functions and growth.

In order to produce the needed hormones, the thyroid needs fuel to keep it going. This is known as the chemical element iodine which is found in most of the foods we eat and even in water. An iodine deficiency is rare in the U.S. because so many of our foods now contain iodine, including table salt. The main hormones produced by the thyroid are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones are produced in the thyroid and then transported throughout the body to control metabolism. There are times when the thyroid does not produce enough of these hormones, this is when the pituitary gland and in some cases the hypothalamus gland come into play. When the body recognizes there is not enough hormones first the pituitary gland releases TSH- thyroid stimulating hormone which signals the thyroid to produce more hormones. The hypothalamus controls the pituitary gland, and releases TSH Releasing Hormone which tells it to release the TSH. However, the thyroid may release too much or too little of these hormones. When this occurs, it is known as thyroid disease.

Thyroid disease affects more than twenty million Americans. Of these twenty million, a vast majority of them do not even know they have a thyroid condition. The two most common types of thyroid disease are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid produces too much hormones. This speeds up cell functions, resulting in increased reaction rates. Hyperthyroidism is often characterized by unexplained weight loss, nervousness, irritability, and difficulty sleeping. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid produces too little hormones for the cell’s functions. This results in reduced reaction rates and can cause unexplained weight gain or increased difficulty losing weight, depression, extreme fatigue, dry skin and hair and difficulty concentrating. There are two thyroid diseases that stem from conditions of the immune system. The most common for hyperthyroidism is Grave’s Disease which is a condition in which the individual’s immune systems produces antibodies which attack the thyroid which then causes overproduction of hormones. Autoimmune hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. This chronic autoimmune condition causes a decrease in the production of thyroid hormones.

Treatment of these diseases depends on the type and severity of these conditions. It is important to talk with your doctor about treatment plans if you have been recently diagnosed with a thyroid condition. If you experience any of the symptoms of thyroid disease ask your doctor if he or she thinks you should be tested. Thyroid disease is more common than most people think, and the right treatment can make all the difference when it comes to feeling better. So know your thyroid and know the symptoms, you or someone you know may have one of these conditions and not even know it.

21
Dec
12

Ask the dietitian

I Keep reading labels that say, “BPA free.”  Is this really dangerous?

-Julianna, N. Carolina via email

Being that this is a bit outside my scope of practice, I am not comfortable saying whether or not this chemical is dangerous, I can however provide you with some information so you can make an educated decision on your own.  BPA (bisphenol-A), is an endocrine disrupting compound that can interfere with hormones and has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and obesity, as well as potential problems in fetal development and in young children.  A survey done by federal scientists found that 93% of Americans have at least trace amounts in their bodies and the more canned  and pre-packaged foods one consumes, the higher their BPA levels are.  BPA is everywhere, especially in may plastics and in liners for almost all food and beverage cans.    The chemical is ubiquitous and this makes it difficult to avoid.  It can be found in: the lining of some aluminum cans, cashier receipt paper, plastic water bottles, pizza boxes, soda cans, toilet paper, some dental sealants, and some wine bottles.  To stop exposing yourself to the chemical, you should become BPA-free.

 

Did you know…8 billion pounds of BPA are produced worldwide each year and BPA levels among study subjects who consumed canned soup-a source of BPA- for five days had increase BPA levels by 1,221%!

 



eat2bfit

Your link to Nutrition, Health & Fitness!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 694 other followers

calendar

April 2014
M T W T F S S
« Nov    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930  

Archives


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 694 other followers

%d bloggers like this: