Saturday, March 30, 2013

RD vs. Nutritionist

Today's battle features the RD and the Nutritionist! Their brains are pumped full of healthy knowledge and their fists are full of fiber. Who will rise to challenge and defend the title?

Ding! Round 1: Who are they?
-A registered dietitian is a food and nutrition expert who has earned at least a bachelor's degree from a nutrition program at an accredited university. They then go on to a 6month to 1 year intensive internship, followed by passing of the registration exam. The RD must complete continuing education requirements in order to maintain their licensure and certifications.
-A Nutritionist, on the other hand, is not a licensed term. Basically, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. While their information may be credible, you can never be too sure.

Ding! Round 2: What Does This Fancy RD do?
-A Clinical Dietitian works in a hospital or other long term care facility. They work to assess the patient's nutritional needs and develop a specific diet for various health conditions.
-A Private Practice Dietitian typically work under contract and will offer client advice on weight loss, weight gain, diabetes education, etc. They could also work for wellness programs or act as consultants for FSM.
-A Food Service Dietitian oversees large-scale meal planning and preparation in a variety of food service settings (health care, cafeterias, prisons, schools, etc). They also contribute to managing the budget.
-A Community Dietitian works in various public health settings including health clinics, WIC, school programs, etc. They help to develop nutritional care plans for individuals and their families

Ding! Round 3: Who Does The Insurance Cover?
Many insurances are starting to cover the Medical Nutrition Therapy provided by a RD. The same does not usually occur with a Nutritionist.

And the winner is....

The Registered Dietitian! Brought to you by credible information!

*Side note, some RDs can be quacks too, and money can play a big part in this, so still question the information with which you are uncertain*

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Green Coffee Extract for Health

When your eating your green eggs and ham for breakfast, don't forget your dusting of green coffee extract. What is this magic fairy dust you ask? Well, we are going to dive into the life of a coffee bean to see what all the buzz is about.

Let's start off with the question: What is a green coffee bean? Green coffee beans are beans that have not been roasted yet. These magical beans contain higher amounts of a chemical called chlorogenic acid, which is found in higher amounts in the un-roasted beans. Here in lies the magic of the bean! Apparently, chlorogenic acid shows positive health benefits in high blood pressure, diabetes, weight loss, and metabolism. Let's move to our investigation.

So what does the research say about all of this green bean business? Here is the break-down:
WebMD: Cholorgenic acid, an antioxidant, does not produce the same benefit in regular coffee. They said a lot of the research is inconclusive and possibly ineffective.
Nutritional Neuroscience: Their study showed that dietary supplementation with decaf green coffee may beneficially influence the brain by promoting brain energy metabolic processes.
Huxley et al: Reported that "daily consumption of decaf coffee with high contents of chlorogenic acids reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes."
PubMed: "Chlorogenic acid raise total homocysteine concentrations in plasma, which may influence CVD."  "Caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid improve body weight, lipid metabolism and obesity-related hormones levels in high-fat fed mice."

To sum up all the research, the green coffee extract could be beneficial in weight loss, but more studies are needed to determine the long-term effects. The positive is that the research shows the green bean to be safe! So, if you would like to buy your $20-$50 bottle of beans, know that you can do so with ease!

Ho L, Varghese M, Pasinetti G, et al. Dietary supplementation with decaffeinated green coffee improves diet-induced insulin resistance and brain energy metabolism in mice. Nutritional Neuroscience [serial online]. January 2012;15(1):37-45. Available from: Academic Search Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed March 19, 2013.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Quick Protein Power-Up Balls

Are you looking for a quick, no-bake protein snack? Well, you came to the right place. My Protein Power-Up Balls are simple to make and delicious to eat!

Protein Power-Up Balls
-1 cup of quick-cook dry oats (gluten-free if needed)
-1 cup of peanut butter
-1/4 cup maple syrup
-1/2 cup ground flax seeds
-1/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips or chopped nuts (optional)

-Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and form into small balls.
-Refrigerate for 1 hour or eat as is. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe Notes & Substitutions
-If your recipe is a bit dry and crumbly, add a bit more peanut butter until you can form balls. If too soft, add in more oats or flax.
-Instead of oatmeal, try protein powder, almond flour, or coconut flour.
-Instead of peanut butter, try SunButter (sunflower seed butter), almond or cashew butter.
-Instead of flax seeds, try hemp seeds or ground almonds.
-If you are not dairy-free, you can use semi-sweet chocolate chips.
-Additional mix-ins can include: dried cranberries or walnuts.

These protein balls are great for between meals or if you are on-the-go. It is super fun to make with children too! Try different types of ingredients every time you make it for a fun surprise!