Tag Archives: Nutrition

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Northern Westchester Hospital Dietitian Discusses the Role of Food in Cancer Prevention

Posted on: April 22, 2014

The Shopping Basket: A Tool To Control Your Cancer Risk

By Stephanie Perruzza MS, RD, CDN

picnic-basketAs a dietitian, I am keenly aware of the impact that food and nutrition have on health and well-being, and I am truly passionate about educating others in this aspect. What you eat can also impact your cancer risk. Many of us have been affected by cancer in some way, and it’s empowering to know that eating a well-balanced diet with an emphasis on plant foods is one thing that you can do to help reduce your risk – and it’s easy to do, just grab a shopping basket.

Research shows that 1 in every 3 cancers is linked to poor diet and lack of physical activity. The guidelines for reducing your cancer risk are similar to that of reducing other chronic diseases.
1.    Fruits and vegetables. This includes non-starchy vegetables and the more variety the better to ensure you are getting an array of vitamins and antioxidants. Good options include tomatoes, beets, broccoli, dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, as well as berries, grapes, and citrus fruits like grapefruit and oranges. “Eat the rainbow” every day and you’ll be sure to get a wide variety in your diet!
2.    Fiber-rich foods. In addition to fruits and vegetables, whole grains such as whole wheat breads or pastas, oatmeal, barley, brown rice to name a few contain ample amounts of fiber.  Beans and legumes are also a great source of fiber.
3.    Choose lean protein. Select chicken, fish, eggs and vegetable protein sources such as beans, legumes and unsalted nuts when possible. Limit your intake of red meats and if you do consume, choose leaner cuts that include the words “loin” or “round” and have smaller portions.
4.    Avoid saturated and trans fats. Full-fat dairy, cheese and processed food items like luncheon meats, bacon, sausage and snack foods contain saturated fats. When reading food labels look for and avoid partially-hydrogenated oil on the ingredient list.
5.    Limit sodium. Canned products such as soups and vegetables are often high in sodium. Look for low-sodium soup varieties, and rinsing canned vegetables before use can reduce the sodium content by about 40%.

In addition to focusing on diet, there are a few other factors to keep in mind:
•    Maintain a healthy weight. You have a higher risk for cancer if you are overweight or obese. Together, engaging in regular exercise and making healthy food choices can help with weight control.
•    Limit Alcohol. Studies have shown that consuming alcohol in excess can increase your risk of certain types of cancers. Limit your intake to no more than one alcoholic beverage per day for women and two per day for men, preferably with a meal.
•    Exercise Regularly. Aim to get 30 minutes each day or 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week as a general goal.
•    Avoid Tobacco. Smoking and chewing tobacco has been linked to various types of cancer specifically oral cavity and lung. Talk to your doctor about ways to quit.

Editor’s Note: Nutrition consultation is also part of Northern Westchester Hospital’s Health & Wellness Program. The Health and Wellness Program is designed to support our patients in parallel to their medical treatment plan after they receive a diagnosis of cancer. Patients of NWH physicians have access to the Program at no charge.

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Northern Westchester Hospital Registered Dietitian Offers Ideas to Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right

Posted on: March 26, 2014

The Taste of Eating Right

March 26, 2014

by Stephanie Perruzza, MS, RD, CDN, Northern Westchester Hospital

March is National Nutrition Month, an annual nutrition education campaign sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  The Registered Dietitians at Northern Westchester Hospital want to encourage everyone to celebrate by focusing on making healthy food choices!  Specifically, by keeping this year’s theme in mind: “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.”

Most consumer research has shown that individuals are likely to choose foods that taste good, healthy or not; as dietitians, we completely understand – we eat what tastes best.  Spend some extra time enjoying your meal choices by combining flavors and nutritious foods to build a healthy plate. Continue reading

Tips for Reducing Salt in Your Diet

Posted on: March 14, 2014

Spice it Up and Toss the Salt

Kimberly Stein, RD, CDN

In today’s food culture, most of us are consuming far too much sodium. The current recommendation for sodium according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is less than 2,300 milligrams per day. That’s equivalent to about the size of one teaspoon. The recommendation for African Americans, individuals age 51 and older and anyone with high blood pressure, diabetes, or kidney disease is no more than 1,500 milligrams each day.

Yes, it’s true that we do need sodium in our body for normal functions, such as maintaining blood pressure. However, it’s when our sodium intake skyrockets that it can become dangerous causing hypertension (high blood pressure), or fluid retention in people with certain medical conditions, but controlling the amount in your diet may be easier than you think. Here are some simple tips to keep your sodium intake in check: Continue reading

New York Dietitian Gives Tips on Healthy Snacking

Posted on: February 26, 2014

National Snack Food Month

by Stephanie Perruzza, MS, RD, CDN, Northern Westchester Hospital

89792455compr-nutrition monthYes, you read this title correctly. There is a National Snack Food Month, and it’s in February. Snack foods tend to get a bad rep with stereotypical offerings like chips, cookies and soda on frequent advertisements. The good news is that snacking can fit into a healthy diet and lifestyle – just be sure to keep these few tips in mind:

  1. Calorie Control – you don’t want to overdo it and have your snack turn into a meal. Portion your snacks out and keep them between 150-225 calories.
  2. Snack Wisely – Choose nutritious food choices (see our examples below) and don’t snack mindlessly. When your mind is preoccupied, you eat more; so sit down and focus on your meal and hunger/fullness feelings. Continue reading

Northern Westchester Hospital Dietician Discusses Low-Fiber Nutrition

Posted on: January 21, 2014

Low-Fiber Nutrition Therapy

By Stephanie Perruzza MS, RD, CDN, Northern Westchester Hospital

Can eating or avoiding certain foods make you feel better when you have diarrhea? By consuming the recommended foods below, you will be eating less fiber, fat, lactose, and sugars, which should help stop diarrhea and make you feel better.

Tips:
1. Limit foods and beverages that contain sugar, lactose, fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, and sorbitol.
2. Avoid beverages with caffeine.
3. Eat a small meal or snack every 3 or 4 hours.
4. Avoid spicy foods if they make symptoms worse.

Recommended Foods:
(NOTE: these recommendations are suitable for most people. However, if your symptoms get worse after eating a specific food, it is recommended to avoid that food until your symptoms resolve and you feel better)

Continue reading