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

The Year of Quinoa is 2013!

Did you hear that the United Nations named 2013 the ‘International Year of Quinoa’? If you are unfamiliar with quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) you are missing out on a tasty, nutty flavoured, nutritional powerhouse!   Today, I am going to provide a quick run down of Quinoa – what it is, where it is found and how to use it! What is Quinoa? An ancient seed, rather than a grain, that can be traced back in origin to ancient Peru. Although quinoa has recently received quite the spotlight, it has been cultivated for human consumption for over 3,000-4,000 years. The United Nations General Assembly noted that the indigenous people of the Andes have...

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Predicted Food Trends for 2013

Welcome 2013! This is going to be an incredible year- I can just feel it! Being a registered dietitian is so rewording because each year there are numerous new food trends which draw media and public attention and not uncommonly, raise public concern and confusion. Dietitians have the unique opportunity to step forward as a source of the most trusted, science-based nutrition informatio.  So rest assured, when new trends surface (as we know they will) and you are wondering what you should literally buy or not buy into, search no further than speaking with your friendly dietitian. The National Restaurant Association is up-to-date on the top of food trends to meet the public interest and demand for the...

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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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