- 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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Feb. 1, 2012
Quick start for a healthy heart
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
Did you know that about every 25 seconds someone in the U.S. is having a coronary event? This makes heart disease the leading cause of death in the U.S. And that's why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has declared February as American Heart Month.
In recognition of the importance of heart health, Mayo Clinic is releasing a new book, "Mayo Clinic Healthy Heart for Life!" during American Heart Month. What's novel about this book is that it puts the latest guidelines for combating heart disease to work for you with an easy two-week quick-start program. It will get you working on new lifestyle habits that can help prevent heart disease.
I challenge you to jump on the healthy heart bandwagon. For the next two weeks, I want you to:
- Eat 5. Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
- Move 10. Increase activity and exercise at least 10 minute more than you typically do every day.
- Sleep 8. Get 8 hours of sleep every night.
Each of these simple-sounding habits addresses complex body functions.
By eating 5 or more fruits and vegetables every day you fuel your body with powerful vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and other healthy plant compounds. These help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, regulate your heartbeat, and protect delicate blood vessels. These foods also are filling and displace heavier, fattier starches and meats.
By increasing your physical activity 10 minutes a day you'll burn a few more calories and make improvements in your blood pressure, cholesterol, heart and blood vessel strength, and overall fitness levels. Just get on your feet — stand up during commercials, walk while on the phone. It's a fact that sitting most of the day increases your risk for heart disease.
Did you know that sleep deprivation itself increases blood pressure and risk for heart attack? Lack of sleep also increases risk for obesity and diabetes — which are also associated with heart disease. Chances are, if you're not rested, you're more stressed too. Get to bed earlier so you can get a good 8 hours of sleep.
Keep track every day of how you do with these goals over the next few weeks. Did you eat 5? Did you move 10? How about sleeping 8? What's important is that you try to do them.
Check back here to report your progress and share your strategies. Of course, there are other things you'll need to do for heart health. I'm sure you'll find that this quick start for a healthy heart will be enough to motivate you to make other needed healthy changes.
- Jenniferblog index
- Be one in a million this American Heart Month. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/features/heartmonth. Accessed Jan. 30, 2012.
- Grogan M, et al. Mayo Clinic Healthy Heart for Life! New York, N.Y.: Time Home Entertainment Inc.; 2012.
- Unhealthy sleep-related behaviors — 12 states 2009. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MMWR. MMWR 2011;60(8):1. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm6008.pdf. Accessed Jan. 27, 2012.