- 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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June 7, 2012
Sugar is sugar — Don't be fooled
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
The Food and Drug Administration recently denied a petition by the Corn Refiners Association to rename high fructose corn syrup "corn sugar." Soon after that, the mayor of New York City proposed prohibiting the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks ("large" defined as more than 16 fluid ounces).
These two events could be viewed as big government regulating what should be personal choice. However, to me, they demonstrate our conflicted feelings about the sweet stuff. Whether sweetness is in the form of table sugar (sucrose) or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), both contain fairly equal amounts of fructose.
As a sweetener, HFCS has been controversial. Food scientists are exploring how the body handles it and if there are differences from table sugar. It's great that we can distinguish HFCS from sugar on food labels. Especially because there are people with fructose intolerance who absolutely must avoid HCFS.
Soft drink makers are even switching from HFCS back to sugar. After all, sugar seems more natural and even healthier — right?
Sugar-containing drinks, such as fruit drinks, sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks and sweetened bottled waters, are the major source of added sugar in the American diet. About half of the U.S. population — adults and children 2 years old and over — have sugary drinks on any given day.
This habitual sipping of sugary drinks has been linked to poor diet, weight gain, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
So don't be fooled. The recent decision to not allow HFCS to be called sugar is fine by me. But the trend away from HFCS to sugar in soft drinks is no improvement.
The proposed ban on the sale of large sugary drinks in New York City is fine by me too as a wake-up call to kick our national addiction to sweets.
What are your thoughts?
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