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Michigan leads the way

Double Up Food Bucks is an amazing program for low income families that makes fresh fruits and vegetables available and more affordable! The way it works is you purchase fruits and vegetables at a participating venue, the amount is matched in Michigan grown fruits and vegetables. The program started in 2009 in Detroit and as you will read in the link below, it’s being modeled in other states as well! Feel free to check out their website, also listed below. I put in my zip code and discovered there are at least 10 locations that participate in the program within a 10 mile radius.

farmers market
Disclosure: this is a Farmers Market in NYC

http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/opinion/contributors/viewpoints/2015/04/18/sen-stabenow-oran-hesterman-fresh-food-access/25933133/

http://www.doubleupfoodbucks.org/

MILK!

MILK!

Which is best for you?!
Which is best for you?!

For as long as I can remember I have drank non-fat milk and didn’t think much of it until I started working with WIC and realized how many people prefer whole milk. In addition, there has been a wide variety of opinions when it comes to what milk is best to consume, and unsurprisingly there isn’t one easy answer. WIC recommends whole milk from 12 to 24 months, and after that switching to 1% milk or less, largely due to the fat content of the milk. This is one of the largest complaints voiced by clients on the program, who want to feed their children whole milk well past its recommended duration. There are several exceptions to this rule, usually taking into account the weight, height, BMI, and health concerns for the child. However, WIC does not offer a milk based on preference, rather it will only provide reimbursement for milk based on the nutritional needs and age of the child.

The benefits of lesser fat milk has been in the news in the past couple years, questioning the true benefits of their use. This is happening due to the tendency to replace high fat foods with highly processed carbs, which may not be beneficial if an individual that is trying to reduce their risk for heart disease. In the case of milk, saturated fats have been proven to have no net negative effect on cholesterol in the blood, although it may increase the bad cholesterol, it may also increase the good.

In our diets we unknowingly consume “good” and “bad” fats, our diets should include more of the “good” and less of the “bad”. The different types of fats are saturated, unsaturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and trans fats. As one may guess, the good fats are found in vegetables, nuts, seeds and fish and tend to be liquid at room temperature. Using good fats (mono- or polyunsaturated) in place of the bad fats (saturated) may reduce cholesterol and lower triglyceride levels.

I found a great article written by dietitian Karen Giles-Smith, called Milk Fat Does a Body Good . In the article she stated that “low-fat or fat-free foods look good on paper” which based on the evidence that has been released in the past couple years, may be true (1). The correlation between high fat diets and chronic heart disease may not be as strong as originally thought. The recommendation I would make is to select milk that best suits your lifestyle and taste preference; meaning unless there is a health reason or desired weight loss higher fat milk is acceptable. The diet of the average American tends to be high in the “bad” fats and choosing low-fat milk may be a way of balancing it out, a technique frequently recommended by WIC nutritionists and one I could agree with. Below I constructed a chart to demonstrate the amount of fat and saturated fat in a glass of milk for comparison. I hope you enjoyed this article and can now make an informed milk decision! 🙂

Milk Serving size Fat Saturated Fat Calories
Whole 8 oz 8g 5g 150
2% 8 oz 5g 3g 120
1% 8 oz 2g 2g 100
Skim 8 oz 0g 0g 80
  1. Giles- Smith, Karen. Milk Does a Body Good. http://www.todaysdietitian.com/news/exclusive0912.shtml
National Nutrition Month

National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month, this month was used by The Academy of Nutrition And Dietetics (eatright.org) to encourage nutrition education, and the importance of informed food choices and engaging in physical activity. As a Nutritionist, I love to see nutrition celebrated for a month, although I feel it should be honored year round!

This being my first post I thought I would tell you a little of my story with nutrition. I used to have a poor appetite and tended to eat foods with low nutritional value, which contributed to my struggle with iron and Vitamin B-12 deficiencies. However, through my studies I better understood the need for all the nutrients and the effect they have on a person, therefore adjusting my diet and lifestyle.

I often tried to keep up with my exercise routine, which made adding a balanced diet rather tolerable. When I was at a crossroads on what to do in college, it was suggested for me to pursue nutrition and dietetics, I had found what I was meant to study! Through what I was learning in my classes and being encouraged to try, I adjusted to eating more variety of foods, including lots of proteins and vegetables, two food groups that I was previously lacking in. Today my diet consists of all the food groups, although sometimes my proteins could be a little more varied. The most important part of nutrition that I try to encourage my clients to do is have fun with it and enjoy everything in moderation. I work as a Nutritionist with WIC (Women Infant Children) and love what I do, which is help the community and encourage nutritious foods that I love.

I hope you guys enjoy checking out this blog as much as I enjoy putting it together. Have fun making good eating choices, til the next time!

Happy National Nutrition Month!