January 2016 Food of the Month

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Acorn squash are a great source of potassium, vitamins A and C, and fiber!  These nutrients can help keep your eyes and skin healthy.  They can also help to prevent diabetes and high blood pressure.  

Acorn squash were named because of their acorn-like shape.  They are in season all winter in this part of the country.  Use in soups, pastas, pies, ravioli, or stuff with brown rice and veggies.  And don’t toss the seeds.  Roast them in the oven with some herbs for a nutritious snack!

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

 

Avoid The Beer Belly

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With Father’s Day approaching, here’s a health tip for all you men: AVOID THE BEER BELLY.  The measurement of your waist around the level of your belly button should be less than half your height in inches.  (For example, if you are six feet tall (72”), your waist should be less than 36”).  Keeping your waist at a healthy proportion to your height can help to prevent heart attacks and diabetes in addition to maintaining healthy testosterone levels.

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

American Diabetes Alert Day!

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The fourth Tuesday in March is American Diabetes Alert Day.  Below is a link to a diabetes risk assessment.  If you have never been screened for diabetes, or are curious to know your risk, I encourage you to complete this short, 7 question risk evaluation.  Not all risk factors can be controlled, but this may help you identify which risks ARE within your control.

http://www.diabetes.org/assets/pdfs/at-risk/risk-test-paper-version.pdf

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

March Food of the Month

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Oats are one of various types of whole grains.  Whole grains are types of grains which contain all parts of a grain: the bran, germ, and endosperm.  Refined grains only contain one of these parts.  By choosing refined grains instead of whole grains, you can miss out on important nutrients that keep your body healthy and prevent heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.  In addition, oats can help to lower bad cholesterol and prevent asthma.  They are also high in folate and iron, making them a smart choice for expectant mothers.  Don’t like oatmeal?  No worries.  Oats take on the flavor of the food in which they are mixed.  They can be added to pancakes, smoothies, salads, breads, you name it!  There are plenty of ways to fit this super food into your diet on a daily basis.

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

January Food of the Month

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Barley is one of various types of whole grains.  Whole grains are types of grains which contain all parts of a grain: the bran, germ, and endosperm.  Refined grains only contain one of these parts.  By choosing refined grains instead of whole grains, you can miss out on important nutrients that keep your body healthy and prevent heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.  Barley, in particular, is high in fiber, potassium, and selenium, important nutrients for everyone’s diet.  These nutrients aid in digestion, blood sugar stabilization, lowering blood pressure, and the prevention of inflammation – a win, win!  Don’t know where to start with barley?  It is a great addition to soups, pilafs, and hot cereals, the perfect hearty food to add to your diet during the cold winter season!

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.

Keep Your Holiday Baking Light

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Replace the sugar and fat with healthier, low calorie options, such as the substitutions in this recipe:

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies:

·         Cooking spray
·         ½ cup Splenda brown sugar
·         ½ cup canola oil
·         1 egg
·         1 teaspoon vanilla
·         2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
·         1 cup whole wheat flour
·         2 cups old fashioned, rolled oats
·         ¼ cup milled flax seed
·         1½ teaspoons cinnamon
·         ½ teaspoon baking soda
·         ½ teaspoon salt
·         ½ cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.   Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, mix together brown sugar and oil.  Add egg and vanilla, and beat until smooth.  Add bananas and beat well.  In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, flax seed, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.  Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and pour in egg mixture.  Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients until batter is incorporated.  Stir in cranberries.  Scoop cookies into heaping 2-inch balls and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes or until slightly golden on bottom.

Source:
American Diabetes Association
http://www.diabetes.org/mfa-recipes/recipes/

Colleen Forrest, RDN, LDN
Spectrum Health Services, Inc.