Frequently Asked Questions
What is a registered dietitian?
The letters "RD" after a person's name signify that he/she has completed academic and experience requirements established by the Commission on Dietetic Registration, the credentialing agency for ADA, including a minimum of a bachelor's degree granted by a U.S. regionally accredited college/university, or equivalent, and an accredited preprofessional experience program. RDs demonstrate their knowledge of food and nutrition by successfully passing a national credentialing exam and by completing ongoing continuing professional development.
There are many so-called nutrition advisors out there, sometimes it's hard to tell just who is a qualified expert. From the hottest trendy restaurants to school cafeterias, from corporations to day-care centers, the secret is out. The registered dietitian is recognized as the most valuable source of good nutrition. Registered dietitians provide reliable, up-to-date food and nutrition information. RDs know the science of nutrition and have the education to back it up. Many times authors or salespeople for dietary supplements, for example, may call themselves "nutritionists." In reality, they may only be self-proclaimed experts. When you need trusted, accurate, timely and practical nutrition advice, seek the advice of a registered dietitian.
Vitamin and mineral supplements -- the answer to nutrition?
Do you think that the simple answer to nutrition is taking a pill?
Healthful nutrition, including adequate vitamin and minerals, is best achieved by consuming a wide variety of foods. Choosing foods as your source of nutrition--meets your nutrient needs and provides taste and enjoyment.
If you're struggling with food choices or are not sure if you're getting the nutrition you need--ask yourself
these questions before taking a supplement.
If you answered yes to most of these questions you probably could use some nutritional help. Before choosing a supplement on your own, check with your providers to determine which supplement best meets your needs or how you can improve your food choices.
I often skip meals or snacks
I'm following a very low calorie eating plan
I'm elderly and eating just isn't that appealing
I skip dairy products most days
I'm a strict vegetarian or
I'm a female of child bearing age and I don't eat enough fruits and vegetables.
How can I get my children or grandchildren to be more active?
Do your children spend more time playing computer games than they spend playing outside?
Inactivity continues to increase among children and this inactivity is affecting their health now and possibly for the future. Decreased activity is a major cause of obesity, decreased bone strength and a contributor to a lifestyle that can increase the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer.
The good news is it's simple to change these risks. Get your children active. Start this weekend to work out as a family--bike ride, roller blade, go for a walk or play tennis. Helping children get active does two things--it starts them on a healthful routine and it shows them you, their role model, value physical activity. So why not start a thirty-minute routine of physical activity and help your children keep that a part of their routines.
Are Low-Carbohydrate Diets the answer for weight loss?
Popular diets question carbohydrates in a healthful eating plan. You thought they were good for you. What are the facts?
Carbohydrates yield readily available glucose and are the best fuel for the body. Skipping carbohydrates is like trying to drive your car with oil instead of gas.
Many popular diets claim eating only protein is magical, that combining carbohydrates and protein is harmful, or even low-fat is the
way to weight gain. The facts for weight loss are very simple and not too glamorous. Weight loss occurs when you burn more calories than you consume. You can change calories in one of three ways--eat fewer calories, exercise more, or do a little of both.
For more assistance with healthy eating and for more information about the risks involved with low carbohydrate diets make an appointment to speak with a registered dietitian.
How can I eat healthier when dining out at lunch time?
Do you get the "urge to splurge" when dining out?
If you don't have an eating plan to help you make good food choices, dining out can pose problems.
The next time you run out for lunch, follow the food guide
The first step is to include whole grains.
Choose a sandwich with whole grain bread or whole wheat pasta for your entree. Step two leads
you to fruits and vegetables. Load your sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes, and sprouts, or top
that pasta with steamed vegetables. Another choice is a salad with spinach, green peppers, tomatoes,
and cauliflower. Fruit salad or fresh fruit are good options for dessert.
And, for some protein, try a hearty bean soup or include lean chicken on your sandwich or pasta. A pizza
topped with veggies, low-fat cheese, and lean meat or chicken is a fun choice that's also packed with nutrition.
Add a glass of low-fat milk or yogurt and you round out the meal.
Using the Pyramid as your guide helps you develop a healthful eating plan.
Questions about Diabetes Management
What is the best way to lose weight?
The secret to successful weight management is a healthy eating plan and physical activities that you enjoy. Although there really isn't one "best way," registered dietitians advise that slow, gradual weight loss is healthier, easier to manage and more likely to be permanent. Being active contributes to weight loss by burning calories and helping improve your overall fitness.
Use the Food Guide Pyramid as the basis for your healthy eating pattern. Be sure to include the minimum number of servings from each food group. A registered dietitian (RD) can help you develop a healthy eating plan that will fit your lifestyle.
Can I eat foods with sugar in them?
For almost every person with diabetes, the answer is yes! Eating a piece of cake made with sugar will raise your blood glucose level. So, will eating corn on the cob, a tomato sandwich, or lima beans.
The truth is that sugar has gotten a bad reputation. People with diabetes can and do eat sugar. In your body, it becomes glucose, but so do the other foods mentioned above. With sugary foods, the rule is moderation.
Eat too much, and:
So, don't pass up a slice of birthday cake. Instead, at the next meal, eat a little less bread or potato and be sure to take a brisk walk to burn some calories.
You'll send your blood glucose level up higher than you expected.
You'll fill up but without the nutrients that come with vegetables and grains.
You'll gain weight.
Why does losing weight help my diabetes?
Weight loss helps people with diabetes in two important ways. First, it lowers insulin resistance. This allows your natural insulin (in people with type 2 diabetes) to do a better job lowering blood glucose levels. If you take insulin or a sulfonylurea, losing weight may allow you to quit taking it. Second, it improves blood fat and blood pressure levels. People with diabetes are about twice as likely to get cardiovascular disease as most people. Lowering blood fats and blood pressure is a way to reduce that risk.
Are some fats better than others?
Yes. Monounsaturated fats are the healthiest for your body. Nuts-like almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, and peanuts-and avocados contain this type of fat. Choose olive or canola oil for cooking. Polyunsaturated fat is the next healthiest fat. This is found in margarine, corn oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, and mayonnaise. Avoid saturated fats like butter, lard and meat fat, bacon, and shortening. There are lower-fat versions of saturated fats like sour cream and cream cheese. A healthy diet includes less than 30% of calories from fat, with less than 10% of these from saturated fat.
Nutrition Care Division -
Madigan Army Medical Center
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