Hannibal Regional Blog

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Our blog offers content about healthcare, healthy living and the culture at Hannibal Regional.


The Mediterranean Diet

A cross-cultural prospective study that began in 1958 lasted for 50 years, studying 7 countries having varied traditional eating patterns and lifestyles. The term “Mediterranean diet” was derived from the foods and lifestyle enjoyed by the people living in proximity to the Mediterranean Sea during the late 1940’’s, 50s and 60s. This population had surprisingly low rates of heart disease and long lifespans compared to most other populations. This diet, was locally sourced, and comprised of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, seafood, olive oil, some poultry and some dairy, occasionally red meat and red wine in moderation. Daily walking and physical activity was a way of life.

My top recommendations overall healthy eating habits:

  • Pack on the produce: veggies and fruit should be the main focus at meals and snacks.
  • Prioritize good-for-you fats: plant-based oils such as olive oil and other monounsaturated fats such as tree nuts.
  • Eat more seafood: fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines) served at least once a week.
  • Choose 100% whole grains: farro, buckwheat, bulgur, wheat, brown rice and oats, or products made with 100% whole wheat flour or grains.
  • Enjoy conscious indulgences: dark chocolate, dried fruits, sweets, and baked goods in moderation.
  • Think quality over quantity: limit/eliminate added sugar, refined grains, processed meats, and other high processed foods.
  • Provide enrichment — of multiple varieties: cooking with herbs and spices, enjoying favorite restaurants, and trying new flavors.

What makes this "diet" so great is that it’s a lifestyle, not a traditional weight-loss plan that has you counting calories or measuring portions. It's all about enjoying meals with friends and loved ones, savoring each flavor, indulging yet being mindful, and making time for plenty of physical activity. Fill up on tons of veggies, fruit, 100% whole grains, pulses (beans, chickpeas, peas, and lentils); choose lean protein like seafood, eggs, and small portions of meat; and savor sweets in smaller amounts.

*Please note these recommendations are for the average adult, certain health conditions/diseases are inconclusive to these recommendations.

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Clinical Registered Dietitian


Mediterranean Diet and DASH Diet Top the Chart for 2018

According to recent findings from U.S. News and World Report, the best diets of 2018 include the DASH diet and Mediterranean diet (both tied at #1). This year’s worst diets included the Keto diet, Dukan diet and Whole30 (all tied at #39). I could not agree more with these findings. As a registered dietitian at Hannibal Regional, I provide numerous diet education to various patients. A diet should be one that is individualized to each patient, yet focuses on an end result of better health and chronic disease prevention. Diet fads are everywhere. Better health and weight loss should be driven by choices that over time, become habits which promote lifelong change. Stay tuned for a breakdown of the Mediterranean and DASH diet guidelines, and tips to incorporate these strategies into your lifestyle.

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Clinical Registered Dietitian


Blissful Holiday List

What a wonderful time of year. For many, it is a time to enjoy favorite foods, music, family, and decorations. Along with this can come stress from too much to do and not enough time. Here are some self-care tips that will only take minimal time but keep you healthy.

Sleep. Not getting enough sleep is associated with increased hunger, poor concentration, increased illness, and poor decision making. Sleep 7 hours a night or make nap time a priority.

Hydrate. Not drinking enough water can leave you feeling fatigued and increase your appetite. Add a splash of fruit juice or cucumbers to spruce up your routine.

Gratitude. Take a moment each night before sleeping to list three things you are grateful for that day. This will help create a positive mind-shift that will leave you feeling happier.

Teeth. Taking care of you includes taking care of your teeth! Make sure to brush teeth twice daily and floss at least once per day. Sugar build up can inflame your gums which can increase your blood sugar and chance of infections.

Eat Mindfully. This is the most wonderful time of year to enjoy traditional foods and treats. Be mindful about how hungry and full you are. Slow down when eating and enjoy the taste and texture of each food. Place appetizers on a plate so you can visualize how much you have eaten instead of grazing with your hands. Allow yourself to indulge in a treat when desired otherwise restriction can lead to overindulgent later and that terrible overstuffed feeling.

Move. Instead of being sedentary after meals find an activity that you enjoy and just move for 10 minutes. This will make a big difference in the way you feel. Add in an extra bonus for finding an outdoor activity and getting a dose of fresh air in at the same time.

Wishing you a happy and healthy Holiday Season.

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Clinical Registered Dietitian


Halloween Treats & Diabetes

While Halloween is a difficult holiday for those with dietary restrictions, it can still be a fun holiday! Ideally, those diagnosed with diabetes want to keep their 1-3 daily snacks to 15-30 grams of carbohydrate. The chart below was created to help guide you to better eating this holiday. Rather than feeling deprived this Halloween and trying to avoid all candy, use this chart as a guide. Pick your favor candy or chocolate and make note of the correct portion size. Often, we realize we are happy with a smaller portion when we allow ourselves to savor it. And the more planning we do ahead of time in regards to our meals and snacks, the more likely we are going to make better choices. If you were limited to 15-30 grams of carbohydrate for a snack, what would you choose?

Portion/ Candy Calories Carbohydrates
Candy corn, 10 pieces 80 18 grams
Gum drops, 6 80 18 grams
Gummy bears, 10 85 22 grams
Jelly beans, 10 large or 25 small 100 26 grams
Nibs, cherry, 20 pieces 100 20 grams
3 Twizzlers from 5 oz package 100 26 grams
Starburst, 5 pieces 100 21 grams
Hi-C orange slices, 2 slices 100 25 grams
Jolly Rancher, 2 pieces 70 11 grams
Milk Duds, 7 pieces 90 14 grams
Mily Way, snack bar 75  12 grams
Risen's, 2 pieces 85 14 grams
Reese's bites, 8 pieces 100 12 grams
100 Grand Bar, fun size 100 15 grams
Kit Kat minature 50 6 grams
Nestle Crunch bar, fun size 50 9 grams
Butterfinger, fun size 80 13 grams
Heath Bar, snack size 50 9 grams
Baby Ruty. fun size 80 12 grams
Snickers fun size 80 10 grams
Hershey's Good and Plenty snack size box 60 14 grams
Hershey's Good and Fruity snack size box 60 15 grams
Hershey's Hug or Kiss 25 3 grams
Almond Joy, snack size 90 10 grams
Tootsie roll pop 60 15 grams
M&Ms, peanut butter, 10 pieces 100 13 grams
M&Ms, plain, 30 pieces 100 15 grams

 

Blog post provided by:
Megan Kemp, RDN, LD
Outpatient Dietitian
Weight Management & Diabetes Center

 


Tips to Reduce Food Waste (cont. from last week)
  • Preplan and write your shopping list before going to the grocery store. As you write your list, think about what meals you will be preparing the following week, and check your fridge/pantry to see what items you already have.
  • When at the store, buy only what you need and stick to your shopping list. Be careful when buying in bulk, especially with items that have a limited shelf life. 
  • Purchase the “ugly” fruits or vegetables that often get left behind at the grocery store. These produce items have physical imperfections but are perfectly fine to eat.
  • When eating out, request a to-go box for leftovers.
  • Keep the fridge temperature at 40° F or below to keep foods safe. The temperature of your freezer should be 0° F.
  • Use the FoodKeeper App for information on how to safely store different foods to maintain freshness and quality.
  • Refrigerate peeled or cut veggies in an airtight container.
  • Freeze foods to keep them from going bad until you are ready to eat them.
  • Create a designated space in your fridge for foods that need to be eaten first and/or that you think will be going bad within a few days.
  • Check your fridge often to keep track of what you have and what needs to be used. Eat or freeze items before you need to throw them away. Keep a list of foods that you have in your freezer and organize by date.
  • If you have more food on hand than you can use or you need, consider donating your extra supply of packaged foods to a local food pantry or a food drive.
  • Not all dates refer to the safety of the item! Date labels such as Use by or Best by often refer to the best quality of an item. Just because the date on a package has passed does necessarily mean the food is unsafe.
  • Be creative! Create new dishes with leftovers or items that need to be eaten soon.
  • Follow the 2-Hour Rule. For safety reasons, don’t leave perishables out at room temperature for more than two hours, unless you're keeping it hot or cold. If the temperature is above 90° F, food shouldn’t be left out for more than one hour. Also, remember to refrigerate leftovers within two hours.
  • Use serving size information on the Nutrition Facts label to help you portion meals or snacks. You can always add more to your plate after finishing off the first helping.
  • If you’ve prepared too much food for a party or gathering? Pack extras in containers for guests to take home or take some over to a neighbor as a nice gesture.