- 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 11, 2010
Heart-health benefits of wine questioned
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
"French paradox" was coined to describe the observation that the French have a low incidence of heart disease despite the fact that their diet is relatively high in saturated fat. The paradox appeared to be explained, at least in part, by a study in 1992 showing that consumption of wine in moderate amounts reduced the risk of heart attack by at least 40 percent. As a result of this and other research, red wine has came to be viewed as heart healthy.
Recently, however, a group of French researchers decided to dig deeper into the association of wine and heart health. They looked at wine drinkers for other factors that may contribute to heart health.
Among men who drank moderate amounts of wine — about 3.5 to 10 ounces of wine, equaling 10 to 30 grams of alcohol a day — the following characteristics were also associated with lower risk for cardiovascular disease: lower body mass index, heart rate, triglycerides, blood sugar, stress and depression, and higher respiratory function, physical activity, health and professional status.
Among women who drank moderately, the following characteristics were also associated with lower risk for cardiovascular disease: smaller waist circumference, and lower values for blood pressure, triglycerides and LDL ("bad") cholesterol.
Moderate drinkers of both sexes had optimal levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol. Low and moderate drinkers also had more favorable socioeconomic status and described themselves as healthy.
The researchers point out that these results raise the possibility that it's not the wine itself that provides the protective effect. Rather, moderate wine consumption may be a marker of higher social level, superior general health and, therefore, lower cardiovascular risk.
What's my take on this? I'll eat heart-healthy foods, pay attention to my weight and waist size, stay active and employed — and enjoy a glass of wine just in case.
- Jenniferblog index
- Hansel B, et al. Relationship between alcohol intake, health and social status and cardiovascular risk factors in the urban Paris-Ile-De-France cohort: Is the cardioprotective action of alcohol a myth? European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2010;64:561.
- Renaud S, DeLorgeril M. Wine, alcohol, platelets, and the French paradox for coronary heart disease. Lancet. 1992;339:1523.