Meal Replacement Products Criteria

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It’s important to keep in mind that meal replacement products aren’t recommended as a total substitute for food, as per KC Wright, MS, RDN, LD.

Her article featured in Today’s Dietitian list tips that clients should be aware of when purchasing close to 175 possible meal replacement product manufacturers snacks and convenient foods:

1)Adequate fiber should be available to increase satiety and aid in proper digestion.
2) Macronutrients ( carbohydrates, protein and fat) should be nutrient dense with minimal sugar added. Protein should be at least 20 grams. Bars are typically low in protein and real ingredients.
3) Whole food ingredient bars including vegetables, fruits, and nuts would add to increased energy and healthy monounsaturated fats, respectively.
4) Vitamin and mineral content and quality should be considered and analyzed along with any supplements already included in the diet.
5) Because the FDA doesn’t routinely text meal replacement products for quality before sale, the content of nutrients and toxic substances can be determined only with laboratory testing. It’s imperative to thoroughly review ingredient and nutrition labels.
6) Retain a small supply of whole foods in the car, office, handbag and suitcase. Whole foods are less expensive than meal replacement products and many times healthier.
Contact a dietitian to “help navigate the vast marketplace for products that are safe and serve their purpose”, per KC Wright.[

Grocery Store Counseling leads to Healthier Eating

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Adults with hypertension who received grocery store-based nutrition counseling by registered dietitians moved towards a healthier eating pattern and reduced consumption of sodium, fats, and added sugars, according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. It was conducted at Case Western Reserve’s Department of Nutrition. Thirty adults ( ages 18-60) diagnosed with Hypertension were recruited. Researches said a grocery store-based intervention may be an effective way to provide lifestyle counseling that may not be available in a primary setting. These adults were educated on the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. The DASH diet limits saturated fats, sugared drinks, sweets, and salt. It encourages more fruits, vegetables, grains, and low fat dairy.

Vitamin D-A Wonder Nutrient

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PLOS Journal recently published studies from Creighton University of Omaha suggesting that certain levels of Vitamin D correlate with a “markedly lower” risk of breast cancer. It is capable of lowering a person’s risk of different forms of cancer and research now confirms that people with high enough levels of this vitamin in their blood have a significantly lower risk of breast cancer. Low blood levels of Vitamin D have also been associated with a raised risk of bladder cancer.

Before purchasing any over the counter supplement, call the company asking for medical proof in writing that “their” Vitamin D and other vitamin/mineral supplements have been tested for absorbability. Few companies have that proof.

Honey Fraud

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In our most recent Food and Nutrition Magazine, “honey fraud” was alluded to which I’d like to share!

There’s a number of ways fraudulent honey can occur:

#1) Bees are fed syrup instead of foraging nectar from flowers
#2) Falsified country of origin documents or
#3) Dilution of honey by blending it with a sweet syrup such as high fructose corn syrup, or saccharose syrup, aka beet sugar.

Most adulterated honey isn’t going to hurt you but consumers are being cheated as good honey will cost ~ $2 per pound and the diluted honey cost $0.12 a pound.

The True Source Certified Label is an independent third party certification program in the USA that allows participants to show their sourcing practices comply with US and international trade laws.

Integrating Food as Lifestyle Medicine

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Nutrition clients are acutely aware that obesity, mood disorders, various cancers, Type 2 diabetes, thyroid dysfunction, types of cancers, etc. may be preventable and treatable via a myriad of lifestyle approaches.

The flagship medical organization, American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) defined the founding 2004 movement of “Lifestyle Medicine” as the therapeutic use of evidence-based life style interventions to treat and prevent lifestyle related diseases in a clinical setting. It empowers individuals with the knowledge and life skills to make effective behavior changes that address the underlying causes of disease”.

Primary features of ACLM’s Standards of Life Style Medicine as outlined in Today’s Dietitian (December 2017) by author, Vicki Shanta are as follows:

* to promote behavior changes that allow the body to heal itself;
* to focus on evidence-based optimal nutrition, stress management, and fitness prescriptions;
* to have patients be active partners in their care;
* to treat underlying lifestyle causes of disease’
* to have provider educate, guide, and support patients to make behavior changes;
* to use medications as an adjunct to therapeutic changes;
* to realize that the patient’s home and community environment are assessed as contributing factors.

Working together to incorporate environmental, behavioral, fitness/stress reduction factors along with tailored meal and safe supplemental plans will enhance, enrich and empower our 2018 (and beyond) “individualized” Lifestyle Medicine movement!

Telomere length marker of overall health

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Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, 2009 Nobel Prize for Medicine and Shaklee Scientific Board Advisor, discovered an enzyme that lengthens and protects chromosomes. Telomeres are caps on the end of each chromosome that protect against deterioration. Over time, our telomeres gradually become shorter. Telomere length is thought to be a marker of overall health.

The better our telomeres are preserved, the less chance we have of getting serious diseases (Alzheimer’s, etc.).

What to Do to stop erosion of telomeres:

1) A statistical analysis using specific food based supplements projects that an 80 year old Shaklee user would have the same telomere length as a 41 year old.

2) The worse the stress and the longer we feel it, the more telomeres wore down.

3) Varied exercise proves better telomere results! A study published in Preventive Medicine found that people’s telomeres (the parts of the DNA that get shorter as we age) were significantly longer in those who exercised compared with sedentary people.

Sodium Concern with Kid’s diets

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A recent study in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that “children’s and adolescent’s sodium intakes are incredibly high- almost 90% of children aged 6-18 in US consume diets that contain far more than current recommended intakes”.

The average intake in this age range was 3,255 mgs per day. The highest intake was among adolescents aged 14-18 at 3,565 mgs per day. To put this in perspective, 1 teaspoon of salt = 2300 mgs of sodium. The recommendation is an intake of 1500 mgs of sodium per day for an adult since it could result in a decrease of 25.6% in blood pressure. Easily, a single kid’s fast food meal could exceed that 1500 mgs amount.

Another study found that a “1,000 boost in sodium intake was associated with a 28% increase in childhood obesity and is partially linked to higher consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages” as per the article in Today’s Dietitian.

The CDC found that one on six children (ages 8-17) already have above normal blood pressure.

Seventy seven % of sodium intake comes from processed and prepared foods written in Facts: Salt of the Earth.

Start looking closely at labels for ingredients but also sodium and portion sizes. Less is best!

Healthy Food Trends in 2017

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Registered Dietitians continue to recommend that we eat more food from the earth.

Parade section of the January 1st newspaper listed popular foods that we we’ll consume more of in the new year:

1) Chick Peas, lentils and dry peas will continue to add fiber to our salads, soups, etc. with the added benefit in assisting to lower cholesterol and weight.

2) Turmeric, a relative of ginger, can be used in stir fry, eggs, soups, etc. and may provide anti-inflammatory properties as well as possibly preventing/treating Alzheimer’s disease.

3) Sorghum is known for being a gluten free cereal grain and has been growing in Africa for thousands of years. The southern part of the USA uses it to make a thick golden sweetened syrup and in salads. You’ll see more of its flour being used in baked goods or it can be popped like popcorn.

4) Sauerkraut is a favorite of mine! Because it is fermented it contains active cultures which can play a role in GI health. New flavored varieties will be appearing but be sure to look at their ingredients before purchasing them!

5) Maca is a Peruvian root vegetable sold in powdered form. Since it may add energy, one can try 1 teaspoon ( or less) in a smoothie, plain yogurt, waffle/pancake mixes or cooked cereals.

6) Beets have made their debut this past year as seen in beet chips, restaurant beet salads, etc. Medical advantages for beets and/or their greens provide medical advantages for normalizing blood pressure, adding folate to one’s diet, and lowering sugar content in recipes.

Wishing you a new year full of healthy and exciting foods!

Sensible Snacks

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Snacking has become a way of life so it must be nutrient-dense to not add empty calories to our meal plan or waist line.

In order to be a conscientious “snack shopper” choose high protein and/or high fiber foods.

* Purchase snacks in advance so you don’t have to stop when hungry to quickly scan the store’s inventory.
* Pack your pre-measured snacks in baggies or containers to avoid overconsumption.
*Incorporate a fruit and/or vegetable with at least two of the daily snacks.
*Select only seasonal produce grown in the USA
*Learn with the assistance of a dietitian to read food labels. Sugar may be addressed using ~50 different names.

Americans love to snack! Be sure to choose wholesome “back to nature” foods!

Essential Fatty Acid Market Widens for All Ages

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“Though the essential fatty acid (EFA) industry experienced its share of setbacks due to negative attention from the media regarding omega 3 fatty acids, future usage is on the upswing”, as per Karen Morse, MPH

She continues…”Studies published in 2016 continue to support the need for omega 3 supplementation. A study published in the European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive biology found that omega 3 supplementation was associated with a 58% decrease in the likelihood for early preterm delivery and a 17% decrease in preterm birth. Another published study this year out of Penn State found that omega 3 fatty acids could lower the risk of breast cancer in post menopausal obese women. A third study out of the University of Pennsylvania found that supplementation with omega 3s reduced aggression when given to children who had a history of violence”.

Be careful when choosing a brand of omega 3 supplements. Plenty of companies claim their products work. Ask first to see proof of its safety and effectiveness through the company’s “own” published scientific papers and molecular distillation process on that exact product before purchasing EFA.