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Blog Archives - Page 14 of 20 - Dietetic Directions - Dietitian and Nutritionist in Kitchener/Waterloo
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Curbing your Mindless Eating: Thanksgiving Edition

There is a very intricate (and fascinating) science behind why we eat what we eat and why we eat the amounts we do! Without even realizing it, we are inundated with subtle environmental cues, which cunningly lead us to eat more than we otherwise would. Brian Wansink is a food researcher and has written the indispensible book “Mindless Eating” which both exposes and explores these environmental cues in order to provide readers with tips for eating a little ‘less’ without even noticing it! So, in honour of Thanksgiving fast approaching, I thought this would be a timely topic to help us alter our environments so that we...

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Government now allowing vitamin D Fortified Breakfast Sugar…oops! I Meant Cereal!

I am pleased to introduce my guest blogger, Renu Arora, a fellow dietitian and friend of mine. Renu specializes in heart disease, diabetes and weight management with practices in both Mississauga and Etobicoke. Today, Renu will be exploring a hot, new nutritional topic on vitamin D fortified b-fast cereal! We’ve heard a lot about Vitamin D (aka “the sunshine vitamin”) in the news over the past few years. I myself have written on its increasing importance, and recommend that all Canadians supplement with it, especially in the winter months, as it is literally impossible for anyone to make enough of it naturally given our geography…the sun’s rays are...

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Let’s Compare Super Seeds: Chia vs. Hemp vs. Flax

Now that you are familiar with the emerging chia seeds and hemp hearts from my past blogs, we are ready to 'dig in' and compare these super seeds to the famous flax seed.  Today, we will review what these seeds have in common as well as their distinguishing characteristics.   What do Chia, Hemp and Flax all have in Common? Plant based, vegetarian, vegan protein sources ‘Complete protein’ – all your essential amino acids All gluten free  * Contain heart healthy polyunsaturated fats (omega 3 & 6), which support immune function and brain functioning, and are cholesterol lowering and anti-inflammatory All are a source of both protein and fibre   Nutritional Comparison! Per...

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Eat Some Cha Cha Cha Chia Seeds!

Do you remember the chia pet phenomenon back in early 90s? With that catchy jingle and those captivating commercials where the chia pet would sprout before our eyes?  Well, little did we know that those little chia seeds were an ancient dietary staple for Aztec civilizations which would later emerge in North America as a Super Food. Today, I will explore the health and nutritional benefits behind that mighty chia seed and explain how to get some chia into your diet. In my next blog post I will be comparing chia seeds to hemp and flax seeds! Chia seeds are part of the mint family and are native to...

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How About Some Hemp Hearts?

The concept of a ‘super-food’ is an emerging phenomenon and encompasses foods with an extraordinary nutritional profile along with associated health benefits. Hemp is considered one of the world's most nutritious plants and definitely a ‘super-food’ you want in your pantry! What is Hemp? Hemp is a tall plant; in fact, the hemp plant can grow up to 18 feet high! Hemp has a strong, fibrous stalk and tiny, edible seeds known as hemp seeds or shelled as hemp hearts. Hemp can be eaten whole, pressed into an edible oil, or ground into flour for baking. Hemp has been cultivated as food for over 5,000 years and is...

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Meal Planning Tips & Tricks for Busy Families

Meal planning can be a daunting task considering our hectic work schedules, our children’s sports or extracurricular activities and not to mention the parental task of ensuring homework is complete and the kids are to bed at a decent time!  Nevertheless, if you (and your family) are looking to eat less processed foods, eat more fruits and vegetables in addition to less sugary and/or processed foods then meal planning is your key to success. I believe that meal planning is truly an ‘art form’ which you get better at only with practice.  Once meal planning becomes a habit, it can significantly lower your stress through improved meal-time organization and the enjoyment of delicious, balanced, healthy meals to energize your...

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Peanut Butter vs. Nutella, which is Healthier?

It’s time for the fun game of nutritional comparison! Comparing Peanut Butter (PB) to the popular Italian hazelnut spread Nutella. This topic comes suggested to me by a busy couple in Waterloo seeking dietary guidance for their family. To answer this question, let’s take a look at the ingredient lists for both products and then compare their nutrition info. I will provide (as always) my 'bottom line' nutrition recommendations. Which is healthier: Peanut Butter or Nutella? Click To Tweet What’s In Nutella? Ingredients (as listed on the label): SUGAR, modified palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (from milk), soy lecithin: an emulsifier, vanillin: an ARTIFICIAL flavour. Please note,...

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Do we Burn more Calories in the Summer vs. Winter?

Contrary to popular belief, our bodies burn slightly more calories adapting to cold temperatures than we do adapting to warm weather. When our bodies produce heat, we burn extra energy aka extra calories. Therefore, in cold environments, our body adapts quickly by stimulating smooth muscle contractions (i.e., shivering) in order to generate heat. Shivering requires caloric energy to generate heat. Conversely, the summer heat has little effect on your resting calorie burning (aka BMR- Basal Metabolic Rate). If you find yourself sweating, this is not active calorie burning. However, if you are in heated environment for prolonged periods or running a fever this can increase your calorie burning...

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Circadian Rhythm’s Impact on Body Weight

We all have an ‘internal clock’ which regulates our body's functioning by using environmental signals.  If you find yourself naturally more alert at certain times of the day (10am) and more sluggish at other times, you have experienced your own circadian rhythm.  The problem; however, comes when daily tasks throw off this internal clock.  During the summer months, we might be more likely to tamper with our circadian rhythm by staying up late with friends or to study, increase in travel to other countries or time zones or doing shift work. Research has shown that disruption to our circadian rhythm can wreck havoc on our natural sleep-wake cycle which is responsible for releasing hormones that impact our immunity, digestive function, mood and...

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