FODMAPS: A Look at their Role in Managing IBS

FODMAPS: A Look at their Role in Managing IBS
By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

 

Can you recall the last time you felt bloated, gassy, abdominal cramping, diarrhea or constipation? For most people, these symptoms are mild and once in a blue moon, but for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), there is no cure for this gut disorder and these symptoms are chronic issues that can disrupt the quality of life. The great news is that you can help manage your symptoms through nutrition!

Photo Credit: visualpanic via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: visualpanic via Compfight cc

When people think of gut symptoms like those mentioned above, one of the most common suggestions is limiting irritating food triggers like caffeine, alcohol, and fatty foods, as well as increasing fiber intake and fluid intake. However, when dealing with IBS, since these gut symptoms are broad and can vary from person to person, managing them with a one-size-fits all approach is not ideal. While there are various treatment suggestions for those suffering from IBS, following a low-FODMAP diet is the new nutrition therapy approach in town that has the potential to manage symptoms in most people with IBS.

 

Last month, we were fortunate enough to attend the Nutrition Grand Rounds at New York-Presbyterian Hospital to learn more about FODMAPs and their potential benefits in the treatment of IBS. The presentation featured two speakers Dr. Julie Khlevner, M.D., an expert in pediatric gastroenterology who oversees the new Pediatric Gastrointestinal Motility Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, and Patsy Catsos, MS, RD, LD, author of the book IBS – Free at Last!. While Dr. Khlevner and Patsy both discussed treatment options for people with IBS, each speaker touched on very different areas and treatment options. Dr. Khlevner explained the process of testing, diagnosing and treatment in children and young adults. In terms of treatment options, Dr. Khlevner suggested keeping a food log, keeping an eye on trigger foods, taking probiotics, as well as IBS hypnotherapy. Patsy educated the audience on a food-based approach to treating IBS and the potential benefits of this dietary therapy.

 

Patsy Catsos explained dietitians play a starring role in the management of IBS. A high fiber intake has been a common recommendation for treating IBS symptom management, however, research has found that few people find the increased fiber to be helpful. Thankfully the use of FODMAPs has been becoming increasingly popular in the management of IBS symptoms and with a relief in symptoms. In fact, evidence has shown a FODMAP-elimination diet to reduce symptoms in 3 out of 4 people with IBS1.

 

 

What is IBS?

To start, lets give a background on Irritable Bowel Syndrome. IBS is classified as a Functional Gastrointestinal (bowel) Disorder and can consist of a variety of symptoms. Dr. Khlevner explained the symptoms as the “ABCs of IBS” –

 

  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Bloating, flatulence
  • Change in bowel habit
    • Stool urgency or straining
    • Incomplete evacuation

 

These symptoms often greatly impact a patient’s quality of life, especially in children and adolescents. Treatment for IBS can vary greatly per patient; however, common treatment options can include the use of probiotics, increased fiber intake, pharmacological interventions, psychological therapy, and lifestyle and dietary modifications.

 

 

What is a FODMAP?

FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrates that tend to be malabsorbed in people with IBS and can trigger or exacerbate symptoms. FODMAP is an acronym that stands for:

Fermentable (Produce Gas)
Oligosaccharides (Fructans and Galacto-oligosaccharides)
Disaccharides (Lactose)
Monosaccharides (Fructose)
And
Polyols (Sorbitol and Mannitol)

 

How do FODMAPs affect IBS?

The origination of IBS symptoms can, too, be caused by a number of factors, some including, chemicals found in packaged foods, such as nitrates or sulfites, as well as FODMAPs. The ingestion of FODMAPs are not the cause of IBS, rather what can trigger the troublesome symptoms like abdominal pain or bloating. Patsy spoke about the use of FODMAP elimination trials in patients with IBS. This idea behind FODMAPs is that when people with IBS consume sugars that their body can’t properly breakdown, it contributes to their symptoms. The FODMAP approach includes a 1-2 week elimination of all FODMAPs, which Patsy called the Elimination Phase. The FODMAPs are then reintroduced into the diet one at a time to allow for proper monitoring of the patient’s tolerance. It can help you determine which sugars you may be sensitive to, and what foods to limit in quantity or what foods to avoid altogether.

 

Photo Credit: La Grande Farmers' Market via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: La Grande Farmers’ Market via Compfight cc

Where are FODMAPs Found?1

Oligosaccharides

  • Fructans, galactooligosaccharides (GOS), and inulin
  • Found in foods like:
    • Vegetables: artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, onions, garlic
    • Grains: wheat and rye
    • Fruits: watermelon

Disaccharides

  • Lactose
  • Found in:
    • Milk, yogurt, ice cream

Monosaccharides

  • Fructose
  • Found in:
    • Fruits: apples, pears, peaches, mangoes, watermelon, dried fruit, and fruit juices
    • Sweeteners: honey, agave nectar and high-fructose corn syrup
    • Alcohol: sherry and port wine

Polyols

  • Found in:
    • Fruits: apples, apricots, blackberries, cherries, nectarines, pears, peaches, plums, prunes, and watermelon
    • Vegetables: cauliflower, button mushrooms, and snow peas
    • Sweeteners: sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, maltitol, and isomalt (often found in sugar-free products like gum, mints, cough drops, and medications)

 

Important to Note:

Many foods contain FODMAPs and they may be very hard to avoid. You’ll likely find hundreds of food lists and suggestions of foods to avoid, which can lead to both confusion and restriction. Because of this, it’s very important to understand that the FODMAPs approach is not recommended for everyone to follow and is certainly not a weight loss diet or a cleanse, but a nutrition therapy that has the potential to help people with IBS figure out what foods trigger symptoms (…because let’s face it, constant bloating and gas isn’t fun for anyone or anyone around you!). If you’re still unsure about how to treat or manage your IBS symptoms, speak with your doctor, your dietitian, and/or check out the resources below:

 

 

 

  • And yes, there is an app for that! The research team at Monash recently launched a smartphone application: The Low FODMAP Diet. The app provides a list of hundreds of foods using traffic light signals i.e., (Red = Avoid and Green = Eat without fear) and according to serving sizes since smaller portions may be better tolerated.

 

 

 

References:

1. Scarlata K. The FODMAPS Approach – minimize consumption of fermentable carbs to manage functional gut disorder symptoms. Today’s Dietitian Website. Available at: http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/072710p30.shtml. Published August, 2010. Accessed April 16, 2014. 

Getting Good GUT Flora: The “Pres” and “Pros” of GI Bacteria

Getting Good GUT Flora: The “Pres” and “Pros” of GI Bacteria
By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD, CDN and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

 

Photo Credit: ninacoco via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: ninacoco via Compfight cc

We all hear a great deal about probiotics and their amazing gastrointestinal benefits, but what are the exact benefits and do probiotics need prebiotics to be effective? In honor of Irritable Bowel Syndrome Month, EALM will help you with the “pres” and “pros” of getting good gut flora.

 

There are prebiotics and probiotics. Prebiotics are natural, non-digestible carbohydrates (insoluble fiber). They include “fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) such as inulin and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS).”1 They are “selectively fermented ingredients that allow specific changes in the gastrointestinal microflora that benefit the health of the host.”2 They are “good bacteria promoters” and “may even enhance calcium absorption” per registered dietitian Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN, as reported on the eatright website. “Foods naturally with prebiotics include bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, artichokes, soybeans and whole-wheat foods.”1 Foods such as yogurt, and specifically brands like Maia yogurt (a favorite of Ilisa Nussbaum, RDN, CDN at Yale-New Haven Hospital), are adding the good bacteria promoters allowing you to get both the prebiotic and probiotic in one serving. Foods or supplements with both prebiotics and probiotics are called synbiotics.2

 

Probiotics are “gut-dwelling bacteria that keep pathogens (harmful microorganisms) in check, aid digestion and nutrient absorption, and contribute to immune function.”3 Bacteria such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, L. reuteri, bifidobacteria and certain strains of L. casei or the L. acidophilus-group are used in probiotic food, particularly fermented milk products.2 Think kefir and yogurt.

 

These probiotics work on the prebiotics. So it’s suggested that one eat plain yogurt (which is fermented and contains live bacteria) with wheat berries and or bananas (foods that contain indigestible carbohydrates) or a yogurt containing prebiotics and probiotics (an easy option for those on the go). One of the best sources of probiotics is yogurt, of course, because it contains lactobacillus and or bifidobacteria. Other probiotic food sources include sauerkraut, miso soup, kimchi, fermented soft cheeses (like Gouda) and even sourdough bread. The common feature of all these foods is fermentation, a process that produces probiotics.4

 

 

The 7 Pros of Probiotics5

1. Diarrhea

  • Probiotic therapy, specifically with Lactobacillus GG, is well supported by research for treating diarrhea.3
  • Prevention and/or reduction of duration and complaints of rotavirus-induced or antibiotic-associated diarrhea as well as alleviation of complaints due to lactose intolerance.4

 

2. Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

  • Studies suggest that certain probiotics may help maintain remission of ulcerative colitis and prevent relapse of Crohn’s disease.3
  • Prevention and alleviation of unspecific and irregular complaints of the gastrointestinal tracts in healthy people.

 

3. Cancer Promoting Enzymes

  • Reduction of the concentration of cancer-promoting enzymes and/or putrefactive (bacterial) metabolites in the gut.

 

4. Inflammation

  • Beneficial effects on microbial aberrancies, inflammation and other complaints in connection with inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, Helicobacter pylori infection or bacterial overgrowth.

 

5. Constipation

  • Normalization of passing stool and stool consistency in subjects suffering from obstipation or an irritable colon.

 

6. Allergies

  • Prevention or alleviation of allergies and atopic diseases in infants.

 

7. Colds and Infections

  • Prevention of respiratory tract infections (common cold, influenza) and other infectious diseases as well as treatment of urogenital infections.

 

Photo courtesy of Maia Yogurt
Photo courtesy of Maia Yogurt

Whether you are trying to prevent the common cold, or manage IBS, prebiotics, probiotics and synbiotics are worthy of consideration. You are probably already eating these foods and don’t even know it. If you need assistance, eating yogurt daily would be a very easy way to make your gut happy.

 

Happy GUT Meals

  • Whole-wheat pasta with artichokes, asparagus and olives.
  • Sourdough pizza crust topped with Munster cheese, onions, garlic and, of course, tomato sauce.
  • Salmon in a Greek yogurt sauce served with grilled asparagus.

    

Happy GUT Snacks

  • Maia yogurt with wheat germ.
  • Greek yogurt with bananas, figs and almonds.
  • Sourdough bread with black bean spread.

 

Happy GUT Sides

  • Kimchi with roasted soybeans.
  • Sauerkraut with onions.

 

 

References:

  1. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Prebiotics and Probiotics: The Dynamic Duo. 2013. Available at: http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442477443. Accessed April 7, 2014.
  2. de Vrese, M, Schrezenmeir, J. Probiotics, prebiotics, and synbiotics. Adv Biochem Eng Biotechnol. 2008; 111:1-66.
  3. The Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide. Health Benefits of Taking Probiotics. 2005. Available at: http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/update0905c.shtml. Accessed April 7, 2014.
  4. WebMD. Probiotics and Prebiotics: Ask the Nutritionist. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/nutrition-vitamins-11/probiotics. Accessed April 7, 2014.
  5. Peters, BA, Neet, KE. Regulatory properties of yeast hexokinase PII. Metal specificity, nucleotide specificity, and buffer effects. J Biol Chem. 1977;252(15):5345-9.

 

Navigating the Gluten-Free Aisle: A Guide to GF Shopping

Navigating the Gluten-Free Aisle: A Guide to Gluten-Free Shopping
By Lindsay Marr and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

Photo Credit: Whatsername? via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Whatsername? via Compfight cc

The gluten-free world can be daunting, especially for a newly diagnosed celiac or gluten-intolerant. Navigating the aisles of the grocery store can seem even scarier. Thankfully, there are more gluten-free options in stores and the labeling laws are becoming stricter, making gluten-free shopping less of a matter of chance. We took to the grocery stores to try and help ease the confusion and offer you a list of some healthful gluten-free tips.

 

You may remember we wrote about the new gluten-free labels this past summer and touched on the different aspects of the gluten-free diet in the fall. To touch base, the FDA has decided to consider foods with no more than 20ppm (parts per million) of gluten as gluten-free. But, what does 20ppm mean, you ask?  20ppm is the least amount of gluten that can be found in foods via reliable scientific analysis testing. It is also the level that meets many other countries’ standards for safety.

 

Can you trust a gluten-free label?

With the new FDA rulings, you can expect food companies to be more cautious in their labeling. In fact, we may even see a few gluten-free products come off the shelves, as some manufacturers may not want to go through the trouble of abiding by the FDA’s gluten-free rulings. If you feel uneasy before the August 2014 deadline, you can look for two seals on packages to assure the products you’re buying are gluten-free.

Screen shot 2014-04-06 at 10.34.22 AM
This image was used with the permission of The Gluten Intolerance Group.

Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO): The GFCO is currently the leading gluten-free certification program in the world. It is an independent organization that verifies the “quality, integrity, and purity of products” and certifies gluten-free products to no more than 10 PPM.
Click here for the label.
CSA (Celiac Sprue Association): The CSA seal is given to products that have undergone a review and testing of ingredients to ensure the product is free of wheat, rye, barley and oats.

 

Which gluten-free products should I choose? 

Gluten free food companies are making efforts to make their food products more healthy by adding fiber, using brown rice flour instead of white rice flour and some are even using gluten free grains like buckwheat for this first ingredient. EALM was quite impressed to see these changes. However, some food labels noted the addition of added fibers like inulin, which is a non-digestible form of fiber that can cause gas.

 

Photo Credit: Caden Crawford via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Caden Crawford via Compfight cc

Let’s Go Shopping!

When searching for the gluten-free foods with the most nutrition, we recommend using the following tips:

 

  1. Always double check!
    • Be sure to read the ingredients list for potential gluten, even if the product boasts a GF label or seal of approval from the organizations mentioned above. Food products and manufacturing practices change often and some companies even use the GF seals fraudulently. So, be aware and read those ingredients!
  2. Read the ingredients to educate yourself on which product is more nutrient dense!
    • When searching for healthier GF packaged goods look for nutrient-dense flours like quinoa, garbanzo bean, and brown rice. Also watch where these items are listed within the ingredient lists – ideally they are listed in ingredients one through five.
  3. Look for natural fiber!
    • As mentioned before, many high-fiber GF foods contain added carbohydrates like inulin or psyllium husk. While these carbs add fiber without affecting the texture or taste of the food, they can result in gas production (not so comfy for sensitive stomachs). Look for products that are naturally gluten-free, like corn meal or certified gluten-free oats. When in doubt, you can increase your fruit and vegetable intake for a boost of fiber, too.
  4. When in doubt…
    • Tap into some resources! There are a number of apps, subscription services, and organizations that keep consumers updated on all news relating to gluten-free. Take a look at our list below that will help you be a GF detective.

 

GF DETECTIVE Resources:

Celiac Disease Foundation

  • The CDF offers numerous resources for those affected by Celiac Disease, including a list of GF medications and supplements, tips for managing the holidays, as well as the latest research and gluten-free news.

 

Celiac Sprue Association

  • The CSA’s website offers a host of resources for those with Celiac and gluten intolerance. With lists of restaurants, recipes, and information on GF labeling, you are sure to find great information on all things gluten-free.

 

Gluten Free Watchdog

  • This handy monthly subscription is run by registered dietitian, Tricia Thompson, and for only $4.99 per month, you can have access to the latest in gluten free news and product testing results.

 

Gluten Intolerance Group

  • The GIG offers an annual membership with perks including access to food and medical information, educational programs, events, and even summer camps for children with gluten-sensitivities.

 

National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (Celiac Central)

  • The NFCA offers a list of GF manufacturers, keeps readers updated on GF news, and provides free webinars for readers. This is a great site when looking for GF news and information.

Get Political: Speak Up About the Proposed New Nutrition Labels and Serving Sizes

Get Political: Speak Up About the Proposed New Nutrition Labels and Serving Sizes 
(A Huffington Post Blog)

Photo Credit: Caden Crawford via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Caden Crawford via Compfight cc

Do you catch yourself staring at the back of packaged foods trying to decipher what the nutrition labels mean? Let’s face it… food labels can be very confusing. Now is our opportunity to have a voice in making changes!

Have you seen the proposals for the new food label? This change would be the first major adjustment since food labels were mandated in the early ’90s. Up to this point, the only modification has been adding trans-fat amounts. The chance to finally update the label gives us an opportunity to help make these labels less puzzling for all of us!

For more of this article and information on the proposed nutrition food labels click here to be redirected to Laura’s article on Huffington Post.

Aging Nutritionally and Gracefully

Aging Nutritionally and Gracefully
By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

 

If there is one thing working against us when it comes to aging it’s..…TIME. It is true that as we get older, we age. While we can’t turn back time, we can try to keep our bodies as healthy as possible to help us feel better, stronger, and more energized. Here are three of our favorite books that discuss diet, health, and lifestyle recommendations that can help you feel younger by keeping your mind and body in a state of wellness:

 Screen shot 2014-03-23 at 12.49.31 PM

You Staying Young- by Dr. Roizen and Dr. Oz

This book describes the aging process in a fun, easy-to-read way. It does an excellent job of intertwining medicine and nutrition. It has tons of useful tools like the YOU Tool 2 “Ultimate Work Up”-a fantastic list of tests you should be sure to inquire about at your next doctor’s visit. You also offers a 14-day plan that includes dietary changes, exercise routines, meditation, and relaxation plans. This book reminds you that caring for the mind and body together are equally important. It also includes interesting little known facts. For example Roizen and Oz note that you should remove your dry-cleaned clothing from the plastic-wrap, as soon as you get home to prevent the chemicals from becoming trapped.  There is a great chapter on other toxins that you may find in your environment as well. I am going to head to my closet right now to remove the plastic from my dry-cleaning.

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Younger Next Week- Elisa Zied, MS, RD

In Younger Next Week , my colleague registered dietitian Elisa Zied points out that crash dieting is not the solution to aging. In fact she explains that crash dieting increases cortisol levels, leading to both weight gain and aging! Zied’s 7-day vitality plan offers manageable ways to make permanent lifestyle changes that can lead to improved health and wellness. This plan is supposed to be repeated weekly so that it eventually becomes a lifestyle. Elisa states “it’s about finding a sustainable balance in your food and food choices” (Page 189). Finding balance, not only in food choices, but also in our schedules is important. Elisa offers countless examples of structured meal plans, tasty recipes, and creative “stressipes” to get you started on living a more balanced life. I am really excited to try Strawberry-Walnut Cinnamon French toast (Page 216) for breakfast next weekend!

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Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy- Dr. Willett

This book may look intimidating at first, but when you crack it open it has some very practical advice. Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy: Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating is one of my favorites! Dr. Willett provides a review of some of the quick-fix diets and why they do not work. He also includes his own version of the USDA pyramid, which I find to be very useful. This is a great book if you want to learn about nutrition science. This book focuses more on the diet component of lifestyle changes and includes some really wonderful recipes, menus guides, and cooking tips to help you feel comfortable trying new ingredients. This book may be a little more of challenging read than our other two recommendations, but it is certainly worth it.

 

Ultimately these books can aid the work you are doing with your RD and/or MD. Remember to help yourself feel your best, make small daily changes in your life. Think balance not CONTROL! Aim for the middle ground – “The Grey Zone” – the healthy diet mentality should steer clear of black and white, all or nothing thinking. Healthy diets are learning which foods work for you. Try to think of these foods as  “everyday” foods and  “sometimes” foods, when meal and snack planning. Choose to exercise to help your bodies physically and mentally, not just to lose weight. Take time to relax  – again both physically and mentally!! Oftentimes quick fixes may be appealing when trying to become healthy, but this typically ends up backfiring. Instead, consider taking small manageable steps, such as meditating for one minute each night, to achieve permanent behavior change.

 

Want more information on nutrition and aging? Check out this recently published article by the Nutrition Society:

Jessica C. Kiefte-de Jong, John C. Mathers and Oscar H. Franco. Nutrition and healthy ageing: the key ingredients . Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, available on CJO2014. doi:10.1017/S0029665113003881.

EALM reviews: "PCOS: The Dietitian’s Guide"

In honor of National Nutrition Month, EALM reviews: “PCOS: The Dietitian’s Guide

Screen shot 2014-03-03 at 2.26.04 PM

Specializing in both eating disorders and endocrine disorders, I often encounter women with an ambiguous diagnosis of PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). Some of these clients have struggled with weight issues for years and doctors have mentioned PCOS, but they do not have an official or clear diagnosis. When looking for resources to help these clients, I came across Angela Grassi’s The PCOS- Workbook and PCOS- The Dietitian’s Guide. Whether you are a woman with a potential diagnosis of PCOS or a dietitian looking to brush up on the condition, these books are much needed additions to your bookshelf.

 

Having been diagnosed with PCOS herself, Angela Grassi understands just how difficult it is to receive the correct diagnosis, as well as the complexities of living with the syndrome. Her first-hand experiences and knowledge as a registered dietitian help to offer a mind, body, and soul perspective to her readers.

 

It is estimated that PCOS affects between 6-10% of women worldwide, but getting diagnosed may be difficult. Many more women may be living without a diagnosis. A diagnosis typically requires two of the following criteria: Irregular or absent menstrual cycles, clinical or biochemical signs of increased androgen production, and polycystic ovaries (Rotterdam, 2003). Women may struggle for years before these symptoms are recognized. As dietitians, a client may present with weight struggles, disordered eating, or glucose abnormalities even before she knows she has PCOS.

 

What most women don’t know is that a lot of the symptoms of PCOS, such as hunger and weight gain are a result of their condition.  For example, did you know “women with PCOS have pre- and post-meal ghrelin impairments” (Page 31)? Ghrelin is a hormone that stimulates appetite. Complications of PCOS, such as infertility, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, can be reduced with lifestyle changes, making nutrition critical to the treatment of PCOS. However, “despite the benefits of weight loss, losing weight and maintaining weight loss is difficult in the general population and especially for women with PCOS (Page 31).”

 

Grassi reviews common diet trends and offers information on supplements that may be useful in this population. Did you know 1 tsp (3g) of cinnamon has been shown to reduce fasting blood glucose and improve long-term glycemic control (Page 52)? Pick up a copy of Grassi’s book to find more information about supplements that may help with the insulin resistance commonly found in women with PCOS.
The book goes on to describe challenges women may face throughout their lifetime.  It also touches on the psychological aspects of PCOS, including eating disorders. Because individuals with PCOS are at a higher risk for disordered eating and body image disturbances, dietitians must be aware of the signs and symptoms of disordered eating. Grassi offers dietitians and professionals various ways to screen for eating disturbances and tips for working with these clients.

 

This book summarizes current research, making it a great tool for any one looking to learn more about PCOS. It provides context to the disorder, offers practical advice, and reviews evidenced-based nutrition therapy in order to address treatment for the “entire” person. This particular book is intended for dietitians and health care professionals, but Grassi also offers a workbook for women with PCOS.

Screen shot 2014-03-03 at 2.25.44 PM For more information on both Angela Grassi and her books click here.

Global Kitchen Cookbook Giveaway!

To honor National Nutrition Month, we wanted to host a giveaway on something we’ve been focusing on over at MomDishesItOut: Global Eating!

Watching the various countries compete in the Olympics last month and watching my kids taste new foods while we traveled in Peru got me thinking about the importance of trying new foods and expanding your eating horizons. So, when our friends at Cooking Light sent us the Global Kitchen Cookbook, I knew I had to share it with my readers.

Written by David Joachim, this cookbook features 150 recipes from all over the globe. Just this past Friday, we featured one of their recipes on our blog: Mom Dishes It Out.

Check out the details on how to win a copy of Cooking Light’s Global Kitchen Cookbook below and be sure to take a peek at the links below for more information on global eating!

Screen shot 2014-03-14 at 10.09.02 PM

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Did you read our blog posts below?

Olympians at the Office

Global Kitchen’s Brown Soda Bread

Dinner Olympics: Challenge your Child’s Palate!

My Trip to Peru:
Pizza Hut Tunes to Pardo’s Chicken…How to eat with your kids while traveling

Olympians at the Office

Photo Credit: PhotoshopScaresMe.com via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: PhotoshopScaresMe.com via Compfight cc

Olympians at the Office
By Lauren Cohen, NYU Nutrition Student and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

Walking through a hall of chiseled, marble statues in various athletic positions can make you wonder who that discus thrower’s trainer was and if his 450 BC workout is still available. This renaissance Photoshop, and very real Photoshop of the 2014 Sochi Athletes, may even elicit a google search for an “Olympic fitness routine.” But before you embark on your new training, consider this; “Olympian” is not a workout regiment—it’s a career.

If you have a job, go to school, are a full-time parent, or do all of the above, you already understand what kind of intense commitment goes into your profession. Being an Olympic Athlete isn’t just doing the workout, it’s doing the work. Let’s deconstruct this idea by taking a closer look at the United States ice dancing gold-medalists, Meryl Davis and Charlie White.

Davis, 27, and White, 26, have been ice dancing together for 17 years, training roughly 1.5-2 hours everyday—when they were young teens. These part-time students at The University of Michigan are now full-time Olympic Athletes. Davis and White are on the ice every Monday through Friday starting at 7am at the International Skating Academy in Canton, Michigan. They typically go through techniques, watch old performance tape, and develop new routines on and off the ice. They stay in their skates for about 6 hours. After work, they hit the gym.

A typical after work-workout consists of cardio, three days a week, and then strength training. They do agility, balance, and weight training and, on occasion, ballet. While it is not their favorite, it is essential to help with their balance practice. White often steadies a kettle bell on his shoulders during ballet practice in preparation for the lifts and carries during their skating routines. Davis and White enjoy their weekends off.

Despite the more offbeat nature of their professional life, their workday is very similar to your average adult. The main different is that their body is their office. It’s where they spend their business days and where they put in overtime; it’s their trade and their skill and it’s what pays their bills.

Training like an Olympic Athlete is taking on an entirely new profession; one where the most skilled are constantly subjected to injury. During the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, over 11% of the athletes injured themselves. More than half of those injuries occurred during training. These figures do not even include the athletes who were injured prior to the Games. Canadian ice-dancer Tessa Virtue famously skated through compartment syndrome in both her legs during the 2010 Games and went on to endure two painful surgeries and over a year of recovery. She and her partner, Scott Moir, withdrew from a series of 2012 competitions due to a faulty landing on Moir’s neck. Luckily, they were able to compete in the 2014 Games and took home the silver medal.

The very same attention and devotion you put into your work, they put into theirs. So, in a way, we are all Olympians in our field! You would never ask an athlete—or more importantly, any untrained individual—to take over your job. Maybe, from now on, we can just meet Davis and White at the gym when we all get off work.

 

References

  1. Longman, J. “Behind Meryl Davis and Charlie White, U.S. Is Close to Its First Ice Dance Gold.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 16 Feb. 2014. Web. 24 Feb. 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/17/sports/olympics/behind-meryl-davis-and-charlie-white-us-is-close-to-its-first-ice-dance-gold.html?_r=0
  2. Junge, A., L. Engebretsen, J. M. Alonso, P. Renström, M. Mountjoy, M. Aubry, and J. Dvorak. “Result Filters.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 07 Apr. 2008. Web. 24 Feb. 2014. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18390916
  3. “Meryl Davis & Charlie White.” Classroom Champions. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2014. http://www.classroomchampions.org/person/37/Meryl-Davis-Charlie-White
  4. “Meryl Davis & Charlie White.” Shape Magazine. American Media, INC, n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2014. http://www.shape.com/topics/meryl-davis-charlie-white
  5. Cardarelli, L. “Ice Dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White Shape Up for the Olympics | The Fit Stop.” The Fit Stop. Fitness Magazine, 30 Nov. 2012. Web. 24 Feb. 2014. http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/blogs/fitstop/2012/11/30/fitness/ice-dancers-meryl-davis-and-charlie-white-shape-up-for-the-olympics/
  6. “Canadian Pair Scott Moir, Tessa Virtue Continue to Deal with Injuries – CBC Sports – Figure Skating.” CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, 18 Oct. 2012. Web. 24 Feb. 2014. http://www.cbc.ca/sports/figureskating/canadian-pair-scott-moir-tessa-virtue-continue-to-deal-with-injuries-1.1284273
  7. Seidel, Jeff. “Jeff Seidel: Michigan Ice Dancers Meryl Davis, Charlie White Make Perfect Pair.” Detroit Free Press. N.p., 02 Feb. 2014. Web. 24 Feb. 2014. http://www.freep.com/article/20140202/SPORTS/302020058/Jeff-Seidel-Michigan-ice-dancers-Meryl-Davis-Charlie-White-make-perfect-pair

 

What Eating Right Means to the Future of Nutrition!

In honor of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic’s National Nutrition Month, we wanted to share our views on eating right. Read what eating right means to the women who make up the team of dietetic interns at Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services: 

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Courtney Darsa
Dietetic Intern at University of Delaware

When someone asks me how I define eating healthy, many different things come to mind.  Consuming a balanced diet that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low fat dairy products, is only part of my definition.  The most important part of healthy eating is to have a positive relationship with food.  When a person enjoys the food they are eating, it can become a big surprise as to how much more satisfying eating can truly be.  Developing a positive relationship with food is not as easy as it sounds.  When you slow down to eat a meal, it becomes easier to savor and enjoy the flavors of the particular food you are eating.  This gives your body the time to recognize whether or not it is still hungry.  Another definition for this is Mindful Eating.

Mindful eating is defined as eating with awareness.  It is a great way to measure healthy eating because there is no right or wrong answer.   It is about realizing that each individual’s eating experiences are unique and cannot be compared to any other person’s experience.  Mindful eating is about listening to your body’s cravings and satisfying them.  It is about recognizing that there are no “good or bad foods”, eating food in moderation is important.  Yes, there are foods that contain more vitamins and minerals than others (these foods should be eaten more often) but it does not mean that foods that do not contain as many nutrients should be restricted.  Healthy eating is all about balance and listening to your body’s wants and needs.  By developing a healthy relationship with food, you will be come surprised as to how much more enjoyable your eating experiences can be!

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Laura Iu
Dietetic Intern at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
Instagram: @dowhatiulove

As an alumna of NYU and now a dietetic intern, I’ve realized that studying in the nutrition field by no means makes me perfect in the way I eat; but the way I eat is perfect for me. I’m at my happiest and healthiest when I’m able to cook my own meals, which I prefer to do instead of dining out. I love knowing exactly what ingredients are going into my food which helps me eat healthier, and being in the kitchen is my go-to de-stressor. With every new experience, my definition of “healthy” is evolves. To simplify what “healthy” means to me, I’ll begin by telling you what “healthy” is not. Healthy is not about eating only low-fat foods, low-calories, or feeling guilty after enjoying something tasty. In fact, healthy means not feeling hungry, guilty, or deprived. Being healthy does not mean one must follow a specific diet (i.e. vegetarian, vegan, paleo, etc.) and it also doesn’t mean it must be expensive or the food always organic.

Eating right and being healthy is a balancing act! It requires us to embrace all foods in an amount that makes us feel good, fitting in physical activities for enjoyment, setting aside time for yourself to de-stress, or simply sleep! It’s about nourishing our bodies with wholesome foods—so that we’re not just satisfied, but also energized to live to the fullest today and to another tomorrow—for the people we love, the things we love to do, and most importantly, for ourselves.

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Valery Kallen
MS Candidate at New York University

Eating “right” means nourishing both my body and my mind. When I think of food, I don’t just think of calories or nutrients – I think of the whole mind/body connection. So when I try to eat healthy, it’s not just to maintain a certain weight, it’s also because I know that I will feel stronger, more focused, and more at peace with my food choices. And that doesn’t mean depriving myself either; it means eating mostly whatever I want, in moderation. So if I feel like having a scoop of ice cream while watching a Saturday night movie, that’s eating “right” to me. Eating healthy means not feeling guilty about the foods you eat. There are no good foods versus bad foods – it’s not a superhero comic book! When you eat a wholesome, balanced diet the majority of the time, you’ll find that you no longer feel shame over eating the occasional cookie, or two. And there’s something very “right” about that.

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Lindsay Marr
BS Nutrition and Dietetics, New York University

In my opinion, eating right doesn’t have to mean deprivation or limitations. In fact, I believe it means the opposite. Eating right is striving to eat all foods in moderation. As both a nutrition graduate and a person with dietary restrictions, eating right is very important to me. Throughout my time as a nutrition student, I worked to maintain a healthy diet filled with wholesome ingredients and balanced meals. To this day, I continue to do so. My version of eating right means reading labels on the foods I buy to ensure the ingredients are safe for me and checking the quality of the products I eat to be sure I am eating the most nutritional items. I eat a diet rich in fresh foods and make sure to enjoy all foods. Eating right is more than aiming for a certain number on a scale or looking a certain way: it is important to maintaining our health. I eat right to fuel my body with the necessary nutrients it needs to thrive. I eat healthfully to feel good now and to continue to feel good later in life. Most importantly, I eat right to enjoy life.

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Alyssa Mitola
Dietetic Intern at New York University

Eating right is all about balance, a balance of flavors, tastes, culture, and nutrients. I believe it is essential to nourish your body with adequate nutrients. It is also important to enjoy your food and feel satisfied. When feasible, I love to eat fresh wholesome foods. We are lucky that nature is abundant with so many delicious choices. There is nothing like a fresh tomato in season or a ripe apple picked straight off the tree. But it is important to remember that no food should be off limits when “eating right.” I believe we should eat with intent and take time to enjoy the smells and flavors of the food we eat. Living in NYC, one of my favorite things to do is taste cuisines from all over the world. It amazes me how similar ingredients can be made into so many different dishes. I love discovering new foods and flavors each day. Food and eating not only fulfill essential biological needs, but also social, psychological, and cultural needs. For me, eating right is about understanding all aspects of food and cultivating a healthy relationship with food. Eating right means purposefully choosing foods to fuel one’s mind, body, and soul! Happy National Nutrition Month!

 

I'm Blogging National Nutrition MonthTo learn more about the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic’s National Nutrition Month, please click here to be redirected to their NNM Page. 

The Scoop on Coffee

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The Scoop on Coffee
By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

 

We’ve heard it before: “Coffee boosts your metabolism. Too much coffee causes dehydration.” But, do these sayings hold any truth? Does drinking a cup or two of java each morning really affect your metabolism? And what about your hydration? Research has linked coffee to numerous health benefits, including aiding in degenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease, boosting our mood, and the list goes on. We took to the books to find the scoop on coffee. Here is what we found.

Image courtesy of Puro Coffee
Image courtesy of Puro Coffee

Q: What’s the deal with caffeine?
A: Coffee stimulates our feel good hormones in the brain!! Makes you feel good (in moderation, of course).

According to a Harvard Health Letter published in Harvard Medical School’s Health Publications, caffeine is absorbed in the stomach and small intestine. It is then circulated throughout the body, including the brain. The caffeine circulation reaches its highest point roughly 30-45 minutes following ingestion. Once absorbed, caffeine affects the dopamine activity in the brain. Dopamine is a brain chemical that involves thinking and pleasure. Think about it that first cup of coffee in the morning  – part of that morning rush is associated with caffeine stimulating our dopamine receptors just like sugar and even drugs.

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Q: Can coffee be beneficial to brain function?
A: Caffeine is linked to better memory! 

A study published in 2012 tested the effect of caffeine on older adults with “mild cognitive impairment, or the first glimmer of serious forgetfulness, a common precursor of Alzheimer’s disease”2. The study found that those older adults with little caffeine in their bloodstreams were far more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those who had a few cups of coffee per day2.

 

Q: Is filtered coffee healthier than unfiltered coffee?
A: Choose filtered coffee more often.

If you’re drinking unfiltered coffee on a daily basis, you may want to consider switching to filtered. Coffee naturally contains a substance known as cafestol, which has been shown to stimulate LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. However, when brewed with a paper filter, the cafestol doesn’t transfer to the coffee. While drinking unfiltered coffee on occasion isn’t terrible for you, if you are someone with high cholesterol, filtered coffee would make the better choice.

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Q: Can too much coffee be dehydrating?
A: Caffeine stimulates your bladder, while alcohol actually dehydrates.

A recent study published by University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom tested coffee’s effect on the fluid balance of habitual male coffee drinkers and found no significant loss of fluid balance in men that drank a maximum of 4 cups of coffee per day1.

 

Q: Does coffee consumption impact blood pressure?
A: Coffee can up our pump; think twice if you have already high blood pressure. 

It can. According to a study performed by Harvard University, continued caffeine consumption (via coffee) can lead to a slight increase in blood pressure. While coffee hasn’t been directly associated with an increased risk of hypertension, it is typically recommended that those with hypertension, specifically those who are finding it difficult to control, should switch to a decaffeinated coffee.

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Q: Can coffee really boost our metabolism?
A: Coffee boosts our central nervous system, but it usually takes more than 1 cup.

A study published in the Journal of Physiology and Behavior, the metabolic rate of regular coffee drinkers was found to be about 16% higher than decaf coffee drinkers. The reasoning? Caffeine is known to stimulate the body’s central nervous system, which can increase both breathing and heart rate.

 

Q: So, what’s the takeaway?
A: We will see you at Starbucks!

As the research we’ve highlighted shows, coffee drinking can benefit our brain health, boost our metabolism, and even help improve our mood. However, too much of a good thing can be harmful – drinking too much coffee can increase our blood pressure and drinking more than 4 cups per day can negatively affect our fluid balance. Though, like most things, coffee can be a part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation. A cup or two of coffee per day could be beneficial to our health, but it is encouraged to limit coffee drinking to a maximum of 4 cups per day to avoid any negative side effects.

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Image courtesy of Puro Coffee

Laura recently traveled to Peru and came across a great coffee brand known for both their sustainability and commitment to the environment, Puro Coffee. Puro Coffee is sourced from Fairtrade co-operatives made up of hundreds of farmers together to grow the coffee naturally. They even use solar panels and recycle the heat from the coffee roasting process to power their factory!

For more information on Puro Coffee and their sustainable processes, please take a look at the following links:

www.purocoffee.com/us
www.purocoffee.com/uk/
www.facebook.com/fairtradecoffee
www.twitter.com/puro_coffee
or watch a great video on their story here!

 

References:

  1. Killer, Sophie C., Andrew K. Blannin, and Asker E. Jeukendrup. “No Evidence of Dehydration with Moderate Daily Coffee Intake: A Counterbalanced Cross-Over Study in a Free-Living Population.” PloS one 9.1 (2014): e84154.
  2. Santos, Roseane M.M., Tracy Hunter, Nick Wright, Darcy R.A. Lima. “Caffeine and Chlorogenic Acids in Coffee and Effects on Selected Neurodegenerative Diseases.” J Pharm Sci Innov. 2013; 2(4): 9-17.