- 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. 15, 2012
Fruit or vegetable — Do you know the difference?
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
According to botanists (those who study plants) a fruit is the part of the plant that develops from a flower. It's also the section of the plant that contains the seeds. The other parts of plants are considered vegetables. These include the stems, leaves and roots — and even the flower bud.
The following are technically fruits: avocado, beans, peapods, corn kernels, cucumbers, grains, nuts, olives peppers, pumpkin, squash, sunflower seeds and tomatoes. Vegetables include celery (stem), lettuce (leaves), cauliflower and broccoli (buds), and beets, carrots and potatoes (roots).
From a culinary standpoint, vegetables are less sweet — or more savory — and served as part of the main dish. Fruits are more sweet and tart and are most often served as a dessert or snack. Both fruits and vegetables can be made into juice for a refreshing beverage. Some fruits are "grains" or "nuts" or "seeds" — and are served accordingly.
Nutritionally speaking, fruits and vegetables are similar. Compared with animal products, they're generally lower in calories and fat, but higher in fiber. Fruits and vegetables also contain health-enhancing plant compounds such as antioxidants. And they're loaded with vitamins and minerals.
One serving (half a cup) of most fruits has a bit more calories than one serving of vegetables. Exceptions would be dense, starchy vegetables such as potatoes or beets.
One thing that is simple to understand about fruit and vegetables is that most people don't eat enough of them. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, you should aim for two or more cups of fruit a day, and two and one-half cups of vegetables. The usual adult eats one cup of fruit and about one and a half cups of vegetables a day.
In 2009 no state met the Healthy People 2010 targets for fruit or vegetable consumption. In fact, there's been a decline in consumption of fruit and vegetables. Between 1999 and 2008, the actual number of servings of fruit and vegetables declined by about 10 percent and 7 percent, respectively.
We also know that not eating enough fruits and vegetable plays a role in cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.
Fruit or vegetable — the simple fact is we should eat more of them. However, doing that doesn't seem so simple. Something to chew on. What are your thoughts?
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