Revised on
06/04/19 03:22pm

Nutrition Services

 

Vegetables photo

Menu of Nutrition Services

Nutrition Education/Counseling

  • Individual
    • Tailored to individual goals
  • Group 
    • Weight loss support
    • Diet for preventing chronic disease

Workshops

  • Creating a balanced eating pattern
    • What is the most recent science saying about diet and health?
    • Dietary Guidelines for Americans – suggestions for individual actions
    • How to get and stay motivated
  • Cooking Classes (pending a permitted kitchen)
    • How to…
      • Cook fish
      • Cook tofu
      • Cook beans
      • Roast vegetables
      • Pack a balanced lunch for work
      • Teach children healthy eating
  • Grocery Store tour
    • Either virtually via power point or physically, in the store
    • Reading Nutrition Facts and ingredients labels class
  • Meal Planning
    • Leave with three weeks of meal plans and recipes
    • Learn how to think ‘big batch’.
  • Custom – work out the agenda with the dietitian

To request a service, email Linda Adams, RD

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Question and Answer

Submit your question via this ‘ask the dietitian’ survey.  If we answer your question, you win a prize!

Question:  I love cheese!  Is there a way for me to enjoy it frequently but still meet my goal of eating a healthy diet?
Answer:  The good news is yes!  Although cheese is a high fat food, and much of the fat is saturated, you can balance out the fat by combining it with other foods.  For instance, a veggie salad with wild rice topped with bleu cheese – you are combining a small amount of a rich and flavorful cheese with a bunch of vegetables and a whole grain.  The cheese in this meal supplies protein and flavor!
A good serving size for cheese is about 1 ounce, which is a piece about the size of your thumb or about ¼ cup shredded.  Make it count!  Use a strong flavored cheese so that you consume less of it.  Surround your serving of cheese with grains and/or fruits/vegetables.  Grab a chunk of cheddar to eat with your apple on the go.

Question:  If you were told to cut down on carbs to help prevent developing diabetes later in life, is choosing a plant-based diet at odds with this advice? I tend to get a majority of my protein from beans, nuts, and plain yogurt which are all technically carb-containing. Am I doing myself a disservice by forgoing meat?
Answer:  Type II diabetes is caused by both lifestyle factors and genetics. A healthy plant-based diet emphasizes the consumption of healthy plant foods (including carbs), such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes and healthy oils. On the other hand, an unhealthy plant- based diet is high in refined grains (pasta, white/processed breads), juices, and sugary beverages (soda). While both reduce the intake of animal foods, the health results will be totally different! Healthy plant-based diets are rich in fiber, protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, all of which contribute to lower blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and decreased risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Beans, nuts, seeds and plain yogurt are great sources of plant protein.  Giving up meat is up to you, but as long as you’re eating healthy (reduced amount of refined carbs, sugar and soda, and increased whole grains, veggies, fruits and healthy oils), exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight, you are less likely to develop diabetes in the future.
You can find out more about diabetes here: http://www.diabetes.org

Question:  I’d like to eat based on an anti-inflammatory diet, but I like beans and legumes and don’t eat red meat or pork.  Is it critical not to eat beans if you’re working towards reducing inflammation?
Answer: Whole nutrient-dense plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, and beans/legumes, are actually great for reducing inflammation because they contain antioxidants. Beans, such as black, kidney, and red beans are all excellent sources of antioxidants. Foods that promote inflammation include refined carbohydrates, fried foods, sugary drinks, certain oils, and red meat/processed meat. To help reduce inflammation, focus on eating whole plant foods, including beans and legumes, and avoid eating processed foods and red meat. Here and another, web resource for reference.

Question:  How many calories do I need to maintain my weight after weight loss?
Answer: Every person requires a baseline of calories each day in order to maintain their weight. When you are initially trying to lose weight, you want to be eating a caloric deficit, meaning less calories a day than your body requires. There are many websites you can use (cronometer.com) to calculate your caloric needs based on your height, weight, and physical activity level. For example, to lose 1 pound a week, you would want to decrease your caloric intake by 500 calories a day. Once your ideal weight is achieved, you will re-calculate your daily caloric needs based on your NEW body weight and physical activity level. As long as you stay within this range, and don't eat above or below it too often, you will have no problem maintaining your new weight! If you would like individual help setting up a plan, give a holler – lwadams@ucdavis.edu 
 

Question: How do I know if nutrition information I find on the internet is reliable?
Answer: It can be tough to know what to believe and what not to believe. The United States National Library of Medicine has some resources to help: 

  1.  MedlinePlus Guide to Healthy Web Surfing offers suggestions for evaluating the quality of health information on Websites. 

  2. MedlinePlus Evaluating Internet Health Information Tutorial is a 16 minute presentation that also teaches you how to evaluate health information found on the Web.

Question: What is your take on daily multi-vitamin pills?
Answer: Most healthy people consuming a varied diet do not need to take supplements.  The body utilizes nutrients from foods better than those isolated in a pill and there are likely nutrient interactions, as they naturally occur in foods that we don’t even know about and cannot replicate!  That said, worst case scenario is that they are a waste of money; if your body is not in need of the nutrient, or it is in an unusable form, it will be excreted.  Best case, there are a few nutrients you may want check with your doctor about supplementing:

  • Vitamin B-12 – if you are vegan, you will need to either include a B-12 supplement or utilize nutritional yeast (use it like parmesan cheese) to get adequate B-12.  Some research suggests that older adults may not get the proper amount of B-12 and may benefit from supplementation. 
  • Vitamin D supplements can be beneficial for older adults and people who don’t get much sunlight.
  • Folic acid is important for women of child bearing age.  If you’re expecting to become pregnant, eat plenty of folic acid rich foods (dry-soak beans, peas, spinach, Brussels sprouts, oranges and enriched cereals) and/or take a supplement to lower the risk of certain birth defects. 

Source:  https://www.healthline.com/health/do-you-need-take-vitamins#benefits

QuestionI want to start eating healthier, but my kids are picky eaters and don’t like many vegetables or trying new recipes. It’s exhausting making two separate meals to please everyone, so I often find myself giving up and going back to our old routine. Any advice on how to get my family on board?
Answer: Getting your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables can be difficult, especially when they are new and unfamiliar to them. Children may need to try new fruits and veggies up to 10 times before they accept them, so try serving them in new and creative ways. You can spiralize zucchini and carrots and mix them in to spaghetti, add riced cauliflower to a stir fry, and have sliced fruits and vegetables ready-to-go for snacks. Involving your kids in grocery shopping and meal preparation can also increase their willingness to try new recipes. Keep introducing new foods in different and creative ways and their taste buds will adjust!

Question: How can I lose weight by eating healthy?

Answer: There are several ways to lose weight and still enjoying what you eat without depriving yourself and feeling hungry. To lose weight, it’s recommended to reduce the number of calories that you consume (food and beverages) and to increase physical activity. However, instead of focusing in calories, focusing in the quality of your diet may be more beneficial to achieve and maintain a heathy weight. Whole grains, variety of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and lean proteins are some of the components of a healthy diet in addition to lowering added sugars and refined carbs. You can also use MyPlate, which is a very useful tool to learn about portion control and wellness!
 
Question: Is a Keto lifestyle maintainable? I need to lose weight and keep it off but I have a sweet tooth. How can keto help me stay on track?
Answer: The keto (short for ketogenic) diet is a low-carbohydrate, high fat eating plan that has gained a lot of attention as a potential weight-loss strategy. When the body is deprived of glucose, an alternative fuel called ketones is utilized instead, putting the body in “ketosis”.
Research so far suggests that the ketogenic diet produces beneficial metabolic changes, such as weight loss, changes in insulin resistance, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. The keto diet may help to increase satiation and decrease food cravings due to its high-fat content. Thus, a keto diet can help you lose weight, and potentially help to decrease your sweet tooth.
However, following a ketogenic diet is challenging to maintain long term. Extreme carbohydrate restriction can cause increased hunger, fatigue, low mood, irritability, constipation, headaches, and brain fog. These feelings may subside over time, but following the restrictive diet necessary to stay in ketosis is generally not sustainable long-term. There are also potential negative side effects of long-term ketogenic diets such as increased risk of kidney stones, osteoporosis and nutrient deficiencies. A keto diet may help you stay on track and lose weight, but is not realistic to maintain long-term.
 
Question: Sometimes I get hungry between meals or when hiking and need a snack, but many prepackaged snacks, even protein bars, are high in sugar. What are some healthier, filling snacks that I can leave in my desk or backpack?
Answer: You’re right to be wary, as many pre-packaged snacks, such as granola or protein bars, can be loaded with sugar as well as additives such as partially hydrogenated oils (trans fat), highfructose corn syrup, and colorings! If you’re going to purchase a pre-packaged bar, go for a brand with simple ingredients you can recognize, such as CLIF, KIND, Perfect Bar, or RXBar. Even some of these bars are still fairly high in sugar, so check the nutrition label and pick one with less sugar and more fiber and protein! If you’re looking for lower sugar, whole food snacks, here are some ideas for when you’re at home or on the go: Non-perishables to leave in your backpack or desk: • Trail mix (avoid high sodium or high sugar varieties) • A piece of fruit (apples, bananas…) • Chia squeeze packets (Mamma Chia) • Popcorn • Mary’s Gone Crackers Perishables to be taken out of the fridge day-of: • Baby carrots and hummus • Greek yogurt • Hard-boiled egg • Edamame (steamed soybeans) • Chia seed pudding • Apple slices with peanut butter Investing in some small containers can make packing these snacks extra convenient and portable!
 
Question: How much protein should I eat a day and what foods should I eat to consume the recommended amounts?
Answer: Thank you for your question! Protein is a macronutrient that allows the body to perform functions such as transportation of nutrients, repairing damaged cells and functions as a building block. According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, protein intake should be 10- 30% of our total calories in a day and the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. Other factors to consider, include age, activity level and current health state. The majority of us can meet our body’s protein needs by simply selecting high quality proteins, such as fish, poultry, and dairy products. There are also plenty of plant-based foods that are great sources of proteins, such as legumes, nuts, seeds and soy. Adding protein to your diet will help you to feel full longer and may help you to maintain a healthy weight.
 

 

Question: Do we need more calories when it gets colder? 
Answer: The cold weather itself does not increase caloric needs, however, the body compensating to a drop in body temperature can. Since the body requires more energy to stay warm, particularly when shivering, you may require slightly more energy to increase body temperature. However, these increases are most likely negligible within the context of length of exposure to cold temperatures and overall caloric intake. Your level of physical activity has a much more substantial effect on caloric needs!
 
 
Question: What are the different kinds of fats and should I cut them completely to lose weight?
Answer: Hi and thank you for your question! Fat is macronutrient essential for our bodies that provides energy, helps to build cell membranes, aids in vitamin absorption, among other functions. However, some fats are better than others. Trans fats, which are created when unsaturated fats are hydrogenated, increase the bad LDL cholesterol and decrease the good HDL cholesterol. Trans fat are also known for increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases; therefore, we should avoid them completely. On the other hand, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which come from nuts, seeds, fish and vegetables are beneficial fats that decrease inflammation, triglycerides, the risk of chronic diseases and improves the cholesterol profile. Lastly, saturated fats, which are solid at room temperature, contribute to an increase in LDL cholesterol if consumed in excess, so it’s recommended to limit saturated fat to less than 10% of our daily calories. Fats shouldn’t be avoided completely in order to lose weight because they are very important for vital functions of the body. However, it’s recommended to avoid trans fat, reduce saturated fat and replace them with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. If you would like to see a dietitian on campus, contact the Staff and Faculty Health and Well-being Program at wellbeing@ucdavis.edu.
 
Question: If I’m trying to reduce saturated fat in my diet due to high cholesterol, what is an ideal daily average that I can assume? What is too high?
Answer: While the Dietary Guidelines for Americans advises to keep saturated fat to less than 10 percent of your daily calories, the American Heart Association recommends that for people who need to lower their cholesterol, saturated fat should contribute no more than 5 to 6 percent of your total daily calories. For a 2,000 calorie diet, that is about 11 to 13 grams of saturated fat per day. Aim to reduce your intake of foods high in saturated fat, primarily meat and dairy products, while increasing your intake of unsaturated fats found in fish, avocados, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds.
 
 

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