Category Archives: Nutrition

African Americans and Heart Disease

Posted on: February 20, 2015

Beating Heart Disease When the Risks are High

By Dr. Robert Pilchik

Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans, according to the American Heart Association. It takes more lives than all cancers combined. For African-Americans,

Robert Pilchik, MD, FACC Chief, Cardiology Northern Westchester Hospital

Robert Pilchik, MD, FACC
Chief, Cardiology
Northern Westchester Hospital

the disease is particularly deadly: Before the age of 50, African-American’s rate of heart failure is 20 times higher than Caucasians, according to research published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Despite the grim nature of these statistics, there is hope.

Many of the major risks for African-Americans are modifiable with lifestyle changes and, when warranted, drug treatment. African-Americans tend to have higher blood pressure on average than other populations; they are also more likely to have dangerous cholesterol levels, suffer from chronic kidney disease, and struggle with weight issues.

“Just losing five to 10 percent of your bodyweight
can significantly reduce your risk for heart disease.”

One well-established cause of high blood pressure is sodium—salt—in the diet, and research suggests that African-Americans may carry a gene that makes them more salt sensitive. By choosing low-sodium foods and eating more fruits and vegetables, blood pressure can be lowered.

Regular exercise—even daily walks—can also reduce blood pressure. If a patient’s blood pressure doesn’t respond to lifestyle changes or is already dangerously high, it can be controlled with safe and proven medications.

African-Americans also tend to have lower levels of the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. Again, a healthy diet with lots of produce and lean protein such as poultry along with regular exercise can have a significant impact in improving cholesterol numbers. What’s more, statin drugs are very effective in lowering ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol.

Weight, another risk factor for stroke and heart disease, can also be managed with lifestyle changes. Just losing five to 10 percent of your bodyweight can significantly reduce your risk for heart disease. Shedding pounds can also lower the risk of diabetes, which also increases the likelihood of suffering a stroke or heart attack. Diabetes is another chronic disease that is higher in African-Americans: Their risk is about double that of non-Hispanic whites.

Visit your physician to learn more about your risk for heart disease and stroke. Understand your factors and put a plan in place to address them. Northern Westchester Hospital offers programs on a variety of chronic diseases as well as FREE tobacco cessation programs (smoking can dramatically raise your risk of heart problems and stroke) that can be incorporated into your personal healthcare plan. Give yourself the gift of health this year – even a few simple improvements will make a big difference to your wellbeing.

Stop heart disease before it’s started. Visit www.mylifecheck.org and get an assessment of your heart health.

Editor’s Note:
Robert Pilchik, MD, FACC is Chief of Cardiology of Northern Westchester Hospital. He is known for his compassion and for helping patients understand their cardiac health. In addition to clinical cardiology, Dr. Pilchik performs diagnostic cardiac catheterizations; cardioversions; transthoracic, transesophageal and stress echocardiograms; transvenous pacemakers; cardiac CTA/calcium scoring; and nuclear stress testing. Dr. Pilchik is a member of Westchester Health with offices in Mt. Kisco, Yorktown Heights and Valhalla.

Read more blog posts on heart health.

Northern Westchester Hospital
offers a Tobacco Cessation Clinic — at NO Charge — to all community memebers. Please call
Jennifer Lucas at 914-6666-1868 for more information.

Learn about cardiac rehabilitation services at Northern Westchester.

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Heart-Healthy Treats for You and Your Valentine

Posted on: February 11, 2015

Heart-Healthy Treats for You and Your Valentine

By Pat Talio

I hope this headline caught your attention. I know most people feel not snacking should have been a one of your New Year’s resolutions but in contrast, snacking can be an important part of a heart-healthy diet.
Consider this, if there is more than 3 hours between your meals there are benefits to adding a snack.
1) to avoid being over hungry at meal time, which often leads to overeating at your next meal,
2) better blood sugar control, and
3) sustained energy.

The keys to picking a heart-healthy snack are portion size and quality.
Portion Size:  200 calories or less
Quality:  Be high infiber, contain lean protein (preferably plant-based), be low in sugar and sodium, and have no saturated or trans fat

The results are in; here are the Top 10 Heart-Healthy Snacks for 2015!
Number 10 - 6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt with ¼ cup of fresh or frozen blueberries and 2 teaspoons of chia seeds with an optional garnish of chopped fresh mint
(144 calories, 3 g fiber, 2 g fat, 18 g protein)
Number 9 - Roasted Chickpeas with Parmesan Cheese (see recipe below)
Number 8 - 3 cups popped popcorn, jazzed up with 1 teaspoon of canola oil and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon, cayenne and unsweetened cocoa powder
(129 calories, 3.5 g fiber, 5 g fat and 3 g protein)
Number 7 – 1.5 cups steamed Edamame in the Pod
(160 calories, 12 g fiber, 15g protein, 3 g fat)
Number 6 – 2 ounces of hummus (try a white or black bean hummus for variety) with 1 cup crudité
(158 calories, 6 g fiber, 4 g protein, 5 g fat)
Number 5 - ½ apple with 1 tablespoon of natural almond butter
(145 calories, 9 g fat, 4 g fiber, 3 g protein)
Number 4 - ½ cup low fat cottage cheese with ¼ cup of raspberries and 1 tablespoon of slivered almonds
(153 calories, 15 g pro, 6 g fat, 2 g fiber
Number 3 – 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter on 2 whole grain crisp breads (Wasa High Fiber Crisp bread)
(167 calories, 6 g protein, 6 g fiber, 8 g fat)
Number 2 - 30 unsalted pistachio nuts
(102 calories, 4 g protein, 8 g fat, 2 g fiber)
And the Number 1 Heart Healthy Snack for 2015 is…
strawberry_chocolate covered w Walnuts 4 large, whole strawberries dipped in ½ ounce of melted dark chocolate topped with 1.5 teaspoons of chopped walnuts
(187 calories, 2g pro, 12 g fat, 3.5 g fiber) !

 

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
Courtesy of eat-yourself-skinny.com

INGREDIENTS
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 (15.5 oz.) cans chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Arrange racks in top and bottom thirds of oven. Stir together oil, chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne in a large bowl. Add chickpeas and toss to coat.
3. Divide chickpeas between two large rimmed baking sheets. Bake, shaking pans occasionally and rotating pans from top to bottom shelves after 20 minutes, until chickpeas are browned and crisp, about 35 to 40 minutes.
4. Serve warm or at room temperature.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
Serving Size (serves 6): 1/3 cup • Calories: 141 • Fat: 4 g • Fiber: 5 g • Protein: 6 g

Find more delicious and nutritious recipes check out www.nwhc.net/recipes

For more information on heart health, read blog posts from NWH’s Chief of Cardiology, Dr. Robert Pilchik.

Editor’s Note:
Pat Talio, MS, RD, CDE, CDN, is the Outpatient Nutrition Program Coordinator at Northern Westchester Hospital.

 

Plant-based Diet Considered Healthiest by Dietitian

Posted on: January 28, 2015

Healthful Eating: The Plant-based Diet

By Jill Ashbey-Pejoves

As a dietitian I am often asked what I consider to be the healthiest diet. This is an easy question to answer because the research is fairly clear that a plant-based diet is best for farmers market 2overall health. You may be wondering exactly what a plant-based diet is. Well the definition ranges from one in which no animal products are consumed, a vegan diet, to one in which some animal products are consumed and not others, a vegetarian diet, to one in which all foods are consumed, but plant foods comprise the majority, a flexitarian or Mediterranean diet. A well balanced plant-based diet provides all the essential amino acids necessary for adequate protein and is high in fiber.

Here are just a few of the many benefits of a plant-based diet:
• Improved weight control – most plant-based foods are high in nutrients and low in calories by volume.
• Improved blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar control.
• Decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and numerous cancers.
• It is cost effective. Vegetables, grains and legumes are less expensive than meat and dairy products.
• It’s good for the planet. It takes less environmental resources to sustain a plant-based diet than a meat-based one. Plants produce oxygen, not CO2.

“Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much.”  
– Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food

Ways to incorporate more fruits, vegetable, beans, legumes and whole grains into your diet?
• Replace 1-2 meals per week with a vegetarian option. Think meatless Monday!
• Replace refined grains with whole grains such as brown rice, millet, bulgur, wheat berries.
• Get sneaky; add beans to soups, salads, and stews.
• Drink your greens, blend spinach or kale into your fruit smoothie.
• Aim for 3-5 servings of non-starchy vegetables and 2-4 servings of fruits every day.
• For convenience, keep canned beans on-hand; just remember to rinse them to remove the excess salt.
• Join a co-op or CSA (community supported agriculture) to always have a variety of seasonal, local or organic vegetable and fruits available.

If you, or someone you love, are interested in changing your diet to improve a chronic health condition, a Registered Dietitian can help.

For more information on plant-based diets, visit www.Oldwayspt.org and www.vrg.org.

To learn more about co-ops, CSAs and to find one in your area, visit http://www.ecolife.com/health-food/eating-local/food-coops-csa.html

 RECIPES

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burritos
Courtesy of Moosewood Restaurant & Recipes

Ingredients
6 cups peeled and cubed sweet potatoes (about 21⁄2 pounds)
2 cups chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 fresh hot pepper, minced (for a milder “hot,” seeded first)
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground coriander
2 15-ounce cans of black beans, drained (3 cups)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1⁄2 cup chopped cilantro
salt to taste
6 10-inch flour tortillas

Preparation
1. In a covered saucepan, bring the sweet potatoes to a boil in salted water to cover
2. Simmer until tender, about 15 minutes.
3. Drain and mash. Set aside.
4. While the sweet potatoes are cooking, in a covered saucepan on low heat, cook the on-ions, garlic, hot peppers, and salt in the oil until the onions are soft, about 10 minutes.
5. When the onions have softened, stir in the cumin and coriander and cook for another minute or two.
6. Preheat the oven to 350°. Oil a large baking pan or sheet.
7. Combine the mashed sweet potatoes, the onion-spice mixture, and the black beans.
8. Stir in the lemon juice and cilantro; add salt to taste.
9. Place about a 1 cup of filling on the bottom half of each tortilla and roll up.
10. Lightly brush the tops of the burritos with oil and cover with foil.
11. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until hot.
Try these Variations: Add a diced bell pepper to the onions as they cook. Replace the fresh hot pepper with 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne or 1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes. For a smoky flavor, use a minced canned chipotle pepper with a spoonful of adobo sauce. Stir a cup of corn kernels into the filling. Use corn tortillas instead of flour for a gluten-free alternative.
Per Serving:
312 Calories;  1.9g Fat;  0.0mg Cholesterol;  423mg Sodium;   62g Carbohydrates;  12g Fiber;  12g Protein

Recipe by Moosewood Restaurant & Recipes | Ithaca, NY at http://www.moosewoodcooks.com/2014/07/black-bean-sweet-potato- burritos/

Spiced Chickpea “Nuts”
Courtesy of Eatingwell.com

When roasted in a hot oven, chickpeas become super crunchy. They’re a great low-fat substitute for nuts when salty cravings hit.

Ingredients 
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp salt

Preparation
1. Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 450°F.
2. Blot chickpeas dry and toss in a bowl with oil, cumin, marjoram, allspice and salt. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring once or twice, until browned and crunchy, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes.

Per serving :
103 Calories; 5 g Fat; 0 g Sat; 3 g Mono; 0 mg Cholesterol; 14 g Carbohydrates; 4 g Protein; 5 g Fiber; 303 mg Sodium; 2 mg Potassium

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and store at room temperature for up to 2 days.

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/spiced_chickpea_nuts.html

American Diabetes Association Publishes New Nutrition Guidelines

Posted on: November 19, 2014

Healthful Eating

By Jill Ashbey-Pejoves

Earlier this year, the American Diabetes Association published new nutrition guidelines for people with diabetes. The ADA reviewed the available research on nutrition in diabetes and found that, when it comes to diet and diabetes, one size does not fit all.

According to the guidelines, the goals of nutrition therapy for adults with diabetes are “to promote and support healthful eating patterns, emphasizing a variety of nutrient dense foods in ap-propriate portion sizes in order to improve overall health.” Here are some highlights of changes to the ADA guidelines:

1. For good health, carbohydrate intake should come from vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and low-fat dairy products, rather than carbohydrate sources containing added fats, sugars or sodium.
2. There is no minimum amount of carbohydrate necessary, the amount of carbohydrate, protein and fat in the diet should be based on the nutritional, metabolic and weight con-siderations of the individual.
3. Sugar (sucrose) consumption should be kept to a minimum in order to allow for more nu-tritious foods.
4. Sugar-sweetened beverages should be avoided all together, and may be replaced with diet beverages if desired.
5. People with diabetes should follow the same recommendations for intake of saturated fat, cholesterol, trans fat, and sodium as the general public:

Saturated fat <10% of total calories
Cholesterol <300mg per day
Avoid trans fat
Sodium <2300mg per day

6. Individuals who are overweight or obese should aim for modest weight loss (greater than or equal to 7% of their starting weight).
7. Nutrition counseling, preferably provided by a Registered Dietitian familiar with the com-ponents of diabetes nutrition therapy, is an important tool to help people with diabetes achieve their treatment goals.

The needs of the individual and the importance of honoring personal tastes and cultural prefer-ences are influential in encouraging people with diabetes to follow a healthful diet and lifestyle.

Try these healthy, delicious recipes:

Mini Crab Cakes with Dill Mayonnaise
Courtesy of Weight Watchers Simply Delicious

Ingredients
1 pound cooked jumbo lump crabmeat
1/4 c. plain dry bread crumbs
1/2 c. reduced-calorie mayonnaise
1/4 c. grated onion
4 tsp Dijon mustard
1 egg white
4 drops hot pepper sauce
1/2 c. cornflake crumbs
1/4 c. sweet pickle relish
2 Tbsp chopped dill
1 Tbsp canola oil

Method
1. Combine the crabmeat, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup of the mayonnaise, onion, 3 teaspoons of mustard, egg white, and hot pepper sauce in a bowl. Form into 14 patties.
2. Place the cornflake crumbs on wax paper. Dredge the patties in the crumbs, transfer to a plate, and refrigerate, covered, for 30 minutes
3. Combine remaining 1/4 cup mayonnaise, relish, dill and mustard in small bowl.
4. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the patties a few at a time; cook until crisp and golden, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook 2-3 minutes more. Serve with the mayonnaise mixture.

Calories: 94; Fat: 5g; Sat Fat: 1g; Sodium: 252mg; Carbohydrate: 6g; Protein: 7g

Ginger-Spiced Pumpkin Pie
Courtesy of Diabetes Self-Management Magazine

Ingredients
1 c. finely crushed gingersnap cookies
1/4 c. margarine or butter, melted
2 large egg whites
3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1 c. canned evaporated skimmed milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Method
1. Combine crushed cookies and margarine/butter in medium bowl; mix well. Press onto bot-tom and up sides of a 9-inch, deep-dish pie plate. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat egg whites and brown sugar in large bowl. Add pump-kin, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and salt; mix well. Pour into crust.
3. Bake 60-70 minutes or until center is set. Transfer pie to wire rack; cool 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 8
Calories: 230, Fat: 7g, Sat Fat: 1g, Sodium: 355mg; Carbohydrate: 38g; Protein: 5g.

Editor’s Note: Jill Ashbey-Pejoves RD, CDE, CDN is a Registered Dietitian at Northern Westchester Hospital.

The Center for Diabetes at Northern Westchester Hospital is dedicated to providing a wide range of services and programs for people with diabetes. In addition to supporting the needs of inpatients, the Center offers a comprehensive outpatient education program that focuses on meeting the individual needs of persons living with diabetes and their families. The Center also sponsors a monthly diabetes support group for adult patients. For more information on any of our Diabetes programs, call 914.666.1861.

The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) and its partners want you to know that if you have diabetes, you are at greater risk for heart disease. Lower that risk by managing the diabetes ABCs: the A1C test, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol and Stop Smoking. Learn how to control the ABCs of Diabetes.

 

Use by date, Sell by date, Food safety

Posted on: November 14, 2014

The Sniff Test

by Amy Rosenfeld

How often do you take something from the refrigerator, smell it, and then promptly turn to the nearest unsuspecting family member and say, “How does this smell to you?” Foods can develop an off odor, flavor or appearance related to bacteria, and while the “sniff test” has become a way of life for most of us, there are certainly safer ways of determining if something in your fridge is still edible? Continue reading