Ocnutrition’s Blog


Get Your Plate In Shape; Fill Half-Your-Plate With Fruits & Veggies
April 13, 2012, 10:49 pm
Filed under: Diabetes, General Nutrition, Heart Health, Weight Management

Did you know the average American eats only 43% of the recommended amount of fruit and 57% of the recommended amount of vegetables each day?  Include more colorful fruits and vegetables in your menu plan for a brighter future.  Fruits and vegetables reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, and other chronic conditions.

When choosing fruits and vegetables, “eat the rainbow of colors.”  Different color groups provide a unique set of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.  Fruits and veggies are nutritious in any form:  fresh, frozen, canned or dried.  They are available year round and are ready when you are.

Benefits of eating more Fruits and Vegetables:

  • Fiber help fill you up, lowers cholesterol, and aids your digestive system
  • Disease Reduction including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, some cancers and Type 2 Diabetes
  • Vitamins & Minerals  are abundant which keeps you stay healthy and energized
  • Low in Calories and rich in flavor and texture

How to include more Fruits & Vegetables

  • Include veggies with breakfast:  add mushrooms and peppers to eggs to make an omelet, or wrap up an egg and veggie scramble in a whole wheat tortilla
  • Enjoy fruit and veggies as your snack:  top of Greek yogurt with frozen fruit, dip carrots or sliced bell peppers in hummus, or make up a trail mix of dried fruit and nuts
  • Add extra veggies to your favorite dishes: pile veggies on top of your pizza, stuff them in your sandwich, or add veggies to pasta sauces, soups, and casseroles
  • Include a colorful salad with your lunch or dinner and add some fresh or dried fruit for a little sweetness
  • Choose fruits and veggies that are darker or brighter in color; these contain more vitamins and minerals
  • Each week choose a new fruit and/or veggie.  There are hundreds to choose from and it adds variety to your meal
  • Purchase fruits and veggies from local farmers or markets to ensure the freshness and hence its nutrient content

This information was brought to you by Robyn Moss, MS, RD and OC Nutrition, Your Trusted Source for Health & Nutrition Advice.  OC Nutrition offers nutrition counseling services over the phone or in person in Newport Beach, Irvine, Orange, Anaheim Hills, Chino Hills 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
http://www.ocnutrition.com
(949) 933-6788



Focus on Fiber
February 19, 2012, 9:55 pm
Filed under: Dietary Supplements, General Nutrition, Heart Health, Label Reading

Recently there has been a strong push for Americans to increase their fiber intake. Fiber has been added to food products such as cereals, yogurts, and sweeteners, and the market for fiber supplements has taken off. The majority of Americans are getting less than half the daily fiber recommendation (25 grams/day for women and 38 grams/day for men), so this push for more fiber is a good thing.

Simply put, dietary fibers are non-digestible carbohydrates that help maintain a healthy digestive tract and may improve heart health, immune function, and blood sugar control. Two major categories of fiber are soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber has been found to lower cholesterol and promote digestive health. Good sources are oats, dry beans, peas, lentils, fruits and vegetables. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool to help it pass through the gut more quickly. Foods containing insoluble fiber include wheat bran, whole grains, vegetables, nuts and seeds. A mixture of soluble and insoluble fiber is suggested for optimal health.

Functional fibers are fibers that have been isolated from food products or manufactured for therapeutic use. The use of fiber supplements has been linked with lowered cholesterol, increased weight loss, and improved gut and immune function. It is important to be aware of the type of functional or added fiber so you can receive the desired benefits. Listed below are some of the most common functional and added fibers, what they do, and the products they are found in.

Psyllium

  • Effects– May help lower cholesterol/lower blood pressure/regulate blood sugar, soluble, prevent/relieve constipation
  • Common Products– Metamucil: stir-in powder, wafers, caplets (assorted flavors)

Methylcellulose

  • Effects– Adds bulk to stool, relieves constipation, soluble
  • Common Products– Citrucel: caplets, stir-in powder (unflavored or orange)

Inulin

  • Effects– Supports good gut bacteria, may help absorb calcium, bulking, prevents constipation
  • Common Products– Fiberchoice: chewable tablets (assorted flavors), Activia with Fiber, Fiber One: pancake mix, chewy bars, etc.

Wheat Dextrin

  • Effects– May help lower cholesterol/assist in weight loss/boost immune function, relieves constipation, soluble
  • Common Products– Benefiber: stir-in powder, chewable caplets, tablets, to-go drink mix-ins

Bran

  • Effects– Bulk stool, relieve constipation, insoluble fiber, blockage risk (use in moderate amounts)
  • Common Products– Ready-to-eat cereals (All-Bran, Quaker Oat Bran, Raisin Bran), Bob’s Red Mill Wheat Bran: to be used in food preparation (i.e. baking)

The importance of fiber in our diet is becoming more and more undeniable, which is why finding ways to increase your daily fiber intake is worth the effort. Don’t forget to increase fiber gradually and drink plenty of water to prevent digestive discomfort. Before turning to supplements, try adding more whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds to your diet. Be creative and remember that fiber is just one component of a healthy lifestyle!

This information was brought to you by OC Nutrition, Your Trusted Source for Health & Nutrition Advice, and Sarah Trinajstich, CSULB Dietetic Intern.  OC Nutrition offers nutrition counseling services in Newport Beach, Irvine, Orange, Anaheim Hills, Chino Hills, 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
http://www.ocnutrition.com



“Healthy Fat’’—a Contradiction or Not?
February 19, 2012, 9:13 pm
Filed under: General Nutrition, Heart Health, Label Reading, Weight Management

Fat has gotten somewhat of a bad rap in the past and you increasingly see more and more “low fat,” “reduced fat,” and “non-fat” food items popping up in supermarkets. However a balanced diet should have 20-35% of your daily calories coming from fat. What’s important is to pay attention to the kinds of fat you’re eating, decrease unhealthy fats (saturated and trans fats), and focus on healthy fats (monounsaturated and omega-3).

Saturated fat and trans fats are considered unhealthy because they promote unhealthy cholesterol levels, plaque formation, and inflammation in the body. Saturated fats shouldn’t make up more than 10% of your calories and they are found in foods like butter, cheese, beef, whole fat dairy, and other animal products. Trans fats shouldn’t make up more than 2% of your calories and they are found in fast food, fried food, and other processed food with hydrogenated oils.

The healthy fats which have been found to have the most health benefits are monounsaturated fats and omega-3s. Monounsaturated fats can improve your cholesterol and decrease risk of heart disease and stroke. These fats are also needed to keep your body’s cells healthy. Monounsaturated fats can be found in nuts, canola oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, and avocado. Omega-3 fats can improve heart health by preventing plaque buildup, lowering blood pressure, and preventing irregular heartbeats. The USDA recommends daily intake of 1.6 g (1,600 mg) for men and 1.1 g (1,100 mg) for women. Omega-3 fats are found in fatty fish (salmon, trout, tuna, etc.), canola oil, walnuts, flaxseed, and leafy green vegetables.

A few ways you can include more of these healthy fats in your diet are to:

  • use healthy fats instead of unhealthy fats when cooking (ex. canola instead of butter)
  • have a handful of nuts or trail mix for a snack
  • make an effort to have fatty fish at least twice a week
  • dip bread in olive oil rather than spreading on butter

Remember, not all fats are created equal and monounsaturated and omega-3 fats are necessary for optimum health. Maintaining a well-balanced diet with an emphasis on these healthy fats will improve your body’s function now and help prevent diseases in the future, a win-win!

This information was brought to you by OC Nutrition, Your Trusted Source for Health & Nutrition Advice, and Jenna Haug, CSULB Dietetic Intern. OC Nutrition offers nutrition counseling services over the phone or in person in Newport Beach, Irvine, Orange, Anaheim Hills, Chino Hills 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
http://www.ocnutrition.com
(949) 933-6788



January: A great time to start a Healthy New Year
December 31, 2011, 2:19 am
Filed under: Eating out, General Nutrition, Heart Health, Weight Management

January 1:  Have a family discussion about New Year’s resolutions today.

January 2:  Choose one new fruit or vegetable to try this week.

January 3:  Buy yourself a good cookbook full of healthful recipes or find an “app”. The American Heart Association has several.

January 4:  Keep an eye out for “New Year” deals on gym memberships, fitness equipment, or workout videos.

January 5:  Tally how many calories your family is consuming each day in beverages (include juices as well as soda). Is it worth it?

January 6:  Have a special healthy treat tonight!  Get creative using your new cookbook/app for a yummy and healthful dessert.

January 7:  Have everyone rank their hunger on a scale of 1–10 before eating today. Choose servings accordingly.

January 8:  Plan a week’s worth of healthy meals today.

January 9:  Learn more about Meatless Mondays by visiting www.meatlessmonday.com.

January 10:  Replace one half of the fat in baked good recipes with unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana.

January 11:  Look for frozen meals, if your family eats them, which contain ≤600 milligrams of sodium/serving.

January 12:  Know that most cereal bars are not a good choice for breakfast. Many contain too much sugar and not enough protein or fiber.

January 13:  Have everyone wait 20 minutes before getting a second helping today.

January 14:  Make a meal involving beans today, such as black bean burritos, chili, bean soup, or your family’s favorite.

January 15:  Brainstorm new ideas for packed lunches today.

January 16:  Remove foods that contain “partially hydrogenated fats” from your cupboards.

January 17:  Make a dental appointment, if you need one. Everyone in the house needs to see a dentist every 6 months.

January 18:  Clean kitchen sponges by wetting them and zapping them in the microwave for 2 minutes.

January 19:  Have everyone pitch in and clean the house. It is great exercise!

January 20:  Choose another new fruit or vegetable to try this week!

January 21:  Popcorn is a whole grain and high in fiber. Use a lite margarine or a bit of olive oil to flavor it.

January 22:  Purchase a pedometer for each family member or buy one and switch users each day. The goal is to accumulate 10,000 steps/day!

January 23:  Choose bread that has at least three grams of fiber in each slice.

January 24:  Track how much “screen time” the kids or even you use each day, set a limit of 2 hours!

January 25:  Try a new grain, such as bulgur, barley, or quinoa.

January 26:  Make a pizza with thin crust (whole grain if possible), and top with all the vegetables you can!  Cook the veggies first to prevent the crust from soaking up the liquid.

January 27:  Blend cooked cauliflower into your mashed potatoes. You will not even taste it!

January 28:  Measure some foods today to see what a “serving size” actually looks like.

January 29:  Find a recipe for a baked fruit that you have never tried before.

January 30:  Add a spoonful of wheat germ to your yogurt or cereal. It is rich in vitamins. Wheat germ also adds a bit of fiber and a nice crunch to food!

January 31:  Include a fruit and/or vegetable with each meal today and every day.  Fruits and vegetables provide fiber and a multitude of vitamins and minerals.

This information was brought to you by Robyn Moss, MS, RD and OC Nutrition, Your Trusted Source for Health & Nutrition Advice.  OC Nutrition offers nutrition counseling services over the phone or in person in Newport Beach, Irvine, Orange, Anaheim Hills, Chino Hills 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
http://www.ocnutrition.com
(949) 933-6788
 



One Easy Move for a Healthy Heart
May 6, 2011, 5:42 pm
Filed under: Exercise, Heart Health, Weight Management

When I’m heavily involved in a task at the office that will take more than an hour, I force myself to get up off my chair and stand. My mantra has led me to take calls while standing and greet colleagues who “live” across the hall. That’s right – I’m proudly announcing that I have been doing lots of standing around at the office. Don’t get me wrong, I consider myself a workaholic and expect everyone to make the best use of work time. On the other hand, I want to be around for a long time to carry on with my workaholic tendencies.

This sudden obsession with standing was triggered after I came across a study conducted by Peter Katzmarzyk at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana. Katzmarzyk and his team analyzed the lifestyles of 17,000 individuals over 13 years; the research highlighted that people who sit for most of the day are 54 percent more likely to die of a heart attack – men and women are equally at risk. This means that the chance of heart attack doubles if you sit all day even if you exercise and eat well. This is because sitting is an independent risk factor regardless of other healthy behaviors you may be involved in. Quite frankly, I had to stand and read the rest of the article.

If the statistics don’t fully convince you, how about standing to burn extra calories? That’s right; when you stand you can burn more calories and even improve posture, tone muscles and increase blood flow.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Socialize, stretch or visit the water cooler: Take a quick break every hour by getting up and stretching. If you’re in a cubicle like me and don’t want to attract attention when your hands are waving in the air with a stretch, get up and go to the water cooler instead. You can also try getting up and saying hello to your office mates. Standing up does not have to take you away from what you are doing or make you unproductive. A quick stand break is the goal.

2. Ditch the chair while on the phone. Get your body accustomed to the idea of getting up by standing while talking on the phone. Another option is to stand while reviewing work.

3. Set the alarm or mark it on your calendar: A common office chant is, “Is it that time already –4PM?” If you are so busy that you lose track of time, consider scheduling reminders on your calendar or phone. The idea is to make standing part of your daily routine.

4. Get a standing work station: Equipment such as Ergotron allows people to change positions, improve posture and stand while being productive at the office. Your human resources  or safety department may give you a high five for introducing a new idea since this type of equipment is known to increase workers’ wellness.

The bottom line is that sitting for long periods can compromise your health. Don’t be shy about standing around at the office and making health a priority – if a workaholic like me can squeeze it in and make it a routine, anyone can do it.

This information was brought to you by guest blogger Claudia Montoya, B.S. Human Development and OC Nutrition, Your Trusted Source for Health & Nutrition Advice. OC Nutrition offers nutrition counseling services over the phone or in person in Newport Beach, Irvine, Orange, Anaheim Hills, Chino Hills 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



EAT RIGHT With Color. EAT RIGHT For A Healthier You
February 26, 2011, 7:38 pm
Filed under: General Nutrition, Heart Health

Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? The theme for this year is “Eat Right with Color” because an easy way to focus on eating right is to focus on eating with color. Including a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables on your plate creates a rainbow of colors and serves as the foundation for a healthful eating plan. Adding a splash of colorful seasonal foods to your plate makes for more than just a festive meal. A rainbow of foods creates a palette of nutrients.

• Green produce indicates antioxidant potential and may help promote healthy vision and reduce cancer risk. Examples of fruits include green apples, grapes, honeydew, and kiwi. Vegetable choices include artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, green peppers and leafy greens such as spinach.

• Orange and deep yellow fruits and vegetables contain nutrients that promote healthy vision and immunity, and reduce the risk of some cancers. Fruit choices include apricot, cantaloupe, grapefruit, mango, papaya, peach and pineapple. Vegetable selections include carrots, yellow pepper, yellow corn and sweet potatoes.

• Purple and blue options may have antioxidant and anti-aging benefits and may help with memory, urinary tract health and reduced cancer risks. Fruits to include: blackberries, blueberries, plums, raisins. Vegetables to include: eggplant, purple cabbage, purple-fleshed potato.

• Red may help maintain a healthy heart, vision, and immunity, and may reduce cancer risk. Fruits to choose: cherries, cranberries, pomegranate, red/pink grapefruit, red grapes and watermelon. Vegetables to include: beets, red onions, red peppers, red potatoes, rhubarb and tomatoes.

• White, tan and brown foods contain nutrients that may promote heart health and reduce cancer risk. Include fruits such as bananas, brown pears, dates and white peaches. Include vegetables such as cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, white potatoes and white corn.

When shopping for “color” choose a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables and if need be opt for frozen or dried fruits and vegetables which are available throughout the year. Instead of grilled chicken, mashed potatoes and cauliflower, paint a more colorful plate such as grilled chicken topped with salsa, mashed sweet potatoes, asparagus and spinach salad with orange slices. A colorful meal is not only visually appealing; it contains a variety of nutrients and what’s more it’s chockfull of flavor. Let color be your guide to more nutritious, flavorful and satisfying meals.

This information was brought to you by Robyn Moss, MS, RD and OC Nutrition, Your Trusted Source for Health & Nutrition Advice. OC Nutrition offers nutrition counseling services over the phone or in person in Newport Beach, Irvine, Orange, Anaheim Hills, Chino Hills 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



Aerobic Exercise…Maximizing the Benefits
December 3, 2010, 3:06 am
Filed under: Exercise, Heart Health, Weight Management

We all know about aerobic exercise, but are we doing all we can to maximize our effort?  Here are some facts and reminders in regards to aerobic exercise (also known as “cardio”)…

Let’s start off by talking about one of the most important factors related to cardio, your heart rate.  First you need to determine your maximum heart rate which can be estimated by subtracting your age from 220.  You can then calculate different percentages of your max to achieve a desired work level.  For example, if someone is 20 years old they have a max heart rate of approximately 200.  To find 60% of their max they would multiply .60 by 200 which results in 120.  The optimal range for aerobic exercise is 60% to 85% of the max heart rate.  If you are new to aerobic training, start at the lower level (60-70%).  If you would like to achieve a higher level of aerobic fitness, train at the higher level (75-85%).  You may have heard that the lower heart rate levels burn a higher percentage of fat and the higher levels burn a higher percentage of carbohydrate.  This is true but remember in order to lose weight you need to burn calories and a calorie is a calorie whether it’s fat or carbohydrate.  The higher the intensity the more calories you burn!

Now let’s talk about how much time should be spent doing cardio.  The recommendation is 5-7 days per week for a minimum of 30 minutes.  This is for heart health and good aerobic fitness.  If your goal is weight loss you should do 5-7 days per week for a minimum of 60 minutes!  You’ll be happy to hear that this activity doesn’t have to be done all at once.  The 30-60 minutes can be split into sessions as small as 10 minutes. 

What type of activity should you do?  That is primarily based on personal preference.  The only requirement is that the exercise work the large muscle groups (legs, chest, back) in a rhythmic fashion while keep your heart rate between 60-85% of your max for the entire session.  You can walk, run, swim, bike, stair climb, row, or whatever activity you enjoy.  To help prevent repetitive use injuries it is best to alternate between different types of activity. 

Go ahead; reap the benefits of aerobic exercise!

This information was brought to you by Just for the Health of It, a state-of-the-art personal training and yoga studio in the heart of Orange.  For more information please contact:

Diane McConahay, B.S.
Certified Personal Trainer and Yoga Instructor
(714) 639-0494
just4thehealthofit@sbcglobal.net
www.justforthehealthofit.info