Oct
22
Food and Mood: How Diet Can Help Manage Depression
By Anne Danahy MS RDN

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Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States. Severe depression can impact a person’s quality of life and their ability to function throughout the day. Treatment with medication and therapy helps millions. However, nutrition is often overlooked, although it can be an important part of treatment. In many cases, improving one’s diet can go a long way toward managing symptoms of depression.



Facts About Depression


Major depressive disorder affects more than 16 million Americans. Most are women, and the average age at onset is 32.5. (1)


About half of those with depression are also diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. (1)


Some m...


Sep
22
Plant-Based Diets: Can They Be Too High in Carbs for Diabetes?
By Anne Danahy MS RDN


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It’s no secret that eating more plants is good for everyone’s health. The nutrients and antioxidants they provide protect cells from oxidative damage and inflammation. That may in turn, reduce the risk of developing many chronic diseases, including diabetes.



However, people with prediabetes or diabetes often ask whether diets that restrict animal protein are a good choice for managing blood sugar. Or are they too high in carbohydrates? Here’s a look at some current research and recommendations for patients regarding vegetarian and vegan diets.



Research on Diabetes and Vegetarian Diets


Vegetarian diets can range from vegan, which restricts all animal foods, to those which i...


Sep
08
What New Food is in Your Food?
By Lisa Andrews Med RD LD

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Food trends come and go. One year, kale is the latest food in the culinary spotlight, being added to smoothies, salads and sold as chips. The next, avocados are America’s sweetheart. While both of these super foods are still in style and highly sought after, a few other ingredients and trends are making their way to your local grocery. Here’s a review of the top 5 latest food trends to look out for.


1. Pea protein- Americans are becoming increasingly concerned about their health and the health of the environment, which is a good thing. As we move away from animal-based products, plant-based proteins remain popular. Pea protein, made from yellow peas, may be found in anything fro...


Jul
28
School Nutrition in the Age of a Pandemic
By Lisa Andrews Med RD LD

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It’s August! A time when students are getting ready to return to school. While many of us think of school as a place to learn and socialize, families suffering food insecurity may see it as a place to eat. Many schools operate year-round to keep kids fed during the summer months.


Summer feeding


Dietitian Donna Martin, Director of Burke County School Nutrition Program in Atlanta has been working all summer with her staff of 50+ people, feeding roughly 4,000 students a day. “Food is either being picked up by families or being delivered by buses. While it’s been more difficult due to COVID19, the silver lining is that, food that was going to be used by restaurants has been d...


Jul
03
Summer Salads
By Lisa Andrews Med RD LD

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With temperatures rising, the last thing people want to endure is more heat, especially in their kitchens. Summer is the perfect ‘thyme’ to enjoy seasonal produce from your garden, farmer’s market or grocery. There’s plenty of creative meals that can be made from fresh produce and pantry staples.


In addition to keeping the heat down, research shows that plant-based diets reduce the incidence of certain cancers, diabetes, heart disease and obesity. 1 Plant-based proteins such as legumes, lentils, nuts/seeds and soy-based products are becoming more popular for their health benefits including fiber, heart-healthy fat and phytochemicals. 2 These protein sources are also ...


Jun
17
3 Reasons Less Meat is Best for Men
By Lisa Andrews Med RD LD



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It’s no coincidence that Men’s Health month coincides with Father’s Day in June. It’s a perfect time of year to celebrate the favorite men in your life. June also follows Memorial Day- the official kick off of grilling season!


Unfortunately, this grilling season may be quite a bit different than last year. COVID19 has altered our meat supply in several ways. While farms in America haven plenty of animals raised for meat production, several meat production plants were initially shut down due to coronavirus amongst workers. Amongst those who were forced to close this spring was Tyson meats. Typically known for chicken, Tyson also processes pork and beef. A recent report...


Jun
03
How Does Your Garden Grow?
By Lisa Andrews Med RD LD

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There may be an international pandemic happening, but it’s also gloriously spring! And what does spring bring? Flowers and vegetables for many green-thumbed dietitians across the US.


In addition to getting people outside, gardening offers many other health benefits. Mental health experts note that digging in the dirt and gardening reduces stress and anxiety, improves attention, and lowers cortisol levels. 1 Raising your own food also improves self-reliance, reduces trips to the grocery store, saves money and increases consumption of produce. 2 ‘Lettuce’ take a look at what several dietitians are cultivating this spring.


Kelly Blake, RDN, LD, IFNCP, owner of Nutrisensenutri...


May
15
5 Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet Beyond Heart Health
By Anne Danahy MS RDN


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The Mediterranean Diet deserves attention all year, but it gets some extra love during the month of May, as we celebrate International Mediterranean Diet Month. The Mediterranean diet food pyramid was created in 1993 by Oldways, a food and nutrition education nonprofit, in partnership with Harvard Medical School and the World Health Organization.



Although the official named diet has existed for less than 30 years, it’s the same plant-forward, seafood and olive oil-rich diet that people in countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea have eaten forever. And the more this diet pattern is researched, the more nutrition experts are convinced – the best way to reclaim our health i...


Apr
20
Tips for Working with Patients in Alcohol Recovery
By Anne Danahy MS RDN


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More than 14 million U.S. adults have alcohol use disorder (AUD), defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease characterized by the inability to control or stop drinking alcohol – despite negative consequences. AUD includes both alcohol abuse (as with binge drinking), and alcohol dependence. (1)



Unfortunately, less than 10% of those with AUD seek treatment. (1) For those who do enter into treatment programs, a multi-specialty approach that includes medical, behavioral, and nutrition therapy can increase their chances of recovery. Some addiction treatment centers employ dietitians as part of a recovery team, but often it’s lacking. If you work in a general outpatient practice,...


Mar
06
Lettuce Beet Hunger
By Lisa Andrews Med RD LD

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While most of us are celebrating National Nutrition Month with plenty of food, over 37 million people are dealing with hunger in the US with over 11 million of them children, according to 2019 Feeding America Statistics. 1 We may just think of food insecurity as “missing a few meals”, but the problem is much bigger. Children that suffer food insecurity deal with lifelong effects on their growth, behavior, education and even earning potential. Carinne Deeds, a Policy Associate at the American Youth Policy Forum notes that kids in food insecure homes are behind their food-secure peers in cognitive, emotional and physical development. They are also more likely to be hospitalized du...