Monday, September 18, 2017

A Call For Blog Posts.

Are you interesting in becoming a SCAN blogger?  Do you already have a consulting business or enjoy creating social media content?  Consider being a contributing SCAN blogger to increase your online exposure.
SCAN bloggers have the benefit of reaching thousands of new and unique visitors each month.
What do I need to do to become a SCAN blogger?  Contact SCAN blog coordinator, Gina via email at glesako@gmail.com.  There is no word limit on posts however, longer material may be broken into two posts.  Please keep content related to SCAN’s mission and most importantly, include a biography about you with any social media links or phone numbers to promote yourself.  

Thursday, September 7, 2017

SCAN at 2017 FNCE


Come join us in Chicago!  

October 21 - 24th is the 2017 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE)® in Chicago, IL.  It's easier than ever to network with fellow SCAN members, earn CPE, and advance your career.
 
Also, SCAN is hosting several exciting opportunities to network with fellow members in new and unique ways at FNCE®. View the details below:
 
SATURDAY OCTOBER 21
 
In Development 
Pre-FNCE SCAN Workshop, Sports Nutrition: 11a-2p, McCormick Place West
 
SUNDAY OCTOBER 22
 
Speaker: Caroline Mandel MS, RD, CSSD, Jennifer Ketterly MS, RD, CSSD, LD
Moderator: Sharon Smalling MPH, RD, LD
In Development
5:00-6:00pm: Sponsored Education Session, Hyatt McCormick Place, Grant Park BCD 
 
Celebrating SCAN's 35th Anniversary
Celebrate the 35th Anniversary of SCAN at Apogee, the rooftop lounge at the Dana Hotel in Chicago. Amidst the exciting celebration of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Centennial at FNCE® this year, we will gather at this adventurous venue for food, cocktails, the Chicago skyline, and most importantly, you!
Whether it's your first or 100th time at FNCE®, or your first or 35th time at a SCAN event, mark your calendar now for SCAN’s Reception, the most valuable networking you will do at FNCE® on Sunday at 6:30-8:30pm. Spread the word, plan to bring a friend, and stay tuned in the coming weeks for registration info and your complete guide to SCAN events at FNCE®.
Each attendee will receive two drink tickets and access to an array of diet friendly food!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Iron and Athletes Part II: How to Incorporate More Iron into your Diet

Introduction
Getting enough dietary iron is important for all athletes (see Iron & Athletes Part I for more information). To see general daily iron requirements, which vary by sex, gender and age, click here. In addition, keep in mind that vegetarians need 1.8 times the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of iron shown in this table due to the lower absorption rate of plant-based or non-heme iron. Thus, if you are a 36-year-old female vegetarian, you need to consume 33mg of iron as opposed to the 18mg recommended for a female meat eater of the same age (NIH). While individuals without a deficiency simply need to focus on meeting the Recommended Daily Allowance for iron, athletes with depletion or deficiency will benefit from being more cognizant of iron inhibitors and enhancers.


Food Sources and Types of Iron
Food sources of iron include the following: meat, seafood, poultry; iron-fortified breakfast cereals, breads and bars; white beans, lentils, spinach, kidney beans, peas, nuts, seeds (i.e. pumpkin and sesame seeds), soy protein and some dried fruits such as raisins and apricots. There are two forms of iron: heme iron and non-heme iron. Heme iron is the organic form of iron found in meat, seafood and poultry; approximately 15% of heme iron is absorbed. Non-heme iron is found in plant foods and iron-fortified products. The absorption rate of non-heme iron ranges from 3-8% depending on the presence of absorption enhancing factors (Mahan). The RDA for iron takes into account absorption rates, so don’t worry that you now need to start doing advanced math to calculate iron intake and absorption. As we mentioned above, vegetarians have a higher RDA for iron due to lower absorption rates of plant-based iron. As you look at % Daily Value on nutrition labels, know that this is based on the RDA’s value of 18mg/day (the RDA for women 19-50 years of age).


Food Substances that Enhance Iron Absorption
If you are in an iron-depleted or -deficient state and wanting to enhance iron absorption, vitamin C rich foods, such as citrus fruits, strawberries, sweet peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli can increase non-heme iron absorption rates. In addition, eating sources of heme iron such as meat, fish and poultry along side non-heme iron food sources, can increase absorption (NIH).
Inhibitors of Iron Absorption
It is also important to understand that certain foods and food ingredients inhibit iron absorption. Tannins in commercial black and pekoe teas as well as polyphenols in coffee can reduce iron absorption by as much as 50%. Therefore, athletes in a depleted or deficient state should make sure there is at least one hour between coffee/tea consumption and iron-rich meals (Mahan).  In addition, all athletes should be sure that they are not over-doing it on coffee and tea. Oxalic acid found in foods such as spinach and chocolate as well as phytic acid found in wheat bran and legumes (beans) can also decrease the absorption of non-heme iron. Of course, this is a bit confusing as spinach and legumes are listed as good iron sources—remember the absorption rates for non-heme iron mentioned above, which take into account iron inhibitors found in plant sources of iron. Finally, calcium carbonate supplements and dairy products decrease the absorption of iron. Therefore, if you are experiencing iron depletion or deficiency, make sure there is at least one hour between consumption of dairy products and consumption of iron-rich meals and snacks.


Iron-Rich Snacks and Meals
As an athlete, snacking is important to fuel workouts, get sufficient nutrition (including iron) and stay energized throughout the day. Here are five ideas for iron-rich snacks:
1. (Great pre-workout snack) 1c Multi-grain Cheerios + 1/2c Strawberries + 1c almond milk
2. (Great recovery snack or meal) Turkey sandwich with 3-4oz turkey + tomato + spinach + whole wheat bread + avocado
3. (Great at work/school snack) 1/4c Walnuts + 1c Blueberries
4. (Great at work/school snack) 1/8c Pumpkin seeds + 2 clementine oranges
5. (In a pinch) Bars with 10% or more of the daily value (DV) for iron (18mg is the DV)
  • Go Raw Bar, Dark Chocolate (240kcal, 2.7mg iron [15% DV], 12g protein, 24g Carb)
  • Tigers Milk Peanut Butter (150kcal, 3.6mg iron [20% DV], 6g protein, 18g carb) 
  • Go Raw Pumpkin Seed Sprouted Bar (240kcal, 1.8mg iron [10% DV], 9g protein, 16g carb)
  • Luna Protein, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (190kcal, 5.4mg iron [30% DV], 12g protein, 21g carb)
  • Luna Protein, Chocolate Peanut Butter (190kcal, 5.4mg iron [30%], 12g protein, 19g carb)
  • Rx Bar, Peanut Butter Chocolate (210kcal, 2mg iron [10% DV], 12g protein, 21g carb)
In addition visit our Pinterest page for iron-rich recipe ideas: https://www.pinterest.com/katiebrookselliott/iron-rich-recipes/.


Conclusion
Getting enough iron is not difficult so long as athletes understand requirements, develop a plan to take in adequate nutrition and get sufficient calories. If you are an athlete, who is experiencing iron deficiency or depletion, you can further optimize your efforts to restore iron levels by paying attention to both enhancers and inhibitors of iron absorption. If you are not struggling with iron issues, aim to get the RDA for iron each day and have your levels checked periodically to stay on top of things. One easy way to determine how much iron you are getting each day is to record your meals and snacks in My Fitness Pal and select iron as a nutrient you want to review. This will give you a baseline for how you are doing. Another option is to work with a Registered Dietitian (RD) to create a plan to meet all of your fueling and nutrient needs (click here to contact us if you are interested in such a plan).

Bio
Katie Elliott, MS, RD, is the founder of Elliott Performance and Nutrition, based in Aspen, Colorado, and also works with clients at Achieve Health and Performance in Basalt, Colorado. Katie’s knowledge areas and counseling specialties include sports nutrition, nutrition for prevention and treatment of disease, weight loss, and worksite wellness initiatives and programs. In addition, Katie attended IMG Academies as a junior tennis player, played Division I tennis at Davidson College, has competed on numerous amateur world triathlon teams and has coached athletes to several podium finishes as a USA Triathlon Coach.

Website Link

Social Media Links


References
Coates, A., Mountjoy, M., & Burr, J. (2016). Incidence of iron deficiency and iron deficient anemia in elite runners and triathletes. Clin J Sport Med.
Eichner R. Anemia and female athletes. Sports Med. Dig. 2000; 22:57.
Mahan, L. Kathleen, Escott-Stump, Sylvia, Raymond, Janice L. (2012). Krause’s Food and the Nutrition Care Process, Edition 13. Elsevier Saunders.
Mayo Clinic. Ferritin Test. Feb.10, 2017. Retrieved from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/ferritin-test/details/results/rsc-20271960.
NIH. Iron Dietary Supplements Factsheet for Health Professionals. (Feb. 11, 2016). Retrieved from: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-HealthProfessional/.
NIH. Iron Fact Sheet For Consumers. (Feb 17, 2016). Retrieved from: https://ods.od.nih.gov/pdf/factsheets/Iron-Consumer.pdf
Rosenbloom, C., & Coleman, E. (2012). Sports Nutrition: A Practice Manual for Professionals. (5th ed.). Chicago, Illinois: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Iron and Athletes Part I: The Role of Iron in Athletic Performance

The Importance of Iron to Athletic Performance
Iron is a trace mineral that plays a large, multifaceted role in the sports performance picture. It is a component of hemoglobin, so it is crucial to getting enough oxygen to the lungs and tissues. It is also a component of myoglobin, which acts as an oxygen acceptor in the muscles, and is a readily available source of oxygen for energy-producing mitochondria. Finally, it is a key component of cytochrome enzymes that are involved in the production of ATP or, in simpler terms, energy production (Mahan).


Deficiency, Depletion and Sub-Optimal Levels
Iron deficiency anemia limits an athlete’s capacity for work and, thus, performance. Anemia also impairs immune and cognitive function (Rosenbloom). Iron depletion, marked by low serum ferritin levels or iron stores (<20ng/mL [Mayo Clinic]), can also be detrimental to athletic performance. Some studies also suggest that sub-optimal ferritin levels (i.e. within laboratory reference range, but on the low end [i.e. ferritin of <40ng/mL]) may be a limiter to athletic performance (Rosenbloom). However, with regards to sub-optimal levels of ferritin, the research around effects on performance is mixed and more studies are needed to draw a true conclusion. If you fall in the sub-optimal range, seek the opinion of a physician who works with athletes before supplementing, work with a dietitian to add more dietary sources of iron, and look for other potential culprits for fatigue if it is present. For example, are you getting enough calories and sleep? Are you drinking excessive amounts of coffee and tea (coffee and tea can inhibit iron absorption by as much as 50% [Mahan])? Are you over trained?


A Quick Disclaimer
Yes, I just spoke about how important iron is to athletic performance. But before you go out and buy iron supplements, which can contain levels of iron that far exceed daily needs, please understand that iron levels are a little like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears: you want to get it just right. Too much iron can be dangerous, can compromise health and can cause unpleasant side effects. According to the NIH, acute intakes of more than 20 mg/kg iron from supplements or medicines can lead to stomach upset, constipation, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and fainting. Taking supplements containing 25 mg elemental iron or more can also reduce zinc absorption and plasma zinc concentrations (zinc supports immunity, so it is important to have a physician help you make the decision to add a supplement). In severe cases (e.g., one-time ingestions of 60 mg/kg), iron overdose can result in multisystem organ failure and even death (NIH). It is best to go to a doctor who regularly works with athletes, and get an iron panel done to see where your levels actually are. Let your physician look at your bloodwork and make the final decision about intervention or lack thereof.


Athletes Most At-Risk for Iron Deficiency?
Several groups of athletes are at higher risk of iron deficiency. Endurance athletes, particularly elites, are one such group. One study found that 60% of elite female triathletes and 55.6% of elite female runners in their cohort had experienced at least one incidence of iron deficiency during the study’s six year period, while 25% of elite male triathletes and 6.3% of elite male runners experienced iron-deficiency anemia (Coates). Collegiate, female athletes are also at-risk, with one study finding that 60% of female college athletes were affected by iron deficiency (Eichner). Other at-risk athletes include: the rapidly growing male adolescent athlete, the female athlete with heavy periods, athletes with energy-restricted diets, athletes with GI bleeding (generally runners), vegetarian athletes, athletes with hemolysis caused by foot impact and athletes with heavy sweat losses (Rosenbloom).  

  
Why is Iron a Problem in Athletes?
Athletes are particularly vulnerable to iron issues for several reasons. First, many athletes do not consume sufficient dietary iron particularly when they are trying to achieve body composition goals. Some athletes are also moving to more of a plant-based diet, which can certainly be healthy if done correctly, but can lead to iron issues without careful attention. Other factors that contribute to iron deficiency in athletes include: heavy sweat losses (iron is lost in sweat), gastrointestinal bleeding (known to occur in runners), heavy menstruation in female athletes, hemolysis caused by foot impact, and training stress, which increases energy needs and can lead to myoglobinuria due to muscle stress (Rosenbloom).


In Conclusion
Maintaining proper iron levels is not a huge obstacle.  Proper diet and supplements (if necessary and recommended by a physician) are easy to incorporate into your day.  If you are an athlete who is serious about performance, you do need to be concerned with getting the correct amount of iron in your diet.  If you are an athlete that is at higher risk of iron deficiency, visit your doctor and get his or her recommendation on how many times per year you need to do bloodwork. For all athletes, if you are feeling abnormally fatigued, it would be prudent to make an appointment with your doctor to evaluate what might be going on and if low iron is the culprit. These strategies in addition to good nutrition and a balanced, thoughtful training plan will help you to stay on the podium rather than on the sidelines.

Bio
Katie Elliott, MS, RD, is the founder of Elliott Performance and Nutrition, based in Aspen, Colorado, and also works with clients at Achieve Health and Performance in Basalt, Colorado. Katie’s knowledge areas and counseling specialties include sports nutrition, nutrition for prevention and treatment of disease, weight loss, and worksite wellness initiatives and programs. In addition, Katie attended IMG Academies as a junior tennis player, played Division I tennis at Davidson College, has competed on numerous amateur world triathlon teams and has coached athletes to several podium finishes as a USA Triathlon Coach.

Website Link

Social Media Links



References
Coates, A., Mountjoy, M., & Burr, J. (2016). Incidence of iron deficiency and iron deficient anemia in elite runners and triathletes. Clin J Sport Med.
Eichner R. Anemia and female athletes. Sports Med. Dig. 2000; 22:57.
Mahan, L. Kathleen, Escott-Stump, Sylvia, Raymond, Janice L. (2012). Krause’s Food and the Nutrition Care Process, Edition 13. Elsevier Saunders.
Mayo Clinic. Ferritin Test. Feb.10, 2017. Retrieved from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/ferritin-test/details/results/rsc-20271960.
NIH. Iron Dietary Supplements Factsheet for Health Professionals. (Feb. 11, 2016). Retrieved from: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-HealthProfessional/.
NIH. Iron Fact Sheet For Consumers. (Feb 17, 2016). Retrieved from: https://ods.od.nih.gov/pdf/factsheets/Iron-Consumer.pdf
Rosenbloom, C., & Coleman, E. (2012). Sports Nutrition: A Practice Manual for Professionals. (5th ed.). Chicago, Illinois: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Fitness Fix: 8 Benefits of Wall Sits

Read the full article with videos here.
The wall sit exercise isn’t a very common one in the fitness industry nowadays. Yet, it has quite a few benefits that you can’t really get with other more common exercises.
For those of you which are not familiar with wall sits, this exercise is usually performed at the end of your leg training. The main purpose of wall sits is to really burn off the quads, glutes and hamstrings.
The great thing about it is that you don’t need any type of gym equipment to perform the exercise. All you need is a wall or any other solid vertical surface for that matter, to lean against to. Here are a few benefits of the wall sit and why you should consider incorporating this exercise in your leg training routine.
The Benefits of Wall Sits
Benefit #1: Works the entire lower body
Even though wall sit is a static / isometric exercise it is very much like a compound exercise. Wall sits will work your entire lower body – your glutes, your hamstrings and your quads. The main purpose of this exercise is not to increase muscle mass, but to increase endurance. You will notice that you will be able to hold a wall sit for longer and longer periods of time once you become more advanced.
There are not many lower body isometric exercises which activates all the upper leg muscles, so wall sits are unique from this point of view.
Benefit #2: Burns out more calories
Similarly to other exercises which focus on increasing muscle endurance, wall sits will start to feel like you are doing cardio once you hold the position for longer periods of time. After about 15 seconds of holding a wall sit you will notice your heart rate going up and your breath getting faster and faster.
A higher heart rate will result in more calories burned in a given time frame. This will also boost a little bit your metabolic rate (for short periods of time) and it will work your cardiovascular system. So, you can look at wall sits as a non-traditional cardio training if you would like.
Benefit #3: Increases endurance
As mentioned before, wall sit is not an exercise which will improve strength that much, unless you are totally new to training. But wall sits will definitely improve muscle endurance, by activating the slow twitching fibers (or Type I fibers) inside your muscles. These type of muscle fibers are responsible with endurance, rather than strength (which falls under the responsibility of Type II fibers – or fast twitching fibers).
So, if you are a marathon runner or an athlete who runs a lot (such as a basketball player or football player) you will probably benefit a lot from wall sits.
Benefit #4: There are a lot of variations
Just in case you get bored with the standard wall sit there are a handful of variations of this exercise that will push
your body to new limits. Here are a couple of examples.
1. One Leg Wall Sit
Once you are in the standard wall sit position, put your feet very close together. You knees should be touching or be really close one to another. Next, take one leg at a time and extend it out. At this point only one leg will do all the work which will make the exercise much intense.
Benefit #5: Alternative to squats
If you can’t squat for whatever reason, wall sits are a great alternative which will work out pretty much the same body parts as a squat. Even so, wall sits shouldn’t be considered a squat replacement if you are weight training.
Benefit #6: Great for skiers
If you are new to skiing, you probably don’t know that wall sits are the number one exercise performed by all skiers, beginners or advance before hitting the downhill slopes after a long pre-season. The reason for this is that wall sits emulated really accurately the skiing position and works the same muscles we are using when sliding down the slope.
Apart from the fact that you will gain better endurance which will help you stay in the skiing position for longer periods of time, wall sits will also strengthen your knee cap which will be under a lot of stress when sliding down on bumpy slopes.
Benefit #7: Can be done anywhere
Probably one of the most important advantages of wall sits is that you can do them anywhere, at any time and without any auxiliary equipment needed. This is a huge benefit if you don’t have the time to actually go to a gym and workout.
Benefit #8: Are fun to do
For some reason, a lot of people simply enjoy doing wall sits. There are literally thousands of wall sit contests and challenges done online, some involving all the family members from 7 years old to grandparents.
How To Do Wall Sits Correctly
Getting the hang of wall sits is really easy and the exercise itself seems pretty straight forward, but even so there a couple of things to watch out for. Ideally you want to get into a full perfect squat position while leaning the wall.  
Here’s how to do it the right way.
First, your feet should come out from the wall a little bit so that your knees don’t track over your toes. Next, while leaning back on the wall, slide down and adjust your feet position as needed to keep the toes in front of the knees.
There should be a nice 90 degree bend between the lower part of your leg and the upper part.
Hand placement can be on the wall or on your thighs – whatever is more comfortable for you. Placing the hands on your thighs will make the exercise less difficult so that’s recommended if you are a beginner.
Your back should be straight, leaning on the wall, your head should be in a neutral position and you should be looking forward. That’s how you get into a perfect wall sit position. You know you are doing it right if you feel your body weight on your heels, not on your toes, and your quads and hamstrings are starting to burn after 15 to 20 seconds.
Another really important thing to remember is that once you fatigue you should push up, slide against the wall and stand. Don’t come down to the ground. It would cause a lot of damage to your knees if you would slide down to the wall toward the ground.
If you can’t get up from the wall sit, place your hands against the wall and help yourself.
Over to you
I challenge you to start adding a couple of sets of wall sits at the end of each leg training day. In case you are not training your legs at all, just do wall sits each day for a few minutes. Write down your wall sit hold time on a piece of paper and review your progress after 4 weeks. You will be amazed by the results.
Lastly but not least, please bear in mind that wall sits should not be considered a full leg workout, but instead it should complement a leg workout routine and should be performed in combination with other leg exercises such as lunges or squats.
Author:
Brian Ward is the content editor at Kick-Ass Home Gym, a website providing helpful articles that inspire you to stay fit and healthy at home – on your own time, in your own space. As busy people, we know health is important. A great morning workout can change an entire day for the better, and at the same time getting sick can throw off a whole week. So it’s important to take care of our bodies even if you don’t really have that much time to spare.

Connect with Brian 
·  Website – https://kickasshomegym.com/

Monday, August 7, 2017

Interested in Blogging for SCAN?

Are you a Registered Dietitian or a student interested in increasing your online presence?  Consider blogging for SCAN.  The SCAN blog reaches thousands of viewers every month.  No previous blogging experience needed.

Please email Gina, glesako@gmail.com for more information or to send your submissions.

Monday, July 31, 2017

"Why You Shouldn't Exercise to Lose Weight"

In this article featured in Vox the authors examine over 60 articles regarding exercise and weight control.  Read the full article here.

"In general, diet with exercise can work better than calorie cutting alone, but with only marginal additional weight-loss benefits. Consider this chart from a randomized trialthat was done on a group of overweight folks: The group that restricted calories lost about the same amount of weight as the group that dieted and exercised, though the exercisers didn't cut as many calories:
diets compared
The calorie restriction groups lost more weight than the group who both dieted and exercised.
If you embark on a weight-loss journey that involves both adding exercise and cutting calories, Montclair's Diana Thomas warned not to count those calories burned in physical activity toward extra eating.
"Pretend you didn't exercise at all," she said. "You will most likely compensate anyway so think of exercising just for health improvement but not for weight loss" (Vox).