- 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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Jan. 25, 2011
War on salt — Report from the front lines
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
Americans consume unhealthy amounts of sodium in their food, far exceeding public health recommendations. Indeed the average American gets more than 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day — 50 percent more than what's recommended. Statistics like this lead New York City in 2010 to declare war on salt, and many others have joined the fray. Here's a brief update on what's been happening in the war on salt:
At the urging of Congress, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Institute of Medicine released the groundbreaking report, "A Population-Based Policy and Systems Change Approach to Prevent and Control Hypertension." It highlighted the connection between salt and high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack. The report also noted that one in three adults have high blood pressure, one of the leading causes of death.
- The Institute of Medicine released, "Strategies to Reduce Sodium in the United States." The report concluded that standards are needed to help manufacturers and restaurants reduce sodium so that all sources in the food supply are targeted. It recommended the goal of slowly reducing sodium in processed foods in a way that would go unnoticed. This would give people time to adjust to lower levels — from a current daily average of 3,400 milligrams to the target goal of 1,500 milligrams.
- New York City established the National Salt Reduction Initiative. This is a nationwide partnership of health organizations, states, cities, food manufacturers and restaurants to lower salt levels in commonly consumed foods. It established targets for packaged foods and for restaurant meals. Currently, 39 cities and 22 leading food companies, restaurant chains and supermarkets have signed the pledge to lower sodium in food.
- Researchers have found that humans perceive salt in distinct phases. Each of these phases opens up opportunities to develop alternate natural ingredients that can "stand in" for sodium, thereby helping us "like" less salty food.
- The medical media has joined the war on salt, with efforts such as Dr. Oz's "Salt Shakedown" and The Doctors' "Halt the Salt" programs highlighting creative ways to tame the taste for salt.
All of these are good first steps in the war on salt, but individuals also have to make up their minds to join this initiative. If you haven't, what's keeping you from shaking your salt habit? For those who are trying to change, share what you've been doing with fellow readers.
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