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Dietetic Directions Blog - Dietetic Directions - Dietitian and Nutritionist in Kitchener/Waterloo
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Dietetic Directions Blog

Starbucks Holiday Beverages, Exposed!

Season’s Greetings, would you like to try one of our festive coffees?  This is what I imagine the wonderful woman at Starbucks saying to me; instead, she knows that I generally go with the same boring blend.  If you tend to stick with your usual brew, do you ever wonder if you are missing out on a delicious, decadent festive treat?  Or are you certain that you are simply dodging the unnecessary sugar, fat and calories wrapped in a red snowflake cup? Today let’s take a closer look at three festive coffees in the 2014 Christmas lineup.  I will end off with giving you three “healthier” alternatives.   Nutrition for Starbucks Christmas...

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Scoop on Artificial Sweeteners

Canadians are encouraged to limit consumption of added sugar because of the link to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, cancer and cavities.  But is substituting real sugar for artificial sugar the key to better health? Artificial sweeteners do not contain calories and are approximately 200-600 times sweeter than regular sugar; this is bonus for those with a sweet tooth who are trying to cut down on excess calories. However, despite the sweetness of artificial sweeteners, their safety has been a cause for concern for decades now.   If you are interested in impact of artificial sweeteners on weight management read my past blog.     Laboratory studies have attempted to...

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Is Sitting Too Much a Health Hazard?

Do you spend most of your waking hours sitting?  The sobering answer is that the vast majority of us spend more time sitting than we do sleeping!  It is safe to say that sitting long hours is the new norm.  Many of us have sedentary jobs; we sit commuting, we sit to eat and we sit to relax.  However, emerging research may help us re-think our sitting routine by revealing that even if we exercise regularly, sitting for long periods raises the risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer and premature death (Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2014).  Sitting may be more hazardous to our health than we...

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It’s Diabetes Awareness Month!

Each November brings another month of Diabetes Awareness (with World Diabetes Day taking place on November 14th).  To help us in celebrating, I am honoured to feature two dietitians, and friends of mine, from GetReal Gurls Nutrition.  April Saunders and Michelle Saraiva are both Certified Diabetes Educators who debunk nutrition myths, review products and provide realistic tips and tricks for achieving your healthiest lifestyle on their awesome website.     Some fast facts about diabetes in Canada: Almost four million Canadians have been diagnosed with diabetes, and many more are unaware they have the disease. Diabetes can lead to serious complications such as cardiovascular disease and stroke, blindness, chronic kidney...

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Healthy Halloween?

Halloween is a time where ghosts, goblins and children in funny or scary costumes roam the streets in search of candy, lots and lots of candy!  Trick-or-treaters are in luck since candy is looming practically everywhere.  Did you know that Halloween has more than double the chocolate sales than Valentine’s Day?  In total, $1.9 billion is spent on Halloween candy each year!  That’s a lot of chocolate.  Without a doubt, Halloween can be a very tempting time for children (and adults) to over-do it with small “fun size” treats at about 100 calories per serving.     On a positive note, Halloween is a great opportunity for parents to role model healthy...

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Halloween Superfood: Pumpkin Seeds

Did you know that the name pumpkin comes from the Greek word ‘pepon’, meaning ‘large melon’?  Similarly, pumpkins are technically a fruit because they contain seeds.  In fact, the average pumpkin contains about 500 seeds.  Today, let’s explore the outstanding nutritional profile of pumpkin seeds!   Truly a yearlong superfood!   DYK pumpkins are technically a fruit because they contain seeds? Click To Tweet   Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are usually green in colour, semi-flat and oval shaped.   They have a pleasant nutty taste and a chewing texture.  Pumpkin seeds are most often roasted and do not need to be refrigerated.  Their outstanding nutrition profile will have you running to...

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Fall Throwdown: Sweet Potatoes vs. Yams

Sweet potatoes and yams- are they the same?  This great question is not uncommon to overhear two people deliberating.  I have over-heard this exact conversation amongst colleagues in the lunchroom, on television and even in the yoga change room! So today, let’s discuss the difference between sweet potatoes and yams. This way, next time you are asked or over-hearing this common casual conversation, you can jump right in and contribute!     Grocery Store Shopping: Are Sweet Potatoes and Yams the Same? In most Canadian grocery stores the short answer is yes.  Sweet potatoes have traditionally (and wrongfully) been referred to as “yams”, which has lead to consumer confusion.  Therefore, in grocery...

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My Food Gratitude

Food is amazing!  Truly it is; if it weren’t for food we wouldn’t be alive today. Yet food (in general) is often met with mixed feelings that are not always positive.  Food is often categorized as either “bad” or “good” and food is often broken down to its chemical components like macro and micronutrients.  Today, in honour of Thanksgiving, let’s take time to give food thanks!  Let’s share our love for foods as not only something that nourishes our bodies but also a source of tremendous enjoyment.     My blog today was inspired by the “Book of Awesome” by Neil Pasricha.  In this book he explores the little things...

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Sugar: How Much Should we be consuming?

Yesterday, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada issued a new position statement recommending adults and children limit consumption of added sugars to no more than 10% of their daily calorie intake.  This recommendation equates to 12 teaspoons of added sugar daily, which is less than half of the current average intake of 25 teaspoons of added sugars daily!  Yikes! Our current sugar intake is the equivalent to a person consuming 20 bags of sugar a year.  Something has certainly got to give.   Added sugars should be limited to no more than 10% of daily calorie intake (Heart & Stroke) Click To Tweet   This position statement thankfully comes at a...

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