Ben (Moderator) - 10:49 AM:
Greetings everyone and welcome to the NorthShore University HealthSystem's latest chat: Spring Cleaning For Your Body with Kate Kinne, RDN, LDN. The chat will begin in about 10 minutes, but please start submitting your questions now so we can get to all of them.
Kate Kinne - 11:00 AM:
Hello! Thank you so much for joining me today. I am a Registered Dietitian at Galter LifeCenter, the Medical Fitness Facility at Swedish Hospital. I work privately with clients and teach group nutrition classes related to healthy eating and weight loss. I also am a certified Fluidity Barre instructor. I am ready to take your questions!
Rebecca (Skokie, IL) - 11:01 AM:
I've always eaten meat, but I've been learning more about the benefits of a plant-based diet. What considerations should be taken when transitioning to a plant-based diet?
Hi Rebecca, great question to kick us off! There is plenty of evidence showing that a plant-based diet has definite health advantages, and plant-based doesn't have to mean completely meat-free. When transitioning, keep in mind what your sources of protein and iron will be. Beans, nuts, seeds, soy products, and whole grains are all great sources of protein, and because they are plant-based they don't contain the saturated fats that can be harmful to our hearts. Including eggs, dairy, fatty fish, and other meat products occasionally can be good supplements. Eat lots of veggies, choose good fats like olive oil, avocado, and nuts, include whole grains and don't forget the fruit. Enjoy!
Stephen (Evanston, IL) - 11:09 AM:
I feel like I eat pretty healthily, and I get a moderate amount of exercise. I was hoping to lose a few pounds over last summer, but since then I have gained about 5-10 pounds. I do like salty snacks like crackers, peanuts, chips, and pretzels. Would these snacks cause me to gain weight?
Hi Stephen! In order to answer that question, we need to look at the big picture. I wouldn't necessarily blame any one food for weight gain, but instead how much you are eating overall. Snacks can be built into a healthy diet, but pay attention to how much you are eating, and also think about the reason for the snack. If you are actually hungry, great...put a small portion in a bowl for snacking. It you are bored, or it just sounds good, maybe you are getting more than you actually need? I hate to blame the pandemic, but many of us have been more sedentary than normal, and home with not much to do, which can also play a role. I suggest eating regular meals and paying attention to your hunger, having a snack only if you are truly hungry. A couple of tablespoons to a quarter cup of peanuts, a few whole-grain crackers, or maybe a piece a fruit can hold you over if you need a snack.
Shelly (Evanston, IL) - 11:15 AM:
I am middle age and have arthritis in my hips. What do you think is more important to do - stretching for flexibility or walking? What type of stretching exercises do you recommend?
Good morning, Shelly! Thank you for this question. I think they are both important, so a combination is ideal. I am not certified as a personal trainer, but I do work closely with our trainers and at Galter LifeCenter we do have arthritis-specific classes. While arthritis threatens to limit your mobility, exercise can actually keep you moving by lubricating the joints and strengthening the muscles around them and supporting your bones. Walking is great because it is low impact, which is easier on your joints. Exercising in water is also fantastic! Stretching and range-of-motion exercises, like arm and ankle circles, leg swings, and cat-cow stretches may help loosen you up before you walk.
Kim (Glenview, IL) - 11:20 AM:
Is it true that only little kids need to drink milk and that grownups should get calcium from other sources?
Hi, Kim! I don’t necessarily agree that grownups “should” get calcium from other sources, but rather they can. Milk contains several nutrients that can benefit everyone including protein, carbohydrate, calcium, vitamin D, potassium, and more. Other dairy products, like yogurt and cheese, are also great sources of calcium. Dairy products provide the biggest bang for your buck in terms of milligrams of calcium per serving, offering around 300-400mg per serving. As people age, they may develop some level of lactose intolerance, making milk difficult to digest and causing discomfort. In that case, lactose-free milk can be used, or calcium-fortified plant-based milks, like soy milk. If there is a specific reason a person should avoid dairy altogether, sardines or other fish canned with bones, calcium-fortified juices, cereals and soy, dark greens, and beans should be included in his/her diet to help meet calcium needs. For the record, this Iowa girl drinks milk everyday!
Divia (Northbrook, IL) - 11:26 AM:
I can't stand fish, but I hear it's really good for you. Is there an alternate food that does similar things for you?
Hi Divia, you are not alone! There are many healthy benefits from eating fish, especially fattier fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. There are some plant sources that offer some fatty acids, such as walnuts, flaxseed, leafy greens, and canola oil, but your body will only convert a small bit of that to DHA, which is the healthy fat abundant in oily fish like salmon, tuna and herring. Personally, I have found various recipes that allowed me to get used to fish, like a salmon burger dressed like a hamburger, and canned tuna mixed with beans, veggies, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. I recommend that you keep trying new ways to make fish enjoyable. :)
Joan (Skokie, IL) - 11:33 AM:
Hi, I am exercising 7 days a week since December and I lost only 5 lbs. and my weight stopped. I eat healthy, lots of fruits and vegetables. Why is my weight not going down?
Hi Joan, I'm sure that is very frustrating! Weight loss can be so complicated, with so many factors at play: food, exercise, sleep, hormones, etc., so that is a difficult one. The first thing I have my clients do when they hit a plateau is checking their portion sizes. Even healthy food can be overdone. May I suggest keeping a food log that you can look at objectively? You can do it on paper or on an app, like MyFitnessPal. It may allow you to notice some trends. Balance your meals with carbs, protein, and healthy fats for a satisfying meal. For exercise, ensure you are including some strength training to build and maintain muscle mass, which keeps that metabolism working. Talking to a dietitian may help get you over the hump!
Beth (Evanston, IL) - 11:39 AM:
Can you address how someone who is a female in her 40's can begin an exercise program? What exercise? How much?
Hi Beth, Yes, I love this! I would start by asking yourself what would you enjoy doing? Swimming, biking, walking, yoga? I feel strongly that an exercise program works best when you pick activities that you enjoy. If you are motivated by others, maybe a class is the way to go, whether in-person or online. The weather is getting better, maybe you start with a 20-minute dog walk or quick laps around the neighborhood, and build up from there. A personal trainer or meeting with a Fitness Specialist at Galter LifeCenter may be helpful, even if it is just to get you started and give you some ideas. At least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity is recommended, which is just 30 minutes five days a week. It's ok to start small, ANY activity is better than sitting still. Adding in some strength training exercises, with weights or even just your body weight, is great too. There's no better time than right now! :)
Sara (Evanston, IL) - 11:46 AM:
What are your thoughts on the Keto diet? Are there people who should avoid it? How long do I need to follow the diet to see results? How do I know if it’s the right diet for me?
Hi Sara! In my practice, I usually don't recommend specific "diets," because I've seen many diets work temporarily, but when the diet is done, the weight comes back. Because the ketogenic diet is a very low carb diet, it has been difficult for many to maintain for the long term. Also, evidence shows good weight loss in the short term, but longer-term there is not evidence of weight loss greater than other diets, such as the Mediterranean diet. Individual cases may vary, but generally, I suggest including all food groups in moderate portions, combined with regular physical activity to my clients for a healthy lifestyle long-term.
Gina (Chicago, IL) - 11:55 AM:
What are some simple ways I can improve my nutrition today?
Hi Gina! Great question! Here are some quick tips to consider, apply as needed.
Eat well-balanced meals that contain some protein, high fiber carbohydrates, and healthy plant-based fats.
Half of your plate or meal should contain veggies and/or fruit.
The grains you eat should be whole grains as much as possible, like whole wheat, brown and wild rice, oats, quinoa, etc.
Plan meals and snacks to have nutritional options at the ready.
Choose plant-based meals when possible.
Hydrate - around 2L of water/fluids per day for women.
Slow down, eat at a table, and enjoy your food!
Ben (Moderator) - 12:01 PM:
That's all the time we have today. Thank you, Kate, for your time and expertise.
Kate Kinne - 12:02 PM:
It's been a pleasure, thank you!