Northeastern University Dining Services Blog

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Party Planning!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015 | 12:13 PM Posted by Northeastern Dining , , , , , , No comments

As the holidays approach, so do all of the holiday food traditions. From cookie exchanges to holiday parties, many of the season’s festivities focus on food. Despite the fact that we usually follow up the holidays with New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, many of us hold on to the extra pounds we pick up. Research suggests that prevention may be the best strategy. It appears that in an attempt to keep things consistent, our bodies may actually resist changes in our weight even when we eat less and exercise more. Unfortunately though, our bodies seem to be less resistant to weight gain than to weight loss. With this in mind, you may be more successful if you take a few small steps to maintain your weight instead of focusing on losing weight after the parties are over.

Choose Strategically.
Start your plate with nutrient-dense choices such as fruits and vegetables that can help fill you up on fewer calories. Stick with small portions for foods with added sugars and fats, which can quickly add extra calories. Choosing unsweetened drinks, lower fat dairy products, and baked instead of fried items more often can save enough calories to keep things in check…and make room for the occasional cookie exchange.

Find time to move.
Success in health needs to include both eating well and being more active. If you find yourself too busy to stop at the gym, move more by making activity part of your day. Try parking further away, taking the stairs or walking to a coworker’s office instead of calling or emailing.

Do well…most of the time.
It is important to remember that what you eat on most days is more important to your overall health than what you do occasionally. So, if you find that you may have overdone it a bit at a holiday party, remember that it is only one day and get right back on track!

1. Britten P , Cleveland LE , Koegel KL , Kuczynski KJ , Nickols-Richardson SM. Impact of Typical Rather than Nutrient-Dense Food Choices in the US Department of Agriculture Food
Patterns. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012;112(10):1560-1569.
2. Hill JO, Wyatt HR, Peters JC. Energy balance and obesity. Circulation. 2012;126:126-132.)

Written by Jennifer M. Roberts, MS, RD.
December 2015

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Eat Seafood More Often

Thursday, December 3, 2015 | 9:58 AM Posted by Northeastern Dining , , , , , , No comments

The American Heart Association advises eating 2 servings of fish per week to maintain good health. Each serving should be 3.5 oz cooked, which is about the size of a deck of cards
  • Fish is a great source of high quality protein as well as many vitamins and minerals, omega-3 fatty acids and some even contain vitamin D.
  • It may reduce the risk of stroke, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and other chronic conditions.
  • Fish consumption has also been linked to boosting memory and reducing stress hormones.
Fatty fish, such as salmon, lake trout, herring, sardines and tuna, contain the most omega-3 fatty acids and therefore provide the greatest benefit, but most types of seafood contain small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Depending on how the fish you choose to eat is cooked, will determine how healthy that choice turns out to be. For example, broiling or baking fish is a healthier option than deep-frying.

It is important to note that mercury is a toxin that accumulates and, for that reason, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that pregnant and lactating women and young children avoid eating certain fish: swordfish, shark, tilefish and king mackerel. The EPA has no health warning to limit seafood consumption for any other population group. Scientific studies have found that the benefits of eating seafood greatly outweigh the risks and that removing or reducing seafood from the diet can have negative effect on ones health.

  1. "Fish: Friend or Foe?"
  2. "Does mercury contamination outweigh the health benefits of eating fish?"
  3. Eating Seafood Sustainably. Sylvia Geiger, MS, RD
. Today’s Dietitian
 Vol. 14 No. 6 P. 38 (June 2012).

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

To Juice or Not To Juice?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015 | 4:06 PM Posted by Northeastern Dining , , , , , No comments
Depending on who you talk to, juice is either part of the latest health trend or on the list of things to avoid. Understanding what juice does and doesn’t offer can help you decide if it is right for you.

The Up Side:
Fruits and vegetables offer a variety of health-promoting nutrients, many of which are still available in the juice squeezed from them. Juices can be a convenient and tasty way to get those nutrients. Juices also offer a way to get fruits and vegetables that you may not usually eat in the whole form. For example, cranberry juice is a popular alternative to whole cranberries and a great way to get some important antioxidants. People who don’t normally eat spinach may find that when juiced with other vegetables and fruit, they enjoy it.

The Down Side:
With about 50-115 calories per cup, fruit and vegetable juices are not low calorie drinks. For that reason, drinking a lot of juice could potentially make weight management more difficult. Research suggests that people who drink juice don’t necessarily have more trouble controlling their weight than people who skip juice, so moderation is likely important. Juicing leaves behind some important nutrients such as fiber, so it is important to also get fruits and vegetables in the whole form. If you are at risk for foodborne illness, the FDA suggests that you only drink pasteurized juices that have been treated to kill bacteria. If you choose to drink freshly squeezed juice that has not been pasteurized, it is important to drink it quickly after it is squeezed and make sure that good food safety practices are followed when handling the fruits, vegetables and juice.

The Bottom Line:
Juices offer a refreshing way to get more fruits and vegetables into your day. When choosing juices, look for pure juices that do not have added sugar or salt. True juices will list the amount of juice on the label as a percentage. “Drinks” and “Ades” don’t always contain juice and won’t offer the same benefits. Keep an eye on portion sizes as calories can add up quickly at about 100 calories per cup for some of the most popular juices. Don’t rely on juices alone to meet your fruit and vegetable requirements. Include whole fruits and vegetables too.

REFERENCES:1. DA Hyson. A Review and Critical Analysis of the Scientific Literature Related to 100% Fruit Juice and Human Health. American Society for Nutrition. Adv. Nutr. 6: 37–51, 2015. 2. Talking About Juice Safety: What You Need to Know. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Available at by Jennifer M. Roberts, MS, RD.
November 2015