Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Restaurant Menus and Nutrition Facts

New FDA Notice on Menu Labeling

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a Federal Register notice explaining how restaurants and retail food establishments not covered by the new federal menu labeling requirements can voluntarily register to become subject to the new federal requirements. Restaurant chains with fewer than 20 locations and vending machine operators with fewer than 20 machines are examples of establishments not covered by the legislation.



Here is question I recently received from

I have diabetes and a coworker was telling me I should be taking supplements such as cinnamon and chromium to help control blood sugar. Are these safe and effective?

Supplements are a tricky subject. First, it is important to communicate with your doctor and pharmacist regarding your medications for not only polypharmacy, medication to medication interactions, but also food-drug interactions and how supplements may interfere with your medications.

As far as taking supplements go, it is better to get as many nutrients as you can with food. Taking a single supplement tends to make the food less bioavailable in your body than if you were to eat a food containing a rich source of that vitamin (In layman's terms: you'll absorb more vitamin C by eating an orange than taking a vitamin C tablet).

If you feel as if your diet is deficient in one or more nutrients, a daily multivitamin may be a good idea.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ways To Give Back...

This charity is very near and dear to my heart. Consider a small donation. All proceeds go to help Haitians help Haitians. See the end of the article for more details...

Fabiola Hyppolite has lived the last six months in a tent with more than 40 people— along with her mother, her father, her twin, and two other sisters.
Her family lost the small cinderblock home they rented in Port-au-Prince on January 12th. Today, their belongings consist of a few clothes and a large mattress, wedged among dozens of others that cover nearly all the ground under their tent.
Life since the earthquake has turned a new kind of hard for this 9-year-old. Fabiola has asthma and allergies. In the crowded conditions under the large tent provided by US AID—among several others like it in this improvised tarp “city”—the still air stays dusty and the linens off-color. There is no running water, no toilets. People cook on make-shift grills in the narrow dirt alleys running between tents. When Fabiola speaks, her raspy voice is barely audible. Her small chest heaves with every breath. There is no doctor nearby.
This summer, Fabiola and her twin, Fabienne, have at least one treat: They get to go to school. By being in their fourth-grade class, they don’t have to while away the hours of the searing midday heat under the plastic of their home. Although their school was badly damaged in the earthquake, the temporary set-up for classes is not as oppressive.
Neither of the twins would be able to attend school if it were not for Haitian Ministries’ scholarship program. With donations from people in the United States, the Tierney-Tobin Memorial Scholarship program pays the school tuitions for more than 130 students. Fabiola and Fabienne have been in the program for two years; each girl has a sponsor who has pledged to pay for her education for at least five years. Without these sponsorships, the girls would have no schooling. Since the government provides very little public education, more than 90 percent of all students in Haiti are attending private institutions. Tuitions often run higher than what families make in a year.
Right after the earthquake, Fabiola’s father lost his job as a security guard at a private home. The family decided to leave the country. Today, he wanders the city looking for work, and Fabiola’s mother usually stays at the tent. She also has a 7-year-old and another daughter who is 11.
Although the Hyppolites have no income, they have become members of a special community, forged from destitution and formed to provide at least some of the basic necessities for all the families under the tent. People pitch in whatever coins or bills they can, and someone selected as the shopper buys as
Fabiola (left) and twin Fabienne Hyppolite, in the tent where they live. much water, rice, beans, and corn as possible. Cooking is usually communal.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen,” says Fabiola’s 44-year-old mother, Edith.
For now, though, school is in session. Classes will end in August, and a new academic year should begin in October. Fabiola is already looking forward to next year. She likes history, geography and mathematics. And, on one Saturday afternoon under her tent, Fabiola says that she would like to send a “thank-you” to the person who has made school so wonderfully possible in her life.
If you would like to learn about sponsoring a Haitian student in primary school, secondary school, technical school, or university, please contact Haitian Ministries at: 860.638.1018; or by e-mail at: Also, you can learn about the Tierney-Tobin program at our website: (Just click “Projects/Partnerships” on the left side of the home page, and you will see “Education.”)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Diabetes and High Cholesterol

Here is a question I recently received from

I just had an appointment with my doctor and she said my A1C was 6.7 and that my cholesterol was also high. I guess I have been eating too much cheese and eggs, which raised my cholesterol. What diabetic friendly foods can I eat to help me lower my cholesterol?

Cheese and eggs may be a contributing factor, but you can still enjoy these foods while trying to lower cholesterol. You may want to limit you cheese intake or choose a reduced fat cheese. For eggs, you can eat egg white or purchase egg substitute, which is essentially egg whites with yellow food coloring. The culprit of the eff is the yolk (the yellow center part), as that part of the egg contains cholesterol. However, the whites are in the clear- they contain NO cholesterol.

Here are some other tips to improving cholesterol:
*Exercise daily
*Try to lose weight, if needed
*Use heart healthy oils, such as olive oil or canola oil
*Eat less animal based products and incorporate more vegetable proteins
*as mentioned above replace whole eggs with egg whites or egg substitute
*Incorporate more fiber in your diet, such as whole grain breads, cereals, and pastas and fresh fruits and vegetables
*Take medication, if prescribed by your doctor. If you are concerned, your doctor will can discuss medications with you at your next appointment

HIV Nutrition

Like to read? Like HIV nutrition? Then this is for you...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Blueberries Are Good for What Ails You | The Pilot

Interesting, yet appropriate article from the local news
Blueberries Are Good for What Ails You | The Pilot

Traveling with Diabetes

Here is a question I recently received from

I have type 2 diabetes and travel quite a bit. My eating & exercise are unpredictable at best when I travel and I’m having a difficult time managing my diabetes. What do you suggest?

When on the road, it is difficult to be healthful, with or without diabetes! Here are some tips to get you into a healthier routine when you're traveling:

1) Some hotels have refrigerators and kitchen facilities. If possible, try to prepare your own meas.
2) Some airlines have diabetic meal options.
3) Hotel chains usually have some sort of pool and/or fitness center. Use these facilities to get your daily exercise.
4) If possible, walk instead of drive or using other transportation.
5) When eating out, be careful of portion sizes. Also, ask for dressings and sauces on the side and opt for grilled items instead of fried items or dishes with heavy sauces.
6) Drink plenty of water. Carry a water bottle!
7) Research when you're planning your trip.

Uncontrolled Diabetes

Here is a question I recently received from

I have just been diagnosed with diabetes. Doctors say I have uncontrollable diabetes any tips on how I can get my sugar level down?

As a new diabetic, it is normal for your blood sugars to be out of control, due to the new diagnosis. However, this is the best time to take ownership of your condition and receive proper education and strategies to manage your condition.

The following hints may be helpful to you:
*Take medications regularly
*Check blood sugars as recommended
*Don't skip meals
*Exercise daily
*Keep a food diary to keep an accurate record of your daily food intake
*Meet with a registered dietitian (RD) and/or certified diabetes educator (CDE)
*Meet with your doctor regularly
*Check to see if there are diabetic education classes or support groups in your community. Many hospitals and/or local health centers offer these types of resources.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Here is a question I recently received from

I have type 2 diabetes and am confused about carbohydrates. Are all starches out completely?

No. Starches are an essential part of a balanced diet, like all other food groups. However, as a diabetic, you need to be more careful about the portions of starches and what is eaten with starches to best control diabetes.

Not all starches are created equal. Smarter choices are frsh fruits and whole grain breads, cereals, and pastas. These foods contain fiber, which helps with digestion. It also keeps you full longer, as it takes longer for the body to break down and digest.