Breaking Down the Carbohydrate: Good Carbs, Bad Carbs and Everything in Between [Infographic]

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 10:55 AM comments (0)

Don't just cut carbs! They are the primary source of energy for the human body, which means you can't do without them! When it comes to healthy diet that includes carbs, it's important to think in terms of quality over quantity.

The experts at NorthShore University HealthSystem break down the carbohydrate--the good, the bad and the necessary--in our latest infographic. Click on the image below to view our full infographic on the importance of the carbohydrate in your diet.

carb infographic

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Fresh Recipe: Hearty Pumpkin Soup

Friday, October 31, 2014 9:00 AM comments (0)

pumpkin soupPumpkins aren’t just for decoration. They can and should be eaten too! Pumpkins are high in fiber and vitamin A, which can protect your vision, and full of flavor but still low in calories. So, when you head to the store or patch to grab one or two to meet your Halloween needs, don’t forget to snatch up one more for a healthy, tummy-warming fall recipe. 

Nothing says, "It's autumn!" quite like a warm, hearty bowl of soup. Katrina Herrejon, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, Adult Endocrinology Group, shares her favorite recipe for pumpkin soup:

Recipe makes 4 servings
Serving size 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1 small pumpkin (pick a pumpkin that will yield 3 cups or 15 oz. of baked pumpkin “flesh”)*
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large onion (9.4 oz.)
  • 1 medium red pepper (4.8 oz.)
  • 1 large carrot (4.8 oz.)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (32 oz.)
  • 1/3 cup natural honey peanut butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Remove the stem of the pumpkin, cut in half and remove the pulp and seeds.  
  3. Cut pumpkin into uniform pieces and bake for approximately 1 hour or until fork tender.
  4. When cool enough to handle, remove the skin from the pumpkin “flesh.” Set aside approximately 3 cups.
  5. Heat the oil in a large pot and cook the onion, pepper and carrot for about 5 minutes. 
  6. Add the pumpkin and broth to the pot and simmer for 5 more minutes.
  7. Puree the soup using an immersion blender.
  8. Add the peanut butter to the soup and stir until well incorporated.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds, if desired, and serve warm. 

*Store bought 100% pumpkin puree can be substituted if fresh pumpkin is unavailable.  If using pre-made pumpkin puree skip to step five on the instructions.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 
Calories: 266
Fat: 13g
Carbohydrate: 30g
Fiber: 7g
Protein: 7g

Do you have a healthy, yet delicious pumpkin recipe you traditionally make this time of year? 

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Fresh Recipe: Millet with Sage, Cranberries and Pecans

Friday, July 25, 2014 4:09 PM comments (0)

sageWhat’s growing in your herb garden this summer? Healthy, flavorful sage isn’t just for seasoning meats, though it has that reputation. The subtle flavor and distinctive scent can elevate healthy, vegetarian-friendly recipes too.  If sage is a standout among your summer crops, we have the perfect recipe for potlucks, barbeques and quick-fix dinners. 

Katrina Herrejon, Registered Dietician and Certified Diabetes Educator, Adult Endocrinology Group, puts sage front and center in a recipe that’s perfect for summer and beyond: 

Serving Size 1 cup (c)
Recipe makes 5 servings

Ingredients: 
2.5c low sodium vegetable stock
1c dry millet
1 tsp canola oil
1/2of an onion (5oz)
1/2c dried cranberries (2oz)
1/4c cranberry juice
1/8c fresh sage finely chopped  (0.1oz)
1/2c pecans roasted and chopped (1.5oz)
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Bring vegetable stock to a boil in medium pot.
  • Add the millet to the stock; cover and reduce heat.
  • Simmer millet at medium-low heat until all the stock is absorbed (about 20 minutes).
  • Use a fork to fluff the millet and then transfer to a large bowl.
  • While the millet is cooking, heat canola oil in a small skillet.
  • Add onion to the oil; sauté until golden, and remove from heat.
  • Pour cranberry juice in a microwave safe cup and add the cranberries.
  • Microwave cranberries for 30 seconds and then let them sit so that they absorb the juice. 
  • Fold the cooked onion, the cranberries, the pecans, and the sage into the cooked millet.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve while warm.

Nutrition Information (per serving):
Calories: 338
Total Fat: 12
Total Carbohydrate: 51
Fiber: 10
Protein: 7

What's your favorite way to use sage?

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Get Moving! Work-Friendly Activities and Exercises [Infographic]

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 3:45 PM comments (0)

We weren’t made to sit around all day; yet, research shows that the average American spends roughly 13 hours sitting each day. For some, their desk job might deserve part of the blame. Don’t let your job impact your health. Prolonged sitting can increase your risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and more.  

The experts at NorthShore University HealthSystem have put together an infographic that is full of simple, fun ways to get up and move throughout the day, even while at work. Stop sitting and get moving! Click on the image below to view our full infographic and discover easy ways to get some extra exercise at work.

Get moving infographic

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Healthy Recipes for a Happy Cinco de Mayo

Monday, May 05, 2014 9:27 AM comments (0)

Cinco de Mayo is a time to get together with friends and family to celebrate Mexican culture and, of course, food.  This year, try one or all of these delicious vegetarian recipes and keep your Cinco de Mayo happy and healthy. 

Katrina Herrejon, RD, Certified Diabetes Educator, Adult Endocrinology Group at NorthShore, shares three of her favorite Cinco de Mayo recipes: 

gazpacho“Mexican-Style” Gazpacho
Traditional Spanish gazpacho is a tomato-based vegetable soup that is served cold.  This “Mexican-style” gazpacho is also served cold (or at room temperature), but it’s more like a fruit and vegetable salad.  If you have never had this type of gazpacho before, you may be surprised how well the sweet, salty, tart and spicy aspects enhance the natural flavors of the fruit and vegetables.    

Serving size 1 cup
Recipe makes 4 servings
Ingredients:
1c fresh pineapple, finely chopped
1c cucumber, finely chopped
1c jicama, finely chopped
1c mango, finely chopped
1/4c freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp your favorite dried chili powder or cayenne pepper or paprika
1/4c queso fresco  (optional) 

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix.
  • Distribute gazpacho evenly among 4 serving dishes and enjoy.

Nutrition Information (without cheese)
Calories: 80
Total Fat: 0g
Total Carbohydrate: 19g
Fiber: 3g
Protein: 1g

Nutrition Information (with cheese)
Calories: 104
Total Fat: 2g
Total Carbohydrate: 19g
Fiber: 3g
Protein: 2.5g

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guacamoleGuacamole
Some people avoid avocados because they are high in fat.  Luckily, avocados contain unsaturated fats, which, when eaten in moderation, are a delicious part of a healthy diet.  And it’s not Cinco de Mayo without a little guacamole. By serving guacamole with carrot and jicama sticks, you will be able to enjoy this tasty side dish without the extra calories and fat of tortilla chips.

Serving size 1/4c
Recipe makes 10 servings  
Ingredients:
3 ripe avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
1 Roma tomato, diced
½ of a medium onion, diced
1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced
1 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
1 lime, juiced
Salt to taste
2.5c carrot sticks (for dipping)
2.5c jicama sticks (for dipping) 

Directions:

  • Place avocado pulp in a large bowl and mash. 
  • Fold tomato, onion, peppers, cilantro and lime juice into avocado. 
  • Serve immediately with carrot and jicama sticks. 

Nutrition Information
Calories: 106
Total Fat: 6g
Total Carbohydrate: 11g
Fiber: 2.5g
Protein: 2g

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peppersPoblano Peppers and Onions
This traditional dish is often made with high fat crema Mexicana and/or cheese.  By using light sour cream and omitting the cheese in this recipe, the calorie content is greatly reduced and the star ingredients—the poblano peppers and onions—can really shine.

Servings size 3 tacos
Recipe makes 4 servings
Ingredients:
5 poblano peppers
1 large onion, sliced
Cooking spray
3/4c light sour cream
12 corn tortillas
Salt to taste

Directions:

  • Char the poblano peppers by placing them directly over a flame. 
  • Place the charred peppers in a plastic bag and seal. 
  • Remove the skins, seeds and stems from the peppers. 
  • Slice the peppers into strips. 
  • Coat a nonstick pan with cooking spray and heat.
  • Place onions in pan cook until golden. 
  • Add the pepper strips to the pan and cook for an additional minute. 
  • Remove pan from heat and stir in sour cream. 
  • Distribute pepper and onion mixture evenly among warmed tortillas. 

Nutrition Information (without tortillas)
Calories: 92
Total Fat: 4g
Total Carbohydrate: 9g
Fiber: 2g
Protein: 5g

Nutrition Information (with tortillas)
Calories: 242
Total Fat: 6 g
Total Carbohydrate: 39g
Fiber: 6.5 g
Protein: 8g

What are your favorite Cinco de Mayo recipes?

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Fresh Recipe: Healthy Spring Rolls Three Ways

Monday, April 07, 2014 8:00 AM comments (0)

Spring rollsFresh spring rolls are a quick way to boost your intake of nutrient-dense foods. Simply purchase the pre-made rice papers (spring roll wrappers), fill with your favorite vegetables, roll, and enjoy.  You can add lean protein like shrimp, chicken breast or tofu to make spring rolls a more filling snack or a meal.  Low sodium soy sauce is a perfect accompaniment to these healthy treats. 

Katrina Herrejon, Certified Diabetes Educator at NorthShore, shares her recipe for healthy spring rolls three ways:

Ingredients:
Spicy: Serrano pepper, radish, lettuce and green onion
American: Avocado, carrots, zucchini, red pepper and basil
Shrimp: Shrimp, cucumber, bean sprouts and cilantro 

Reasons to Love Spring Rolls:

 

  1. Portable. Sometimes there is just no time for a knife and fork.  Springs rolls are a great way to take your vegetables on the go. And, they can be eaten with one hand.
  2. Raw. Uncooked vegetables are packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals.  They are also particularly filling, which helps to make these low-calorie wraps satisfying.
  3. Quick. You don’t need to perfectly julienne your vegetables to make a delicious spring roll.  Just finely chop whatever vegetables you have on hand and roll it up!  

 

Nutrition Information Spicy: 

Calories 48
Total Fat 1g
Total Carbohydrate 9g
Fiber 1g
Protein 1g

Nutrition Information American:
Calories 62
Total Fat 3g
Total Carbohydrate 10g
Fiber 2g
Protein 1g

Nutrition Information Shrimp:
Calories 59
Total Fat 1.5 g
Total Carbohydrate 9g
Fiber 1g
Protein 3.5g

*Nutrition information may vary based on brand of spring roll wrapper used. 

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Take Charge of Your Own Diabetes Care

Wednesday, November 06, 2013 4:53 PM comments (0)

diabetes careThere is no cure for type 2 diabetes but it can be controlled. Controlling type 2 diabetes can become a seamless part of your daily life, from eating a healthy, well-balanced diet to making time for regular exercise.  Lifestyle changes like these are important to prevent diabetic health issues, but it is equally important to stay on top of appointments and health checks with your physician. It doesn’t take long for high blood sugar to damage your body, so regular testing and checkups to catch problems as early as possible are vital. 

Mary Bennett, RD, LD, CDE, Diabetes Education Outpatient Manager at NorthShore, shares a checklist of important diabetic tests and when they need to be done to help you take control of your own type 2 diabetes care:

  • A1c test. Lowering A1c reduces diabetes complications.
    How often: Every 3-6 months.
  • Blood pressure. Lowering your blood pressure reduces your risk of stroke, kidney and eye problems.
    How often: Every visit.
  • Cholesterol (LDL) levels. Lowering your LDL level reduces your risk of heart disease and heart attacks.
    How often: Every year.
  • Depression screen. A diabetes diagnosis can be difficult. This test monitors your emotional health and allows you the opportunity to discuss the effect that diabetes may have on your lifestyle.
    How often: Every year.
  • Diabetes kidney function test. Catching and treating early kidney damage may prevent the need for dialysis.
    How often: Every year.
  • Eye exam. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease. It can cause loss of vision and blindness. Early detection is very important.
    How often: Every year. 
  • Foot exam. Diabetes can cause neuropathy, or nerve damage. This nerve damage can lessen your ability to feel pain in your feet and extremities, which means injuries might go unnoticed and worsen over time. Check your feet daily. More comprehensive checks should be done by your doctor as well. He/she will observe your feet, check pulses and test sensation using a monofilament.
    How often: Every year. 
  • Immunizations. Some illness like the flu, pneumonia and tetanus can be very serious for people with diabetes. It is important to stay up-to-date on vaccines to prevent complications.
    How often: Every year. 

Join us November 14th at 10 a.m. for an online medical chat "Living with Diabetes: The Importance of Foot Health" with Harry Papagianis, D.P.M., NorthShore-affiliated Podiatrist. Submit your questions here. 

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A Sugar High – Knowing When Too Much is Too Much

Thursday, January 03, 2013 11:01 AM comments (0)

It’s hard to avoid the temptation of having something sweet—whether it’s an after- dinner treat, a mid-afternoon snack or something you indulge in to reward yourself for a hard day’s work. Like most things, in moderation, sugar shouldn’t lead to any long-term health concerns. However, when consumed in excess—both in its natural form and processed form—sugar can lead to some very serious health conditions.

Mary Bennett, RD, LDN, CDE, a diabetes educator at NorthShore, identifies some of the health concerns that excess sugar can lead to:

  • Obesity – Sugary foods are usually higher in calories and can leave you not feeling full. A diet high in sugar can lead to excess daily calories, and if not burned off through exercise can lead to increased weight.
  • Increased risk of diabetes and heart disease – A diet high in sugar doesn’t necessarily lead to the onset of diabetes, but it can increase your odds. The same holds true for developing heart conditions, as a diet high in sugar can often increase cholesterol and fat levels (triglycerides) in the blood.
  • Added calories – Sugar adds calories and displaces nutritious foods. It is important to note that there is no difference between honey, maple syrup and molasses. Sugar is sugar.

The American Heart Association has set a limit for consumer consumption of sugar, which includes:

  • 9 teaspoons daily (150 calories) for men  
  • 6 teaspoons daily (100 calories) for women

How do you control your cravings for something sweet? What is your favorite alternative snack?

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Managing Diabetes and Enjoying the Holidays

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 10:07 AM comments (0)

With the holidays right around the corner, it’s hard not to be tempted by flavorful sides, festive drinks and decadent desserts. For those with diabetes, the struggle to avoid some of these foods may be a challenge, especially with many planned family dinners and holiday parties.

However, diabetics don’t have to completely deprive themselves from the traditional foods and meals that the season brings. Romy Block, MD, a NorthShore endocrinologist, gives the following tips for managing diabetes during the holidays:

  • Pay attention to what you are eating. Choose quality over quantity. Rather than having a whole slice of pie, have a smaller portion. When you know you’ll be tempted by sweets, eat a salad or lean protein for dinner. This way you won’t already be raising your sugars and can enjoy a dessert without feeling guilty.
  • Drink lots of water. While it can be hard to reign in your portions during the holidays, you should be monitoring your sugar levels frequently. In fact, you may need to do so more often given the abundance of sweets available. Water can help balance out sugar levels.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption to no more than one drink per hour and no more than two drinks per evening. When you do drink, be sure you are always doing so with food.
  • Get a good night’s sleep. Sleep helps the body’s regulatory system and weight loss. If you can, try to get eight hours a night.
  • Don’t stress out! Relaxing can help to reduce your sugar levels. Instead of worrying too much about what the season will bring, try to set aside time each day for exercise and engaging in activities that you enjoy.

It’s important to note that these tips shouldn’t just apply to the holidays. Managing your diabetes is a process and making small changes can really help to make a big difference.

What ways have you found success in managing diabetes during the holidays? What holiday foods are the hardest for you to avoid?

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Diabetes - Knowing the Symptoms and Your Risk

Monday, January 23, 2012 8:20 AM comments (1)

This past week, diabetes has taken the spotlight after celebrity chef Paula Deen announced that she has Type 2 diabetes. As the most common form of diabetes, this condition affects more than eight percent of children and adults in the United States.

Mary Bennett, RD, LDN, CDE, a Diabetes Education Manager at NorthShore, identifies who is at risk for being diagnosed with diabetes. She also talks about key symptoms to be mindful of in her video interview.

Diabetes

According to Bennett, the following risk factors exist for diabetes:

  • Family history of diabetes
  • Lack of physical exercise (less than 150 minutes each week)
  • Being overweight
  • High blood pressure (more than 130/80)
  • Being over 40 years old
  • Giving birth to a baby weighing more than nine pounds or having had gestational diabetes during pregnancy
  • Being African American, Native American, Asian American, Hispanic, Eastern Asian or Pacific Islander

What are you currently doing to help reduce your risk of diabetes?

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