Northeastern University Dining Services Blog

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Limit Potatoes

Wednesday, February 21, 2018 | 12:00 PM Posted by Northeastern Dining , , , , , , , , No comments

with campus executive chef Tom Barton

Who doesn’t love a potato right? Especially here in New England where Maine is ranked 10th in potato production nationwide.

There are many varieties and colors to choose from, all having their own various health and nutritional benefits. So potatoes can definitely be good for you but sometimes we tend to eat too many which can leave us feeling a bit lethargic and overly full. I’m not suggesting we give up these tantalizing spuds but change how we think about our intake.

Perhaps putting a smaller portion of potatoes on our plates along with some fresh vegetables is something to consider with the warmer weather coming quickly. Or another idea might be to think of some alternatives to potatoes like chick pea fries!

Here’s a delicious recipe from one of my favorite websites Food52 These are so easy to make and so tasty! The optional cumin in this recipe really gives it a special flavor.

Still have a hankering for mashed potato but want to try something different? How about mashed cauliflower or mashed celery root? Celery root is delicious and a totally under-utilized vegetable. These both lend themselves nicely to adding any herbs and spices you may have.

So give any of these alternatives a try…I think you’ll be glad you did and if you just can’t give up a spud think about having a little less of it.


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Go “good fat”

When you are thinking about fat consider healthy fats versus non-fat food items.  When it comes to healthy eating the type of fat is just as important if not more important than the amount of fat. 

With that in mind, you should consider eating less high fat foods containing saturated and trans fatty acids (which can be easily spotted on the food label under partially hydrogenated oils) that are know to raise LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol in the body.  LDL is considered the "bad cholesterol" while HDL (high-density lipoprotein) appears to actually clear the "bad" types of cholesterol from the blood. You can help raise your HDL by incorporating exercise into your daily routine and consuming healthy fats.

To decrease your saturated fat intake you should consider eating less animal products, especially fatty parts of beef, pork, lamb and chicken and incorporate more plant protein options (soy, hummus, nuts, and seeds).  You can also decrease (not take away completely) your intake of cheese and whole fat milk products, along with other fats like butter and cream. You can replace these whole fat milk products with low fat milk and yogurts.

Healthy fats include both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which have both been found to lower LDL cholesterol.  Include the following food items that contain healthy fats as part of your healthy lifestyle.
  • Canola and olive oil (use to make salad dressing or for making a stir fry)
  • Olives (add to salads, hummus, or just as a snack)
  • Avocados (add to a sandwich, salad, or as guacamole)
  • Tuna and salmon (for a meal along side vegetables and whole grains)
  • Tofu (in a stir fry or on a salad)
  • Eggs (for breakfast or added to a salad)
  • Sunflower seeds (as a snack or added to a salad)
  • Almonds, walnuts, etc. (as an on-the-go snack or with your cereal and/or oatmeal) 
  • Nut butters (dip an apple, banana, or pretzels)
  • Flax seeds and flax meal (added to oatmeal, yogurt, cereal or baked into muffins)
Always keep in mind that fats will add calories, but if you are conscious of your portions then this should not be a problem.  Healthy fats in moderation are the way to go!

Thursday, February 1, 2018


On February 2nd, the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health celebrate National Wear Red Day® to bring attention to the number one killer of women, heart disease. Despite the fact that heart disease kills more women than the next four causes of death combined, most women still think of it as a man’s disease. This misperception prevents many of us from taking the steps we need to keep ourselves healthy.

Celebrate Your Health:
When it comes to heart health, there are some changes that pack a big punch. Celebrate your
health and the health of the women in your life by making these strategies a priority.
  • Move more. The more active you are, the better you will feel and the lower your risk for heart disease will be. All activity counts, so don’t skip it if you are short on time. Ten minutes, three times a day is enough to make a difference.
  • Eat more of the good stuff. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are delicious foods that can help to lower your heart disease risk.
  • Eat less of the not so good stuff. Foods that are high in sodium (salt), trans or saturated fat and added sugar such as bacon or packaged snacks and desserts, increase your heart disease risk and should be limited or reduced. And of course, don’t smoke. If you do, February 2nd makes a great quit date!
Know Where You Stand:
Not all risk factors are obvious and most women developing heart disease have no symptoms at all. Check in with your doctor regularly to see what your personal heart disease risk is. Don’t assume that they will be the ones to start the discussion. Be proactive and have questions ready. Both the Go Red for Women and The Heart Truth websites have great tools to get you started.

2. Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Women and Heart Disease facts;

Written by Jennifer M. Roberts, MS, RD.
February 2018