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Healthy You

Get a Fresh Start: Improving Diet with Clean Eating and Healthy Choices

January 10, 2018 1:00 PM with Atara Schayer, RDN, LDN

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There’s never a bad time to try to set some healthy eating goals, but mapping out just how to freshen up your diet can be tricky. If you’d like to learn more about how you can make your diet healthier or incorporate aspects of meatless, low carb, low sugar diets and more into your plan, start here. Atara Schayer, Registered Dietitian at NorthShore, will be taking questions and providing tips for how you can start the new year with healthier choices and safely applied alternative diets. 

Atara Schayer, RDN, LDN (NorthShore) - 12:53 PM:
Good afternoon, I am one of the outpatient dietitians with NorthShore, I am looking forward to answering your questions related to diet and nutrition.

Colie (Moderator) - 1:01 PM:
Our chat on improving your diet for the New Year is now open. You can submit your questions at any time during our chat.

  Susan (Evanston) - 1:11 PM:
I have been on the keto diet for a week and although I feel great, I'm not experiencing any weight loss. How long does it typically take to see the benefits of weight loss of this type of diet?
Atara Schayer, RDN, LDN
Hi Susan, weight loss with a keto diet is usually rapid during the first week secondary to water loss. The diet was originally intended for patient who suffer from seizures, since the diet is very restrictive it is a good idea to discuss with your health provider to prevent any nutrient deficiencies.

  Valerie - 1:24 PM:
Hi Atara... do you have any suggestions on food choices to help support the immune system while this cold/flu & stomach flu bugs are going around?
Atara Schayer, RDN, LDN
Hi, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables with help support your immune system function as they provide a variety of vitamins and minerals. Try to include a fruit or vegetable at each meal and as part of snacks.

  Dawn - 1:29 PM:
Do you have any healthy ingredients that you can recommend for baking and cooking that are great substitutes for commonly used items (for example - butter, etc.)?
Atara Schayer, RDN, LDN
Hi Dawn great question, using applesauce instead of oil can help maintain moisture when cooking without providing as many calories or fat. Fat free greek yogurt can be used in place of sour cream in some of your favorite recipes as well.

  Becca - 1:33 PM:
Do you have any tips for meal prepping at home in advance for daily lunches at work?
Atara Schayer, RDN, LDN
Great question, making a menu plan over the weekends would be a great way to start, decided what you want to have for the week and make a shopping list so you will have everything you need. Making a batch of chili or soup ahead of time and freezing it in small portion sized containers to grab on the go is another idea. Have a vegetable platter ready in fridge so you can grab what you want without taking too much time to prepare.

  Lynette (Tinley Park Illinois) - 1:43 PM:
What’s the best diet for weight loss
Atara Schayer, RDN, LDN
Great question, new diets are constantly in the news promising fast weight loss. . . however, a lot of the fad diets are lacking in essential nutrients or are hard to follow long term. Weight loss achieved by eating nutrient dense foods (whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy and lean protein sources within recommended portions) most of the time and having "treats" in moderation can help with weight loss and weight loss maintenance.

  Valerie (Evanston, IL) - 1:52 PM:
There was a recent aticle in the NorthShore Quarterly sent to patients indicating that a Mediterranean diet is beneficial to help support healthy brain functioning. For those worried about such things (as well as weight loss) is the Mediterranean diet a better choice than Ketogenic diet plan?
Atara Schayer, RDN, LDN
The Mediterranean diet a plant based diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and heart healthy fats (olive oil, canola oil), protein sources are generally fish and poultry and occasional red meat, studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet has been associated with decreased risk of heart disease. As mentioned earlier the Ketogenic diet is very restrictive which can lead to nutrient deficiencies.

  Nicole (Libertyville, IL) - 2:01 PM:
I want to reduce the sugar in my diet, but I don’t want to eliminate it. What are some “good” sugars I can keep in my diet?
Atara Schayer, RDN, LDN
Great question, reducing intake of added sugars to less than 10% of daily calories is one of the key recommendations from the 2015-2020 dietary guidelines. Looking at the ingredient list is a great way to see if a product has added sugar. Brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, sugars ending in "ose" (dextrose, fructose, fructose, sucrose), high fructose corn syrup, honey are some examples of code names for sugar. Usually if sugar is listed as one of the first 5 ingredients that food will be higher in added sugar. Choose fruits to add some good sugars to your diet and limit the consumption of sweets.

Colie (Moderator) - 2:11 PM:
This will be the end of our chat. Thank you for the questions. To find out more about how you can start meal prepping, get more recipes or find a well-balanced diet for your lifestyle, visit NorthShore's Healthy You: www.northshore.org/healthy-you

Atara Schayer, RDN, LDN (NorthShore) - 2:12 PM:
Thank you all for the great questions!
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