Archive for the ‘General Topics’ Category

CT Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

The nutrition profession requires staying up-to-date and current in science and practice. So on Nov. 14th, 2000 CT Registered Dietitian Nutritionists, Dietetic Technicians, Registered, and students attended the Fall meeting of the Connecticut Academy at CoCo Key Water Resort Hotel and Convention Center in Waterbury.

There were a wide variety of exhibitors including End Hunger CT, Lilly USA, New England Dairy Council, Cambridge Eating Disorder Center, Sunbutter, Stativa Pharmaeuticals (Megace), Monsanto, Miai Yogurt- Registration Samples, Simplified Nutrition, Medtrition, Nestle Health Science, TFC Health Foods, Skinnygirl Tasty Nutrition Bars and Skinnygirl Sparklers.

Here are some of the meeting highlights and speakers:

  • Food Psychology: Why We Eat More Than We Think

Jim Painter, PhD, RD, Director of Nutrition Research, California Raisin Marketing Board will show the factors that contribute to most people not being aware of their volume of food consumption. He presented some fun techniques for dietitians to use with their clients to help them be aware of their eating pattern, reduce excess calories and make healthier choices.

  • Past, Present and Future of the Dietary Guidelines for American

Rafael Perez-Escamilla, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology & Public Health, Director of the Office of Public Health Practice, and Director of the Global Health Concentration at the Yale School of Public Health provided a background on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. He addressed what changes might be in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines – including new recommendations for children under two.

  • Hunger in Connecticut: Food Insecurity Panel

Christine Rivera, RD, Nutrition Manager of Feeding America, led a panel on the state of food insecurity in Connecticut. She was joined by Lucy Nolan, JD, Executive Director of End Hunger CT!, Judy Prager, RDN, CDN, Hunger Study Coordinator, CT Food Bank, and Trish Molloy, RD, School Food Service Director, West Hartford Public Schools.

  • The Practice of Sports Nutrition: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Nancy Rodriquez, PhD, RD, CSSD, FACSM, Professor of Nutritional Science, University of Connecticut. Dr. Rodriguez focused on relationships between exercise, protein intake, and protein utilization in athletes, physically active adults, and children.

  • Diabetes Detectives: A Patient- Dietitian Collaborative for Success

Nancy Ryan, MS, RD, BC-ADM, CDE, CDN Nutrition Consultant and Diabetes Educator presented the latest on helping patients achieve diabetes management goals using productive and positive approaches.

Welcome the Attendees

Barbara Bush and Gail Cole welcome the attendees.

Lots of activity at the exhibits.

Lots of activity at the exhibits.


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Recently there has been a lot of discussion on the health benefits of nuts in the media due to an article that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. I wanted to investigate the study and see if nuts were all they were cracked up to be.


This article took data from two long term studies, The Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow Up Study with a total population of 118,962 participants. Both of these studies gathered data over the past 30 years and have information on diet, exercise, lifestyle and medical history. This article analyzed the information in a new way to determine the relationship between nut consumption and “death from any cause”.

What they found was that participants who on average consumed a one ounce serving of nuts per day, suffered less death from all causes including cancer, respiratory disease, infection and kidney disease. They used hazard ratios to describe the change, which in layman’s terms are the ratio of an event (here, death) compared to the sample size. Those who never consumed nuts had a score of 0.93 while those who ate them regularly had a score of 0.80, a 0.13 difference favoring the nuts!

The relationship was consistent in all subgroups including those with extremely low BMIs, diabetes, smokers and those on the Mediterranean diet. The connection was even more pronounced in overweight and obese subjects. Additionally, the high nut groups were found to weigh less and have smaller waists.

Due to the way these studies were conducted, there is a correlation between these events, but a causal relationship cannot be established. There are many other studies that show positive health outcomes related to increased nut consumption

Now what does this mean for you?

Regular consumption of nuts can be a key component in an overall healthy lifestyle. They contain:

  • unsaturated fatty acids, high-quality protein, and fiber
  • vitamins like folate, niacin, and vitamin E
  • minerals including potassium, calcium, and magnesium
  • phytochemicals with antioxidant properties

With all of this evidence, if you like nuts, try including them in recipes or bring them along as a non-perishable snack. It may lower your risk dying from a chronic disease and help prevent weight gain while satisfying your nutritional needs and taste buds.

To read the full article through the New England Journal of Medicine, click here.


Wendy Baier is a Connecticut based Registered Dietitian. She runs her own health and nutrition blog at www.thebaiernecessities.com. Follow her @WendyBaier and visit her portfolio at www.wendybaier.com to see her work history.

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What is Kefir?

Kefir is a cultured milk product that is similar in taste and texture to drinkable yogurt. This creamy, tangy drink is made by adding kefir grains to milk, which leads to fermentation. Kefir grains are protein-based clusters containing probiotic cultures, proteins, fermenting agents, and lactic acid. Kefir contains Lactobacillus Caucasus, Leuconostoc, Acetobacter species, and Streptococcus species, as well as some beneficial yeasts that aren’t found in yogurt. Fermentation, bacteria and yeasts might sound unappealing, but this is what makes Kefir good for you! We have both good and bad bacteria in our gut. Probiotics are friendly organisms that restore balance of the good and bad bacteria in the digestive system. Research suggests probiotics can help with diarrhea caused by antibiotics, as well as excezma and immunity. Some brands of kefir also contain prebiotics, like inulin, which feeds the probiotics and enhances their population in the gut.

 How is kefir used?

Kefir comes in plain, non-fat, low-fat and a variety of flavors like strawberry, blueberry, pomegranate and vanilla. All varieties will offer up probiotics, which makes the product popular with individuals suffering from gastrointestinal problems like constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and gas. Even those who are lactose intolerant can usually tolerate kefir because the live cultures “predigest” the lactose. It has been suggested that probiotics may even aid in cancer risk reduction, and weight control- but evidence is less conclusive at this time. You may see probiotics sold in the form of supplement pills, but consuming them in the form of kefir will come along with a number of other nutrients too. The protein content (8-11g per 8oz) can help with satiety, and you’ll also get a good source of Vitamin A (10% DV), Vitamin D (25% DV), and Calcium (30% DV) – based on a 2000 calorie a day diet. Just be careful not to over do it on the flavors with added sugars. Kefir can be drank alone, blended with fruit in a smoothie, poured over cereal, or used instead of buttermilk in recipes, like soups and baked goods. Some companies even produce frozen kefir as a dessert. The frozen probiotics defrost in the warmth of your internal body temperature, causing them to become live again once in the gut.

 Recipe: Try the recipe below for a healthy start to your morning!


  • 8 oz. Plain 1% Kefir
  • 1 Cup Fresh or Frozen fruit of choice, No sugar Added
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed meal


  • Blend all ingredients in a blender. Add a splash of milk of choice if a thinner texture is preferred.


Article written by Jamie Lee McIntyre RD, CD-N, Supermarket Dietitian and Nutrition Consultant

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After the awareness, comes action!

February is American Heart Month and Friday, Feb 2nd, is GO RED  for women day.  Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, taking more lives than all forms of cancer combined. But we have the power to save lives – our own, our mother’s, daughter’s and friend’s what better time to take action to reduce your risk factors for developing heart disease.  Still not sure if you are at risk?

 Visit the website:www.goredforwomen.org  use the online risk assessment tool.

Ready to take action?

  1. Schedule an annual physical and checkups for any medical problems.
  2. Know your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar numbers.
  3. With your doctor’s approval, get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity (exercise) each day.
  4. Know your community resources and try a variety of activities. Everything counts!  It doesn’t have to be 30 continuous minutes.
  5. Take prescribed medications as directed.  Ask questions about side effects and how long you will need to take.
  6. If you smoke, quit now.  Seek online or community resources to help.
  7. Change how and what you eat.  Use the resources above for shopping and cooking tips and www.eatright.org to find a Registered Dietitian.

Submitted by Teresa Martin Dotson, RD, CD-N

Registered Dietitian and Owner of Nutrition Solutions for Life, LLC

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The holiday season is upon us and that means holiday parties, special goodies at work and many types of cookies and candies at home. While this is a wonderful time of year, it can take a toll on your normal eating pattern. CAND has developed 10 simple tips to help you maintain your weight during the holiday season:

  1. Eat at home before the party
  2. Use smaller party plates
  3. Don’t sit or stand near the snacks
  4. Drink a glass of water with every drink you consume
  5. Limit or skip alcohol
  6. Log calories during the day
  7. Exercise before the party
  8. Drink hot tea or coffee during the party
  9. Eat small portions of your holiday favorites
  10. Don’t stress

Please let us know what tips work for you!

Have a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season!

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With New Year’s quickly approaching, and resolutions being made, NOW is the best time to take action on your 2013 health and wellness goals.
You may be surprised to know that your insurance will cover you to see a RD! Seeing an RD can improve the health of individuals and families- adults and children alike!  RD visits can focus on wellness nutrition and weight management- in addition to helping you understand specialized diets physicians prescribe for your medical conditions (if needed).  RDs give an individualized approach to nutrition-designed especially for you!


If you want to see a RD and are unsure if your insurance covers the fee, please follow the below steps:
  • Call the BENEFITS member hotline on the back of your insurance card to verify your individual policy benefit for nutrition visits with a Registered Dietitian.
  • You can either elect to see an outpatient dietitian at a community hospital or go to the Connecticut Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic’s website:  www.eatrightct.org and click “find a dietitian” to find a private practice dietitian in your area.

Cheers to getting a jump start on your 2013 health and wellness resolutions! 

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Should I avoid eating potatoes if I’m trying to lose weight?

There’s no reason to give up potatoes whether you’re trying to lose weight or simply trying to eat a healthy diet.  Potatoes get a bad rap for those trying to lose weight due to their carbohydrate content.  It’s true, potatoes provide carbohydrate, an important source of energy for your body, but any food eaten in too large a quantity can contribute to extra calories and unwanted pounds. Baked, broiled or roasted, not fried, potatoes contain virtually no fat.  Calories and fat add up quickly when you add butter, margarine, sour cream, marshmallows, gravy, cheese or bacon bits to your potatoes.  Both white and sweet potatoes are similar in their calorie, carbohydrate, protein and fiber content, providing less than 100 calories, about 2-3 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, and 21 grams of carbohydrate per ½ cup.  Both white and sweet potatoes are good sources of Vitamin C, with sweet potatoes providing about twice as much as white varieties.  And when it comes to Vitamin A, sweet potatoes provide well over 100% the recommended daily amount of Vitamin A.  White potatoes are higher in folate and potassium compared to sweet potatoes.

 So the best advice when it comes to potatoes is:

  • Incorporate a variety of potatoes in your diet even if you’re trying to lose weight.
  • Bake, broil or roast potatoes to keep them low in fat.
  • Leave the skin on for added fiber, texture and flavor. 
  • Avoid high fat toppings and potato casseroles with added fat.
  • Top your potatoes with low-fat cheese, low-fat sour cream, veggies, salsa or bean relish.
  • Use red potatoes in your potato salads and whipped potatoes to add variety and wonderful color.  Consider serving “smashed” potatoes instead of whipped potatoes for added texture.  Just add milk and use a potato masher instead of an electric mixer until potatoes are lightly smashed.
  • To help avoid lumpy whipped potatoes, heat milk in a microwave before adding to potatoes.
  • Microwave potatoes wrapped in a moist, white paper towel when you’re tight on time.
  • Make vinegar-based potato salads instead of using mayonnaise.  Or, use lite or reduced fat mayonnaise and/or use less mayonnaise than called for in your recipes. 
  • Use 1% milk or fat-free milk in your whipped potatoes.  Go easy on butter and margarine.
  • If a recipe calls for cream, heavy cream or milk, substitute 1% or fat-free milk.
  • Use reduced fat cheese in your recipes or cut down on the amount of cheese called for.  You probably won’t miss it!
  • Watch your portion size.  Choose a small to medium potato and stick to a ½ cup serving.
  •  Never store potatoes in the refrigerator. Instead keep potatoes in a cool, dark, dry and well-ventilated area, such as a closet or cabinet.

 Is it a yam or sweet potato?

Sweet potatoes and yams are both tubers, but they aren’t the same.  Sweet potatoes have bright orange flesh, reddish to brown skin which is typically smooth, and a rich, sweet flavor.  Yams, in comparison, have white flesh, almost black, shaggy skin and are very bland.  Here in the US, true yams are not typically sold, so you are most likely eating sweet potatoes, not yams.  Why the confusion?  Softer varieties of sweet potatoes were introduced in the US after firm varieties and were called yams to distinguish them from their firmer counterparts.  So if your recipe calls for sweet potatoes, don’t hesitate to toss “yams” in to your grocery cart.

Here are two of our favorite Sweet Potato Recipes:

Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes


 Sweet Potato Hash



Disclosure: Image from bonappetit.com

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