Ocnutrition’s Blog


Get “In the Know” about Probiotics
May 25, 2010, 4:40 pm
Filed under: General Nutrition

With so many probiotic products on the market, you’ve likely heard the term. Let’s take a moment to get you “in the know” about probiotics so you can decide whether or not they’re right for you. Probiotics are live bacteria that assist in restoring a healthy balance of micro flora in your intestines. These beneficial bacteria play a role in digestion, limit the growth of harmful bacteria and viruses, and may provide other health benefits.

Probiotics are strongly recommended for anyone taking antibiotics. Antibiotics kill harmful bacteria to help you recover from illness and in the process kill healthy bacteria in the gut. Probiotics have also been found to benefit those suffering from digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and lactose intolerance.

There are other potential benefits to taking probiotics, which include improving the immune system, preventing colon cancer, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, and increasing mineral absorption. If you’re looking for help in these areas you can try probiotics, but keep in mind that we need more research before we’re sure of these benefits.

Although yogurt is the most well-known food source of probiotics, these beneficial bacteria also show up in milk, cheese, ice cream, frozen yogurt, fresh pasteurized juices, cereal, and nutrition bars. They can also be found as supplements in the form of tablets, capsules or powders.

When shopping for a probiotic food or supplement, look for products that contains L. acidophilus and supply 3-5 billion living microorganisms. Bear in mind that microorganisms can die on the shelf so make sure to find products that guarantee living microorganisms at the time of purchase.

This information was brought to you by OC Nutrition, Your Trusted Source for Health & Nutrition Advice and Bonnie Doerr, CSULB Dietetic Intern. OC Nutrition offers nutrition counseling services over the phone or in person in Newport Beach, Irvine, Orange, Anaheim Hills, Chino, Glendora and Long Beach. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact:

Kristy L. Richardson, MS, MPH, RD, CSSD, CHES
Registered Dietitian & Exercise Physiologist
kristy@ocnutrition.com
www.ocnutrition.com
(949) 933-6788



Avocado Tortilla Soup*
May 18, 2010, 7:04 pm
Filed under: Recipes

Sprinkle red pepper flakes on this soup for added heat!

Ingredients:

3 (14-ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth
2 (10-3/4-ounce) cans low-sodium condensed tomato soup
½ bunch cilantro (leaves only)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 ripe California avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped
8 corn tortilla chips, crumbled

Preparation: 30 minutes

 1. In a large pan over high heat, combine chicken broth, tomato soup, cilantro, garlic, and ground black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Cool slightly, and then puree small batches in a blender.
3. Return to pan, add avocado and heat thoroughly.
4. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with crumbled tortilla chips before serving.

 Makes 8 servings: 1 cup per serving

 *This recipe was adapted from Champions for Change Network for a Healthy California, Everyday Healthy Meals 2010

 



Debunking Sugar Myths
May 12, 2010, 10:08 pm
Filed under: General Nutrition

If you have access to the internet, you have access to free, unregulated nutrition information. As a result, you likely find it difficult to determine which information is accurate and which is mythical. Sugar has long been the victim of various myths so, in an effort to clear up the confusion, we have weeded through the research to bring you the facts about sugar and your health.

Sugar causes weight gain

NO, eating sugar will not necessarily cause you to gain weight. Eating more calories than you’re burning, whether the extra calories come from sugar, other carbohydrate sources, protein or fat, is what leads to weight gain.

Sugar is unhealthy and should be avoided

NO, sugar is not inherently unhealthy. It is important to note that sugar is found in some highly nutritious foods. For example, fruit and milk both contain naturally occurring sugar and these foods are an important part of a healthy diet. Sugar is found in a lot of foods with low nutritional value such as candy, cookies, ice cream, soda, etc. and these types of foods should be limited to ensure a well-balanced diet.

Sugar causes diabetes

NO, sugar does not cause diabetes. After someone develops diabetes it is important for them to monitor their carbohydrate and sugar intake to control the disease, but eating sugar is not the cause of diabetes. Some of the potential causes for diabetes include:
• genetics
• gaining too much weight (especially in the abdominal area)
• eating an unhealthy diet (especially a diet low in fruits and veggies and high in fat)
• being inactive (less than 30 minutes of physical activity per day)
If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, a Registered Dietitian can help you design a nutrition plan to manage your blood sugar.

Sugar causes kids to be hyperactive

NO, sugar does not cause hyperactivity. Sugar is often blamed for hyperactivity in kids, but study after study has proven this not to be true. Even children who were said to be “sugar-sensitive” were not found to behave any differently on a sugar-full or sugar-free diet. Because treats are usually given to children as a reward or eaten in a fun, social environment such as a birthday party, the excitement of the situation is probably the true cause of the hyperactivity. Also, sugary soft drinks usually contain caffeine, a component that legitimately causes increased energy and activity in some adults and children.

Eating too much sugar will lead to dental cavities

In children, a weak association between sugar consumption and dental caries exists when teeth are not brushed 2 or more times per day. It is important to note that dental health is mainly influenced by factors such as dental hygiene, fluoride intake (usually from tap water), and genetics.

This information was brought to you by OC Nutrition, Your Trusted Source for Health & Nutrition Advice, and Amanda Nelson, RD. OC Nutrition offers nutrition counseling services over the phone or in person in Newport Beach, Irvine, Orange, Anaheim Hills, Chino, Glendora and Long Beach. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact:

Kristy L. Richardson, MS, MPH, RD, CSSD, CHES
Registered Dietitian & Exercise Physiologist
(949) 933-6788
kristy@ocnutrition.com
www.ocnutrition.com



Live a Longer Healthier Life
May 3, 2010, 8:34 pm
Filed under: General Nutrition, Heart Health

Are you looking to live longer and improve your quality of life?  Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and disability in the United States so by decreasing your risk you can increase your chances of living a longer healthier life.  The good news is YOU CAN DO THIS by making lifestyle changes (increasing exercise, improving nutrition, reducing stress, not smoking, etc.). Here are a few simple ways you can decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease by improving your nutrition:   

  • Increase your intake of fiber-rich foods.  Eat at least 5 fruits and vegetables each day, choose half of your grains as whole grain, and choose beans and lentils a few times per week.  When choosing a whole grain cereal, consider choosing oatmeal or Cheerios for the cholesterol-lower benefit of soluble fiber. 
  • Increase your intake of plant stanols and sterols.  Plant stanols and sterols may help lower blood cholesterol by blocking the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines.  Small amounts of plant stanols and sterols are founds in plant foods, but to have a cholesterol-lowering effect foods fortified with higher amounts may need to be consumed.  Some brands of fruit juice, cereal, bread, low fat milk, low fat yogurt, and margarine (Benecol and Take Control) have been fortified with plant stanols and sterols.
  • Choose lean meats such as skinless turkey and chicken, top sirloin, 7% fat ground beef, round steak, pork loin or loin chops and trim fat from meats.
  • Eat smaller portions of meats.  Limit your portions to 3 ounces for lunch or dinner.  Three ounces is equal to the size of a deck of cards.
  • Choose fatty, cold water fish (mackerel, herring, salmon, halibut or tuna) two times per week for heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids.  If you don’t like fish, you can find omega-3’s in canola oil, flaxseed, walnuts, leafy green vegetables, or enriched eggs or bread. 
  • Eat a meatless meal for lunch or dinner at least 1-2 times per week.  Try pasta primavera or beans and rice.
  • Limit egg yolks to 4 per week or have egg whites or egg substitutes (e.g. Egg Beaters).
  • Select non fat or low fat dairy foods such as non fat or 1% milk and non fat or low fat cheese, yogurt, or cottage cheese.
  • Choose fat free or low fat condiments or use less of the regular version (salad dressing, mayonnaise, sour cream, cream cheese, etc.).
  • Choose olive oil or canola oil and use it in small amounts.  Use tub or spray margarine and avoid stick margarine or butter.
  • Choose a low fat cooking method. Bake, broil, steam, barbecue and grill foods instead of frying.  Use cooking spray instead of greasing the pan.
  • Modify recipes to reduce fat intake.  You can substitute 2 egg whites for 1 egg in most recipes.  If you are making baked goods, replace 1/3 of the fat in the recipe with applesauce.  If you are making 3-cheese lasagna, substitute one or two cheese with reduced fat versions.

This information was brought to you by OC Nutrition, Your Trusted Source for Health & Nutrition Advice. OC Nutrition offers nutrition counseling services over the phone or in person in Irvine, Orange, Anaheim Hills, Chino, Glendora and Long Beach. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact:

Kristy L. Richardson, MS, MPH, RD, CSSD, CHES
Registered Dietitian & Exercise Physiologist
(949) 933-6788
kristy@ocnutrition.com
www.ocnutrition.com