- 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. 26, 2012
Don't go against the grain — Go whole grain
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
Did you know that at least half of the grains in your diet should be whole grains? For many adults, this means three to five servings of whole grains daily. (For children, make that two to three servings daily.)
And yet the average American eats less than one serving of whole grains a day. In fact, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans reports that:
- Most Americans eat enough total grains, but the majority are refined rather than whole. And refined-grain foods tend to have more solid fats and added sugars.
- Less than 5 percent of Americans get the recommended minimum of three servings a day of whole grains. A serving is 1 slice bread; 1/2 cup cooked rice, pasta or cereal; 1 tortilla (6-inch diameter); 1 pancake (5-inch diameter) or 1 cup cereal flakes.
This month is Whole Grains Month and the theme is "Whole grains at every meal." If you follow this theme, you'll meet the minimum recommendations.
The best way to increase whole-grain intake is by replacing refined grains with whole grains. Here are some ideas for mealtime selections.
- Choose whole-grain versions for your toast, bagel or muffin.
- Make whole-grain pancakes or waffles.
- Have a bowl of oatmeal, whole-oat cold cereals or those made with kamut, buckwheat or spelt.
- Add oats to yogurt or look for yogurts that have whole grains already added.
- Choose whole-grain breads or whole-wheat or stoneground corn tortillas for your sandwich or wrap.
- At the salad bar, look for brown or wild rice, wheat berries, kasha or whole-grain pasta.
- Choose whole-grain crackers with a soup that has barley, brown or wild rice.
- Make sure that one-quarter of your plate contains a whole grain such as barley, rice (brown or wild), whole-wheat pasta, or stuffing made from whole-grain bread.
- Add variety by adding corn, which is considered a whole grain.
- Get exotic and try a pilaf made with quinoa, teff or millet.
There's good evidence that diets emphasizing whole grains lead to improvements in blood pressure and gastrointestinal health, and lower risk of cardiovascular disease, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. An added benefit is that whole grains taste great.
What are you doing to go with the whole grain? Are you having at least one serving at each meal? Share your favorites.
- Jenniferblog index
- 2012 National Health Observances. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://healthfinder.gov/nho/nho.asp#m9. Accessed Sept. 24, 2012.
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/DGAs2010-PolicyDocument.htm. Accessed Sept. 24, 2012.
- Jonnalagadda SS, et. al. Putting the whole grain puzzle together: Health benefits associated with whole grains. Summary of American Society for Nutrition 2010 Satellite Symposium. Journal of Nutrition. 2011;141:1011S.
- What is the relationship between whole or refined grain intake and metabolic outcomes in persons with prediabetes? American Dietetic. http://andevidencelibrary.com/conclusion.cfm?conclusion_statement_id=251772&highlight=whole%20grains&home=1. Accessed Sept. 24, 2012.