- 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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April 4, 2012
Pink slime and red meat — What's the takeaway?
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
This past month has been especially noteworthy for meat news. First came the revelation that most ground beef contains a processed meat byproduct called "pink slime." More delicately known as "lean finely textured beef trimmings," this product is made from connective tissue (versus meat muscle) and fat, and is treated with ammonium hydroxide to kill salmonella and E. coli.
Currently the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) considers this process safe enough to allow the resulting product to be added to ground beef. However, current regulations don't require that companies disclose use of this ingredient on meat labels.
Speaking of meat labels, a new USDA rule requires that packages of ground or certain whole cuts of meat and poultry now carry Nutrition Facts panels on their labels. This means you'll be able to see the calories and the grams of total fat and saturated fat that a product contains. In addition, products that list a lean percentage will also have to list a fat percentage — for example 80/20. It's important to pay attention to the recommended serving size, usually 4 ounces raw (which cooks down to about 3 ounces).
The other big story was the release of findings from a huge study on red meat published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Harvard researchers have been tracking 37,000 male and 83,000 female health care workers since the 1980s and have found that one serving (defined as 3 ounces) of red meat a day — whole or processed — was associated with increased risk of total, cardiovascular and cancer mortality. Red meat was defined as beef (including hamburger), pork and lamb. Processed red meat included sausage, salami, bacon and bologna. Substitution of other healthy proteins, such as fish, poultry, legumes and low-fat dairy, lowered the risk.
Final estimates were that 9 percent of deaths in men and 7 percent of deaths in women could be prevented if individuals lowered their red meat consumption to no more than one-half serving (defined as 1.5 ounces) a day. Note that this is half of the serving size listed on the new Nutrition Facts label for meat.
The meat controversy continues to sizzle. To me, though, the message is clear: We should eat less red meat, less often. Choose your motivation — the "ick" factor or the medical research. What's your take on it?
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