- With Mayo Clinic nutritionist
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.read biographyclose window
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
As a specialty editor for 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, Katherine is certified in dietetics by the state of Minnesota and the American Dietetic Association. She has been with Mayo Clinic since 1999.
She is active in nutrition-related curriculum and course development in wellness nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and nutrition education 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.
Nutrition basics (31)
- Water softeners: How much sodium do they add?
- Fat grams: How to track your dietary fat
- Yerba mate: Is it safe to drink?
- see all in Nutrition basics
Healthy diets (10)
- Canola oil: Does it contain toxins?
- Butter vs. margarine: Which is better for my heart?
- Detox diets: Do they work?
- see all in Healthy diets
Healthy cooking (7)
- When the heat is on, which oil should you use?
- Moldy cheese: Is it OK to eat?
- Food poisoning: How long can you safely keep leftovers?
- see all in Healthy cooking
Healthy menus and shopping strategies (8)
- Brominated vegetable oil: Why is BVO in my drink?
- Sea salt vs. table salt: What's the difference?
- Vegetable juice: As good as whole vegetables?
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Nutritional supplements (18)
- Ground flaxseed: Better than whole?
- Fiber supplements: Safe to take every day?
- Chocolate: Does it impair calcium absorption?
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Canned pumpkin: Better than fresh?
I've heard that canned pumpkin is healthier than fresh pumpkin. Is that true?
from Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
Not necessarily. Fresh foods generally have a higher nutrient content than do cooked or canned foods. But in this case, both fresh pumpkin and canned pumpkin are packed with nutrients, such as potassium, vitamin A and iron.
If you want to use fresh pumpkin, look for pumpkins without blemishes that are firm and heavy for their size. Whole pumpkins can be stored in a cool dark place for up to two months. If you use fresh pumpkin for bread, soup, pie or other recipes, don't throw away the seeds. You can bake them for a wholesome, crispy snack.
If you're looking for convenience, canned pumpkin without salt is a healthy alternative. Just check the Nutrition Facts label on the can so that you know what you're getting. Canned pumpkin products may be labeled as "pumpkin," "100% pumpkin" or "pumpkin pie mix." Canned pumpkin pie mix — which some recipes call for — can be much higher in calories than regular canned pumpkin.Next question
Lentils: How do I cook with them?
- Pumpkin. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 23. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search. Accessed Aug. 10, 2011.
- Pumpkin pie mix, canned. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 23. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search. Accessed Aug. 10, 2011.
- Don't just carve that pumpkin, eat it. American Dietetic Association. http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=3356&terms=pumpkin. Accessed Aug. 10, 2011.
- Pumpkin: Nutrition, selection, storage. Produce for Better Health Foundation. http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/?page_id=1361. Accessed Aug. 10, 2011.
- Zeratsky KA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 10, 2011.