- 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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Aug. 25, 2010
Dietary guidelines connect SoFAS and weight gain
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
In combing through the latest draft of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, I came across a new term: "SoFAS." And I don't mean the kind you sit on.
SoFAS stands for "solid fat and added sugar." Health experts recommend that SoFAS account for no more than about 5 to 15 percent of your daily calories. Yet the dietary guidelines point out that Americans of every age and both sexes get closer to 35 percent of their daily calories from SoFAS.
That's not surprising considering the top food sources of SoFAS:
- Cakes, cookies, doughnuts, pies, crisps, granola bars
- Yeast breads
- Soda, energy and sports drinks
On average, each of these adds about 100 to 150 calories to Americans' daily diet.
Not coincidentally, nationwide surveys suggest that the increase in obesity is being fueled by the addition of 100 to 400 daily calories — either as calories consumed or calories not burned through physical activity. Perhaps this narrow range of calories can be addressed by looking at the SoFAS in our diet.
Shifts in Americans' eating habits over the past 40 years have resulted in higher consumption of SoFAS-rich foods. Contributing factors include:
- Increase in the number of products available in supermarkets — many of which contain SoFAS
- Radical increase in calories eaten outside the home — from 18 to 77 percent
- Nearly 150 percent increase in the number of fast food restaurants
SoFAS are high in calories and low in nutrients — contributing to unwanted pounds. But the potential health concerns go beyond excess calories. Solid fats include naturally occurring saturated fats and man-made trans fats — both major contributors to heart disease.
Forgoing one or more of the foods high in SoFAS might be a good strategy for cutting fat and sugar calories. I'll be watching what I eat — both at home and in restaurants — and trying to skip some SoFAS.
What do you think about the connection between SoFAS and weight gain?
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