- 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 13, 2009
Formulating fiber-rich foods
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
Gritty drinks and giant pills used to be the only way to supplement the fiber in your diet. Now there are many more appealing options for getting extra fiber. Indeed, fiber seems to be in just about everything — from yogurt to white bread. Have you checked the ingredients on some of these "high-fiber" foods? If so, you've probably seen chicory root fiber — also called inulin — listed as one of the ingredients.
Inulin has health benefits similar to those of fiber in fruits, vegetables and whole grains:
- Prevents constipation
- Helps maintain healthy balance of bacteria in the colon
- Lowers blood cholesterol levels
But why is inulin added to so many foods? Because it adds fiber without adding unwanted taste or texture. Inulin also has the advantage of having a smooth, creamy feeling in our mouth like fat. So food manufacturers can use it as a fat replacement in ice creams, margarines and dressings. With these properties, it sneaks past us as undetected fiber in yogurt and other foods.
Sounds good, right? Sure, but you still need fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet. These whole foods offer much more than just fiber. They're rich in phytonutrients, antioxidants and other health-promoting, disease-fighting nutrients that you don't get from "extracted then added" fibers such as inulin.
What do think of food manufacturers finding ways to add fiber into any and all foods? Are these foods part of your diet? Or are you more traditional? I confess that I'm not planning on giving up my real fruit and yogurt breakfast any time soon.blog index