- With Mayo Clinic nutritionists
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.read biographyclose window
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.Katherine Zeratsky and Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer K. Nelson, M.S., R.D., L.D., C.N.S.D.
Jennifer Nelson is your link to a better diet. As specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, she plays a vital role in bringing you healthy recipes and meal planning.
"Nutrition is one way people have direct control over the quality of their lives," she says. "I hope to translate the science of nutrition into ways that people can select and prepare great-tasting foods that help maintain health and treat disease."
A St. Paul, Minn., native, she has been with Mayo Clinic since 1978, and is director of clinical dietetics and an associate professor of nutrition at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
She leads clinical nutrition efforts for a staff of more than 60 clinical dietitians and nine dietetic technicians and oversees nutrition services, staffing, strategic and financial planning, and quality improvement. Nelson was co-editor of the "Mayo Clinic Diet" and the James Beard Foundation Award-winning "The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook." She has been a contributing author to and reviewer of many other Mayo Clinic books, including "Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight for EveryBody," "The Mayo Clinic Family Health Book" and "The Mayo Clinic/Williams Sonoma Cookbook." She contributes to the strategic direction of the Food & Nutrition Center, which includes creating recipes and menus, reviewing nutrition content of various articles, and providing expert answers to nutrition questions.
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
As a specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, Katherine Zeratsky helps you sort through the facts and figures, the fads and the hype to learn more about nutrition and diet.
A Marinette, Wis., native, she is certified in dietetics by the state of Minnesota and the American Dietetic Association. She has been with Mayo Clinic since 1999.
She's active in nutrition-related curriculum and course development in wellness nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and nutrition related to weight management and practical applications of nutrition-related lifestyle changes.
Other areas of interest include food and nutrition for all life stages, active lifestyles and the culinary arts.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, served a dietetic internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and worked as a registered dietitian and health risk counselor at ThedaCare of Appleton, Wis., before joining the Mayo Clinic staff.
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Feb. 20, 2009
Home economics — Fast food vs. homemade
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
As the economy slows and we adjust our budgets and lifestyles to make ends meet, a few common themes emerge in our dining practices. We're eating more meals at home and when we do eat out, we're choosing less expensive restaurants and ordering cheaper items.
Fast food restaurants — with their "value menus" — seem to be benefiting from these trends. But is fast food a better deal than homemade? Let's look at a typically American fast food — the hamburger.
Fast Food Burger: Ground beef on white bun, with ketchup, mustard, pickles and onion.
Serving size: 3.5-ounce sandwich
|71 calories per ounce||2.6 grams per ounce||$0.29 per ounce|
Homemade Burger: Lean ground beef on wheat bun, with your choice of condiments.*
Serving size: 4.5-ounce sandwich
|67 calories per ounce||2.8 grams per ounce||$0.25 per ounce|
*Condiments not factored into price of homemade burger.
Data from: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference; McDonald's Web Site; Bureau of Labor Consumer Price Index. Accessed Jan. 8, 2009.
Considering the cost of seasonings, condiments and your gas/electricity to cook your burger, it's fair to say that per ounce the cost is nearly the same for the homemade burger and the fast food one.
Of course, cost is only one element that goes into our decisions about food. Others include:
- Time: Finding/taking the time to shop and prepare meals
- Family values: Time with family preparing and sharing meals
- Education: Teaching yourself and your family the skill of cooking
- Fuel costs: Frequent trips to restaurant versus a weekly trip to grocery store
- Local production versus having your food transported from many miles away
- Quality: Taste, freshness and nutritional value of ingredients
- Local or global: Supporting your local farmer/processor versus the global market
How do you choose whether to eat out or stay in? How are the tough economic times affecting your eating habits and food shopping? What value do you place on food?
Do you have thoughts, ideas or tips to share on how you budget for what your value?
If so, please share.blog index