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

Which Types of Fish are Low in Mercury?

It seems widespread that omega 3 fatty acids are beneficial for heart health; however, clients are often concerned about the amount of mercury in fish leading to birth defects or learning disabilities.  Mercury is a toxic, global contaminate that does not break down in the environment and can build up in living things.  Today’s blog will explore this concern in greater detail and highlight the types of fish that are low mercury. How does Mercury get into Fish?   Mercury can be released naturally into the environment from rocks, soil, forest fires and volcanoes.  Human activity is also responsible for increasing mercury in our atmosphere through industry practices like metal mining and coal-fired power generation.   When mercury is released into...

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Increase Magnesium in your Diet!

In my last post I explored the ‘Forgotten Mineral Magnesium’ and the numerous health benefits.  Now that you understand the importance of magnesium for your health, let’s explore some of the best dietary sources! Note:  Percent Daily Value = (% DV) is the percentage of the recommended amount of a vitamin or mineral in your diet. 1.    Nuts and Seeds! Filled with heart healthy fats, nuts and seeds are a healthy addition to your diet and a super source of magnesium: Pumpkin seeds (1/4 cup) = 187mg (58%) Brazil nuts (1/4 cup) = 133mg (38% DV) Almonds, roasted (1/4 cup) = 110mg (31% DV) 2.    Eat your Greens!   Looking for a reason to add fresh spinach salads, sautéed kale or steamed Swiss Chard to your dinner? ...

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Magnesium, A Forgotten Mineral

What if I told you that there is a mighty mineral that protects against heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and stroke?  I am referring to a particular mineral that most Canadians are not getting enough of in their diets.  This magnificent mineral is magnesium! Today’s blog post is focused on the health benefits associated with magnesium.  Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is involved in over 300 biological or enzymatic processes.  Functions of magnesium include: healthy muscle and nerve functioning, regulating blood sugar and regulating blood pressure.  Similar to vitamin D, magnesium aids in the absorption of calcium for building strong bones and teeth. Research studies are discovering that magnesium plays a very critical role in heart health.  A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2013) followed over...

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Garlic, It’s Good for You!

Garlic breath got you down?  What if you learned that fresh garlic has powerful antioxidants making it a healthy addition to your diet?  Garlic for medicinal or cooking purposes dates back over 7,000 years to central Asia.  Today, garlic is commonly used in kitchens to add flavour and aroma to our homemade dishes! Research is supporting the role of raw, fresh garlic for generating hydrogen sulfide, the same compound responsible for that distinctive rotten eggs smell!  When garlic is consumed, this chemical (known as Allicin) causes the blood vessels to relax, allowing more blood to flow to the heart.  Additionally, the sulfide compounds in garlic also appear beneficial for suppressing the formation and growth of cancer in the body.  Garlic is also...

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Omega 3 Eggs, Worth the $$$?

Do you find yourself strolling down the grocery aisle, leisurely perusing the ‘Omega 3 Eggs’ food label wondering if this type of ‘functional food’ is worth the extra money?  It seems to be widespread knowledge that omega 3 fatty acids are good for us; however, are they truly beneficial in the form of eggs, or is this a mere marketing strategy? What are Omega 3 Fatty Acids? Omega 3 is a type of ‘essential fatty acid’ since our bodies require them for healthy functioning but we need to consume them in our diet in order to reap the health benefits.  There are three types of omega 3 fatty acids: EPA, DHA and ALA.  All three forms of omega 3 are important for functioning but research...

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Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance. What’s the Difference?

In honour of Food Allergy Awareness month, I will address a very common question.  You may have asked yourself, what is the difference between a food allergy and a food intolerance?  These terms have important differences and must not be used interchangeably. What is a Food Allergy? Food allergy occurs when the body’s immune system responds negatively to a specific food (known as the ‘allergen’).  The offending food is not necessarily harmful, as other people may be able to eat the food without reacting.  However, for those with food allergies, their immune system attacks the unwanted ‘allergen’ causing an immediate and possibly severe reaction. Prevalence:  It is estimated by Health Canada that 5-6% of young children and 3-4% of adults have diagnosed food allergies. Examples of Symptoms: ...

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The Low FODMAP diet?

The Low FODMAP diet is an emerging, scientifically proven and very promising diet for those suffering with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).  Common symptoms of IBS include: abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, and changes in bowel habits.  The frustration is that there is usually no clear food-symptom link. The Low FODMAP diet originated in Australia, and research shows that 3 out of 4 people find tremendous success on this lifelong diet.  The FODMAP diet is complex and should be implemented using a knowledgable Dietitian who is familiar with FODMAPs.  Your dietitian can assist you in adapting your diet to be low in FODMAPs and nutritionally balanced.   What is a FODMAP? FODMAP is an acronym that stands for Fermentable Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides and Polyols.  If you think that is a mouthful, you...

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Happy Celiac Awareness Month!

May 1st marked the start of Celiac Awareness Month!  Celiac disease is a form of food allergywhere the body’s immune system reacts negatively to gluten (protein in wheat, rye, barley) causing severe damage to the small intestine.  There are many nutritional implications since the ingestion of gluten decreases the absorption of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, which are all vital for health!  A strict gluten free diet is REQUIRED for management of celiac disease and label reading is necessary every time! How prevalent is Celiac Disease? Celiac disease affects an estimated 1 in 133.  Rates of celiac disease have nearly doubled in the last 25 years in western countries. The risk for developing celiac disease is increased 20 times for those who have a 1st degree relative with the disease. Symptoms of Celiac Disease may...

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How much coffee is too much?

Welcome to part two of my blog series on coffee and caffeine.  This topic has been inspired by many of my clients in private practice who have expressed legitimate concern wondering if they drink too much coffee.  Therefore, today we will delve intoHealth Canada recommendations for daily caffeine limit and I will breakdown the caffeine content in common beverages! How much Caffeine is Safe to Consume? Much research has been done on the health effects of coffee and the consensus has been reached that ‘when consumed in moderation’, there do not appear to be adverse affects to our overall health.   In fact, as discussed in my previous post, there appear to be various health benefits attributed to...

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