- 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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Sept. 11, 2013
Heavy coffee consumption — risky in younger adults?
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
Studies have shown that coffee may have health benefits, such as protecting against Parkinson's disease, diabetes and liver cancer. And it has a high content of antioxidants.
Unfortunately for coffee lovers, the research is not conclusively in your favor. A recent report in Mayo Clinic Proceedings warns of potential harm, specifically increased risk of premature death for men under age 55 who drink more than more than 28 cups of coffee a week, or an average of 4 cups a day. Some might consider this many cups excessive, while others might view it as not far from the norm.
One of the limitations of the report, however, is that it does not account for dietary or socioeconomic factors. However, it does factor in smoking, exercise and chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. The results show that heavier coffee drinkers are more likely to be smokers and to be less fit.
If you're a heavy coffee drinker, you may want to take a step back and assess how coffee fits into your lifestyle. Here are few questions to ponder:
- Is your coffee consumption to compensate for poor quality or too little sleep? Or is the caffeine possibly causing the sleep disturbance?
- Is your coffee sweetened with cream, sugar or syrup? If so, you're likely drinking more calories than you realize. This may be causing unwanted weight gain, which in turn may increase your risk of weight-related diseases.
- Is coffee replacing healthy meals or snacks? Are you skipping breakfast or healthy snacks and relying instead on caffeine to keep you going throughout the day?
So what is your takeaway from this? Will you change your habits, perhaps trying to moderate your coffee consumption? Or will you wait to decide until there's more research on coffee consumption and health risks?
To your health,
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