Hannibal Regional Blog

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


Beyond Weight Loss

The power of food is infinite. I love when people ask me for nutrition advice, because talking about nutrition is truly my passion. I believe that what we put in our body is the force behind everything that takes place within our body. Nutrition is a challenging topic, with continuously changing research, media hype, poorly written nutrition claims and more confusion than the average person can keep up with. It is easy to get lost in the world of nutrition. “What not to eat?” “What diet to follow?” “When and how to eat?” However, what most people lose sight of is the power that food has to offer, the good that food does for our body and that food can actually improve our mental and physical well-being. As you can imagine, the number one reason that people ask me for nutrition advice, is because they have a goal in mind. That shared goal, is often weight loss. Rather than weight loss being the driver for our food choices, let’s make food choices for a reason OTHER than weight loss.  Eating healthy has far more benefits than decreasing the number on the scale, or going down a pant size. Filling up on the right foods have been shown to provide feel-better benefits and improving overall well-being. Benefits of a healthy diet range from improved heart and brain health, to a higher chance of being successful at work!  Below are ten reasons to eat healthy - other than weight loss.

It makes you happy
Fast food and pastries that are high in trans fat and sugar can throw off your brain’s levels of mood-regulating chemicals to spur symptoms of depression. Research consistently shows that health-promoting nutrients—such as omega 3's from fatty fish, and vitamin D in dairy - can boost your mood and combat depression.

It Makes You Smarter
Research from the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging shows that eating a diet high in saturated and trans fats from fried and processed foods reduces your cognitive abilities. Meanwhile, high intakes of omega 3's from foods like fish, walnuts, and avocados improves brain function.

Improves your activity level
Food is fuel. Every one of your dietary decisions throughout the day impacts your exercise performance, as well as your productivity at work and other life decisions you make throughout the day. Consistently getting the hydration, and vitamins/minerals from nutrient dense foods you need, keeps your body primed and ready to work its best. 

It Scores You Better Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep will not only help you make good food choices, but good food choices also help you sleep more soundly through the night.

It Slashes Stress
Food choices have a huge influence on the level of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine as well as your levels of stress-inducing hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Foods high in antioxidants such as dark chocolate, and deeply colored fruits and vegetables help reduce stress related hormones.

Healthy Skin
Staying hydrated, choosing foods with omega-3 fats, and eating more fruits and vegetables can help the body fight dry skin in the winter. Fish is the best source of omega-3 fats, but plant foods such as flax, chia and hemp seeds and walnuts also are good sources

Fight Inflammation
Inflammation is linked to everything from stress and brain fog to heart disease and cancer. According to research published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who eat whole grains over refined ones cut their levels of C-reactive protein—a key indicator of inflammation—by 38 percent.

Boost Immunity
Consuming yogurt and other fermented foods containing probiotics, along with complex carbs (whole grains) can strengthen your immune system to reduce your likelihood of infections. (Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology)

Heart Health
Women are more likely to die from heart disease than from anything else. Luckily, all weight loss aside, eating right can help cut your risk. For instance, one New England Journal of Medicine study found that people who eat about a handful of nuts every day were 29 percent less likely to die from heart disease.

It Prevents Osteoporosis
Strong diet = strong bones. Apart from getting adequate dairy, the National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends consuming fish, fruits, and veggies. It also states that getting your sodium intake into a healthy range (a.k.a. nixing processed foods) can help ward off osteoporosis.

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

 


All Types of Olive Oil Benefit Heart Health

Research shows that all types of olive oil – from extra virgin to extra light tasting – can reduce the risk of heart disease. That's because all types are equal in heart-healthy fatty acids. This is good news for people who want the heart benefits of olive oil but prefer a milder flavor or lower price. Try this loaded Mediterranean humus drizzled with olive oil for a snack, meal or party pleaser.

Loaded Mediterranean Hummus

Ingredients

  • 2 cups original hummus
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper diced
  • 1/4 cup yellow bell pepper diced
  • 1/4 cup green or orange bell pepper diced
  • 1 cup black olives sliced
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbled
  • 2 tbsp cilantro chopped

Instructions

  1. Spread hummus over plate or serving dish
  2. Drizzle with olive oil and paprika
  3. Top with red bell pepper, olives, pine nuts, feta cheese and cilantro
  4. Serve with whole wheat crackers, pitas, chips or veggies

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

 


Building a Better Salad

Can a salad be a filling entrée? Yes, it can with the right additions! Building a better salad will help you get your recommended servings of vegetables and a handful of the other food groups.  

The base of a salad is usually a leafy green: kale, collard greens, spinach or romaine lettuce. Then, you can get as creative as you want. Protein and fiber can produce more satiety, or feeling of fullness, and are an excellent addition to a salad.

Protein can come in the form of nuts, like slivered almonds, pecans, walnuts, and seeds, like chia, flax or sunflower. Meat, like grilled chicken, deli ham or turkey, can make all the difference to a salad. Other protein foods, like hardboiled eggs and beans help add subtle flavor.

Make your other salad toppings additional vegetables to pack in more filling fiber. Tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots, cucumbers, peas, bell peppers and onions can all be incorporated into a hearty salad. Fruits can help add sweetness to a salad, along with adding another important food group to your meal. Apple slices, strawberries and grapes are fruit topping favorites. Finally, salad dressing can help tie it all together but can also add plenty of calories. Choose a light or fat-free dressing to cut down on calories but not on flavor. Building a better salad can teach you to enjoy making half or all of your plate vegetables!

Blog post provided by:
Megan Kemp, RDN, LD


Roasted Lemon-Garlic Mixed Vegetables

Making half of your lunch and dinner plate vegetables can help pack fiber and other nutrients into our meals. Non-starchy vegetables, those vegetables other than peas, corn and potatoes, only contain about 25 calories per cup. With so few calories, their fiber content can help increase satiety and facilitate weight loss. Some enjoy vegetables simply raw or steamed but many struggle to get in the recommended 2-3 cups of veggies daily.

What is considered a serving? 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables and 2 cups of raw leafy greens are considered a 1 cup serving of vegetables. Hide vegetables in casseroles or desserts or get creative with side dishes. Roasted Lemon-Garlic Mixed Vegetables is a favorite recipe that requires little prep but tastes great.

Roasted Lemon-Garlic Mixed Vegetables

Nutrition Facts Amount Per Portion
Total Calories 113 calories
Protein 1 g
Carbohydrate 12 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Total Sugars 3 g
Added Sugars 0 g
Total Fat 7 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g

4 servings

What You Need:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp Nu-salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp parsley
  • 1 Tbsp Italian herbs
  • 1.5 cups baby potatoes, halved
  • 1.5 cups baby carrots, halved
  • 1 cup red onion, sliced

What You Do:

  • In large mixing bowl, toss all ingredients together.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Place veggies in a 9”x13” baking dish.
  • Roast for 30-40 minutes uncovered until potatoes are tender. 

Blog post provided by:
Megan Kemp, RDN, LD