Hannibal Regional Blog

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


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


Foods High In FiberWanting to get some more fiber in your diet? Consider these simple tips:
• Slowly increase the amount of fiber you eat to 25 to 35 grams per day.
• Check the Nutrition Facts labels and try to choose products with at least 3 g dietary fiber per serving.
• Compare food labels of similar foods to find higher fiber choices. On packaged foods, the amount of fiber per serving is listed on the Nutrition Facts label.
• Choose fresh fruit and vegetables (skin on!) instead of juices.
• Have brown or wild rice instead of white rice.
• Eat the skin when having potatoes.
• Enjoy a variety of grains. Good choices include barley, oats, farro, kamut, and quinoa. • • Look for choices with 100% whole wheat, rye, oats, or bran as the first or second ingredient. Popcorn is another good choice (air-popped or lightly buttered)!
• When baking, use whole wheat pastry flour. You can use it to replace some white or all-purpose flour in recipes.
• Enjoy beans more often! Batch cook dried beans and freeze in smaller portions, then add to casseroles, soups/stews, taco meat, pasta salad and salads. Beans also make a great finger food for babies (age appropriate).
• Drink plenty of fluids. Fluid helps your body process fiber without discomfort.


Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Nutrition Services
Hannibal Regional

organic and heart healthy eatingFebruary is National Heart Health Month. Do your heart a long-lasting favor! (Continued)

The Dietary Guidelines for America (DGA) focuses on the big picture, with recommendations to help you make choices that add up to an overall healthy eating style. Changing the way you eat is difficult but over time your taste buds will adjust and I can guarantee you will feel better! Shifting to healthier food and beverage choices by replacing typical choices with more nutrient-dense options is a key strategy supported by the DGA to improve eating styles (1). According to the DGA, typical eating patterns in the United States fall short from the recommendations. For example, about three fourths of the population has an eating style that is low in vegetables, fruit, dairy, and heart healthy oils.

Fruit and vegetable consumption should be everyone’s primary focus when eating a healthy diet (with the exception of those with renal disease). They are the most nutrient dense, low calorie, and packed with antioxidants, phytochemicals, flavonoids and fiber. Aim to fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables for both lunch and dinner with a goal of 4-5 servings per day. Fruit is a great option for breakfast, snacks and/or as dessert. Aim for at least 3 servings per day.

Dairy is another food group that overall, Americans fall short on. Research suggests that dairy may be beneficial to reducing cardiovascular disease (CVD). Naturally occurring saturated fat, such as that found in cheese and full fat dairy products does not affect blood lipids such as total cholesterol and LDL. There is a growing interest of research on the relationship between fermented dairy products, such as yogurt, Kefir and cultured sour milk, and CVD risk. In a group of more than 26,000 individuals, they found a significant inverse association, with the difference between the highest and lowest categories of fermented milk intake being related to a 15 percent lower incidence of CVD.

Increase fruits and vegetables:
Start small and add one serving/per day each week until you reach your goal of 4-5 servings vegetables, and 3-4 servings of fruit. Add vegetables to scrambled eggs/omelets, meat loaf, sauces, soups, and casseroles. Layer a few spinach leafs to that sandwich or wrap. Blend frozen berries with plain yogurt or Kefir. Pair fruit with nut butter or cheese for a midmorning/afternoon snack. Settle your sweet tooth with fruit after a meal.

Choose 3 Servings of Dairy Daily: Most importantly, choose fermented dairy products often such as Kefir or yogurt (Stonyfield is my favorite brand as it provides at least 6 strains of good bacteria) Aim for 1 cup daily. Pair 1 oz of cheese with fruit for a mid-morning/afternoon snack. Go for an 8oz glass of milk post-workout or as a bedtime snack.

Use Heart Healthy Oils: Use olive or canola oil in the kitchen. Sauté veggies for omelets, fajitas, casserole or stir-frys. Rather than frying foods in lard or butter, drizzle with oil and lightly pan fry. Toss vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, potatoes, cabbage and carrots with oil, salt and pepper, then roast in the oven. Make you own marinades and salad dressing with oil and vinegars!


Sonestedt, E., Wirfält, E., Wallström, P., Gullberg, B., Orho-Melander, M., & Hedblad, B. (2011). Dairy products and its association with incidence of cardiovascular disease: the Malmö diet and cancer cohort. European Journal of Epidemiology, 26(8), 609-618.
http://www.andjrnl.org/article/S2212-2672(16)31329-6/fulltext?rss=yes


Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD
Nutrition Services
Hannibal Regional