- 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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May 26, 2011
Confused about diet and heart health?
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
The American Heart Association recently surveyed 1,000 adults to determine their awareness and knowledge about how wine and salt affect blood pressure and overall heart health. Their findings show that people understand only part of the message about wine and salt. What's your IQ when it comes to heart health?
Test yourself, then read on for the answers:
- If you're going to drink wine, what should be your daily limit?
- The primary source for sodium in the American diet is table salt. True or false?
- Sea salt is lower in sodium than table salt. True or false?
- How much sodium (from all sources) should you limit yourself to in a day?
And now the answers:
- Dietary guidelines recommend that if you choose to drink alcohol you do so only in moderation — up to one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men. Only 30 percent of people surveyed knew the recommended limits. Moderate consumption of alcohol — including wine — is associated with a lower risk for cardiovascular disease. However, drinking too much alcohol can increase blood pressure, produce irregular heartbeats, lead to heart failure, stroke, high triglycerides, obesity, some cancers and addiction.
- If you said false, you were correct. The salt shaker contributes only about 10 percent of the total intake. Nearly half of those surveyed thought table salt was the primary source of sodium in the American diet. In fact, 80 percent of sodium intake is from processed foods, such as canned tomato products, soups, processed meats, snack chips, cheese and even bread. Too much sodium increases blood pressure as well as the risk for heart disease and stroke.
- This is also false. Sea salt is not lower in sodium than table salt. Both are 40 percent sodium by weight.
- Dietary guidelines recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams a day — or 1,500 milligrams if you're age 51 or older, or if you are black or if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease. Most Americans get more than twice that amount each day.
How did you do? Try the survey on your friends and family too — and let me know how you all did.
- Jenniferblog index
- Most Americans don't understand health effects of wine and sea salt, survey finds. American Heart Association. http://www.newsroom.heart.org/index.php?s=43&item=1316. Accessed May 24, 2011.
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/DGAs2010-PolicyDocument.htm. Accessed May 24, 2011.