Appreciate Your Mom This Mothers Day!

We all know our mothers do so much for us, so let’s do something special for them.
Here are a few ideas to give your mother the special gift she deserves..
  • Dark chocolate: Which contains antioxidants, dark chocolate can mop up the damaging free radicals known to play a role in heart disease and other illnesses. Just make sure you choose types with less sugar and fewer calories. This is a great way to satisfy her sweet tooth and benefit her heart!
  • Make a light meal from your favorite healthy cookbook and leave the book behind for her to try out later. She may also appreciate some skinny-kitchen gadgets, like a steam basket, grill pan, or oil mister.
  • A visit with a Dietitian and follow it with a healthy meal. Mother’s Day is a great reason to get your mom to see a Dietitian. A Dietitian can really tailor their advice to whatever issues your  mom may be having with her diet.
  • Adequate sleep is linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, as well as other health conditions. Buy your mom satin sheets, a new mattress, a mattress cover, or a luxurious pillow to encourage better sleep.


 Appreciate your mother, they deserve it!
Posted by: SSG


Improve Your Smile!

 Do you ever wonder what foods can help or hurt your teeth? Who doesn’t want a brighter and healthier smile? Other than brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, foods can have a big impact on your teeth and gums.
Here are some nutritional tips to keep your teeth and gums healthy:
·      A balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy products and whole grains provide essential nutrients for optimum oral health as well as overall health.
·      Calcium-rich foods, such as low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt and cheese; fortified soy drinks and tofu; canned salmon; almonds; and dark green leafy vegetables help promote strong teeth and as bones.
·      Phosphorus, found in eggs, fish, lean meat and dairy products, is good for strong teeth.
·      Vitamin C promotes gum health, so eat plenty of citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, potatoes and spinach.
*Remember to brush after snacking to keep away cavities!
*If you can’t brush, rinse your mouth with water to get rid of food particles.
Posted by: SSG


Celebrating Cinco de Mayo? Here is a healthy and delicious recipe you and your family can enjoy!

 ~Baja Fish Tacos~

Cilantro brings plenty of flavor to low-cal mahimahi in these festive fish tacos. Add a few chunks of avocado to get a creamy texture and heart-healthy fats. And the cabbage isn’t just filler—it offers plenty of Vitamin C. Be sure to squirt some lime juice on top for the ultimate tangy topping.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 7 minutes.
3/4 pound mahi mahi or other firm white fish fillets
2 teaspoons fajita seasoning
2 cups presliced green cabbage (about 6 ounces)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
2 1/2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream, divided (optional)
1/2 avocado, pitted and diced
Bottled salsa
Lime wedges
1. Lightly spray grill rack with nonstick cooking spray, and preheat grill.
2. Sprinkle both sides of fish with fajita seasoning, gently pressing into flesh. Grill fish 3-4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Flake into pieces with a fork; keep warm.
3. In a small bowl, mix together cabbage, lime juice, salt, and cilantro.
4. Wrap the tortillas in paper towels, and microwave 1 minute on HIGH or until they’re warm.
5. Place taco ingredients on the table for assembly. Spread each tortilla with 1 teaspoon of sour cream, if desired, and top with fish, cabbage mixture, and avocado. Serve with salsa and lime wedges on the side.
~Nutritional Information~
Calories per serving:                      235
Fat per serving:                               6g
Saturated fat per serving:                1g
Monounsaturated fat per serving:   3g
Polyunsaturated fat per serving:     1g
Protein per serving:                         20g
Carbohydrates per serving:             28g
Fiber per serving:                            6g
Cholesterol per serving:                 62mg
Iron per serving:                             2mg
Sodium per serving:                       507mg
Calcium per serving:                      75mg
Posted by: SSG

Mediterranean Diet Proven To Reduce Incidence of Cognitive Impairment

A recent study published in Neurology, the official journal for the American Academy of Neurology, concluded that higher adherence to the Mediterranean Diet (MeD) was associated with a lower likelihood of cognitive impairment. The study found no association between race and adherence to the MeD with cognitive impairment, but it did indicate that these results were correlated only for non-diabetic individuals. People with diabetes that participated in the study that also followed the MeD diet did not have similar results of lowered cognitive impairment.

To put it in simple terms- this examination of over 17,000 men’s and women’s dietary habits and adherence to the Mediterranean Diet indicates that non-diabetic individuals, across all races with a higher adherence to the diet had a lower incidence of cognitive impairment, at least over 4-5 years. This does not include people with diabetes mellitus, as these individuals cognitive status was not ‘protected’ by the benefits of the MeD.
What is the Mediterranean Diet?
It has been widely researched, studied and proven benefits for the brain, heart and prevention of other diseases.
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes:
  • Getting plenty of exercise
  • Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
  • Replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
  • Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)
A registered dietitian can help you get on track with a Mediterranean Diet. It’s more than a diet, its actually a lifestyle. sls

Is HFCS to blame?

High fructose corn syrup has a bad rap. It has been linked and blamed for the obesity epidemic in the United States that has reached alarming levels over the last 30 years.

So, what is HFCS?

  • High fructose corn syrup is a product made from cornstarch. Cornstarch is almost 100% glucose.
  • HFCS has various forms, all of which are mixtures of fructose and glucose. There are 2 commonly used versions: HFCS-42 and HFCS-55, indicating their ratio % of fructose relative to glucose in composition.
  • HFCS is in liquid form and has the ability to withstand pH levels that sucrose cannot. These products are typically used in beverages and food. In other countries it can be referred to as ‘isoglucose’.
  • Table sugar is the disaccharide ‘sucrose’, composed of 50% glucose and 50% fructose.   


HFCS began replacing sucrose in processed, packaged foods in the 1970s related to:
  • functional properties which extend shelf life and preserve ‘freshness’
  • aids in fermentation
  • maintained structural stability over range of temperature and acidity levels
  • maintained texture of baked goods
In the long run- it saves food companies a lot of MONEY!

The HFCS Hypothesis
Until 2004, HFCS was flying under the radar when a study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Bray et al) that deemed it a direct cause of obesity. This hypothesis was based on the rising rates of obesity over the last 30 years and the replacement of sugar with HFCS in the national food supply. (3)
It seems reasonable to suggest a relationship between increased consumption of this product and chronic disease, however evidence from ecological studies linking HFCS consumption with rising BMI rates is unreliable and evidence from epidemiologic studies and randomized controlled trials is inconclusive. (2) 

You can find studies to support this hypothesis, but the quality of the studies is continually poor. Check out this review by Dr. John White and his examination of a HFCS vs sucrose study, purporting the HFCS Hypothesis. It really sheds light on how bad information can turn into ‘fact’Dr. White: Review HFCS-vs-Sucrose Video

–>Just The FactsHFCS and sucrose are fundamentally composed of the same carbohydrate monomers-fructose and glucose. The ratios are slightly different, however the building blocks are the exact same.

Sucrose is a disaccharide and when hydrolyzed in the body by sucrase, it becomes ‘free’ fructose and glucose molecules.
 HFCS is composed of ‘free’ fructose and glucose molecules, unbound in solution as monosaccharides. Once sucrose is digested, it is absorbed JUST THE SAME as HFCS. 
Composition of Caloric Sweeteners
HFCS 42: 42% Fructose & 58% Glucose
HFCS 55: 55% Fructose & 45% Glucose
Sucrose: 50% Fructose & 50% Glucose 
Honey: 49% Fructose & 51% Glucose
Agave: 74% Fructose & 26% Glucose

The Science Behind The Misunderstanding of HFCS:
Fructose and glucose are metabolically different, yielding different absorption rates and endocrine system effects. However, neither sucrose nor HFCS exist in pure form of fructose or glucose, so the differences are irrelevant. Both have nearly identical ratios of fructose and glucose, therefore any variance in the monomers metabolism occurs equally. 

  • Fructose empties from the stomach more quickly than glucose, is absorbed into the intestine slower and not as thoroughly as glucose.
  • In addition, unlike glucose, fructose does not stimulate insulin secretion or leptin levels. Ghrelin levels are also not decreased, as with glucose metabolism.
Although fructose and glucose metabolism are different- HFCS and sucrose are not metabolized differently, therefore distinguishing them as such is incorrect.  
HFCS and sucrose both contain the same energy- 4 calories per gram.
So, why is the ‘HFCS Hypothesis’ invalid?

žListed below are 3 research studies which examine various effects on the manipulation of HFCS in the diet, as it relates to obesity markers and health. 

  • All 3 studies posed the examination and analysis of HFCS as a direct cause to obesity markers and/weight gain.
  • All 3 studies concluded that in relation to sucrose(table sugar), HFCS is metabolically equivalent, produces similar clinical biomarkers of obesity and does not contribute more significantly to negative health.


1) Melanson KJ, Zukley L, Lowndes J., Nguyen V, Angelopoulos TJ, Rippe JM. Effects of high fructose corn syrup and sucrose consumption on circulating glucose, insulin, leptin and ghrelin and on appetite in normal-weight women. Nutrition 2007; 23:103-12.
2) Soenen S, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. No differences in satiety or energy intake after high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose or milk preloads. Am J Clin Nutr 2007; 86: 1586-94.
3) Lowndes et al: The effects of four hypocaloric diets containing different levels of sucrose or high fructose corn syrup on weight loss and related parameters. Nutrition Journal 2012 11:55. 


ž 1) Melanson KJ, Zukley L, Lowndes J., Nguyen V, Angelopoulos TJ, Rippe JM. Effects of high fructose corn syrup and sucrose consumption on circulating glucose, insulin, leptin and ghrelin and on appetite in normal-weight women. Nutrition2007; 23:103-12



ž2) Foreshee RA, Storey ML, Allison DB, Glinsmann WH, Hein GL et al. A critical examination of the evidence relating high fructose corn syrup and weight gain. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2007; 47(6): 561-82



ž3) Bray GA, Nielsen SJ, Popkin BM. Consumption of high fructose corn syrup in beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity. Am J Clin Nutr 2004; 79:537-43



ž4) Soenen S, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. No differences in satiety or energy intake after high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose or milk preloads. Am J Clin Nutr2007; 86: 1586-94



ž5) Lowndes et al: The effects of four hypocaloric diets containing different levels of sucrose or high fructose corn syrup on weight loss and related parameters. Nutrition Journal 2012 11:55.

Marathon Eats

If you’re running the OKC Marathon this Sunday, by now you should have a pre-race meal that has been tested successfully several times during your training runs that has left you with no GI-trouble. This meal looks different for every runner, and because everyone’s needs vary- find out what is best for YOU. In general, stick to simple carbohydrates and protein. We want to digest what we eat quickly and sustain energy levels from our glycogen storage utilization. Fat and fiber tend to keep us full for longer but ultimately cause GI discomfort and bowel movements- so during an athletic event, you can imagine how this is not ideal.

Race Day will require getting up extra early to eat, stretch and possibly eat again. A Pre-Race Meal can be broken up into two manageable amounts, if you can’t get what you need at one time. If you have 2 hours, consume 50-75 grams of carbohydrates. If you’re limited on time with an hour, 20-25g will suffice. Timing is crucial for digestion and of course, you want to feel 100% when you toe up to the line. However without that last bit of energy intake- you will be lacking in energy and stored glycogen. I would NOT suggest skipping the pre-race meal, even if you’re feeling nervous. We recently discussed in our blog about the importance of carbohydrate loading.
So will your ‘carb-loading’ and pre-race meal be enough? Not for long.
The science behind ‘the wall’: You start running and after about 90 minutes, your glycogen storage is low or depleted entirely. If you kept running with nothing left, your energy levels will plummet and you quickly tire or ‘hit the wall’. The next option after glycogen and blood glucose is sapped is tapping fat storage. Rather than allowing your body to shift to primary fat utilization, you should supply it with carbohydrate, which metabolizes quickly. Fat metabolism is a less efficient process, so although it will ultimately provide you with energy- it will come with a price. Fatigue.  *
Avoid fatigue by fueling up right. My suggestion is to eat before the race ~3 hours with 50-75grams, then 20 grams that last hour before, and after the first hour into your run, so by the time the glycogen could have run out- you’re proactively fueling your fire. Eat 30-60 grams of carbohydrates every hour during your run.
Pre-Race Foods and Race Foods (during your run) should emphasize simple carbs and moderate protein. Some fat is okay, say from peanut butter and unsaturated fats. But don’t douse your pasta, rice or bagel in butter. Opt for jelly.

Pre-Race Food
1.     Toast with jelly or jam
2.     Bagel with nut butter
3.     Muffin(not bran) with honey
4.     Cereal (<3g fiber) + milk and dried fruits
5.     Smoothies- fruit or vegetable
6.     Juices- the fiber is all gone from juices, so this is the one time I strongly advise! You can easily find juices with extra sugar, which will give you the carbs you’re looking for.
Race Food
Chances are, they’ll be giving food out to runners during the race, typically orange wedges, bananas or electrolyte beverages. You can definitely go for this option, but if you’re concerned with not having what you want- plan ahead. Fill up your fanny pack and don’t make it too complicated to reach for and eat.  Ideas include:
1.     Dried fruit- apricot, raisins
2.     Clif bar
3.     Trailmix- nuts, fruits, chocolates (if its not too hot)
4.     Pretzels- perfect for sodium replenishment
5.     Glucose chews(GUs)

If you’re running this weekend, FUEL UP SMART and GOOD LUCK! sls

Carb Loading

Running in the OKC Memorial Marathon on Sunday? If you’re a rookie or a veteran of the famous 26.2, you’ve been preparing by logging more miles and a major change in your diet.

Eating to fuel training runs should look different than eating before a big run. Just as your training mileage has tapered off close to the race, runners switch their diet to ‘carb load’ within the week before the race. So what exactly does carbohydrate loading do for us before a race and how can it be effective?

Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy. Our bodies digest and absorb carbohydrates to store as glycogen in our liver and muscle; when we need energy, it is utilized to produce ‘fuel’. (We also use fat for energy, but that requires a different, slower method.)  When you are running, you need sustained energy. So runners/athletes ‘carb load’ to fill up their tank before the race. You can only store so much glycogen before the carbohydrates or any food for that matter turn to fat stores.

So, you take it a few days at a time. You don’t just ‘carb load’ the night before, rather you gradually build your stores 2-3 days prior to the race. In order to efficiently fill your glycogen storage in the liver and muscle, you increase your carbohydrate intake to 80-90%, while decreasing % of protein and fat in your diet.

Depending on your muscle storage capacity, humans can store between 300-500 grams of glycogen in both the liver and muscle(more in the muscle and typically 80-100g in the liver). While your exercise has tapered within the week prior to the race, you are using less of your glycogen stores so they are storing up. Keep in mind that fueling during a marathon will be essential to delay onset of fatigue because those stores will be depleted within about 90 minutes of exercise. 

Mid-race and Race Day Fueling blog to come later this week!

Sample Carb Loading Day (for a 150 pound runner)

1 bagel with 2 tablespoons strawberry jam (71 g)
1 medium banana (27 g)
8 ounces fruit yogurt (41 g)
8 ounces orange juice (26 g)

2 Nature Valley Oats ‘n Honey
Granola Bars (29 g)
8 ounces Gatorade (14 g)

1 large baked potato with 1/4 cup salsa (69 g)
1 sourdough roll (40 g)
8 ounces chocolate milk (26 g)
1 large oatmeal cookie (56 g)

1 Clif Bar (42 g)
8 ounces Gatorade (14 g)
1 chicken burrito with rice, corn salsa, and black beans (105 g)
1 2-ounce bag Swedish Fish (51 g)

‘Carb Loading’ Take Home Message:
  1. Don’t just sign up for the pasta dinner the night before your race. That won’t be enough and you’ll probably feel bloated the morning of your race.
  2. Don’t over do it- spread out your carb loading over 3 days up to the race.
  3. Hydrate! It won’t matter if you have all the fuel in the form of glycogen ready to go because without water and adequate hydration, you’ll be dead by mile 10.
  4. Proper carb-loading will make you retain water, so if you notice the scale is creeping up during these few days- don’t sweat it. It’s normal.

What does your carb-loading plan look like? Tell us about your diet as a runner or athlete. We would love to hear from you. sls

Sample meal provided by Runners


Banister and Associates, LLC has a work-experience opportunity for a dietetic student
Mercy Campus- NW Oklahoma City Office
Part-time, paid position: 12-16 hours/week
May 2013-2014
– Must be self-motivated, self-directed and organized.
– Time management and marketing skills are essential.
– Writing experience highly preferred.
– Perfect job for dietetic student interested in gaining experience
– If interested, email resume and cover letter to:


Deadline for Application: Friday, April 19, 2013


Interviews will be held in Late April and


Candidates will be notified by phone

Daily Alcohol Intakes in American Adults


Who drinks more, on average- men or women?


A 3-year study from NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) concluded in 2010 determined that 4.7% of daily calories consumed by adults in the United States (age 20+) came from alcoholic beverages. This includes beer, wine, liquor, and mixed drinks (cocktails).
The range was highest among men age 20-39, accounting for 6.5% and lowest among women aged 60+.  Overall, men averaged 6% and women 3% of total daily calories from alcohol. That puts the US adult population at approximately near 4.5%.
Across all age groups on average, men consumed more alcoholand with both sexes, consumption decreased with age.
Another interesting analysis is the average consumption rate according to income level. NHANES reported average calories from alcoholic beverages are greatest among those in the highest income category. On average, 117 calories per day are consumed from alcoholic beverages by those living at or above 350% of the poverty level, whereas the average of those living at 130% below poverty level is~ 90 calories. Women living at or above 350% of the poverty level consumed an average 75 calories from alcoholic beverages on a given day, while those living below 130% consumed just over 40 calories.
Interesting stuff!! sls

Managing Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome(IBS) is not a disease; it is a group of symptoms that occur together that affect the large intestine. One in five Americans and twice as many women as men experience symptoms of IBS. Though no specific cause is known, several factors may contribute to IBS, including heredity, lifestyle, allergies, an infection or an abnormally large number of bacteria growing in the intestine.
The best way to manage IBS is to understand what may cause episodes of discomfort and then work to eliminate or minimize them. While medication, stress management and supplements can help, the focus should be on diet and eating habits.
  • Establish Regular Eating Habits. Eating at regular times helps regulate your bowels.
  • Eat Small, Frequent Meals Instead of Large Ones. This will ease the amount of food moving through your intestinal tract.
  • Eat Fiber-Rich Foods. Try whole fruits, vegetables (including beans) and whole grains like rolled oats, brown rice and whole-wheat bread. Make changes slowly. Fiber helps move food through your intestine, but it takes time for your body to adjust to eating more. Adding too much fiber too quickly may result in gas, bloating and cramping.
  • Drink Enough Fluids. Fiber draws water from your body to move foods through your intestine. Without enough water and fluids you may become constipated.
  • Watch What You Drink. Alcohol and caffeine can stimulate your intestines and cause diarrhea. Artificial sweeteners that contain sugar alcohols like sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol may cause diarrhea too. Carbonated drinks can produce gas.
  • Identify Problem Foods and Eating Habits. Keeping a food diary during flare-ups can help you figure out what you may be eating that’s causing a problem.
Although the focus should be on diet, many people with IBS turn to complementary health practices to help relieve their symptoms, and there is emerging evidence that some of these practices may have modest benefits.
If you are thinking about a complementary health practice for IBS, here’s what you need to know:
  • Herbal remedies. Herbal remedies are commonly used for IBS symptoms; however, much of the research on these remedies has been done in China. A review of clinical trials for 71 herbal remedies found limited evidence suggesting that a few of these herbal remedies might help improve IBS symptoms including abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea. However, the review emphasizes that the studies were generally of poor quality.
  • Peppermint oil. Peppermint oil is one herbal remedy often used to treat IBS for which there are mixed results. There is some evidence that enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules may be modestly effective in reducing several common symptoms of IBS—especially abdominal pain, bloating, and gas. Non-enteric coated forms of peppermint oil may cause or worsen heartburn symptoms, but otherwise appear to be generally safe.
  • Probiotics. Probiotics such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus are live microorganisms that are similar to microorganisms normally found in the human digestive tract, and they have been associated with an improvement in IBS symptoms compared with placebo. Results of studies suggest probiotics may decrease some patients’ abdominal pain, bloating, and gas.
  • Acupuncture. While a few small studies have indicated that acupuncture has some positive effect on quality of life in people with IBS, reviews of the scientific literature have concluded that there is no convincing evidence to support the use of acupuncture for the treatment of IBS symptoms.
Tell all your health care providers about any complementary health practices you use. Give them a full picture of what you do to manage your health. This will help ensure coordinated and safe care.
To learn more about managing symptoms of IBS, consult your doctor and a registered dietitian. sls