with Jim on SNJ Today!
Jim opened our discussion with his personal interest in Inspira's Bariatric Weight Loss Program with the cliche: “You are What You Eat". I added, “You are Where You Eat” since so many of us do eat out. And, food choices are greatly influenced by our environment.
Portion control and selections are key: Some selections are high in calories and sugar and can lead to obesity.
Calories posted in restaurants: Jim asked “Do we have a mandate for that in NJ?” My response was "No". Chain restaurants with over 20 locations have to post their nutrition facts. Many restaurants do have the info available. Just Google the restaurant and look up nutrition facts of their menu items.
Distorted portions today: Larger portions = excess calories and energy.
US Obesity Rates: Jim asked if 2/3’s of people are overweight? Yes, as of 6 years ago more than 2/3's of people in the US were overweight according to the NIH. I'm sure that statistic is even higher now. And, even more concerning is the number of severely obese people, which has quadrupled in the past 30 years according to the Robert Wood Johnson State of Obesity 2014 Report.
Despite a slight improvement, I pointed out that NJ still has one of the highest obesity rates in the nation for low income children ages 2-5. And, I should have mentioned that health outcomes are the worst in the state of NJ in Salem and Cumberland counties.
We touched on the fact that increased diabetes in our nation is a serious concern. And that obesity may contribute to diabetes and other diseases including cancer according to science. I mentioned my belief in “health at every size”, but acknowledge that statistics show increased diseases linked to obesity.
Jim asked, "What would be a good 3 meals?" My response was that it depends on the individual. Dietitian recommendations are often centered on MyPlate food groups. Visit ChooseMyPlate.gov for more information about meal planning in both English and Spanish.
Most popular vegetables in the US: #1 Potatoes, #2 Tomatoes, #3 Onions, #4 Head Lettuce, #5 Sweet Corn, #6 Romaine and Leaf Lettuce, #7 Chili Peppers.
South Jersey locations for outpatient Nutrition Counseling at Inspira: Bridgeton, Vineland, Elmer and Woodbury.
Foods to lose weight: Eat more vegetables! Salads help. Downfall is that creamy types (Ranch, Thousand Island, etc.) salad dressings can be high in fat and calories. Creamy salad dressings can be used sparingly or thinned with water. Oil and vinaigrette salad dressings are generally healthy.
Jim enjoys Wendy’s berry salad…"~360 calories". He feels it is a good selection. After our interview I looked it up. And, it looks like it's a Wendy's summer special. I didn't see it on their regular menu selections. If I selected the right nutrition facts - it looks like their Summer Berry Chicken Salad has 380 calories (not including any salad dressing) so Jim was pretty accurate. Saturated fat: 3.5g (they don't include percent daily values %DV so it is not so easy for the average person to tell if 3.5g is high or low. It happens to be 18%DV; 20% is considered high). Sodium: 980 mg (without any dressing). The average persons daily sodium recommendations is no more than 2,300 mg/day. 980 mg is very high sodium.
I encouraged Jim and listeners to Read nutrition facts labels for food choices eaten out. Then, you can determine if it is a good selection depending on your needs. Some healthy sounding items can be deceiving.
People in southern NJ get bombarded with fast foods and advertising. Fast food restaurants are more prevalent from Burlington County down into South Jersey.
We also talked about High Cholesterol: avoiding saturated fatty foods – and that dietary cholesterol is no longer a nutrient of concern according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, but we should still be mindful of not eating excess from saturated fats.
Many people still believe egg whites are healthier than yolks… I explained that you “...don’t have to leave out the yolks out anymore”. Yolks provide vitamin D, choline and other important nutrients. There is not enough scientific evidence suggesting that dietary cholesterol increases serum cholesterol according to the panel of experts involved with the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Jim brought up bariatric surgery again and shared that he has tried every diet in the world. Surgery should indeed be a last resort or be medically necessary.
I pointed out that surgery can be a tool for weight loss; dietitians encourage the importance of diet and lifestyle changes in order to keep the weight off. There can be weight regain after any type of bariatric surgery, especially if food preferences are not improved. Post-op support groups can be helpful.
We concluded with a brief discussion of other Inspira Health Network Connections that included The Family Success Center Vineland, which is where my main office is located.
I encouraged listeners to look on Inspira’s website to learn more about Inspira's programs and any upcoming community events like our Superfood Nutrition Bingo and Healthy Cooking Classes.
You Asked: Are Egg Yolks Unhealthy?
Harvard School of Public Health - Types of Fat
FDA Calorie Labeling on Restaurant Menus
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