Posts Tagged ‘registered dietitian nutritionist’

Nutrition Consultation at Cooper Clinic

August 11, 2014 Leave a comment

In this year’s Medscape survey, 50 percent of primary care respondents said they spent 16 minutes or less with patients. Cooper Clinic physicians spend up to two hours with every patient. We’re rounding out the blog series that broke down each of the six components of the comprehensive preventive exam at Cooper Clinic. If you haven’t followed along, read about the first five (of six) components to get caught up.

  1. Medical Exam & Counseling
  2. Laboratory Analysis
  3. Cardiovascular Screening
  4. Multidetector Computed Tomography (MDCT) Scan
  5. Skin Cancer Screening
  6. Nutrition Consultation

One-on-one consultations with a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) are designed to help patients gain the knowledge and skills needed to achieve a healthy lifestyle. This consultation includes nutrition coaching, a personalized action plan with diet recommendations and a computer analysis of a Three-Day Food Record to calculate the nutrients in your diet.

If eating well were easy, we would all be healthier and weigh less. But the bottom line is that staying faithful to mindful nutrition is hard. We may know what foods to choose, but just cannot find the strategy to make good choices. Or we may think we know the right food choices to make, only to find that a “healthy” bran muffin has as much fat and calories as a gooey cinnamon roll. Some of us would not know how to recognize a good fat from a bad fat if our life depended on it (which in some ways is kind of does).

Our RDNs can take the complex concepts of nutrition and translate them in simple terms as they apply to your individual dietary habits. Are there specific foods you love that need to be modified to be more nutrient dense? If your cholesterol is a tad high and you want to increase fiber in your diet for cholesterol lowering? An RDN can show you how to make simple changes in your food choices to make that happen. Are you on the go and prone to missing lunch? Our RDNs can tell you which of the meal bar substitutes (and there are a zillion out there) make the most sense for your nutritional needs, taste preferences and weight goals.

There is so much information online and in the news that it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction. Is it good to take calcium supplements to protect the bones or bad to take calcium supplements because of risk to the heart? Do I get enough calcium in my diet so I don’t even have to worry about supplements?

With a one-on-one consultation, your specific needs can be addressed. Are you a vegetarian worried about protein intake? Are you pre-diabetic and wonder which food choices will help you lower your blood sugar? Do you entertain clients at restaurants and need to find a way to eat a healthy meal from the menu without being a wet blanket? Surely nothing kills a party faster than having the host order a chicken breast with kale and a side of water.

Just as important as helping you make a road map for your nutrition journey, our dietitians are with you every step of the way. They are there for you if you need to come in to the clinic for a visit to brainstorm about roadblocks or you can schedule a phone consultation as frequently as would like to keep you headed in the right direction. The nutrition train is definitely one you want to get on board.

To learn more about Cooper Clinic’s preventive exam, click here or call us at 866.906.2667 (COOP).

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Eating Well in College

Eating healthfully at college may seem like an impossible task but with the right knowledge and resources it can be done. Often times, students don’t focus on their diet with all the excitement that goes with leaving home for college and gaining new independence.

One of the things you can avoid is the dreaded “Freshman 15.” It’s pretty common for students to pack on pounds, especially that first year. Like a kid in a candy store, you are introduced to large amounts of ready-to-eat food available 24 hours a day. To avoid weight gain, try these tips:

  1. Put yourself on a schedule. Eating every 3-5 hours during the day makes it easier to avoid the out-of-control eating when hunger hits.
  2. Watch the grazing. Be sure to eat your balanced meals and planned snacks so the calories are better controlled.
  3. Include breakfast daily. Eat within an hour of waking to boost your metabolism and help control indulging late in the day. (Note: Breakfast recipes from Cooper Clinic)
  4. Be aware of non-hunger cues that make you want to eat. Food can be a great comfort for emotions and used for: coping, celebrating, relaxing, procrastinating and a part of socializing. Make sure you sit down and focus on eating rather than eating while doing other tasks. Mindless eating can lead to extra calories.
  5. Pay attention to the calories in alcohol which can lead to weight gain. It’s not only the empty calories from alcohol but also the munchies that often accompany drinking contribute to weight gain. Never drink on an empty stomach alternate each caloric beverage with water or seltzer and dilute the drink with water. Don’t forget, it’s always acceptable to decline a drink.

You can learn more about nutrition to make smarter choices to fuel your body for your college experience. Before you leave home, visit a nutrition expert at Cooper Clinic to learn the nutrition basics. Our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists can arm you with tools to balance your meals and snacks, choose appropriate portions, navigate social eating situations and make it easy to enjoy a healthy lifestyle during college and for years to come.

For more information about nutrition consultations at Cooper Clinic, click here or call 972-560-2655.

Post provided by Colleen Loveland, MS, RDN, LD, CDE

Popular Salads from Around the World

June 12, 2014 2 comments

Prioritize fruit and veggie servings – five is fine, but nine is divine!

Do you get tired of eating the same boring salad day in and day out? To spice things up, try venturing outside of your basic plate of greens to a world of international salads that will delight your taste buds. All three of these salads are built with healthy ingredients however we made some minor adjustments that will not sacrifice the taste. You may never grow bored of salad again!

Tabouli is a Middle Eastern salad made from bulgur wheat, finely chopped parsley, scallions and tomatoes.  This tangy crunchy salad is dressed with a blend of lemon juice and olive oil. Use less olive oil for a lighter dish. As a variation try wheat berries in place of the traditional bulgur wheat. Both are excellent sources of whole grains and fiber. Use part mint and part parsley for a refreshing twist. Swap out the scallions for a white onion. Tabouli is traditionally served over Romaine lettuce but also goes well with whole grain pita wedges as a light appetizer. It is a low calorie dish with about 80 calories per ½ cup serving.

Greek salads are very popular, found in both Greek and non-Greek restaurants alike. There are variations to this dish but the basic vegetable ingredients include tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers, and green bell peppers.  Interestingly, the traditional version does not include lettuce. Seasonings include a sprinkling of dried oregano and minced garlic. Whisk these together with a high quality extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar. You may use less oil and more vinegar than the recipe calls for. The vinegar offers extra flavor and virtually no calories, sodium or fat. Top salad with flavorful Feta cheese crumbles or cubes and Greek Kalamata olives.  You may garnish with pickled pepperoncini for a hot kick. The heart healthy fats of olive oil and olives make this salad a real winner. Feta cheese is typically not high in fat but you may use a reduced-fat version to save one gram of artery-clogging saturated fat without sacrificing one bit of taste.

Salad Nicoise is a French tuna and vegetable salad that can be served as a main dish. Its high protein content with tuna and eggs make this salad very satiating. The vinaigrette dressing is so simple, containing four basic ingredients: red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced scallions and olive oil (add salt and pepper to taste). The salad base is plentiful with greens and topped with tomato wedges, bell pepper strips, basil leaves and black olives. Hard boiled eggs and canned tuna garnish the top. Grilled tuna steaks may be used as a variation. Outside of France boiled potatoes and cooked green beans are very popular additions. This is another heart healthy salad rich in omega-3 fats found in tuna and monounsaturated fats in olive oil and olives.

Whether you are looking for a main dish, appetizer or light salad to accompany your meal, try something new with an international twist and make your salad come to life again!

View salad recipes from Cooper Clinic Registered Dietitian Nutritionists on our website and follow our Cooperized Recipes board on Pinterest.

Tips for Your Trip to the Farmer’s Market

The next time you plan your visit to the grocery store, consider your local farmer’s market instead. There’s a wealth of fresh produce to fill up your reusable tote bags. What’s in season? What’s not? To get the most from your experience, consider a few things.

Reasons to Shop at the Farmer’s Market

  • You are making a difference by supporting your local farmers and their success will grow.
  • The produce is picked at the peak of the season, so it’s naturally more flavorful compared to your grocery store items that may not be as fresh from transit to store. In many cases, the market offers lower prices.
  • Follow the simple rule of thumb to eat a rainbow of colors to get a variety of cancer-fighting antioxidants and phytochemicals that different colors offer.

What’s in season right now?

  • Fruits: apples, avocados, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, Texas grapefruit, kiwi, lemons, oranges, papayas, pears, pineapple, raspberries, tangelos and tangerines
  • Vegetables: asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, radicchio, Belgian endive, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, kale, leeks, lettuces, mushrooms, parsnips, peppers, russet potatoes and new potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, shallots, spinach, sugar snaps, snow peas, squash and sweet potatoes

Strategies for Shopping at the Farmer’s Market

  • Do some research and plan ahead. Seek out what’s in season and know before you go. Think about what meals and snacks you’re planning for the week and guide your purchases around that.
  • Take a stroll around and scan what’s there to decide what and where to buy, instead of settling on the first vendor you walk up to. There are so many choices and the same foods reappear. You might get a sweeter tasting watermelon at one vendor versus another.
  • Try before you buy. Take advantage of taste testing. The vendors offer a plethora of samples so you can taste all the lovely fresh food before you buy it.
  • Get creative and adventurous. Here’s a great opportunity to experiment with foods. You may discover that you like fresh figs, which by the way, are loaded in fiber. Find out how to use certain foods and get new and fresh ideas. Ask your vendor their favorite way to prepare a particular food. You might leave with some new recipes. You may not realize all the uses for a single food. Make it a learning experience for the whole family!
  • Stock up. Buy your favorite foods in season and then freeze them for later when that food is off season. A good example of this would be berries that freeze well.
  • Make requests. Don’t be shy to ask questions. If you are buying for one or two people you may ask for half a basket of an item to get the amount you really “need.” It’s better to buy two tomatoes and actually use them, than a large basket of six tomatoes and realize the other four have spoiled by the end of the week.
  • Have fun! Make your visit to the farmer’s market a field trip for you and your family. You’ll leave with some super nutritious fresh food, some extra knowledge, and maybe even a bit more passion about filling your plate with a rainbow of colors.

To receive more health tips from Cooper Clinic Registered Dietitian Nutritionists, click here.

Go Greek with Yogurt

Studies show that people who regularly eat breakfast are more likely to manage their weight than those who do not.

The Greek yogurt industry is booming. According to the Wall Street Journal it has grown from 1 percent in 2007 to 35 percent in 2014. Greek yogurt now makes up one third of all yogurts in stores and continues to take up more shelf space. A huge part of its popularity is the allure of a higher protein content and less sugar than its regular yogurt counterparts; but this is not the case for all of Greek yogurts so be sure to read the food label to make the healthiest choice.

What is Greek yogurt?

Greek yogurt is made by straining off the liquid whey, which concentrates its protein content, making it two to three times higher in protein than traditional yogurt. It is also lower in lactose (the natural sugar found in milk), and therefore some of its calcium is lost in the straining process. One of reasons it can be more expensive than regular yogurt is because it requires three times the amount of milk. As for the taste, it is naturally creamy and tangy and comes in nonfat, low fat and full fat varieties.

What to look for on the labels:

There are certain nutrients that make some Greek yogurts nutritionally preferable over others; but there is something to please everyone’s taste buds. Look at:

  • Calories: for a lower calorie yogurt, look for 150 calories or less.
  • Total fat: nonfat is best, but if you select one that has less than 2-3 grams per serving, that’s okay, too. More importantly, find one that is low in saturated fat, with less than 1.5-2 grams per serving.
  • Sugar: most flavored Greek yogurts contain more sugar that is added for taste. Look for less than 15-20 grams per serving; note that around 7 grams of the sugar listed comes from the natural sugar in milk.
  • Protein: for a higher protein profile, find a yogurt with at least 10 grams of protein.
  • Calcium: ideally select one that has at least 15 percent daily value (or 150 mg) of calcium per serving.
  • Ingredients: plain nonfat Greek yogurt typically has a short list of ingredients that includes nonfat milk and live active yogurt cultures. For sweetness, flavored yogurt has either evaporated cane juice, sugar or fructose or it has added artificial low calorie sweeteners, such as sucralose or stevia. Some yogurts have fruit or pureed fruit folded into the yogurt or on the side. In some of the newer lower calorie yogurts, chicory root fiber is added.

How different popular brands stack up:

Plain unsweetened nonfat Greek yogurt:

  • Fage® Total 0% (6 oz.): 100 calories; 0g fat; 18g protein; 7g sugar; 200mg calcium
  • Chobani® 0% (6 oz.): 100 calories; 0g fat; 18g protein; 7g sugar; 200mg calcium

Flavored nonfat Greek yogurt with added sugar:

  • Fage® (5.3 oz.): 120 calories; 0g fat; 13g protein; 16g sugar; 150mg calcium
  • Chobani® (5.3 oz.): 120 calories; 0g fat; 12g protein; 16g sugar; 150mg calcium
  • Dannon® Oikos (5.3 oz.): 130 calories; 0g fat; 12g protein; 19g sugar; 150mg calcium

Flavored nonfat Greek yogurt with artificial sweeteners:

  • Dannon® Light & Fit Greek (5.3 oz.): 80 calories; 0g fat; 12g protein; 7g sugar; 150mg calcium (with added Sucralose)
  • Yoplait® Greek 100 Calorie (5.3 oz.): 100 calories; 0g fat; 10g protein; 9g sugar; 100mg calcium (with added Sucralose)
  • Chobani® Simply 100 (5.3 oz.); 100 calories; 0g fat; 12g protein; 6g sugar; 150mg calcium (with added Stevia)

Creative ways to incorporate Greek yogurt:

  • Whip up a savory veggie dip or creamy dressing with all the rich texture and zero grams of fat. Mix plain nonfat yogurt with lemon juice, onion flakes, garlic powder and Italian herbs.
  • Swap for high fat mayonnaise in creamy salads and side dishes such as potato, egg, pasta salads and  coleslaw.
  • Blend yogurt in smoothies as a high protein alternative to nonfat milk or protein powder.
  • Substitute sugar-loaded syrup with yogurt as a topping for whole grain waffles or oatmeal pancakes.
  • Create a yogurt parfait for a sweet dessert or satisfying protein and carb snack with layers of yogurt, fruit and a high fiber granola cereal.

For more nutrition tips, download the Cooper Clinic Nutrition brochure, call 972.560.2655 or request an appointment online.

Happy National Nutrition Month!

“If your lifestyle does not control your diet…eventually your diet will control your lifestyle.” – Kathy Duran Thal, RDN

Cooper Clinic kicked off National Nutrition Month® with a free expo open to the public at Cooper Fitness Center. Despite the icy weather, more than 500 people attended and picked up free samples, recipes and more from 20-plus vendors. National Nutrition Month provides a good opportunity to look at your diet. Cooper Clinic and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics put together our top reasons to visit a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

  1. You have diabetes, cardiovascular problems or high blood pressure. A registered dietitian nutritionist serves as an integral part of your health care team by helping you safely change your eating plan without compromising taste or nutrition.
  2. You need to gain or lose weight. A registered dietitian nutritionist can suggest additional calorie sources for healthy weight gain or a restricted-calorie eating plan.
  3. You want to eat smart for your family. A registered dietitian nutritionist can help you sort through misinformation; learn how to read food labels; discover that healthy cooking is inexpensive; eat out without ruining your eating plan and more. Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services offers a Healthy Habits for Kids program.
  4. You have digestive problems. A registered dietitian nutritionist will work with your physician to help fine-tune your diet so you are not aggravating your condition. Kathy Miller, Co-Director of Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services, specializes in GI nutrition and celiac disease.
  5. You’re pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding. A registered dietitian nutritionist can help make sure you’re getting enough of the nutrients you and your baby need.
  6. You’re caring for an aging parent. A registered dietitian nutritionist can help with food or drug interaction, proper hydration, special diets for hypertension and changing taste buds as you age.
  7. You want to improve your performance in sports. A registered dietitian nutritionist can help you set goals to achieve results—whether you’re running a marathon, skiing or jogging with your dog. Cooper Clinic Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Meridan Zerner is a board certified sports dietitian.
  8. Your teenager has issues with food and eating healthfully or you have a picky eater. A registered dietitian nutritionist can assist with eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and overweight issues.

View photos from the Cooper Nutrition Expo, see the recipes that were demonstrated and request an appointment online to meet with a Cooper Clinic Registered Dietitian Nutritionist today!