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


Food Waste and Diet Quality

Americans waste nearly a pound of food per person each day, but the exact amount of food we trash differs by how healthy your diet is, according to one new study.

Between 2007-2014, U.S. consumers wasted nearly 150,000 tons of food per day – nearly a pound (422 grams) of food per person each day. Researchers estimate that food waste corresponded with the use of 30 million acres of land annually (7 percent of total US cropland) and 4.2 trillion gallons of irrigation water each year.

According to the study, the amount of wasted food equals roughly 30 percent of the average daily calories consumed for every American, or enough to feed more than 320 million people. Think about that. The amount of food this country wastes, could feed over 320 million people, who otherwise do not have the funds or resources for eat. “Food waste” goes beyond just wasting food.  

The researchers estimated that consumer food waste corresponded to harvests produced with the use of 780 million pounds of pesticide and 1.8 billion pounds of nitrogen fertilizer, annually. Both represent significant costs to the environment and the farmers who dedicate land, labor, and resources to producing food that’s meant to be eaten, not thrown into landfills. From the farm, food is then washed, processed, packaged, distributed etc; all of which takes time, labor, water and material.

While most people want to eat better by putting more fruit and vegetables on their plates, the study found that higher quality diets were associated with higher levels of food waste. Of 22 food groups studied, fruits, vegetables and mixed fruit and vegetable dishes (39 percent of total) were the most wasted—followed by dairy (17 percent), and meat or mixed meat dishes (14 percent).

Eating fruits and vegetables brings many benefits to one’s health and is of great importance, but as we pursue a diet rich in these foods, we must think much more consciously about food waste.

The study also found that healthier diets used less cropland than lower quality diets, but led to greater waste in irrigation water and pesticides, which are used at higher rates on average for growing fruits and vegetables. While low quality diets (those with less fruit and vegetable consumption) may produce less food waste, they come with a range of negative impacts, including low nutritional value and higher rates of cropland wasted.

Next week- tips to reduce food waste

 

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


It’s Apple Season!

A member of the rose family, the apple was considered a symbol of beauty in Greek mythology. The fruit made its way to North America in the 1600s. Soon after, John Chapman earned his famous nickname “Johnny Appleseed” by planting apple seeds from Ohio to Illinois.

Worldwide, more than 8,000 varieties of apples are grown, with about 2,500 cultivated in the United States. Almost all apple trees today don’t actually come from seeds, but rather from a process called grafting, since most seeds will not produce the same apples from which they came.

When it comes to nutrition, there is some truth in the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” An apple WITH the peel, that is. With the majority of its nutrients found in the skin, an apple is a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C.

Apples are available year-round across the country, typically in peak season from late August to October. Prolong shelf life by storing fresh apples in a plastic bag in the refrigerator or in a cool, dark place. Apples produce the natural gas ethylene, therefore they can cause other fruits to ripen faster so be choosy with what produce you store apples with.

Every variety of apple has a distinct taste, color and texture. While some are great for snacking, others may be better suited for baked good, applesauce, apple cider, and more!


5 Quick, Minimal Heat Required, Summer Meal/Snack Ideas

In the heat of summer, sometimes the last thing you want to do is heat up your kitchen by cooking. Here are 5 easy, minimal heat required (if it all), lunch ideas.

Avocado Tuna Salad
Serves 4

  • 2 – 5oz. cans tuna
  • 1 ripe avocado, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup minced celery
  • ½ cup minced onion
  • 2 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 4 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Ground pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix with a fork, mashing avocado and breaking up the chunks of tuna as you go, until the ingredients are well combined. Serve with crackers or bread.

Fruit and PB Roll Ups
Serves 2

  • 2 whole wheat tortillas
  • 6 tbsp. Peanut butter
  • 2 bananas (or other fruit of choice)
  • 4 tsp. honey

Spread 3 tbsp of peanut butter on each tortilla. Drizzle 2 tsp. honey over top of peanut butter. Place banana or other fruit at edge of tortilla and roll up.

Avocado  Egg Salad
Serves 4, this is best to use right away as the avocado turns brown with time.
*May use Mayo or Miracle Whip in place of avocado.

  • 6 eggs, hard boiled and peeled
  • ½ cup green onion, chopped
  • ½ cup celery, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup mashed avocado
  • 1 tbsp sweet relish
  • ¼ tsp hot sauce
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt

Chop eggs coarsely and put into a large mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients and stir. Serve with whole wheat tortilla, on whole wheat toast or crackers.

Salsa Cheesy Bean Dip

  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 wheel Laughing Cow Light Queso Fresco & Chipotle Cheese®
  • 2 cups of salsa

Spread an even layer of refried beans on bottom of a plate. Unwrap all of The Laughing Cow cheese wedges and place in microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for about 30 seconds or until cheese is warm enough to mix well with salsa. Mix salsa and cheese together. Spread this mixture evenly over top of the refried bean layer. Serve with chips or crackers or toasted whole wheat tortilla.

Cottage Cheese with veggies
Serves 2

  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • ½ cup cucumber, sliced
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes or sliced tomato
  • Dash of Pepper (or to taste)

Prep ahead- measure out ½ cup cottage cheese into separate bowls. Add Dash of pepper to top of each bowl. Top bowls with ¼ cup cucumbers slice and tomatoes each. 

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD


Summer Fruit and Veggie Challenge

What better time to try some new fruits and vegetables? Fruits and vegetables pack a ton of nutrients, antioxidants, fiber and water, making them a much needed food group to every meal. Trying new foods can be intimidating but you never know if you like something until you try it. Below is a list of fruits and vegetables, how many have you tried? Try them more than once, and try them more than one way (canned, fresh, frozen, dried). Happy Summer!

Vegetables
Fruits

__ Artichoke
__ Asparagus
__ Avocado
__ Beets
__ Bell Pepper
__ Broccoli
__ Cabbage
__ Carrots
__ Cauliflower
__ Celery
__ Corn
__ Cucumber
__ Dried breans
__ Eggplant
__ Green beans
__ Jicama
__ Kale
__ Mushroom
__ Okra
__ Radish
__ Spinach
__ Squash
__ Sugar Snap Peas
__ Sweet potato
__ Tomato
__ Turnip
__ Zucchini

__ Apple
__ Apricot
__ Banana
__ Blueberries
__ Blackberries
__ Cherries
__ Cranberries
__ Cantaloupe
__ Fig
__ Grapes
__ Grapefruit
__ Honeydew melon
__ Kiwi
__ Mango
__ Nectarine
__ Orange
__ Papya
__ Peach
__ Pear
__ Pineapple
__ Plum
__ Pomegranate
__ Raspberries
__ Star fruit
__ Strawberries
__ Watermelon
 


*If renal complications apply, talk to your Registered Dietitian about appropriate serving sizes!

Blog post provided by:
Katie Foster, RDN, LD


Complications of Diabetes

The full impact of diabetes is often overlooked. While some individuals with diabetes have physical symptoms and noticeable signs of high blood sugar, some are asymptomatic (showing no symptoms). High blood glucose damages both large and small blood vessels. Damage to these vessels can lead to complications that affect the whole body.

Stroke, heart attack, nerve damage (neuropathy), eye disease (retinopathy), kidney problems (nephropathy) and peripheral arterial disease are some of the complications of diabetes. You can reduce your risk of complications by controlling your blood glucose. Blood sugars can be managed through dietary adjustments, increasing physical activity and/or taking medication/insulin as prescribed. Your health care team will work with you to create an individualized plan to meet your needs.

Hannibal Regional Weight Management and Diabetes Center has two outpatient dietitians to help guide you to better eating. Contact us by phone at 573-629-3382 or by email at megan.kemp@hrhonline.org to learn more about our nutrition services and/or to schedule an appointment.


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