Make summer snacks fun, tasty and healthy

Summer snack 3Summertime brings vacations, warm weather and great food. The TMC and TMCOne Clinical Dietician Kallie Siderewicz offers some tips to make summer food fun, tasty and healthy.

Healthy doesn’t mean boring

Try a peanut butter and low-fat Greek yogurt dip for fruit. Ranch seasoning also gives Greek yogurt the yum factor for dipping veggies.

Other fun dishes include fruit kabobs, apples slices topped with peanut butter, coconut, and chocolate chips. A summertime favorite is fruit coated with frozen yogurt.

Cool off by infusing water or tea with lemon, lime, berries, oranges, mint, or rosemary.

Summer snackFor an adult beverage, try light beer, a glass of red wine or liquor mixed with water or diet soda.

High-calorie pitfalls

Before hot summer days have you reaching for a frozen coffee drink – remember that a small serving can have over 500 calories. Sodas and most sports drinks offer hard-to-burn calories with no nutrition.

For adults, mixed drinks usually combine alcohol and sugar, piling calories on top of calories.

Fruit salads made with fruit canned in heavy syrup can have as many calories as pie and cake, especially if you add marshmallows and whipped cream.

Don’t forget water

Water is the absolute best thing you can give your body. It hydrates, helps cleanse and cool. Another good reason to drink water – it can aid in weight loss.

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Kallie Siderewicz is a clinical dietician at the TMCOne Rincon location. She also provides nutrition services at Tucson Medical Center.

Food-safe grilling and picnicking

Food grilling safety tipsFor heat-tolerant Arizonans, and for those visiting slightly cooler destinations, summer is a time for picnics and cookouts. Unfortunately, it can also be a prime time for foodborne illness (“food poisoning”) to hit. Although warm summer temperatures may make humans feel sluggish, bacteria are undeterred. In fact, most harmful bacteria reproduce faster at temperatures of 90° to 100° F. That’s a good reason to be cautious, but there’s no need to give up al fresco dining. You can still have an enjoyable outing by following a few simple food safety guidelines:

Food Safety Basics: Clean,  Separate, Cook, Chill

  1. Clean your hands and anything that is going to touch the food – cutting boards, utensils, cookware and other surfaces. The best cleanser is soap and warm water. However, if they are not available, you can use alcohol-based hand sanitizer on your hands. Wipe or rinse off any dirt or grease before applying the hand sanitizer, so it can work better. If you are heading outdoors, bring clean utensils and other items with you. Be sure to pack everything into clean coolers, baskets and bags.
  2. Separate raw meat, poultry, fish or eggs from ready-to-eat foods. Raw meat, etc., should be wrapped in its own container and carried in a separate cooler filled with ice. Once a raw item is cooked, do not put it back into the same container, which may still be contaminated with germs.
  3. Cook that raw meat, poultry, fish and eggs to a safe internal temperature. You cannot rely on color to tell you whether or not the food is safe. Use a food thermometer, and go to www.fightbac.org/cook-1 to find a chart of safe temperatures for various foods.
  4. Chill perishable food at 40° F or below until you are ready to cook or eat it. When transporting food, carry it in the air-conditioned section of the car, not in the trunk. If you are working with frozen foods, do not defrost them at room temperature. At the end of the meal, chill leftovers as soon as possible. It is normally recommended to put leftovers in the refrigerator within 2 hours. However, if the ambient temperature is above 90° F, you only have 1 hour to get them chilled. If you are picnicking or camping, it would be wise to discard the perishable leftovers rather than risk a foodborne illness.

Healthier Grilling

Cooking meat, poultry or fish at a high temperature – as in pan frying or direct grilling – can create carcinogenic (cancer-causing) compounds. There are steps you can take to minimize the amount of dangerous compounds in your food.

  1. Choose lean cuts of meat and poultry, and cut off visible fat before cooking. Another option is to choose fish or vegetables instead. Less fat produces fewer toxins.
  2. Marinate food before cooking it.
  3. Cook at a lower temperature. If using a gas grill, don’t set it on high. With conventional grills, use hardwood charcoal, which burns at a lower temperature than softer woods like mesquite. Flipping the food frequently will also keep the surface temperature cooler.
  4. Cook indirectly rather than setting food directly over the flame or coals.
  5. Do not eat charred food. Cajun food blackened with spices is not a problem. Food blackened by overcooking or burning is.

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Mediterranean diet has much to offer

 

We know that healthy diets can definitely be beneficial in lowering LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, which is a major risk factor in causing heart attacks and strokes. In general, the main principle is to avoid saturated fats.

Cholesterol itself is only found in animal fats, so you would think that avoiding animal products would be sufficient to prevent elevated cholesterol. Certainly, it is important to avoid high-fat meats and cheeses. Lunch meats, bacon and similar products should be totally avoided. At the same time, avoiding animal products is insufficient because vegetable products with saturated fats will stimulate the liver to produce cholesterol. So, the amount of cholesterol that is eaten is only one factor in determining blood levels of cholesterol.

A Mediterranean diet appears to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events. These diets are typically high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and include olive oil as an important source of fat. There are typically low to moderate amounts of fish, poultry, dairy products, and red meat is limited to no more than a few times a month. Herbs and spices are used instead of salt to flavor foods.

 

There is often red wine in addition to the diet*. Resveratrol is an anti-oxidant especially found in the skin of red grapes. It has not been proven to lower LDL cholesterol but does help prevent cardiovascular disease, probably by other mechanisms (the same is true for dark chocolate). However, even without the wine the Mediterranean diet, particularly including virgin olive oil, seems to be very effective in decreasing heart attacks and strokes.

William Abraham, M.D.

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Dr. William Abraham is board-certified in internal medicine and has more than 30 years of experience. He is a TMC One provider who specializes in same-day/next-day appointments at the Wilmot location.

TMC One Med Group your health your team OL

*Please consult your doctor before changing your diet. Red wine should be enjoyed in moderation.

TMC Farmers’ Market is this Tuesday, with new hours

FarmersMarketLogoThis Tuesday, TMC will once again host its twice-monthly farmers’ market at LifeGain Park, behind the new Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower.

The market, which is open to the public, has new hours that run from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Featuring over 20 vendors from Tucson and Phoenix, visitors will be able to browse and buy tasty treats ranging from fresh, organic produce, to scrumptious pastries, fresh juices made on site, gourmet cheeses and grass-fed, organic and FDA-approved meats. There will also be various products offered such as candles, lotions and jewelry.

Additionally, if shopping makes you hungry, there will be to-die-for paninis, delicious pastas and sauces and other treats to munch on or bring home for a quick, healthy dinner.

Rachel Tineo- Just a walk a day can keep the doctor away

rachel1This month readers learned about the incredible wellness journey of Rachel Tineo, a senior systems analyst at TMC. Over the last couple years Tineo has transformed from being overweight and and at risk for diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension to an enthusiastic proponent and example of healthy living.

These days, it only takes one look at Tineo to see that she has made some very big changes to her lifestyle. As a matter of fact, she has changed practically everything about her lifestyle and that of her family as well.

Tineo now spends up to 6 days per week in the gym—and lifts loads well into the triple digits under the direction of her personal trainer. She has also made sweeping improvements to the foods she eats, controlling her portions and her calories.

At TMC, this is becoming a much more common story among employees, thanks to an expanding wellness program that incentivizes, encourages and provides opportunities for better, healthier choices. And while Tineo’s choice of workouts is charged with heavy weights in a gym setting, it is certainly not the only way to hit fitness targets.

Even something as simple as walking can do the trick.

DorothyAs a matter of fact, the U.S. Surgeon General recommends 30 minutes of walking (or other physical activity) each day. And as another TMC employee, Dorothy Larson, found out, regular exercise, including walking, decreases your risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, some cancers, osteoporosis, depression, anxiety and obesity. It also improves overall health, helps osteoarthritis and diabetes, boosts HDL cholesterol (that’s the good kind) and can improve your mood.

Larson, a financial analyst, would have the Surgeon General’s stamp of approval since she has been walking the TMC campus for much of the 26 years she has worked for the hospital.

She had a scare about 20 years ago when doctors suspected she might have cancer in her leg. After surgery gave her a clean bill of health, the once-occasional walker became an avid fan.

Larson tries to walk every day, with her lunch periods providing some downtime from crunching numbers.

“I feel more energized when I come back, Larson said.

When it’s hot, she can walk the halls, which also gives her an opportunity to interact with folks in the hospital, since she works in an outlying building. And in pleasant weather, she can walk the trail system that largely encircles the hospital grounds and enjoy nature.

Larson said walking has helped her stave off weight gain, but said remaining active has also helped her maintain strength and agility.

She also likes the variety. She can walk briskly, to get her heart rate up. She can walk at a lower speed for relaxation. And she can walk with colleagues and reconnect with their lives.

“It’s fun and it’s enjoyable and you don’t need any equipment – just a good pair of walking shoes,” she said.

“What you do for exercise doesn’t have to be crazy. The main thing is, you need to find some way to move your body. It doesn’t matter how. Just find something that you can sustain and incorporate into your day. Even that one change can make a big difference,” said Tineo.

Rachel Tineo- Eating well with the whole family

Racheleating

Last week, readers learned about the incredible wellness journey of Rachel Tineo, a senior systems analyst at TMC. Tineo, overweight and swiftly moving toward health complications that included diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension, was told by her physician that if she didn’t make changes—she might not be around to see her children grown up.

Since then, Tineo has made huge strides in her wellness journey. And a big part of that came down to nutrition. She learned that physical activity wasn’t enough—even if you could dead lift 300 pounds. Another huge challenge was un-learning a lifetime of bad habits and developing new ones that she could sustain.

Just as importantly, Tineo realized that her own health wasn’t the only issue. As she turned her own life around, it was up to her to also teach her husband and kids how to live healthier lives. She worried that her previous bad habits might have had a lasting effect on them.

Tineo wasn’t alone in her concern. Rampant childhood obesity and poor nutrition are major factors placing children at significant risk for a myriad of health problems in adolescence and adulthood. From 1976 to 2002 the prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity has more than doubled. And childhood obesity is one of the main health concerns in Pima County. Children who are overweight are at greater risk for health problems like diabetes, heart disease, depression and sleep apnea—something Tineo could testify to.

In fact, obese children face these health threats while still in adolescence. Sadly, this generation of children may be the first generation to have a life expectancy that is less than their parents!Healthy_Meal_230x230

Despite those sobering facts, keeping up with a nutrition plan over the long haul for a family is no easy task, especially for busy families. Tineo relied on her trainer’s advice, and turned to TMC nutrition experts and friends for help. She was able to pick up some simple guidelines for her menus:

1. limit salt

2. keep bad fats (saturated) to a minimum

3. add more vegetables, fruits and grains

TMC dietitian Laurie Ledford said most adults should aim to restrict salt intake to 1500 mg a day on average, with the Institute of Medicine recommending an upper limit of 2300 mg a day. That upper limit is essentially the equivalent of one teaspoon of salt.

The majority of Americans consume at least twice, and even triple, that amount, she said, and that’s because it’s not just about what comes out of the salt shaker. The bigger culprits are processed food and fast food.

Limiting saturated fats is also important. These are the ones that harden at room temperature and mostly come from animal products – think butter, chicken skin, and fat on steak.

Steer clear, too, of trans fats, which do all the items above, but also lower good cholesterol. There’s less of it around, with a push to eliminate it from cookies, snacks, and other processed foods, but it still lurks in fast food.

On the other hand, nuts and avocadoes are full of what’s considered “good” fat, which may be high in fat and calories, but which can be taken in moderation. A  serving of nuts can be a great substitute for potato chips and crackers.

Luckily, eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring or drab and you don’t have to avoid your family’s favorite foods.

Take the kiddie favorite cheese, for example. It is full of saturated fat and sodium. But you don’t have to pull it out of the lunchbox altogether. Instead, pick a strong-flavored cheese, such as goat cheese, that will allow smaller portions. It’s all about moderation.

Another piece of advice? Don’t try to overhaul your family’s diet all at once.

Pick one area and start there. Once you get a handle on salt, for example, then it might be time to start reducing fat. Even that can come in stages. If you drink whole milk, for example, try 2 percent. Then blend 2 percent with 1 percent. Maybe you can get to 1 percent or even skim at some point.

Gradually, too, build up to the recommended 4 to 5 servings of vegetables and 4 to 5 servings of fruits a day.

“Choose one that will be the easiest to do for you, and then move on the next. None of us can change 100 percent of what we do overnight and then expect to stick with it. It’s all about developing better habits.”

Another resource that is available to other parents sharing Tineo’s concerns is TMC HealthCare’s Recipes for a Healthy Family. The online cookbook helps parents and their children lead healthy lives and have fun cooking. It promotes healthy food choices, at-home meal preparation and family dining—things that pay huge dividends in more than just physical health. Parents and children learn important nutritional information about the food they are eating and helpful safety tips for preparing meals at home.

Visit https://www.tmcaz.com/TucsonMedicalCenter/Food_and_Nutrition_Services/Recipes to access the cookbook.

Recipes were taken from credible sources such as U.S. Department of Agriculture, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Dairy Association, Arizona Beef Council and National Pork Council. All recipes were tested and surveyed before inclusion in the cookbook. The cookbook also has an interactive piece for families, allowing parents to consult a registered dietitian via email for specific questions.

 

 

 

 

TMC to host a monthly farmer’s market, beginning next Tuesday

Next Tuesday, Sept. 3, TMC will host the first of many monthly farmer’s markets at LifeGain Park, behind the new Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower.

The market, which is open to the public, will run from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Featuring over 20 vendors from Tucson and Phoenix, visitors will be able to browse and buy tasty treats ranging from fresh, organic produce, to scrumptious pastries, fresh juices made on site, gourmet cheeses and grass-fed, organic and FDA-approved meats. There will also be various products offered such as candles, lotions and jewelry.

Additionally, if shopping makes you hungry, there will be build-your-own salads and paninis to munch on or bring home for a quick, healthy dinner.

Farmers Market Flyer

The Recipe for Good Family Health Starts in the Kitchen

TMC HealthCare’s Recipes for a Healthy Family helps parents and their children lead healthy lives and have fun cooking. The cookbook promotes healthy food choices, at-home meal preparation and family dining. Parents and children learn important nutritional information about the food they are eating and helpful safety tips for preparing meals at home.

Rampant childhood obesity and poor nutrition are major factors placing children at significant risk for a myriad of health problems in adolescence and adulthood. From 1976 to 2002 the prevalence of childhood overweight and obesity has more than doubled. Children who are overweight are at greater risk for health problems like diabetes, heart disease, depression and sleep apnea. In fact, obese children face these health threats while still in adolescence. Sadly, this generation of children may be the first generation to have a life expectancy less than their parents!

One way to combat this issue is to educate and enable families to improve a child’s nutrition. To that end, TMC has created an online cookbook for families in effort to address this epidemic in Southern Arizona . Recipes for a Healthy Family is more than a collection of recipes; the web site attempts to educate and involve children and families in important nutrition and food decisions. With this, we can improve the nutrition and health of all family members.

Visit https://www.tmcaz.com/TucsonMedicalCenter/Food_and_Nutrition_Services/Recipes to access the cookbook.

Recipes were taken from credible sources such as U.S. Department of Agriculture, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Dairy Association, Arizona Beef Council and National Pork Council. All recipes were tested and surveyed before inclusion in the cookbook. The cookbook also has an interactive piece for families, allowing parents to consult a registered dietitian via email for specific questions.


Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461