Thursday, March 27, 2014


If you want to keep your mind sharp, put down the crossword puzzle and take a brisk walk. In a recent study, 37 sedentary adults ages 57 to 75 took part in a 12 week program of supervised aerobic exercise. Overall brain function and memory improved. Blood flow was increased to parts of the brain linked to better mental function. No improvement was reported by the group that remained sedentary. Not only that, those in the exercising group reported improvement in as little as 6 weeks.  A second study of 3500 healthy adults who began an activity program at age 64, 20% remained without chronic disease, mental depression, and physical limitations 8 years later. No matter your age, it's never too late to start an exercise program.
~British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2013

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Diabetes Alert Day

Seven out of ten people with diabetes did not know they were at risk of developing the disease, according to the American Diabetes Association. And, one in four, don't know that they already have it. Because of this, the ADA has launched "Alert Day" for March 25th. It is a one day "wake-up call" asking people to take the type II Diabetes Risk Test. Almost one in three American adults have prediabetes, and the chance to prevent or delay the onset. Please share with family and friends!
Learn more by going to or visit the ADA's Facebook page at
 "Take it. Share it. Step out, to stop diabetes"
 ~American Diabetes Association, 2014

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Roasted Butternut & Broccoli Salad

It doesn't get any easier than this to enjoy nutritious food!

4 cups small broccoli florets
2 cups cubed butternut squash
1 T + 1t. canola oil
1 T. reduced sodium soy sauce
1 T balsamic vinegar
2 t. dark (toasted) sesame oil
1 t. peanut butter
1 t. grated ginger
6 cups salad greens

(cut the butternut in small cubes - 1/2" or smaller - to cook faster)
Preheat oven to 450 F. Toss the broccoli and butternut with 1Tbs. of the canola oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until lightly browned in spots (12-15 min.) Set aside to cool.
Dressing: In a large bowl, whisk the soy, vinegar, sesame oil, peanut butter, and ginger with the remaining 1Tbs. of canola oil. Toss the salad greens with the dressing. Top with the broccoli and squash.
2 cup serving yields: Calories: 160, Sodium: 180mg., total fat: 10g., Sat. fat: 1g., Carbs: 16g., Protein: 5g., Fiber: 6g., 2014

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Nutrition For Autism Spectrum Disorder

Good nutrition is crucial for a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder. A healthy, balanced diet can make a world of difference in their ability to learn, how they manage their emotions and how they process information. Though some studies indicate that a gluten- or casein-free diet may be effective for certain children, more research is needed. Calcium and protein are extremely important for development. Be sure to include a variety of fruits and vegetables at every meal. Many parents find their child's sensitivity to tastes, colors, smells and textures to be the biggest barriers to a balanced diet. Keep trying new foods.Take your children to the supermarket and let them choose a new food to experiment with. When you get home, research it together  to learn how and where it grows. Then, decide together how to prepare it. When you're done, don't worry if your child doesn't want to eat it. Simply becoming familiar with new foods in a low-pressure way can eventually help your child become a more flexible eater.
Make meals as predictable and routine as possible. Serving meals at the same time every day is one of the simplest ways to reduce stress. Let them sit in their favorite chair, dim bright lights and turn down the noise;  television should be turned off. 
Seek guidance when you're raising a child with special needs. Consult with a Registered Dietitian before making any drastic changes in your child's diet. Work with your health care team and other parents who have had success with food interventions.
~ Karen Ansel, MS, RD, 2014 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

FDA Updates the Nutrition Facts Label

What better way to celebrate National Nutrition Month! The new FDA proposal is a big win win for consumers and those lobbying nutrition professionals at The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The current Nutrition Facts label is 20 years old, and does not reflect the current food environment or recent scientific research. Consumers want information they can use to make healthful choices. And new research on consumers' use of the label, eating patterns, nutrition science and chronic diseases needs to be reflected on the label. Serving sizes for many products have been updated to realistically reflect the amounts people actually eat at one sitting, nutrient comparisons between ‘per serving’ and ‘per container’ are available, and a new requirement will tell consumers how much sugar is being added to a product.
Since the FDA indicated it would be making revisions, the Academy has been actively encouraging the agency to update the label to reflect the best science about the current food and disease environment. The most significant modifications to the label reflect the Academy's evidence-based recommendations for promoting healthful eating, and align with its Food Labeling Principles.
The Academy will continue to work with the FDA on future initiatives, including the possibility of Front of Package labeling and the sorts of health claims and structure or function claims that can be made about foods. We want the label to be truthful and not misleading.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy.
~ Dr. Glenna McCollum, Academy President