Sunday, February 24, 2013

Cheap Foods To Boost Weight Loss

Chia seeds, almond butter, weird organic greens from a far off region on the globe?  These aren't cheap.  How do you or a client help reach goals when the rising cost of food and 'super foods' seem out of reach?  Remake the old classics.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, a recent study in Nutrition shows that onions may potentially prevent stroke induced brain damage.  Onions have antioxidants may decrease or block the dangerous compounds and act as a protective barrier.

An apple a day.
University of Iowa researchers  found ursolic acid in apples and other fruit that have shown to increase muscle mass and increase levels of brown fat (which burns white fat) in mice.  This research could lead toward a supplement to be effective in humans. 

From The Dairy Queen:
Probiotics found in yogurt, kefir, and cheese may decrease the chance of type 2 Diabetes.  The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition had a recent study that showed people who consumed a lot of dairy (these folks also had extra Calcium, Vitamin D, magnesium) and a decrease of 12% reduced risk.  Got Milk?

Still a bit broke?  Stop buying any junk food to begin with.  The Journal of Physiology  reports that sugar can impair the mind.  A group of maze-trained rats ran a lot slower when they had been fed sugar-spiked water daily for 6 weeks.  It was more noticeable in rats that did not have omega-3 fatty acids in their diet either.  
So skip the pop, juice, teas, and other drinks and fill up on walnuts, salmon, and flaxseed to keep your brain in shape.  

Gina Lesako RD, LD is the SCAN blog coordinator (those interested in writing for SCAN can email her directly at, resolve to increase your online exposure).  

She can also be found blogging at  Find her on SCAN:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lean Beef – Adding Flavor to Heart Health

Most people are concerned with heart health, and rightly so.  One in three American adults suffers from heart disease.  Many adults turn to the recommendations they’ve heard over and over again in an attempt to keep their tickers as healthy as possible.  Advice like “Cut the salt!” and “Watch those fats!” holds true today.  However, one heart-health recommendation has changed with new research.  Heat up the grill and pop open the red wine because instead of hearing “No red meat!”, you’ll now hear dietitians encouraging the consumption of lean beef as part of a healthy diet.
The BOLD (Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet) study is one reason for new viewpoints on beef.  This study compared the consumption of 4 ounces of lean beef daily to the gold standard of heart-healthy eating, the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet.  Researchers wanted to compare the effect that each diet would have on cholesterol.  Both diets contained a similar mix of nutrients, including less than 7% of calories from saturated fat, but the BOLD diet contained 4 ounces of lean beef each day while the DASH diet limited red meat.  At the end of the study, it was clear that BOTH diets lowered LDL “bad” cholesterol in participants by 10%, providing evidence that beef may not be as bad for cholesterol and heart health as once thought.
Advancements in science may also change the way consumers view beef in general.  For starters, cattle farmers are actually raising beef that is leaner than it was fifty years ago.  We also know that over half the fat in beef is actually monounsaturated fat.  This is the same type of heart-healthy fat found in olive oil.  Nutrient density is another reason to sing the praises of beef.  Beef is packed with protein, B vitamins, iron, zinc and other nutrients important for good health.  A person would have to eat 670 calories in peanut butter to get the same amount of protein in 150 calories of lean beef.
Americans are learning how to balance their meals for overall health.  This is due in part to the development of MyPlate, the USDA’s tool that teaches healthy eating to Americans.  MyPlate is a simple tool that helps consumers visualize each meal as a plate.  Ideally, each meal would be comprised of a plate containing ¼ lean meat or protein, ¼ whole grains, ½ fruits and vegetables and a serving of low-fat or fat-free dairy on the side.  Following this method helps consumers incorporate lean beef in a heart-healthy way. 
Now that you’re convinced lean beef can fit into a heart-healthy diet, this meat will be easy to find when you hit the supermarket because there are more than 29 cuts of beef that meet government guidelines for “lean,” including T-bone, tenderloin, top sirloin and 95%-lean ground beef.  One handy trick to identifying lean beef is to look for the words “loin” and “round” in the name.  Lean cuts are easy to prepare.  Consider heart-healthy cooking methods that don’t add extra fat.  Here’s a simple and delicious way to pan-broil top sirloin beef.  Serve with steamed green beans, a small baked sweet potato, whole grain dinner roll and fat-free milk for a heart-healthy meal.

3 Easy Steps to Pan-Broil – Top Sirloin Steak
·         Stovetop skillet cooking is ideal for cooking a tender, juicy top sirloin steak during the winter months.
o   Step 1: Heat heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes.
o   Step 2: Remove steak from refrigerator and season as desired, such as with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Place steak in preheated skillet, don’t add water or oil and leave uncovered.
o   Step 3: Pan-broil top sirloin steak 12 to 15 minutes for medium-rare (145˚) to medium (160˚) doneness, turning occasionally.
This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

Lindsay was awarded her bachelor’s degree in nutrition and food science with a dietetic specialization from South Dakota State University. She completed an internship program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and experienced many areas of dietetics including intensive care, solid organ transplant, weight loss and management, and long-term care. She is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association). 

Lindsay believes practicing healthy nutritional habits and having an active lifestyle are an integral part of living a long, happy life. She enjoys her position as a Hy-Vee dietitian working directly with the public and educating them about a healthy lifestyle and finding ways to integrate good nutritional habits into their lives.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Simple Things In Life: A CMS Update

Everyone has had that moment during an internship or their first job which might have been in a hospital where when dealing with a patient they just thought, "why do I need a doctor's order to put a person with Diabetes on a Diabetic diet?", I worked in a nursing home for several years after graduation and hated the faxing, waiting, waiting...calling (and leaving messages, etc.) to modify a therapeutic diet within my scope.
Finally after two years of the Academy's work, I received an e-mail that brought me a ray of hope:

"CMS announced in the attached press release that it is proposing a rule change that would, among other things, 'Save hospitals significant resources by permitting registered dietitians to order patient diets independently, which they are trained to do, without requiring the supervision or approval of a physician or other practitioner. This frees up time for physicians and other practitioners to care for patients.'"

These changes won't take place until the end of the year, please read the article here

Gina Lesako RD, LD is the SCAN blog coordinator (those interested in writing for SCAN can email her directly at, resolve to increase your online exposure).  

She can also be found blogging at  Find her on SCAN:

Friday, February 8, 2013

Fuel For Thought, SCAN Student Post: Banana Bread Bonanza

Tis' the season for the college spring semester and yay for having 8am classes having no time to make breakfast! So I had to find a way to make sure I can eat in the morning.

A few weeks ago as I was looking at my up n' coming semester I was already trying to schedule my exercise routine and coordinate my meals especially my breakfast since I had many early morning classes. I was trying to find ways to save money since eating on campus can become very expensive, up $25 for 3 meals per day.

I was trying to find the perfect combination of fruit, protein, fiber and whole grains and banana nut bread hit the jack pot! I was trying to experiment with flax seed since it has a natural gelling when it wets allowing me to replace a recipe with 1C of olive oil to 1/2C olive oil and then 1/2C flax seed. Then I was experimenting with applesauce to give it more moisture. I went through a total of 3 trials to get to that final perfect recipe.

Trial 1:
Was a little dry and should have wet the flax seed to allow it to gel a little

Trial 2:
Was a disaster! I added too much applesauce and didn't add any eggs. I thought that applesauce and baking soda would let the bread rise…needless to say that was some dense dough!

Trial 3:
I must admit the phrase "third time's a charm", is really true!  It was moist, tasty and above all nutrient dense. Instead of using olive oil I was able to use applesauce and flax seed just like I wanted. (Below is the recipe if you're interested!)

It was exciting having the chance to experiment on a recipe and trying to modify it to the way I wanted. Even though it took me three times to get there, it was worth it. Two slices of my banana nut bread along with my hard-boiled egg that I cooked the night before was a great breakfast that was easy to grab and go. I had my whole grains, fruit, protein and calcium from the skim milk that I had in my coffee. This also gave me the fuel needed to complete my 5-mile run workout in between my class. To help give you some idea's here is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website and if you look under their Eat Right Nutrition Tips they have eating on the run andpower up with breakfast idea's for your next "on the go meal.

Banana Nut Bread
Yields: 1 loaf
Pre-heat oven: 350'F
Time: 60-minutes
  • 2 tablespoons Smart Balance, melted
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 medium  mashed ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 Tbsp Flax Seed, lightly soaked in some water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • About 2 Tbsp of honey to drizzle on top
1. Take the 3 Tbsp of flax seed & run 2 Tbsp of water until it is moist & gel like
2. In a large bowl beat all wet ingredients with the flax seed now
3. In a separate bowl mix all dry ingredients
4. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients
5. Pour into a 9in x 5in loaf pan that has been coated with cooking spray and drizzle the honey on top.
6. Bake for about 60-minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean

Christa Petersen is currently a Dietetic Technician, Registered going to school full time at Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ on the road to becoming a Dietitian and applying for dietetic internships for the fall 2013. She is an outdoorsy person who can be found running, biking, walking, swimming, playing soccer or pursuing anything from pushing high intensity cardio-workouts all the way down to relaxing yoga. One of her favorite hobbies aside from working out is creating healthy recipes and cooking them! Just recently she created a blog named "Teaspoon of Delight" sharing with the public creative recipes, nutrition facts and journal articles to keep others on tract to leading a healthy lifestyle. She cannot wait to become a Registered Dietitian and share her passion with others as a full-time career!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Weighing Issues

For the full article on health insurance from Bloomberg Business week, click here.

Gina Lesako RD, LD is the SCAN blog coordinator (those interested in writing for SCAN can email her directly at, resolve to increase your online exposure).  

She can also be found blogging at  Find her on SCAN: