- 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 4, 2013
Get sandwich savvy with these tasty tips
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
Call it "grab-and-go" or "fast food," the sandwich is the original take-and-eat fare. Sandwiches have gotten a bad rep, though. Just look what we've done to them. We've supersized the bread (foot-long) and protein (half pounder), reduced the fiber and piled on high-calorie toppings. In fairness, we've occasionally added healthy veggies like a lettuce leaf, slice of onion or tomato.
I argue that the sandwich can be the foundation of the perfect meal. Its combination of food groups can meet the three fundamentals of healthy eating: balance, moderation and variety.
Balance means inclusion of basic foods: grains, vegetables, fruits, protein and dairy. Moderation means a sensible amount — not super-sized — and not too much fat, salt or sugar. Variety means that you're eating different things from each food group — so over time you get the benefits from many types of foods.
Below are ideas to restore the sandwich to its rightful place in a healthy diet. The options suggested will inspire you, and the amounts listed will help you right-size your sandwich, and cut down on fat and salt.
- Breads. Amount: 1 or 2 moderate slices, small bagel, bun, wrap or pita (6-inch diameter). Choose whole grains. If you can find whole-grain ciabatta, focaccia or flat bread, fine — otherwise have these less often. Or think outside the box, and use large leafy greens as wraps.
- Spreads or relish. Amount: 1 tablespoon at most. Choose low-fat mayo, low-fat dressing, mustard (regular, hot or sweet), cranberry relish, honey, hummus, pesto, BBQ sauce or fresh salsa. Or try dipping (low-fat dressings) or drizzling (balsamic vinegar).
- Proteins. Amount: 2 to 3 ounces. Choose lower fat, lower sodium turkey, chicken, roast beef, tuna or cheese. Go meatless with tofu, lentils or beans. Remember peanut butter? An occasional egg salad fits into a healthy plan too.
- Toppings. Amount: No limit. Sweet or hot pepper slices, chopped celery, sliced radishes or onion, dark leafy greens (spinach or slivers of kale), sliced apple, pear or grapes. Roasted veggies can be a topping or be a meatless option. Don't forget to sprinkle with herbs or even a few chopped nuts.
- Preparation. Explore options such as wraps, pita pockets and open-faced sandwiches. Don't forget that sandwiches can be toasted or baked instead of fried.
Here are a few combinations to get you started:
- Whole-wheat wrap surrounding a mixture of chopped chicken, grapes, sliced almonds, basil and low-fat mayo.
- Hearty whole-grain bread (toasted) sandwiching old-fashioned peanut butter (or other nut butter) and slices of banana.
- Whole-wheat pita spread with a bit of hummus and stuffed with chopped cucumber, tomato and radishes, and topped with a low-fat Greek-style dressing.
Try your skills at making sandwiches from the above suggestions. Share some of your favorites. Enjoy!
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