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

Bit about Chocolate for 2012…..and 2013 too!

With New Year’s Eve parties right around the corner, you might be wondering what treats to bring to the last party of 2012.  You might want to choose something that symbolizes health and wealth for the coming year. Well, I might suggest something created from the cocoa tree with origins dating back 4,000 years in the Amazon.   If you guessed chocolate you are correct! Aztecs believed that wisdom and power came from eating the fruit of the cocoa tree and that it had nourishing, fortifying and even aphrodisiac qualities.  Therefore, back in 300 AD, cocoa pods were symbolic of life and fertility, two of the most important things! Today, chocolate still plays a central role in festive celebrations and is associated with...

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Holiday Heartburn?

The National Library of Medicine defines Heartburn as the painful burning feeling in your chest or throat. Heartburn occurs when stomach acid travels up into your esophagus from your stomach. Nearly everyone will experience heartburn; however, if you experience heartburn more than twice a week, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD for short.   For those with GERD, medical treatment is sometimes necessary as recommended by your physician. Prevalence:  It is estimated by Canadian Digestion Health Foundation that 5 million Canadians experience heartburn at least one time per week!   Similarly, the lost productivity from those who suffer each year amounts to $2.1 billion. What can you do about Heartburn: Whether you have occasional heartburn or chronic issues with GERD, there are dietary and lifestyle factors that play a major role.  Here are my top...

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Hosting a Holiday Party?

During the month of December I am seeing numerous clients who are either hosting orattending a holiday party.   And of course, we know that this often entails drinking and being merry.  Similarly, the reality is that there will be an over abundance of food during this time of celebration. However, these gatherings may correspondingly lead to feelings of gluttony and guilt. This article is dedicated to those who wonder if they can host a holiday party healthfully while they themselves are trying to follow a ‘healthy diet’. The answer is an astounding YES! Here are some tips for you, the holiday host or hostess: 1. Smaller serving plates: Scientifically, we know that people will put more food on alarger plate and consequently eat more.  So help your guests eat less by offering...

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Are you at risk for iron deficiency?

According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, iron plays an essential role in human body functioning. Iron is involved in delivering oxygen to cells andregulating growth.   Therefore, when there is a shortage of iron, oxygen supply to the cells becomes limited leading to fatigue, poor work performance, pallor and decreased immune function. These symptoms are also known as anemia.   However, too much iron is dangerous and can result in toxicity or death. Population Groups at high risk for iron deficiency: -Pregnant women (expanding blood volume) -Infants and toddlers (rapid growth and development) -Teenage girls/childbearing age (blood loss in menstruation) -Vegetarians and vegans (inadequate dietary iron intake) -Gastrointestinal disorders- Celiac and Crohn’s disease (lack of iron absorption) For those at a high risk for iron deficiency,...

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Do you need more vitamin C this time of year?

With the cold weather already upon us, many are stocking up on oranges and vitamin C supplements in hopes of warding off the common cold. Are you one of these people taking extra vitamin C this time of year? More than likely, you have heard that taking vitamin C is beneficial in decreasing liklihood of getting sick.  This has been the subject of tremendous controversy for more than 50 years!  Today, let’s demystify if vitamin C (aka ascorbic acid) is helpful in 'warding off' the common cold.  In addition, we will quantify how much we need and how much is too much. Functions of vitamin C: • Assists in growth, maintenance and repair of tendons, ligaments, blood vessels,...

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To buffet or not to buffet?

During the holiday season, you might be gathering with friends or family over a shared meal. To avoid cooking at home, you may opt for something like an‘all you can eat buffet’.  This made me ponder, to buffet or not to buffet, and is it possible to stick to a healthy diet while dining as this type of restaurant? My gut instinct was that eating at a buffet facilitatesover-indulging and possibly in a subconscious effort to get the ‘best value for our money’. That being said, if you are at a buffet (by choice or otherwise), there are some simple tips and tricks to help you consume less.  I promise, your waistline will thank you! 1. Never go...

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Here’s to Allergen Free Dining!

For those with severe or life threatening food allergies, choosing a restaurant can be an extraordinarily stressful event.  Dining out requires one to rely on the restaurant to be highly knowledgeable of food allergen(s) and requires even the cooking staff to be cautious with the high risk for cross contamination.  Therefore, the otherwise ‘allergen free’ food becomes ‘contaminated’ and a risk for the allergic individual. Here is a common scenario for a person with celiac disease dining out.  The individual orders a gluten free balsamic salad and tells the server that she has a SEVERE GLUTEN ALLERGY.  The server relays the message to the kitchen but staff accidently top the salad with...

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Betcha want more Beta Glucan!

Have you have heard that Beta Glucan is good for you? Are you quizzical if this true? Or are you simply ready to find out how much you need and how to fit more in your diet? Either way, I have answers for you! Here is the breakdown: What is Beta Glucan? A form of soluble fibre found in foods such as oats, barley, mushrooms and lesser amounts in wheat and rye grains. What’s the Buzz? Health Canada has approved health claims linking beta glucan to blood cholesterol lowering. How does Beta Glucan work? Beta Glucans work by preventing the absorption of cholesterol from food in the stomach and intestine; therefore, lowering blood cholesterol. Beta Glucan works for enhancing immunity by stimulating macrophages (white blood cell) that helps in protecting and enhancing immune function. Health Benefits: Cholesterol...

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Fearful of Holiday Weight Gain?

The holidays are fast approaching! We are one month from Christmas, which means holiday parties are already scheduled and you know (without doubt) that there will be tempting treats and large scrumptious meals to enjoy together with your family and friends.  But does the joy of the season quickly become shadowed with prevailing anxiety that your overindulgence will lead to subsequent weight gain? It is understandable that the holidays may be a daunting time to stick to a ‘diet plan’; this may include avoiding excessive snacking and trying to fit exercise into your busy schedule. Interestingly, studies have shown that most people gain less weight then they think over the holidays....

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