Claxton Dietetic Solutions Articles

Quick Tips to Stay on Track
One of the most challenging parts of any lifestyle change or weight loss program is staying the course. Too often, after the first couple of days, the excitement and enthusiasm of a new program wears off and people struggle to stick to the changes. Fortunately there are some steps you can take to help you stand firm and reach your goals. Here are five quick tips to help you stay on track. 1. Back up your Big Goal with Mini Goals: It's fantastic to keep the big picture in mind, but day in and day out that goal can seem far away and unattainable. By setting mini goals you can see progress all along the way and maintain your excitement and enthusiasm. Ex: If your goal is to lose 50lbs, set mini goals at 10lbs, 15lbs, 20lbs and celebrate each milestone as the accomplishment that it is. 2. Plan Ahead: What is your downfall? Do you always find yourself eating out for lunch, or lurking around the vending machine at 2pm? Do you hit the snooze instead of getting up to workout because hunting down your workout clothes seems like a pain? By pin pointing your individual stumbling blocks you can plan ahead to minimize their effect on your goals. You could pack a week's worth of lunches on Sunday, keep health snacks in your desk, sleep in your workout clothes (or at least lay them out the night before). 3. Find Accountability: Skipping a workout or eating a second brownie is a lot harder to do when somebody else will know. Building a network of friends, family, or professionals who are on your side and want to help you achieve your goals is critical for success. Not only can an accountability partner help you make better choices or encourage you to keep going when you want to quit, they will be there to celebrate your awesome achievements along the way. 4. Keep Moving Forward: People frequently feel like if they make one mistake they have failed and they quit. One poor decision or mistake does not erase the dozens or hundreds of good choices you've made along the journey. Take note of mistakes or bad choices and make a plan for how to avoid the same issue in the future. Then move on. Keep going.5. Make it FUN: Sure, there are always going to be parts of a lifestyle change that are just going to be hard work. However, this is your life, it should be fun and enjoyable! There are so many ways to keep the excitement and enthusiasm flowing. If you hate everything about your new lifestyle, chances are pretty good that it won't be your lifestyle for very long. Changing your diet? Check out new recipes and cooking styles to do them with a friend or family. Hate running on the treadmill? Play basketball or go swimming. Find things that help you achieve your goals but are also fun and exciting for You!Image Credit: One Way Stock via ( 
Pumping Iron
Feeling tired? Worn down? Frequently dizzy? You might just need a good night's sleep, but you could be experiencing symptoms iron deficiency. Iron is essential for the hemoglobin in red blood cells to work correctly [1]. Red blood cells transport oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the tissues in the body. Without iron, the red blood cells are unable to deliver the oxygen needed. When the body isn't absorbing enough iron, an iron deficiency can develop and can lead to iron deficiency anemia [1-2]. In the United States, iron deficiency is the leading nutritional deficiency and cause of anemia [1-3]. Symptoms can include:  dizziness, fatigue, weakness, pale skin and finger/toenails, inflamed tongue, headache, shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, cold hands and feet, chest pain, cravings for no nutritive things such as ice or dirt [1,3]. Iron deficiency anemia can be caused by blood loss, inadequate dietary intake, poor absorption, or pregnancy. Anyone can experience an iron deficiency, however, certain individuals may be at greater risk including women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, young children, women of childbearing age, adolescent girls [1-3]. Individuals following a strict vegetarian or vegan diet may also be at risk. The good news is Iron Deficiency can frequently be prevented and resolved by increasing iron in the diet. Animal sources of iron are more readily absorbed by the body than plant sources [1-3]. However, plant based foods can also provide an important source of iron in a balanced diet [1-3]. Good sources of dietary iron include:BeefChickenTurkeyPorkSeafoodBeansDark Green Leafy VegetablesFortified breads, cereals, and pastasDried fruitsYou can boost your body's ability to absorb iron by drinking and/or eating foods high in Vitamin C at the same time as high iron foods. Good sources of Vitamin C include citrus juices, fresh citrus fruit, broccoli, tomatoes, dark green leafy greens. In certain cases, an iron supplement may also be recommended.If you suspect you may have symptoms of an iron deficiency be sure to work with a Physician and a Registered Dietitian. You may need additional testing to identify the cause of deficiency and develop a plan to improve your iron levels.  Sources:1- Credit: Irene via
Keeping the Holidays Happy and Healthy
Jingle bells and Cinnamon smells are in the air, the Holiday Season is upon us! Time for family and friends, good will, presents, and delicious FOOD! Many people worry about gaining weight over the holidays. However, it's important to remember there may be something scarier hiding in the kitchen than a few extra pounds.Food poisoning affects around 48 Million Americans every year (1 in 6) [1]. Not only can food poison put a damper on your holiday plans, it can have serious consequences including hospitalization and even death [1]. So before the baking marathons and office parties begin here's a crash course in food safety.Temperature, Temperature, Temperature: One of the most important steps you can take to keep food safe is ensuring proper cooking and storing temperatures. Cold foods should be kept at 41 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Hot foods should be kept at 135 degrees Fahrenheit or above. Turkey, other poultry products, stuffings, casseroles, and leftovers must reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit [1-2]. Using a digital thermometer is a quick and easy way to check food temperature, just be sure to sanitize between items. Time Matters: Holiday meals tend to start at twelve and then linger throughout the afternoon. While it may be convenient to leave food out, this practice is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Refrigerate leftovers within two hours and throw away any food that has been sitting out for more than two hours [1-2]. Thaw Safely: Frozen meats should never be left to thaw on the countertop or in standing water. The safest way to thaw meats is in a refrigerator (24hrs for every 5lbs). You can also safely thaw meats in cold running water [1-2]. Cross Contamination: It is extremely important to keep raw products like meats and eggs separate from cooked items and items that will be served uncooked such as salads and fresh fruits. Bacteria can be passed between produce as well as meats [3]. Properly wash knives, cutting boards, peelers, and hands between handling different products, even between vegetables and fruit. It is also important to thoroughly wash all produce before cutting [1-2]. Holiday Hands: Be sure to wash your hands frequently while cooking and handing food. In addition, you may want to limit the number of helpers in the kitchen to avoid sneaky "tasting" fingers from contaminating the meal. Remember, certain people are more at risk for food borne illnesses such as older adults, pregnant women, small children, and anyone who is immunocompromised. Don't let food poisoning ruin your holidays! Follow these food safety tips to help keep your family celebrating all season long. Sources:1- Credit: Satya Murthy via
Health Nuts
If you've been avoiding nuts because you've heard they are fattening and bad for your health, well that's just...Nutty! Nibbling on tree nuts as part of a healthy diet is associated with decreased cardiovascular risks (such as high blood pressure, high LDL levels), decreased risk for metabolic syndrome, improved weight control, improved body fat levels, and increased diet satisfaction and satiety [1-3]. These health benefits should come as no surprise when you consider that nuts are full of minerals, vitamins, healthy fats, protein, and phytochemicals [1-3]. Few foods can boast such a complete range of nutrients. Nuts sometimes get a bad reputation due to a higher calorie content than many foods that are considered traditional "health" foods; however, in this case good things really do come in small packages. One ounce of nuts (typically 20-24 nuts) per day is all you need to enjoy the many health benefits of regular nut consumption [1-3]. On average, 1 ounce of nuts is 165 calories, 15g Fat (mostly poly and monounsaturated), 179mg of Potassium, and 6g of protein. Looking for ways to slip nuts into your diet? Tree nuts are great:-in salads-toasted in vegetable side dishes-blended in a smoothie-as a yogurt topping-mixed into cereal-to add crunch to pasta dishes-as a delicious and satisfying snack!Don't feel limited to just one kind of nut. From walnuts to almonds, each type of tree nut has it's own special blend of beneficial fats, minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals so it's a great idea to mix it up. Just be sure not to cover up all those benefits with too much sodium. Choose lightly salted or unsalted varieties to keep it healthy.  Sources:1-O’Neil, C.E., V.L. Fulgoni, T.A. Nicklas. Tree Nut consumption is associated with better adiposity measures and cardiovascular and metabolic syndrome health risk factors in U.S. Adults: NHANES 2005–2010.20152-Yang, M., F.B. Hu, E.L. Giovannucci, M.J. Stampfer, W.C. Willett, C.S. Fuchs, K. Wu, Y. Bao, 2015. Nut consumption and risk of colorectal cancer in women. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  doi:10.1038/ejcn.2015.66.3-Tan, S.Y., J. Dhillon, R.D. Mattes, 2014. A review of the effects of nuts on appetite, food intake, metabolism, and body weight. Am J Clin Nutr.  doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.071456.Photo Credit: s58y via
Salad Fancy
With the heat (and humidity!) of summer in full swing, we're all looking for fresh ways to beat the heat. Time to ditch those hot and heavy meals for a cooler, lighter, and more refreshing refuel. Salads are a great way to load up on veggies, protein, fruit, fiber, and healthy fats all in a delicious dish that won't weigh you down. Whether you're a die hard salad fan looking for a new twist to an old favorite or a begrudging salad eater just trying to get through that bowl of green, here are some salad shake ups sure to get your taste buds zinging. Leaf a Little: If iceburg lettuce is your "got to" for salads then it's defiantly time to make a change. Not only does idceburg lack in the nutritional value department compared to other lettuces [1], but you're also missing out on the spice and flavor in varieties like arugula, frisee, radicchio, and California peppergrass. Check out this visual guide at Epicurious to learn more about all the different salad greens you could be enjoying- the Protein: Chopped chicken, while delicious, is not the only way to add protein to your salads. Thinly slice that steak leftover from last night's grill-out, dice a boiled egg, sauté a few scallops with fresh tarragon, or toss on some toasted almond slices. Even a little BBQ pulled pork can take a garden salad to the next level. Ditch Your Old Dressing: It's easy to get stuck in a dressing rut, but with so many options out there why settle for just one dressing? And don't forget, dressing doesn't have to come out of a bottle labeled "salad dressing". Get creative! Try salsa, squeezed oranges, a few tablespoons of humus, or a blend of honey and yogurt. Be Seedy: A sprinkle of sunflower, chia, or sesame seeds is a great way to add taste, texture, and satisfying healthy fats. Get Colorful: There's more to salad that lettuce, tomato, and cucumber. Amp up the flavor and nutrition of your next salad with a wider range of fruits and vegetables. Some of our favorite salad boosters include: grapefruit slices, bell pepper (red, orange, yellow, green or all!), corn kernels, black beans, mango chunks, flaked coconut, chickpeas, grilled asparagus, shredded broccoli, sautéed summer squash, raspberries. and even edible flowers like bean blossoms and nasturtiums. The possibilities are endless!Insert Some Cheesiness: From Cheddar to Gorgonzola, a touch of cheese can turn a simple salad into a feast fit for a king. Choosing a cheese with bold flavor like a feta, blue, or goat cheese will allow you to get that awesome flavor you're looking for with a small serving. It's easy to load salads up with lots of yummy calorie dense foods, so be sure to watch your serving sizes on things like dressings, cheeses, nuts, and seeds in order to keep that salad healthy.Summer time is salad time...are you hungry yet? Sources:1- USDA Nutrient Database via Credit: Skrobotic via
Crawling with protein: The rise of edible insects
First pork was "the other white meat". Then we heard that beef was "what's for dinner". Now there's a new protein crawling it's way on to mainstream menus: edible insects. While the idea of tucking into a bowl of grasshoppers may not sound like your ideal meal, insects have been eaten as a valuable food source for thousands of years [1]. There are many cultures around the world that regularly consume insects and revere them as delicacies [1]. And why not? Besides having a few more legs, is there really such a big difference between a cricket and a cow? Lets take a closer look at how edible insects compare with more traditional forms of protein:Per 200 Calories [2-4]:Protein: Crickets 31g, Beef (90% Lean) 22.4g, Salmon 20.4g, Whole Eggs 19.2gFat: Crickets 8.1g, Beef (90% Lean) 11.2g, Salmon 13.4g, Whole Eggs 15.2gSaturated Fat: Crickets 2.6g, Beef (90% Lean) 4.4g, Salmon 3g, Whole Eggs 4.8gFiber: Crickets 7.2g, Beef (90% Lean) 0g, Salmon 0g, Whole Eggs 0gIn addition to being nutritionally similar (and in some cases even better) to other sources of protein, edible insects like crickets are more environmentally friendly than traditional protein foods [1]. The mass production of edible insects requires far less space, food, water, and time than other foods from cows to tofu [1-4]. With human population continuing to experience exponential growth, edible insects are likely to become an critical part of the human diet worldwide [1-2]. Although edible insects is currently niche market in the United States demand is growing [2]. Insect protein bars, powders, and other food stuffs are already readily available from multiple venders online and some speciality stores. Environmentally sustainable and highly nutritious, edible insects are headed our way. It might not be long before ordering a juicy cricket burger with a side of crispy mealworms is the new norm. Sources: 1. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Edible insects: Future prospects for food and feed security. FAO report Rome 2013: 171. Reinagel M. Are bugs the new beef? Food and Nutrition; 2013. USDA SR-254. Rumpold BA, Schluter O. Nutritional composition and safety aspects of edible insects. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2013; 57: 802-823.  Photo Credit: Killerturnip via
Glorious Garlic
When you think about garlic, what comes to mind...Vampires? Italian food? Stinky breath? What about nutritional powerhouse? That's Right! Garlic, and other members of the Onion family, contain many phytochemicals, antioxidants, and other bioactive compounds such as Allicin [1-3] These compounds have been shown to have varied and potent nutritional and health benefits including:Cancer Prevention/Treatment: Like other antioxidant containing foods, garlic helps decrease free radicals in the body and lower the overall risk of some cancers [1]. However, research has also shown that the allyl sulfur components in garlic actually inhibits the cancer process in multiple ways including prevention of bioactivation of carcinogens and preventing tumor proliferation [1-2]. Cardiovascular Health: Garlic has been shown to decrease the overall risk of cardiovascular disease through the reduction of multiple risk factors including total cholesterol, LDL Cholesterol, Fasting Blood Glucose Levels, and Blood Pressure [3]. Garlic intake is also related to decreased clot formation through its antiplatelet and anticoagulant effects [2]. Anti-inflammatory and Boosts Immune System: Research has shown that garlic boosts the immune system by stimulating many of the cell types that are involved in immunity as well as decreasing inflammation throughout the body [4]. Type 2 Diabetes control: Garlic is believed aide in control and prevention of Type 2 Diabetes due to it's ability to decrease fasting blood glucose levels and inflammation [3-4]. Research in this area is ongoing. Prevention/Treatment of Stomach Ulcers: When used in combination with a proton pump inhibitor, garlic has been shown to resolve stomach ulcers caused by H. pylori infections [2]. In addition, H. pylori infections are significantly reduced in individuals with diets high in garlic and other members of the onion family [5]. The ability of garlic to prevent infection by H. pylori is the focus of current research. It's amazing the power packed into those little cloves! And not only is garlic bursting with health benefits, but it's low in calories too, so it's easy to fit into your diet. The cooking process can significantly reduce the health benefits of garlic, so it's best eaten raw. Here are some simple ways to increase your raw garlic intake:Homemade Salsa with chopped garlic (or add a little chopped garlic to store bought)Minced garlic goes great in salad dressings Stir chopped or minced garlic into pasta sauce after removing from heatA little minced garlic stirred into Mashed potatoes really pizazz!Spice up cole slaw with a chopped clove at your next BBQYou can buy garlic supplements, but the therapeutic compounds in garlic are notably unstable. Therefore, you may not be receiving the same health benefits from a supplement as you would from the fresh vegetable. Always let your doctor and other health providers know of any nutritional supplements you are taking. Individuals with blood clotting disorders or taking blood thinners should not take garlic containing supplements without the supervision of their doctors. Sources:Rana SV, Pal R, Vaiphei K, Sharma SK, Ola RP. Garlic in health and disease. Nutr Res Rev. 2011 Jun;24(1):60-71. Milner JA. Mechanisms by which garlic and allyl sulfur compounds suppress carcinogen bioactivation. Garlic and carcinogenesis. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2001;492:69-81.Kwak JS, Kim JY, Paek JE, Lee YJ, Kim HR, Park DS, Kwon O. Garlic powder intake and cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials. Nutr Res Pract. 2014 Dec;8(6):644-54. Arreola R, Quintero-Fabián S, López-Roa RI, Flores-Gutiérrez EO, Reyes-Grajeda JP, Carrera-Quintanar L, Ortuño-Sahagún D. Immunomodulation and anti-inflammatory effects of garlic compounds. J Immunol Res. 2015;2015:401630.Sivam GP. Protection against Helicobactor pylori and other bacterial infections by garlic. J Nutr. 2001 Mar;131(3s):1106s-8s. Photo Credit: David Guyler via
The Dairy Dilemma
For years the mantra has been choose low fat dairy products to cut out the extra calories and fat. That makes sense right? Why choose whole fat milk when nonfat milk has less than half the calories and basically no fat but all the protein of whole milk? However, conflicting research in the last few years is making the choice between full fat and low fat less clear cut. Several observational studies have reported increased weight loss and decreased risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease with increased consumption of dairy fat [1,2]. For example, in 2013 Holmberg and Thelin reported that after following 197 men for 12 years the men who regularly ate high fat dairy foods (butter, whole fat milk, etc) where less likely to have central obesity than the men who had diets low in dairy fat [1]. In addition, an analysis of 16 observational studies published in the European Journal of Nutrition in 2013 also found that high-fat dairy consumption within a typical diet appears to decrease the risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease [2]. However, reviews published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and the International Journal of Obesity in 2012 failed to find any evidence that increased dairy intake leads to weight loss unless paired with a low calorie weight loss diet [3,4]. While the link between diets high in dairy fat and weight loss remains controversial, non of the studies or reviews found that increasing dairy fat lead to an increase in weight gain [1-4]. It remains unclear why higher fat dairy does not appear to contribute to weight gain. Proponents of dairy fat hypothesize that higher fat is linked with greater satiety and therefore people eat less overall. There may also be some biochemical interactions that alter the way dairy fat is utilized by the human body but additional research in this area is required. So should you choose Full fat dairy or stick with lower fat options? In the end, it likely all comes down to calories in and calories out. If you want to stick with lower fat dairy keep an eye on your overall intake and remember that low fat does not mean calorie free. However, if you prefer full fat dairy products then pour a glass and enjoy! Just be sure to watch your serving sizes and balance the increased calories and fat with your other food choices. Note: Individuals with high cholesterol should continue to aim to meet the individualized goals set by their doctor and dietitian for total fat and saturated fat intake. Sources: 1- Holmberg S, Thelin A. High fat dairy intake related to less central obesity: A male cohort study with 12 year's follow-up. Scand J Prim Health Care. 2013 Jun; 31(2):89-94. 2- Kratz M, Baars T, Guyenet S. The relationship between high fat dairy consumption and obesity, cardiovascular, and metabolic disease. Eur J Nutr. 2013 Feb;52(1):1-24. 3- Chen M, Pan A, Malik VS, Hu FB. Effects of dairy intake on body weight and fat: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Oct;96(4):735-47. 4- Abargouei AS, Janghorbani M, Salehi-Marzijarani M, Esmaillzadeh A. Effects of dairy consumption on weight and body composition in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled clinical trials. Int J Obes (Lond). 2012 Dec; 36(12):1485-93. Photo Credit: MU CAFNR via
Weekly Challenge #6: Accountability
Here it is, the challenge you've been dreading, accountability week. Although it can be tiring and tedious, keeping a daily food log is a proven method to track your calories (as well as other nutrients) and maintain or lose weight [1,2]. By taking the time to record all the meals, condiments, snacks throughout your day this week can really help you key in to problem areas you may not even realize you have [1,2]. Food journaling has also been shown to help keep people motivated and lead to more consistent weight loss than dieting without tracking. Fortunately, there are many user friendly and free tracking websites and apps to making tracking a lot less time consuming and a lot more enjoyable with in depth analysis of your eating habits and typical intake. You can also use an Excel spreadsheet or notebook paper. No matter how you choose to do it, this is the week to dig in and make yourself accountable to yourself. Here are some quick tips to get you started!At a minimum try to track calories, protein, and fat. Make sure you are checking your portion sizes (for example, a serving of cereal can vary widely from brand to brand). Try to track throughout the day so that you don't forget anything.Don't forget to track your fluids. Be honest with yourself!Looking for a tracking website? Here are a few good ones:,,, www.fitday.comLooking for a tracking app? Try one of these: myfitnesspal, sparkpeople, cronometer, fitbitLooking for templates for Excel or Word? Here you go!: Excel Document:, Word Document: 1- Gupta, S. Dear (food) diary. A new study shows that dieters can double their weight loss by jotting down what foods they eat. Time. 2008, Aug 4; 172(5):70. 2-Roberts, SS. Shedding pounds for life. Dear diary...keeping a food diary can help keep you honest about your eating habits. Diabetes Forecast. 2003, Apr; 56(4):79-80. Photo Credit: Angela via