Senior Registered Dietitian,
In today’s media-saturated world, information about health and nutrition is everywhere. But while we have access to more reliable information about nutrition than ever, there are also many scientifically questionable or even false claims presented as fact. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to sort out truths from falsehoods.
One such questionable source is the website “Is It Bad for You?” This site publishes health and nutrition reviews of food products, restaurants and a variety of products and services.
What’s your favorite office snack? Is it candy, chips, cookies, or other treat?
It’s very easy to eat unhealthy while at work. Further, many people may eat breakfast, lunch and snacks at work. Add in a midday gourmet coffee drink, treats provided at meetings, and an office drink fridge, people can easily tank their diets while on the job.
With this in mind, here are three Quality of Lifehacks to eat healthy at work. (more…)
Senior Registered Dietitian,
It’s Valentine’s Day – a day that’s synonymous with love and chocolates. Universally, people love sugar. It is a main ingredient in Valentine chocolates, candies as well as other comfort foods. With this in mind, sugar overindulgence might seem inevitable. Multiple studies show that eating too much sugar is directly correlated to obesity, which can lead to health problems. When it comes to sugar, moderation is key. Reducing the amount you eat is healthy, but that doesn’t mean you have to cut it out completely. (more…)
Not only is Valentine’s Day around the corner, but February is also American Heart Month. Heart disease remains the No. 1 cause of death in the U.S.. What better way to show how much you love your heart than by making heart-healthy food choices? Here’s a simple checklist to help you eat for a healthier heart. (more…)
February is National Hot Breakfast Month. And while chilly February is the perfect time to start your morning with something warm, there are benefits to eating a cooked breakfast year-round. Like all home-cooking, homemade breakfasts are likely to be healthier than any prepared food you could buy at the coffee shop near your office. And while it can be hard to find the time to cook in the morning, there are plenty of things you can make in a few minutes. Making time to prepare them can make your morning a more pleasant experience. (more…)
The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) fulfills a critical mission: ending the childhood obesity crisis. After increasing steadily for decades, the national childhood obesity rate has leveled off, but it is still alarmingly high compared to a generation ago. The CDC reports that childhood obesity has more than doubled in children (defined as those under 10 years of age) and quadrupled in adolescents (10 to 19 years of age) in the past 30 years. Among young children 2 to 5, rates more than doubled between the mid-1970s and 2000s before beginning a decline. If we don’t address this epidemic now, we are sending millions of children down a perilous path towards a lifetime of chronic diseases. PHA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to work with the private sector to help end this crisis. (more…)
Halloween is filled with costumes, haunted houses, trick or treating—and candy! Whether you prefer chocolate or candy corn, the sales of candy during the week of Halloween are reported to be greater than candy sales during the weeks before Easter and Valentine’s Day. That’s a lot of sugar!
As the American diet has gotten more convenient, it has also gotten less healthy. The fast food, prepared food and easy-to-grab snacks that make up many of our meals have contributed to an obesity crisis and to the rise of chronic illnesses like diabetes.
October can be the scariest month of the year—not because of Halloween, but because it’s Vegetarian Awareness Month, and, for some of us, eating a vegetarian diet seems too fearsome a task to even attempt. But—just like when you visit the haunted house in your neighbor’s garage—the fear of going veg is all in your head. With just a few easy techniques, becoming a vegetarian is easy as meat-free pie. (more…)
Sodexo North America
President, Sodexo Canada
This is the third blog in an ongoing series examining how colleges and universities can understand and address the expectations of Generation Z college students. We’ll explore some of the most significant issues, including academic interests, housing expectations, ideological tendencies, dining preferences, and spending habits. The goal is to provide valuable insights that can help guide campus decision-makers in creating an environment that supports student success, well-being, satisfaction, and achievement.
Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation
A recent JAMA study found that half of adults in the U.S. have diabetes or pre-diabetes. But what many people may not realize is that their everyday behaviors could lead to diabetes. Sodexo, as the nation’s largest employer of Registered Dietitians (RDs), is passionate about working with our clients to help prevent diabetes. There are several habits that people are engaging in right now that could lead to diabetes. A few of these habits include:
We’re bombarded with endless to-do lists at every turn—at home, on the job and especially in regard to our health. Eat plenty of kale, broccoli, quinoa and yogurt. Exercise 30 minutes a day. Get up and walk around every hour. Get plenty of sleep. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming. But there are some simple ways that can help you stay energized, nutritionally balanced and reduce your likelihood of developing diabetes.
Northwestern Dining knows the importance of giving back to our community. We are involved in many initiatives that aim to improve the quality of life of those around us, not only on the Northwestern University campus, but also within the Evanston and Chicagoland communities. One partnership that I work closely with is the Campus Kitchen at Northwestern University.
June is the month we celebrate “National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month.” And it is no wonder because farmers’ markets all across the country are brimming with huge varieties of summer fruits and vegetables. This month in particular berries are in season and can be purchased at reasonable prices. Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries in abundance! This month I am sharing one of my favorite salad recipes “Cucumber and Blueberry Salad.” This is a great time to make this salad as all of the ingredients are in season and can be purchased at your farmer’s market.
Summer is the perfect time to get outside, enjoy the fresh air, and get active! Staying hydrated during fun activities and throughout the day is vital for optimal health. This is because water is an essential nutrient that is responsible for controlling body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure, flushing the body of toxins, and controlling metabolism. The body is 50-65% water, and even just 2% loss can lead to very serious health concerns.
Mindful by Sodexo helps consumers make healthier living an easy choice everyday. It is made up of 3 main components: Food, Consumer Education, Activities and Tools. Below, I discuss each of these components in more detail.
Happy Easter! It is just around the corner and I am already planning our Easter Feast with my mother. We are pretty traditional serving the ham as the main fare and the ever popular deviled eggs. When it comes to the other dishes for the Easter meal, I am given a lot of latitude allowing me to bring new dishes to the lineup. As with most holidays, food is a focal point to the celebration, and always gives me happiness.
When I first moved from Michigan to North Carolina for my first job as a Registered Dietitian out of my Internship program, I had a lot of acclimating to do. The over-abundance of delicious Southern cooking, the different dialects that almost seemed to change county to county, as well as actually having a steady dose of sunshine on a daily basis. It has been a heavenly challenge.
As the largest employer of registered dietitians, Sodexo is supporting National Nutrition Month in their accounts through the use of the nutrition month promotion “Savor the Flavor of Health”. This theme supports the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic (AND) theme of ”Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” with more information available at eatright.org. Initiated in March 1973, the event became a month long event in 1980 in response to growing public interest in nutrition.
Over the years we’ve all seen a lot of flip-flops in nutrition… good… bad…then good again… and we’ve all heard the frustration, ‘Will they just make up their mind already?!!’
In the end, the truth about a food is never turns out as simple as good or bad. I’ve learned that if I can’t say what is both good and bad about something, I don’t know enough yet.
How and when a food is good/bad depends on how much and how often you eat it, who you are, what conditions you have, what medications you take, and what else you eat.
I’ve also found it’s important to remind myself that a food is always more than one thing: milk is more than calcium, coffee is more than caffeine, eggs are more than cholesterol. Eggs are also important sources of protein, choline, lutein and zeaxanthin.
So let’s see where we are on the topic of eggs, a frequent flyer for flip flopping facts!
Pregnant women should not avoid eggs out of concern for allergy prevention in the baby. It doesn’t help and may hurt since choline plays critical role in fetal brain development and risk of neural tube defects, 2-4 times more risk of NTD if choline levels are low.
Eggs and other common allergen foods no longer need to be delayed in infant diets. While they still shouldn’t be “first foods” they can start between ages 4 to 6 months with usual texture progression and observed for reactions. J Allergy Clin Immunol: In Practice, Vol 1 (1), 29-36. 2013.
Breast Cancer Prevention?
Emerging research is finding 18-44% less risk of breast cancer with higher egg intake. One study found 44% less risk eating ≥ 6 vs. ≤2 eggs a week. The most critical periods to benefit from eggs seem to be prenatally and during adolescence. In animal studies, choline appears to program genes in utero to resist breast cancer later in life. Choline is also anti-inflammatory.
Cardiovascular Disease: The American Heart Association no longer puts a specific limit on eggs. They now say 1 egg a day can fit as long as other sources of cholesterol are limited.
- Good evidence that up to 7 eggs a week is ok and does not increase risk of heart disease except for people with diabetes. Over 7 eggs a week did increase CVD risk, 23% in non-diabetics but 2-fold risk in people with diabetes. Check out USDA’s Nutrition Evidence Library at www.nel.gov.
- Eggs can be enhanced with 35 to 350mg omega-3 fat per egg, about two-thirds of this is ALA.
Cholesterol: People are different; there is a 2 to 3 fold difference in how much cholesterol people absorb, how much they make, and how they respond to changes in dietary cholesterol.
- Most cholesterol is made by our bodies, 11 to 13 mg/kg/day, so we make about 4-6 ‘eggs’ worth of cholesterol a day all on our own. (Squawk!) This is also why weight loss helps lower cholesterol levels about “a point a pound.”
- Most people make less when they eat more and see little to no change in blood levels. But 15-20% of people are hyper-responders. Their LDL will go up about 3 mg/dl per 100mg dietary cholesterol instead of <1mg/dl. So when these people eat 500mg cholesterol a day, their LDL goes up 15mg/dl.
- Everybody’s LDL levels are less responsive to dietary cholesterol when diet is low in saturated fat and more responsive when diet is high in saturated fat. Same with trans fat.
- Eggs are unique; they are high in cholesterol but low in saturated fat. When eggs are eaten both LDL and HDL increase so the LDL:HDL ratio stays about the same. Remember LDL by “L” for Lousy Litter bug, the Lower the better and HDL by “H” for Healthy, Higher the better, or as I call it, “Hoover DeLuxe” J
Dieting: emerging evidence that “An egg a day keeps the appetite away”.
Eating an egg has a high satiety value, especially with breakfast. Eggs don’t cause weight loss on their own, but they may help people stick with a lower calorie diet and lose up to twice as much weight with 1 egg 5 days a week. They’ve also found that the egg yolk is important to the satiety effect, not just the protein.
Eyes and arteries? Lutein/zeaxanthin are yellow carotenoid ‘cousins’ found in the yolk in a highly bioavailable form—an egg a day can raise blood levels 26/38%. They also settle in eyes and block UV and blue light, protecting eyesight against cataracts and macular degeneration.
- 60% less risk of cataracts with higher egg intake (Beaver Dam Eye Study, 1999)
- 80% less thickening of carotid arteries with higher blood levels of lutein/zeaxanthin (Los Angeles Atherosclerosis study, 2001)
Eggs can be made even higher in lutein/zeaxanthin by feeding hens marigolds, corn, etc. Eggland’s best® eggs are ~40% higher than ordinary eggs (200 vs. 145 mcg per egg).
- Eggs are quick, easy, versatile, and cheap, only 12 to 25 cents each.
- Ready-to-eat peeled boiled eggs now in stores!
- Eggs are the gold standard for high quality protein.
- Egg safety is still important, check out www.eggsafety.org
- Egg yolks are the highest food source of choline, established as an essential nutrient in 1998 by the IOM. Only 10% of people have Adequate Intakes: 425/450/550 mg for women/pregnant/lactating and 550mg for men. Eggs have 125 mg choline per yolk. Choline is also in liver, beef, pork, poultry, salmon, shrimp, beans/legumes, milk, soy milk, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels’ sprouts.
Good-bye…for now! Hope you’ve all enjoyed our ‘egg-cellent’ adventure. 🙂
Have you or a family member been recently diagnosed with a nutrition related illness? Like most Americans you may consult the internet for help with treatment ideas or to prepare for a doctor’s appointment.