Oct
20
Filed Under (Nutrition) by Kate Pilewski, M.P.H. on 20-10-2014 and tagged , , , , , , ,

Blog author: Toni Ann Apadula, RDN, LDN, CEDRD

As a dietitian I am often asked questions about soy foods acting like estrogen in the body, are they safe? Do they contribute to causing breast cancer? I will admit over the years the information has been varied, but for the past several years researchers have found more and more information confirming that eating soy in moderation even as a breast cancer survivor is not a problem.

Since it is breast cancer awareness month I decided to do some additional research and explain for you in more detail.

First of all let’s think about where you might find soy in the diet, the following is a list of dietary sources:

 

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By Nutrition Intern Lauren Hagedorn

Swimming in a sea of conflicting nutrition advice? Have no fear! “The Big Three” are here!BYP_logo

“The Big Three” tutorials are streamlined guides to understanding carbs, proteins, and fats. Complete with colorful pictures (featuring some of your fellow Dukies!) and “take-home messages,” these user-friendly tutorials offer the basics on the 3 essential macronutrients – what they are, where to find them, why they’re important, and how much our bodies need to succeed!

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Sep
22

In the past we discussed options for sugar substitutes, such as honey, agave nectar, and brown rice syrup – all tasty options to sweeten your food or beverage, but that do come with a caloric punch. This week, we’ll dedicate our post to the sweeteners that are calorie-free, yet a bit controversial – artificial sweeteners. Think of those colored packets on your restaurant table, diet cola, sugar-free gum and candy, and sugar-free yogurt or ice cream to name a few – artificially sweetened substances are all around. But what are they? These synthetic sugar substitutes are sometimes derived from natural substances, such as herbs or even table sugar.  These sweeteners are many times sweeter than regular sugar and are sometimes called “intense sweeteners.”

Possible health benefits?  On one hand, artificial sweeteners don’t contain any calories, so you may think of them as a way to lower your calorie intake. However, research indicates this may not be the case, and it’s been suggested that consuming these artificial sweeteners may be associated with no change in weight or in some, an increase in weight.  On the other hand, artificial sweeteners don’t contribute to tooth decay like sugar can.

Possible health risks? 

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Sep
07
Filed Under (Nutrition) by Kate Pilewski, M.P.H. on 07-09-2014 and tagged , , , ,

Guest blogger Rebecca Cray, Student Nutrition Intern

In the past few days, news of a recent study praising the health benefits of a low-carb diet has spread like wildfire through headlines and across the Internet.  Good Morning America featured a segment entitled, “Low-Carb May Trump Low-Fat in Diet Wars” and urged listeners to “back away from the bagel” if they were watching their figures.  TIME magazine exclaimed, “If you’re trying to lose weight, fat might be your friend” and was joined in the lipid lauding frenzy by National Public Radio whose online article leads with “Turns out, eating foods with fat…doesn’t make us fat.”  The New York Times, where I and many other students I know turn for breaking news, issued “A Call for a Low-Carb Diet” and it quickly became the most emailed story on the day of its publication.  But before we as readers get too caught up by these attention-grabbing statements, it’s important to investigate what’s really lying beneath the headlines.

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Aug
25
Filed Under (Nutrition) by Kate Pilewski, M.P.H. on 25-08-2014 and tagged , , , , , ,

Contributed by Toni Ann Apadula, RDN, LDN, CEDRD, Duke Student Health Nutrition

Welcome to Duke!

Whether you are a first year student away from home for the first time, or returning as an upperclassman and ready to explore your dining options on West, you might want some tips about how to eat well on campus. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Think of healthy eating as having three components, timing, balance and mindfulness.

  1. Timing. Remember to eat regularly throughout the day; you can’t expect to get through your busy days if you don’t have energy (and food is energy!). A common mistake many students make is skipping meals or going too many hours without eating. If you have the First Year Board plan don’t forget to eat a small meal or snack to keep you going between meals.

If you are too hungry and faced with an “all you care to eat” meal option at dinner, you are likely to overeat. You might think you are getting your money’s worth, but your body will pay the price.

Think you are too busy to stop and eat? There are many options for grab and go meals and snacks on West campus or Trinity Café on East.

If you have time for a sit down meal midday that’s even better.  Check out your options here.

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Jul
09
Filed Under (Nutrition) by Kate Pilewski, M.P.H. on 09-07-2014 and tagged , , , , ,

Vacation-time to relax and indulge, right?  Relax, yes.  Indulge?  Somewhat.  If you use this time to feel like you can really let go, then perhaps you want to ask yourself, “what is it that I want to let go of?”. Because our days are often overscheduled and demanding, we look to our vacation as a time of no scheduling and no demands — including food.  Although doing this for a day or two may be fine, a whole week or more of “freedom eating” might present its challenges. It’s important to exhibit balance, which includes some indulgences that you like, to meet your nutritional needs.  To continue good habits while traveling, here are a few tips.

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Jun
10
Filed Under (Nutrition) by Kate Pilewski, M.P.H. on 10-06-2014 and tagged , , , , , ,

Reading the Huffington Post this week, I found yet another diet plan making its rounds.  This strategy asks that the user decide what type of body they have and then follow the recommendations of what to eat before, during and after a workout depending on his or her goals (weight loss, muscle gain, etc.).  So really it’s a diet plan masked as an exercise plan.  Now deciding on body type isn’t the most straightforward thing.  On a “good day” you may feel like an “ectomorph” but on the days where you don’t like your weight as much, you may estimate that you’re an “endomorph”.  Leaving it up to each person to make this decision leads to a wide range of recommendations.  There is certainly truth to the fact that certain types of bodies may have different nutrient needs because fundamentally this has to do with muscle mass. Some types are more prone to be muscular and because muscle burns calories far better than fat does, it would make sense that lean individuals may inherently eat a bit differently. Having said that, there are pros and cons to everything so after discussing with the nutrition team, here is what we’ve concluded.  We’ll start with the positives.

 

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May
12
Filed Under (Nutrition) by Kate Pilewski, M.P.H. on 12-05-2014 and tagged , , , , , ,

Contributed by:  Toni Ann Apadula,RD,LDN,CEDRD

You did it, finals are over and it is time for a couple of months away from the books. Whether you are working, taking a summer course, or have an internship lined up, chances are you will be traveling at some point during the summer months.

Let’s face it when traveling there isn’t an abundance of appetizing and energizing snack options, also eating on the road can be a budget buster. With a little advanced planning you can satisfy your taste buds and save yourself some time and money.

Here are our top picks for energizing snacks that travel well:

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Apr
28
Filed Under (Nutrition) by Kate Pilewski, M.P.H. on 28-04-2014 and tagged , , , , ,

You’ve worked hard and deserve to celebrate milestones-whether it is the last day of classes (LDOC), graduation, or your birthday.  I’m a big fan of celebrating these events and am a believer in calories not counting on your birthday (birthDAY, not birthMONTH).  One day of celebratory eating does not mean that you’ve “fallen off the wagon” but can rather be part of an overall balanced and healthy diet.  That being said, there are so many good things in life that it’s important to know how to enjoy events while keeping your health goals in mind.

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Apr
14
Filed Under (Nutrition) by Kate Pilewski, M.P.H. on 14-04-2014 and tagged , , , , ,

Excuse me? When was the last time someone asked you about YOUR microbiota?  Most people don’t realize that our bodies are made up of more bacterial cells than human cells. “We are walking ecosystems, as our bodies are colonized from top to bottom by microbes that, not happy with behaving like guests, are actually integrated into our biology. “They help us digest food, shape our immune system, alter our metabolism and evidence is even starting to show that they affect the nervous system, influencing our mood and behaviour,” explainsJustin Sonnenburg, a microbiologist at Stanford University (USA).”
Keeping the microbiome, or the environment that the bacteria live in, optimal is key. As you might have guessed, this brings us to the discussion of our diets. Our GI bacteria, although very adaptive, love plant materials and fiber.   Those who follow vegan and vegetarian diets have different combinations of colonies in their guts, than carnivores, the bacteria in our colon actually help break down the fiber that other enzymes cannot.

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