Hannibal Regional Blog

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


Adding Plant Based Protein to Your Diet

Protein, fat, and fiber are the three nutrients that stay in your stomach the longest, contributing to your satiety level. Protein at each meal helps to stabilize blood glucose levels and prevents the breakdown of lean body mass. Although protein recommendations are actually exceeded by the average person, consumption of plant based proteins are low. Plant based proteins such as nuts and legumes can be easily packed for a satisfying snack, and beans or grains can make for an inexpensive protein rich meal.  Below is a brief list of plant based protein foods to incorporate into your diet!

Food Amount Protein (g)
Almonds 1/2 C 15
Beans, cooked 1 C 16
Broccoli 1 C 3
Cashews 1/2 C 10
Chia seeds 2 Tbsp 6
Corn 1 C 4.5
Edamame, cooked 1 C 19
Hemp seeds 3 Tbsp 10
Hummus 1/4 C 5
Lentils, cooked 1C 18
Peanut butter, chunky 2 Tbsp 8
Peas 1 cup 8
Peanuts 1/2 C 19
Pistachios 1/2 C 12
Quinoa, cooked 1 C 14-18
Soybeans, cooked 1/2 C 11
Soynuts 1/2 C 22
Sunflower seeds 1/2 C 13
Tofu, firm 1/2 C 10
Walnuts 1/2 C 15
Wheat berries, cooked 1 C 12
Wheat germ or flaxseed 2 Tbsp 4

C=cup, fl oz=fluid ounce, oz=ounce, Tbsp=tablespoon

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


A New Meaning to Spring Cleaning

After a long winter, we often revive our home with a good spring cleaning. So why not do the same with our eating habits? We all know that fruits and vegetables are good for us, but yet most of us fall short of the recommended 5-9 servings per day. The simplicity of the produce section is something that no other section of the store has. Every item comes "as is", and is in its whole form. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce risk for heart disease including heart attack and stroke, as well as protect against certain types of cancers. Fruits and vegetables are full of fiber, which helps maintain proper bowel function, reduce blood cholesterol levels and much more. They are packed with many essential nutrients, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants. The impact of fruit and vegetable consumption on our health is pretty remarkable.  Improving our eating habits can be hard, but if you currently don’t eat many fruits and vegetables, start by adding just 1 serving of a fruit and 1 serving of a vegetable to each day (1 orange with lunch, 1/2 cup sugar snap peas for a snack; ). Gradually increase the number of servings you eat per day to at least 2 fruits and 3 vegetables (or even up to 4 fruits and 5 vegetables). Spring clean your diet by choosing more from the produce section. 
 

What counts as a serving?

  • 1 medium piece of fruit= baseball size
  • ½ cup fresh, frozen or canned fruit
  • ¼ cup dried fruit
  • ½ cup 100% fruit juice
  • 1 cup leafy greens or raw veggies
  • ½ cup fresh, frozen or canned vegetables
  • ½ cup 100% vegetable juice

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


Fruit and Oat Muffins

Fruit and Oat Muffins 

This recipe is a staple in our home. We often bake something at least once a week, muffins being the most popular. It is a quick grab and go breakfast, or snack. These are super versatile as you can use whatever fruit you have on hand, or a combination of fruit. It is a great way to use produce that has seen better days. Change it up by adding dark chocolate chips, dried fruit and/or chopped nuts, seeds etc. These whole grain muffins are high in fiber and contain 2 tablespoons of fruit per muffin. They also freeze nicely!

2.5 cups any fruit puree 
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup yogurt
½ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 cups whole wheat flour

Preheat oven to 350F.
Puree fruit until smooth. Cream butter, yogurt and brown sugar using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer. Add eggs and pureed fruit. Mix well.
Stir in salt, vanilla, cinnamon, and baking powder. Mix well to combine. Add oats and flour. Continue mixing until just combined.
Prepare 24 muffin tins with liners sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Fill muffin pans 3/4 full of batter and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool.

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


Whole Grain Cut Out Cookies

Whole Grain Cut Out Cookies

Happy Valentine’s Day! What a great excuse to make fun heart-shaped sugar cookies. Making cookies at home allows for more wholesome ingredients, and is a great way to make memories with loved ones.  This recipe is a favorite of mine, especially because of the little hands that help make it. These cookies are made with hearty oats and whole wheat pastry flour. They are so good, they don’t even need frosting! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 c. butter 
  • 3/4 c. packed brown sugar 
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. oats, chopped fine in blender
  • 2-1/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour OR whole wheat white flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar and butter together and then add the egg and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
  2. Add the oats, flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder and beat until the dough comes together.
  3. Divide the dough into two pieces, wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease (or line with parchment paper) 2 baking sheets.
  5. Remove one dough ball at a time, roll out about 1/4″ thick, cut into shapes and place on cookie sheets close together, because they don’t spread. Re-roll as needed to use up the dough.
  6. Bake the first sheet while rolling the dough for the second sheet. Bake the cookies about 8-9 minutes for thicker cookies (if you’ve rolled them thinner, they only need to bake 6-8 minutes). Set a timer! 
  7. Remove the cookies to a rack to cool before decorating.

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


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