Category Archives: minerals

Q&A: ginseng, hidden sodium, and raw milk

Quick update: Home inspection did NOT go well…at all (you can’t judge a book…or a home…by its cover!). Back to square one. Oh the joys of buying a home…I’ll keep you guys posted. Thanks tons for all of your support and well wishes on our big move. Despite the hurdles and big changes, I need to stay positive while we’re in transition!!

As for the job-hunt, I am trying to keep an open mind but I want to still keep my paws in diabetes…some how…some way. I am nearly 50% complete with my 1,000 diabetic education hours needed to sit for the exam and I am not giving up that easily on pursuing my CDE. Diabetes is my passion!

And on to a most excellent line-up of Q&A!

Jodie of Jodie Pilates: I would like to know your opinion on ginseng, specifically for energy. Are there any other supplements you can suggest for energy?

Prevention RD: Caffeine and ginseng are the two most natural stimulants that come to mind. I recently started taking ginseng for my blood glucose and have noticed no increase in energy*. However, ginseng is most commonly found in large doses in energy drinks, such as Red Bull and Monster and is most “famous” for its stimulant-effects. I feel both caffeine and ginseng can be a part of a healthy diet, but I think a good night’s sleep is the best energy boost of all! 😉 Note: If you do utilize ginseng or caffeine, do so earlier in the day to help avoid sleep disturbances.

*Ginseng is working beautifully in lowering my fasting blood glucose, however! My fasting blood sugars have gone from 95-103 mg/dl into a much preferred 83-90 mg/dl range. In less than a week, I am SO pleased with the results!

Liz in Dallas: My grandmother and my dad have both recently been put on low-salt diets. It is easy for them to deal with at home, since my grandmother and my mom cook all their own food and very rarely eat anything processed. The problem seems to be out at restaurants. Both of them eat out for lunch pretty much every day, and my grandmother also goes out to eat for dinner quite frequently. What should they be ordering to avoid sodium overload? Are there dishes that they should always avoid? What do you think are the most sneaky sources of sodium?

Prevention RD: Low-sodium “diets” are tough…really, really tough. Restaurants are notorious for using exorbitant amounts of salt. If it’s possible, your grandmother and dad could decrease the frequency of meals out, or dine at restaurants with published nutrition information (e.g. Chili’s, Applebees, Subway, etc.) so they are sure to make a salt-friendly meal selection. If meals out are a must, there is plenty to know, however! Anything breaded or fried is going to have more salt, so looking for key words on menus such as baked, broiled, steamed, and grilled can be helpful in reducing salt. Chips, fries, and other side dishes such as potato salad are also high in sodium, as are sauces, dressings, and other condiments. Because sodium is hidden in just about everything, the best thing to do at restaurants is to exercise portion control, especially since the portion sizes are generally rather large. When ordering food at a restaurant, they can ask the server to put dressings and sauces on the side so they can control how much they consume. And it’s always an option to take home half their meal and have a small snack before and/or after dining out. Sharing meals is another great option. Best of luck to them! Great question 🙂

Lena of LMC in the World: I read an article in a recent Economist magazine about the trend of raw milk. It was saying there are some nutritional benefits which are eliminated in the pasteurization process and some people are selling/buying raw milk. Had you heard of this trend? It also said the FDA has not identified any nutritional benefits and there are still a number of laws to restrict the sale of raw milk because it can be dangerous. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Prevention RD: What a great question! This is a HOT trend right now, you betcha! Raw milk and dairy simply not been pasteurized, as you stated. Unpasteurized dairy can contain harmful and potentially fatal bacteria including E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella. The National Dairy Council, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control, American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among others, endorse pasteurized milk and dairy. According to the National Dairy Council there is no scientific evidence to suggest that there is any nutritional benefit to raw milk and dairy of that which has been pasteurized. In fact, pasteurized milk is fortified with vitamin D, making is a more nutritionally desirable product over raw milk. And did you know that it is actually illegal to sell raw milk in some US states? Check out your local raw milk and dairy laws if you choose to consume raw dairy. While raw milk and dairy carries some risk of bacterial contamination, I think the larger issue is knowing where the products come from and the cleanliness of the site. I know there are many raw milk and dairy advocates out there, but I tend to side with the majority on this one. Would I try raw milk or dairy from a dairy I trusted? Probably. Is it recommended for the young, old, or uninsured? Probably not. 😉

I’ll leave you with a picture of my sleepy girl after her day at camp. She snored ALL night!

Question: What supplements do you take and why?

Happy half-way to Friday!

Advertisements

34 Comments

Filed under blog topic request, blood glucose, coffee, complimentary and alternative nutrition, condiments, diabetes, dietitians, dining out, enriched/fortified, farming, fast food, food safety, hypertension, minerals, raw food/rawism, restaurant, sleep, sodium, supplements, vitamins

Coconut Water: Health Food or Health Fad?

[source]

Good news, coconut water lovers! Unlike the questionable coconut oil, I give coconut water 2 thumbs straight up!

As I was trying to stay awake on the red eye to Columbus last night, I found myself purusing the pages of my ADA Times. Highlighted as a consumer trend, coconut water was discussed. And appropriately so. I would go so far as to argue that coconut water is one of the biggest trends in nutrition today.

[source]

Coconut water, unlike coconut milk, is found inside young, green coconuts. The water is thin and filmy with a distinct flavor and mild sweetness. Comercially-sold coconut waters are pasteurized to prevent from food borne illness. However, DO NOT keep coconut water for more than a day in the refrigerator once opened.

Coconut water contains plentiful amounts of electrolytes and minerals making it a most desirable form of all-natural hydration and nutrient replenishment for athletes and exercisers. One cup of coconut water contains 46 calories, less than 0.5 grams of fat, and is a good source of fiber (3 grams), magnesium (60 milligrams), potassium (600 milligrams), and vitamin C. A single cup also provides 252 milligrams of sodium and 9 grams of carbohydrate. A preferred list of stats compared to a cup of Gatorade offering 50 calories, 110 milligrams of sodium, a mere 30 milligrams of potassium, 14 grams of carbohydrate, and no fiber.

Added bonus: taste! Mmmm!

Off to have diner and drinks with fellow dietitian and blogger, GINA! I’m excited!

I hope to catch up with everyone soon, but we are busy busy busy while in Columbus! Lots going on, but more details on major life changes soon!

Question: Have you ever tried coconut water? Did you know its health benefits before now?

Nearly Friday,

17 Comments

Filed under blog, carbohydrates, dietitians, dinner, exercise, fiber, food safety, friends, minerals, physical activity, sodium, supplements, vitamins

Goitrogenic Foods

Hypothyroidism is one of those whispered-about diagnoses out there that people commonly misunderstand. If a person is struggling with their weight, you’ll commonly hear, “Maybe I have a thyroid problem”. Sure, maybe so. But trust me, hypothyroidism is much more complex than that.

A recent email from a reader, Liz (Hi Liz!) spurred this topic today. When she put in the blog topic request I had a “Doh!” moment. What a great topic to blog about…thank you, Liz!

Hypothyroidism is an very common endocrine disorder which results from underactive thyroid hormone. This thyroid hormone deficiency can be the result of several happenings. But I’m not a physician, so I won’t even go there 🙂 However, you can read all about the pathophysiology. While hypothyroidism is common, mortality rates are incredibly rare. The highest rates of hypothyroidism are found among Caucasian, elderly females.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism include: fatigues, loss of energy, lethargy, weight gain, decreased appetite, sensitivity to cold, dry skin, hair loss, muscle and joint pain, depression, forgetfulness, menstrual irregularities, decreased perspiration, blurred vision, auditory loss, hoarseness, neck and throat pain, thyroid enlargement, fever, goiter, jaundice, bradycardia, and pitting edema. Other biometric symptoms of hypothyroidism include: anemia, dilutional hyponatremia, hyperlipidemia, and elevated creatinine. Phew.

The primary causes of hypothyroidism include iodine deficiency and in developed countries, autoimmune disorder.

As for the diet, there are several recommendations those with hypothyroidism should consider, including:

  • Limiting goitrogenic foods (i.e. brussel’s sprouts, kohlrabi, turnips, rutabaga, radishes, cabbage, kale, and cauliflower). If you choose to consume these foods, do so in moderation and preferably after being cooked.
  • Taking a multivitamin supplement
  • Take vitamins, minerals (e.g. iron, calcium, and vitamin D) 4 hours before or after thyroid medication
  • Consider adopting a low-residue (low-fiber) diet if your medical provider feels your medication is not being properly absorbed
  • Find an endocrinologist you love. A good endocrinologist is worth their weight in gold. Endocrine disorders, such as hypothyroidism, should be treated by an endocrinologist.
  • Limit or avoid soy as it can act as a hormone mnemic.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

And one last recipe tribute to PAPRIKA, Blogger Secret Ingredient for the week!

Grilled Halibut Cod with Peach and Pepper Salsa adapted from Cooking Light June 2010

Salsa:
2 1/2  cups  coarsely chopped peeled yellow peaches (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 1/3  cups  chopped red bell pepper (about 1 large)
1/2  cup  thinly sliced green onions
1/2  cup  chopped fresh arugula
1/3  cup  fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
2  tablespoons  chopped fresh oregano
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1  habanero pepper, seeded and minced
1  garlic clove, minced

Fish:
2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
2  tablespoons olive oil
1  teaspoon smoked paprika
2  garlic cloves, minced
6  (6-ounce) skinless halibut cod fillets
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray

Directions:

To prepare salsa, combine first 9 ingredients; toss gently. Let stand 30 minutes before serving.
Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

To prepare fish, combine 2 tablespoons juice, oil, paprika, and 2 garlic cloves in a large, shallow glass baking dish, stirring with a whisk. Add fish to juice mixture; turn to coat. Cover and let stand 15 minutes.

Remove fish from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle fish evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Place fish on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Serve fish with salsa. Serves 6 (1 fish filet and 2/3 cup salsa per serving).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 267 calories; 8.6 g. fat (1.2 g. saturated fat, 4.6 monounsaturated, 1.8 g. polyunsaturated); 35.5 g. protein; 11.8 g. carbohydrate; 2.3 g. fiber; 52 mg. cholesterol; 389 mg. sodium

Result: This was really good! The habanero gives a fun zing to the citrus of the salsa. Very light and again, featured not only paprika, but also the grill. I am LOVING the easy clean-up that accompanies cooking on the grill 😀

And a Lily (or should I say Lily’s tongue?) appearance, per Mari’s request 😉

Off to work 😦 I am typically off on Fridays but since Monday was a holiday…off I go…after stopping by Panera for bagels to appease my co-workers 😉

Question: Had you previously heard of goitrogenic foods? Any fun weekend plans? 😀

P.S. Don’t forget to submit BSI entries by Sunday at 5pm CT!

Brainstorming my happy hour selection,

30 Comments

Filed under alcohol, blog topic request, breakfast, challenge, Cooking Light, diet, dietitians, dinner, doctors, dog, fruits and vegetables, garlic, grilling, guilt-free, healthy cooking, hormones, low-carb, minerals, MUFAs and PUFAs, pets, recipe, US health care, vitamins, weight gain, work

Loose Flexie

I find dietary preferences fascinating, especially those that differ from my own.

I received an email this week from a reader, who will remain anonymous. The reader wanted me to analyze her intake. I did. I made a lot of recommendations, including eating more calories, healthy fats, and fiber, as well as getting 2+ servings of calcium-rich foods each day.

The reader responded saying she borders on veganism and would prefer to get her dairy from animal-free sources. I recommended calcium citrate supplements.

I get why people shy away from meat and dairy. I do, I really, really do. So much involving meat and dairy is unclean, unethical, costly, and not always so healthy. Yet, as we cut out major food groups, we run into nutritional deficiencies. If our body requires these nutrients, why do we cut out the most concentrated sources in which they’re found? Seems…odd, no?

I try and support all lifestyles, especially those surrounding food, but I do find this curious and somewhat ironic. As a blanket statement, many vegetarians and vegans eat the way they do for health reasons…many of which I agree with (strongly plant-based diets rock!). And yet these restrictions result in laborious micromanagement of the diet to ensure nutritional needs are being met…and more times than not, supplementation (talk about unethical, costly, and often unsafe). Supplements are not regulated by the FDA, and the 3rd party tested supplements cost a small fortune — certainly more than the difference between feed lot and ethical, organic meat and dairy, anyways.

Funny story.

Last week during my employee taste test at work, I served the Pork Carnitas recipe I raved about recently (employees loved it, too!). One of our doctors who usually participates in the taste tests opted out of this taste test because she abstains from eating pork. One of our nurses asked, “Doc, can I ask why you don’t eat pork?” The doctor recited some facts about the cleanliness (or lack thereof) of pigs and how they were inferior sanitary-wise to other animals. The nurse politely thanked the doctor for explaining and after a few moments, the doctor had left the break room. The nurse wasted no time in turning to me to say, “Apparently she’s never seen a chicken.” 😉 True or not, I found it amusing. And valid.

I think my “take” on food lifestyles is scientifically biased because I see the health benefits in all food groups and they way they impact everything from weight loss to chronic disease management. And this is why I am an Flexitarian-Everythingatarian (a “Loose Flexie” as I lovingly refer to my eating preferences).

Question: Are you an Everythingatarian? Vegetarian? Vegan? Raw vegan? Pescatarian? Flexitarian? Loose Flexie? Any why?

…And how about those DO what you DON’T challenge goals? Still holding strong? Nearly one week in!

Happy Hump Day!


50 Comments

Filed under challenge, chronic disease, diet, dietitians, doctors, enriched/fortified, farming, Flexitarian Diet, meat consumption, minerals, protein, recipe, supplements, US Pharmacopeia, vegan, vitamins, weight loss, work

Q&A + garden + renal failure

Gooooooooood morning, Friday!

I have a 7am hair appointment (weird time, I agree) and then I’m off to Houston to see my BFF for the weekend! I’m really excited! I don’t know that we have anything in particular planned other than a day trip to Galvelston. I will bring my beloved laptop and try to check in at some point!! But if you don’t hear from me, I’m enjoying the Houston sun! 😀

But not before a Q&A…!

Heather of Get Healthy with Heather: I used to have big issues with lactose but now it seems to only happen with non fat dairy products. Do you know why that could be?

Prevention RD: Okay, I’m making a deduction here. RD’s chime in if you have any ideas on this! When fat is taken out of products – sugar is put in. For example, whole milk has less “sugar” (carbohydrate) than fat-free milk. This sugar is in the form of lactose in dairy products. All products are going to vary based on the brand, so start checking out the carbohydrate content on your whole fat versus low-fat versus fat-free dairy products. I’ll bet this is the issue! While only a small change, chances are your body has its “happy zone” for lactose tolerance. GREAT question…got me thinkin’! 😉

Bridget: I just discovered your site recently, and I have a topic request: my husband (who had not had a physical for nearly 10 years) and I got back our annual physical results today. It turns out that he has a shockingly high triglycerides count: 574! Our doctor is going to start him on nicotinic acid medication to get his triglycerides down, since she says that it could cause pancreas damage at its current level. She wants to check his blood again in 6 weeks. Obviously I don’t want him to be on medication forever, so I am going to research what we can do from a dietary standpoint. She says to decrease sugar intake in his diet–do you have any other info on what might help him?

Prevention RD: So glad you found me! While 574 is a high value and he does risk pancreatitis with such high levels, I have seen much worse! Like…5,000+!! Crazy, huh? More like scary, really. Triglycerides are largely influenced by the diet because the value represents the lipid (fat) found in the blood. Weight loss, lower calorie intake, limited alcohol intake, and reduced carbohydrate (simple carbohydrates – i.e. sugar, white flour, sodas, juices, sweets, etc.) intake help lower triglycerides. A low saturated and trans fat diet should be implemented and healthy fats (mono and polyunsaturated fats) should be increased (e.g. nuts, seeds, natural nut butters, avocados, canola oil, olive oil, etc.). Additionally, I recommend 3,000 milligrams of omega-3/fish oil supplementation a day. Omega 3’s work beautifully to lower triglycerides. Good luck to your hubby! Great question!

Kenya: Does water maintain its health benefits if I add one of those sugar free sweeteners like Crystal Light or does it really just become more like a ‘kool-aid’ type of drink?

Prevention RD: I am not opposed to these beverages because they encourage calorie-free, caffeine-free beverage choices. Is it preferred to water? Nah (because of the artificial sweeteners and preservatives). But I think it’s WAY better to consume those products to help stay properly hydrated versus not consuming enough liquids each day. I think a good rule of thumb is to have at least half of your water needs each day coming from water and the rest from caffeine-free, calorie-free beverages (i.e. flavored waters, Crystal Light, Fit and Active, etc.), if needed. Good question!!

John of Challenges 2010: I came across something where it’s said green tea can block testosterone and that black tea would be better for males. What do you think?

Prevention RD: I checked with the ADA, MayoClinic, and WebMD which report nothing of the like. I’ve never heard of this before so I also ran it past our medical providers. None of them batted an eye in recognition of this as an issue. A Google search turned up nothing but body building and supplement sites. Sketch! I’m going to suggest an “everything in moderation” approach. 🙂

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

GARDEN UPDATE!!!

I have some growth!!! 4 days later and we’re in gardening business!!! 😀

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Today’s NNM Topic: Renal Failure

Today’s topic is renal failure because so much of the renal failure in the US is secondary to uncontrolled diabetes, yesterday’s topic. Elevated blood glucose can cause scarring to the delicate and intricate renal nephrons which comprise the kidneys. During the beginning stages of renal failure, protein, sodium, potassium, and phosphorus may be limited to help preserve kidney function. These electrolytes are closely monitored to ensure proper fluid and pH balance, among other things.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, 30% of type 1 diabetics and 10-40% of type 2 diabetics develop kidney disease. Once the kidneys fail transplant or dialysis are required to live. When the kidneys can no longer clean the blood of waste and fluid, dialysis must be initiated. Dialysis sessions typically last 3-4 hours and must be completed several times a week.

Kidney failure due to uncontrolled diabetes is a very scary reality.

Question: Where was the last vacation or getaway you took? Any fun weekend plans?

Enjoy the weekend!!

32 Comments

Filed under artificial sweeteners, aspartame, blog topic request, blood glucose, diabetes, diet, dietitians, doctors, fish oil/omega-3's, friends, garden, minerals, MUFAs and PUFAs, physicians, protein, saturated fat, sodium, sugar substitutes, supplements, trans fat, travel, vitamins, water, weight loss, work

Happy National Registered Dietitian Day!

Happy National Registered Dietitian Day to all my fellow RD’s and bloggers…!!!

Gina of Candid RD
Estela of Weekly Bite
Melinda of Nutrition, Food, Travel, and More
Rebecca of Chow and Chatter
Kristen of Eating RD
Kristen of Swanky Dietitian
Nour of Practical Nutrition
Georgie of Ask Georgie
Nicole of Nicole Geurin, RD
Anthony of From a Dietitian’s Perspective

I hope I’m not missing anyone! RD’s, chime in! Happy RD Day to you, too!

This is my 2nd National RD Day as I became a dietitian last March! March 8th to be exact! I passed the RD exam just in time to celebrate last year! Dietitians are the registered (and licensed in most states) professionals in diet and nutrition. I urge you to check out the above bloggers and learn lots from them just like I do! Nutrition is a forever evolving field and we are constantly learning together. If you saw my post from Monday on “real food” you know there are some extremists out there who have no credentialing to back up their claims. As wonderful as the Blogosphere is, always be weary and cautious of any off-the-wall posts or ideas. Anyone can be a blogger, but not everyone is a Registered Dietitian! 😀

If you ever think of a nutrition-related question, send it on over to PreventionRD@gmail.com. My weekly Q&A’s help give accurate and helpful nutrition information to topics YOU want to know more about! Never hesitate to ask! 😉

So, Happy RD Day to all the dietitians out there! Cheers to a wonderful and rewarding career committed to making people healthier and happier one bite at a time!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I must also update you on my garden! This past weekend I planted all my seedlings in starter kits (which are toasty under our bed).

…And painted my garden….WHITE. I was going for red, but the fencing to keep Miss Lily out only came in white. And I can’t have an un-stylish, mismatched garden!!! I’m really happy with the final product!

Total Cost: $343 (ahhh!)

I purchased a large planter and soil for basil after a recommendation from a reader to keep the basil out of direct sunglight some of the day. I feared the Oklahoma heat would just smolder the basil and I need basil to support my love of pesto which is currently costing a small fortune to buy in stores! I also picked up paint, fencing, and steaks to make where my vegetables are growing.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Today’s NNM Topic: Hypertension

Stoke is the 3rd leading cause of death and is often exacerbated by the “silent killer”: hypertension (high blood pressure). Blood pressure refers to the force of blood agansty artery walls. Over time, too much force on the arteries can cause hardening of the arteries.

There are a lot of ways to control high blood pressure through diet and lifestyle changes, including:

Limiting sodium in the diet to 1,500 milligrams a day (2,300 milligrams in non-hypertensive individuals)
Smoking cessation
Exercise
Stress management
Potassium, magnesium, and calcium
Eating a high-fiber diet containing lots of fruits and vegetables
Reduce cholesterol, trans fat, and saturated fat intake
Reduce red meat intake
Limit simple sugars and sweets

Hi from Lily!!!

Happy RD Day to those celebrating! And Happy Hump Day to everyone!

Q&A on Friday — send in those questions! 😀

Be well,

43 Comments

Filed under American Dietetic Association, blog, cholesterol, diet, dietitians, exercise, fiber, fruits and vegetables, garden, heart health, hypertension, minerals, National Nutrition Month, pets, physical activity, saturated fat, sodium, stress, trans fat, volumetrics

Oh, the irony! …and a Q&A

John asked a question last week on my Q&A regarding Arborio rice and it’s nutritional benefits. Or lack thereof. Oops. You know, like a kid told not to touch an open flame, I went and made an Arborio recipe (because 24 1/2 years was too long to go without this treat). But I blame Kerstin for this…her recipes are all too enticing! Behold:

Gruyere Risotto with Asparagus and Mushrooms adapted from Cake, Batter, and Bowl

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups 1 large bunch asparagus, chopped
2 cups mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter Smart Balance Light
1 yellow onion, 3 small shallots, chopped (I didn’t have an onion! The shallots were awesome!)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup Arborio rice, dry
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese (approx. 7 ounces)
2 tablespoons 1/4 cup lemon juice (juice from one lemon)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large pan and sauté asparagus and mushrooms until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, melt butter over medium high heat in a large stockpot. Sauté the onion for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender; add garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Add the rice and stir until well-coated and translucent. Reduce heat to medium and stir in 1 cup of chicken stock. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the stock has been absorbed; add another cup and continue in this way until all the chicken stock has been absorbed, for about 30 minutes. Stir in gruyere cheese, lemon juice, and salt and simmer an additional 5 minutes or until desired consistency is reached. Stir in asparagus and mushrooms. Scoop into bowls and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. Makes 5 servings.

Nutrition Information (1/5th of recipe): 382 calories, 18 g. fat, 40 mg. cholesterol; 610 mg. sodium; 33 g. carbohydrate; 1.4 g. fiber, 19.2 g. protein per serving

Ok, sure…not the best stats, but this recipe is a W-O-W recipe! You know, the kind you make for a special someone you’re trying to impress…or when your in-laws come to town (my in-laws read my blog AND they’re amazing, so this doesn’t apply to me, of course!). At least it has vegetables!? But yeah, Gruyere doesn’t come in a low-fat version to my knowledge 😉 But MAN, it is GOOD! My husband was so sweet to me tonight. I got a, “Thanks for making dinner, babe! It tastes really Italian.”

::blink blink:: Thumbs upppppppppp!

And on to the brief (but good!) Q&A for the week…

…Or possible known as the once-a-week, really long, exhaustively detailed posts!

Biz of Biggest Diabetic Loser: If I know I am going to have a hard workout, I tend to give myself a bit less insulin at breakfast so my blood sugar doesn’t crash and burn. Take today for instance – I was 180 before working out, and when I got back it was a perfect 102.  I then took the right amount of insulin for my lunch. Do you think having that “temporary” high will hurt me in the long run? My blood sugar numbers on average for 30 days are between 116 and 125.

Prevention RD: For those of you who don’t know Biz, she is a type 1 diabetic and author of the wonderful blog, Biggest Diabetic Loser. I feel comfortable answering this because I know your HbA1c is just below 7.0% — my answer would vary for someone with a higher HbA1c. I think that if this is working for you, you’re fine to continue with this regimen (especially if you’re on an insulin pump, which I’m not sure if you are or not…). The one option you have is to take a ligher dose of insulin with breakfast – bolus for maybe half the carbs you consume with whatever carb:insulin ratio you use and exercise with a G2/water or water/juice mix and drink that throughout your workout. This would have you starting your workout closer to a 120-140 mg/dl reading (I wouldn’t recommend below 120 to start in case you don’t intake enough and risk bottoming out) and fueling your blood glucose as the exercise works to decrease the glucose, hypothetically keeping you right in the 100-130 range throughout the duration of your exercise. If you decide to take this approach, I would certainly have your monitor nearby and come prepared – glucose tabs, honey or whatever agent you use in emergency hypoglycemic instances. I do feel there could be some benefit in your HbA1c if you’re able to prevention missing any insulin doses in light of working out. It may take some trial and error to work out any kinks, but it can be done! The key with type 1 diabetes and exercise is consistency. I say it all the time – diabetics know their bodies better than ANYONE else…even the best of doctors and endocrinologists out there. I hope this makes sense and keep me posted – I want to know what you decide to try out, if anything! Awesome make-Nicole-think question! P.S. I ran this past both our Diabetes Nurse and one of the doctors on staff today, and they agreed! 🙂

Molly: I’ve been meaning to ask this question for quite some time.  I’d say I live a healthy life style; working out regularly and watching what I eat.  I try to eat  as balanced of a diet as I can, getting the right amount of good fats, proteins and carbohydrates.  But one thing that will ALWAYS be hard for me to control is my love for salt.  I definitely love salty over sweet and almost always salt my food (even if it doesn’t need it).  What I try and do to compensate for my love of salt is drink A LOT of water…I mean a lot.  I feel as though this will some how help or “reverse” the effects.  Is it crazy for me to think that or is there actually some logic behind it?

Prevention RD: Hey Molly! Good question! I have to put in my plug on the importance of a low-sodium diet. Salt is a hard habit to kick, so don’t wait until you’re any more set in your ways to change! The majority of the salt we ingest is present in our food through the processing it undergoes, so any additional salt to our diet is likely too much. Excessive salt intake can cause serious electrolyte imbalances, water retention, and hypertension – also known as “the silent killer”. Having high blood pressure puts undue strain on every vessel in our bodies and over time, this can cause serious internal damage and lead to strokes and cardiovascular disease. While I am catastrophizing (not a word…) some, it is a serious matter. Make sure you get your blood pressure checked regularly and exercise is definitely a huge help! How much water are you drinking? Large loads of sodium can off-set the sodium balance of the body and thirst does increase when this balance is off. If your high water intake is habitual that sounds fine, but if your thirst seems excessive, this could indicate a sodium in balance in the body. If this is the case, I would look to decrease your salt usage even more so. Another thing to consider is increasing your intake of potassium; potassium and sodium work together in the body to carry impulses through the body which are vital for proper health. Using less processed foods and cooking from scratch can help lower the salt in your diet without changing the content too much. But as far as water actually flushing out all the sodium, this isn’t really the case. Water can help ease the effects of bloating, but it doesn’t reverse salt intake. Sorry! Great question!!

Anonymous: I’ve read a lot about agave nectar being just as bad as sugar – is this true?

Prevention RD: I’m sure you’ve seen this claim a lot – it’s all over right now! Agave is the natural sweetener that comes from the same Mexican plant used to make tequila! Agave has similar calorie and carbohydrate content to sugar, however agave is three times sweeter and thus requires less to achieve the same sweetness. Agave can be up to 90% fructose – the natural sugar found in fruits which has a lower glycemic index than sugar itself. While agave nectar is a tasty, all-natural sweetener, it is still a high-calorie sweetener that should be used in moderation. Until we find a 100% all-natural, organic, calorie-free, perfectly safe sweetener, we will be able to find a problem with any other sweetener for one reason or another! People hear that something is “good” or “healthy” and they take that to mean more is better, and that’s just not the case. Really great question!

Alison of Waisting Duxie: I am trying to conceive. Can I get too much folic acid? Most supplements are 800 mcg, the supplement that I am taking to lengthen my luteal phase (gotta love pre-menopausal in my mid 30s) has 200 mg and I’m supposed to take it 3 times a day, BUT I often forget.  Is it better to take the 800 one in the morning when I know I won’t forget and then maybe get 400 more over the day? How much does a typical diet high in dark leafy green veggies add and ultimately is this one of those vitamins you can overdo.

Prevention RD: The “tolerable upper limit” for folate is 1000 micrograms a day, though risk for toxicity is low. Because so many foods in the US food supply are fortified and enriched, most Americans meet the 400 mcg recommended daily value. What I am unable to locate is any folic acid recommendations to lengthening of your luteal phase. Best as I can tell and rationalize, you shouldn’t need additional folic acid and 800 mcg’s should be more than sufficient. I would not recommend taking over 1,000 mcg’s a day as this exceeds the upper limit. Check with your doctor regarding the 3 doses a day. Other than better chances of absorption, I don’t know of any other rationale for the frequent dosing, but I’m not a MD! I hope this helps – really interesting question! And congrats to you in starting a family! 😀

Happppppppppy Hump Day! Half way there, folks!

Question #1: What vitamins, minerals, or other supplements do you take?

Question #2: What’s your take on agave nectar? Like? Dislike? Healthy? Not-so-healthy?

46 Comments

Filed under artificial sweeteners, blog topic request, blood glucose, butter, carbohydrates, convenience foods, diabetes, diet, dietitians, dinner, doctors, enriched/fortified, entertaining, exercise, fruits and vegetables, garlic, glycemic index, hormones, minerals, physical activity, physicians, prescription drug, recipe, saturated fat, sodium, sugar substitutes, supplements, water, work