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Gut Microbiome and Nutrition

The large intestine contains the highest concentration of microbes in our bodies and these microbes are different for everyone. The different types depend on genes, age, gender, diet, hygiene and even climate and occupation. Studies show that gut microbes even affect pain, mood, sleep, stress, and how our bodies use the food we eat to fight infection and keep us healthy. The microbes in our gut also affect how the nutrients we eat are stored in our bodies, as well as regulate our appetites and have some control in our weight.

Diets high in fat and refined sugars can cause the good and bad bacteria in our gut to become unbalanced. This can cause inflammation and increase our risk for infections. The gut microbiota actually act to crowd out bad bacteria that can cause infection. It can also decrease inflammation throughout the body by releasing specific compounds to prevent attacks on the immune system. 

Foods that are good for gut health include high FIBER foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and pre/probiotics!

 

Fiber Foods:

  • Bran cereal, FiberOne bar
  • Beans (lentils, kidney, black, lima, etc)
  • Berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)
  • Quinoa, wild rice, brown rice, whole wheat bread
  • Spinach, collard greens, peas, broccoli, squash
  • Almonds, sesame seeds, pistachios
  • Pears, apples, dried fig, prunes, oranges

 

Probiotic Foods:

  • Aged cheeses, greek yogurt, kefir
  • Kimchi, kombucha, olives, sauerkraut, soybeans
  • Sourdough bread

 

Prebiotic Foods:

  • Berries, bananas, tomatoes, vegetables
  • Barley, flaxseed, oatmeal, wheat
  • Beans, chickpeas, lentils

 

For more in-depth info check out this link>> http://www.nutritionnews.abbott/nutrition-as-medicine/the-role-of-the-microbiome-in-gut-health-.html?fbclid=IwAR2R1aisahO4KeNLiZNXXiszzbQoZDqtCoT-5jLopPYlI-PXhMeHVepZ464

 

KM

How Does Your Bar Add Up?

As a Dietitian, I always recommend real food over meal replacements, shakes or bars. In a perfect world, we would sit down and eat a balanced meal three times a day. However, if you are in a time crunch, having a nutrition bar is better than skipping a meal. So that leads us to the big question – “how do I choose the right bar?”  Choosing the right bar for you can be very challenging. Several bars on the shelves are full of sugar with similar nutrition content as a candy bar. Here are a few guidelines and things to look for when choosing a nutrition bar:

 

  • Carbohydrates: Complex carbohydrates are a great source of sustainable energy, so look for bars that have fiber content. Also, look for bars that contain natural sources of sugar, like fruit. Try to limit added sugars.

Rule of thumb: 2 gm or more of fiber and 8-10 gm or less of total sugar content

 

  • Protein: Protein is needed to help you feel full and keep you feeling full between meals, so this is an important one. Your body can only absorb a certain amount of protein in one sitting, so getting a bar with 30-40 gm protein is not helpful.

Rule of thumb: 8-20 gm protein content

 

  • Fat: Look for a bar that contains healthy sources of fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) and avoid bars high in saturated or trans fats.

Rule of thumb: less than 3 gm saturated fat content

 

Here is a list of bars that meet the guidelines above:

  • Kashi GOLEAN Plant Powered Bars: Salted Dark Chocolate and Nut; Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • KIND Breakfast Protein Bars: Dark Chocolate Cocoa; Almond Bar; Maple Cinnamon; Peanut Butter Banana Dark Chocolate
  • KIND Sweet and Spicy Bars: Roasted Jalapeno; Thai Sweet Chili; Sweet Cayenne BBQ
  • CLIF Whey Protein Bars: Mint Chocolate Almond Flavor
  • CLIF Mojo Bars: Honey Srirocka
  •  CLIF Luna Bars: Lemonzest; Chocolate Peppermint Stick; Sea Salt Caramel; Nutz Over Chocolate; White Chocolate Macadamia; S’mores; Chocolate Cupcake
  • POWER Bar Plant Protein Bars: Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt
  • EPIC Bars: Chicken Sesame BBQ; Turkey Almond Cranberry
  • Nature Valley Protein Chewy Bar: Honey Peanut Almond
  • Think Thin Protein + Fiber Bars: Pumpkin Spice
  • KIZE Bars: Cocoa; Peanut Butter; Vanilla Almond; Cinnamon Roll; Pumpkin Seed; Peanut Butter Crunch with Pumpkin Seeds

 

Note: The above recommendations are for healthy adults. If you have a chronic disease, please talk to your Dietitian to see if there are any other specific recommendations for you to look at. The bars pictured were found at Crest Foods and Target.

 

LN

I Hate My Food Intolerances

“I hate my food intolerances!”

If you have said this before, this blog post is for you. I have been living with food intolerances myself for years and let me tell you, it has been a journey to acceptance. My intolerances began after my first pregnancy and it has taken years to figure out my new normal.  I have dealt with all the feelings: anger, frustration, annoyance, sadness, and down right feeling sorry for myself. Even after all this time, there are days that are really hard. And it is OK. So how do you get through it?

The first step is truly identifying what foods affect you. For years I thought my intolerances were from gluten and after eliminating wheat/gluten products I felt better, but not 100% normal. I took a Pinner test and the results were shocking. A staple food in my life was the main culprit to my poor gut health: eggs. This was incredibly difficult to accept. When I eliminated them from my diet, I noticed a world of change and quickly found reasonable substitutes to give my body a chance to heal. The bloating, pain, fatigue and a host of other symptoms have slowly gone away and what is left is… nothing. A lack of symptoms and a feeling of normal that I didn’t think I could feel.

Going forward, I ask a million questions at restaurants, buy new products, and try alternate recipes with the goal of keeping my body symptom free and completely satisfied. Remember folks, there are thousands of foods out there, so there is no need to focus on the few items that you can’t have.  So find out what you are actually intolerant/allergic to and make the adjustments to your pantry so you can be comfortable in your kitchen again. Please feel free to contact us to find out more information on our Pinner tests and set an appointment to start your path down the road to eating with confidence again. MU

Halloween Candy & Food Allergies

Halloween Candy

 

Having allergies or intolerances can be extremely challenging, especially during the holidays. Daily reminders about the foods you once enjoyed but can no longer have are constant. Dairy, gluten, corn, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, and eggs are found in so many foods these days. Whether you or your children are new to having allergies or have been dealing with them for years, Halloween can be a tricky holiday to traverse.  Many candy companies are wonderful at providing the allergens listed in their ingredients, which makes it possible to find allergen free treats your family can enjoy. Below I have provided a list of candy suitable for each allergy/intolerance:

 

 

Wheat/Gluten

Common ingredients listed are:  wheat flour, wheat, glucose syrup made from wheat, barley, barley syrup, malt, or cross contamination from the manufacturing facility.

 

Safe candies include:

Skittles, Mike and Ike’s, Blow Pop, Almond Joy, Snickers, M&M’s, Reese’s Peanut butter Cups, Milk Duds, Charleston Chews, Dots, Tootsie Pops, Double Bubble, Reese’s Pieces, Laffy Taffy, Caramel Apple Pops, Andes Mints, Sour Patch Kids, Starburst, 3 Muskateers, Lifesavors, Sugar Babies, Tootsie Rolls, Nerds, Butterfingers, Baby Ruth, Jolly Ranchers, Junior Mints, Mounds, Sugar Daddy, Dum Dums. Hershey Bar

 

Corn

While most corn allergies are specific to the protein in corn, some are allergic to other nutrients in corn. There can be traces of corn protein in any corn- derived ingredient.

Common ingredients listed are: corn syrup, corn flour, cornstarch, maltodextrin, cellulose, caramel, vegetable oil, cross contamination from the manufacturing facility.

 

Safe candies include:

Reese’s peanut butter cup, Hershey Bar, Heath Bar, KitKat, Mr Good Bar, Andes Mints

 

 

 

Dairy

Common ingredients include: whey, casein, milkfat, milk, powdered milk, skim milk, lactose, dairy butter, cross contamination from the manufacturing facility.

 

Safe candies include:

Skittles, Mike and Ike’s, Twizzlers, Lifesavers, Starburst, Dots, Double Bubble, Nerds, Jolly Ranchers, Laffy Taffy, Sweet Tarts, Dum Dums, Sour Patch Kids

 

Soy

Common ingredients include: soy lecithin, soy albumin, soy flour, TVP, soy protein, cold pressed soybean oil

 

Safe candies include:

Sweet Tarts, Twizzler’s Pull N Peel , Nerds, Life Savers, Sour Patch Kids, Good and Plenty, Dum Dums

 

Peanuts

Common ingredients include: peanut flour, peanuts, peanut protein hydrosolate, cross contamination from the manufacturing facility

 

Safe Candies include:

Tootsie Pop, Dum Dums, Dots, Andes Mints, Laffy Taffy, Jelly Belly, Milk Duds, Caramel Apple Pops, Skittles, Lifesavers, Tootsie Roll, Mike and Ike’s, Blow Pop, Sugar Babies, Double Bubble, Charleston Chew, Whoppers, Starburst, Nerds, Dots, Kit Kat, Junior Mints, Sweet Tarts, Hershey Bar

 

Tree Nuts

Common Ingredients include: almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, coconut, pistachio, pecan, marzipan, almond paste, nut oils, nut milks, nut extracts, chestnut, cross contamination from the manufacturing facility.

 

Safe candies include:

Skittles, Tootsie Roll, Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, Jolly Ranchers, Sour Patch Kids, Sugar Daddy, Mike and Ike’s, Blow Pop, Reese’s Peanut butter Cup, M&M’s Plain, Good and Plenty, Junior Mints, KitKat, Twizzlers, Lifesavers, Nerds, Starburst, Milk Duds, Dum Dums, Whoppers, Dots, Reese’s Pieces, Andes Mints, Charleston Chew, Twizzler’s Pull N Peel, Dots, Hershey Bar, Sweet Tarts

 

Eggs

Common ingredients include: egg whites, egg yolks, egg albumin, egg protein, meringue, egg lecithin, cross contamination from the manufacturing facility.

 

Safe candies include:

Skittles, Mike and Ike’s, M&M’s, Dum Dums, Almond Joy, Reese’s Peanut butter Cup, Hershey Bar, KitKat, Twizzlers, Lifesavers, Tootsie Roll, Nerds, Good and Plenty, Blow Pop, Butterfinger, Jolly Ranchers, Starburst, Crunch Bar, Sour Patch Kids, Milk Duds, Andes Mints, Caramel Apple Pops, Dots, Tootsie Pop, Rolo, Twizzler’s Pull N Peel, Reese’s Pieces

 

 

Hoping everyone has a safe and delicious Halloween!

MU