All posts in Nutrition

What is a carb?

What is a carb?


What is a Carb?

Know what Foods Contain Carbohydrates

  • Starches
    • Bread, cereal
    • Pasta, rice, grains
    • Beans and lentils
    • Starchy vegetables: potatoes, corn and peas
    • Crackers, pretzels and chips
    • Fruits and fruit juices
    • Milk and yogurt
    • Sugary desserts
    • Non-starchy vegetables: broccoli, carrots, asparagus and salad greens


How to Measure Carbohydrates

1 carb choice = 15 grams of carbohydrate

  • 1/3 cup cooked rice or 1 slice of bread
  • 1 small piece of fruit or ½ cup fruit juice
  • 1 cup (8 oz) milk or 2/3 cup (6oz) low-fat yogurt

Creating your Meal Plan

The amount of carbohydrates you eat should depend on your nutrition goals.  This booklet is a general guideline; consult with your dietician for the plan that is specific for you and your goals.  The registered Dietician (RD) is the health care professional trained to teach you how to improve your health and health choices.


  For Weight Loss For Weight Maintenance Snacks (If Desired)
Women 2 to 3 carb choices 3 to 4 carb choices 1 carb choice
Men 3 to 4 carb choices 4 to 5 carb choices 1 carb choice


Carbohydrate Choice Lists

Starch Choices

1 Carbohydrate choice = 15 grams carbohydrate


Food Serving   Size
Bagel 1/4 large (4 oz)
Biscuit, 2.5 inches across 1
Bread, reduced calorie 2 slices
Bread, white or whole grain 1 slice
Cornbread, 1.75 inch cube 1
English muffin ½
Hot dog or hamburger bun ½
Naan (8 x2) ¼
Waffle or pancake (4 x.25) 1
Tortilla, corn or flour (6 in) 1


Cereals and Grains:

Food Serving   Size
Barley, couscous, millet, pasta, rice,   quinoa, or polenta cooked 1/3 cup
Bran cereal, shredded wheat, or   sugar-coated cereal ½ cup
Bulgar. Grits. Palin oatmeal. Or wild   rice. Cooked ½ cup
Cereal, unsweetened, ready to eat ¾ cup


Starchy Vegetables:

Food Serving   Size
Acorn or butternut squash or pumpkin,   unsweetened 1 cup
Cassava or plantain 1/3 cup
Corn, green peas, or parsnips ½ cup
Potato, baked with skin 1 small or ¼ large
Potato, mashed with milk and fat ½ cup
Sweet potato or yam ½ cup

Crackers and snacks:

Food Serving   Size
Chips, baked 15-20 pieces
Chips, potato or tortilla 9-13 pieces
Crackers, animal 8
Crackers, graham 3
Crackers, saltine or round butter-type 6
Popcorn 3 cups, popped
Pretzels ¾ oz
Rice cakes 2

Beans and Lentils:

Food Serving   Size
Baked beans 1/3 cup
Beans (black, pinto, navy, or kidney)   lentils, or split peas, cooked ½ cup



Food Serving   Size
Banana 1 extra-small
Blueberries or blackberries ¾ cup
Fruit, dried or raisins 2 Tbsp
Fruit, fresh or canned unsweetened ½ cup
Fruit, whole 1 small
Fruit juice, unsweetened ½ cup
Grapes small 17
Melon or raspberries 1 cup

Milk Choices

1 carbohydrate choice = 12 grams carbohydrate

Food Serving   Size
Buttermilk 1 cup
Milk(nonfat, 1%, 2%, whole) 1 cup
Rice drink, fat-free 1 cup
Soy milk, light or regular, plain 1 cup
Yogurt, plain or flavored with an   artificial sweetener, fat-free or low-fat 2/3 cup

Sweets and Dessert Choices

1 carbohydrate= 15 grams carbohydrate

Food Serving   Size
Brownie 1 1/4 –inch square
Cake, unfrosted 2-inch square
Candy, hard 3 pieces
Cookie, sandwich 2 small
Ice cream, regular ½ cup
Pudding, sugar free 1.2 cup

2 carbohydrate choices= 30 grams carbohydrate

2 carbohydrate choices= 30 grams carbohydrate

Candy bar, chocolate, plain 1 ¼ oz
Cupcake, frosted 1 small
Donut, glazed 1

3 carbohydrates= 45 grams carbohydrates

Food Serving   Size
Flan 1 cup
Fruit pie with 2 crusts 1/6 of 8 in pie
Rice pudding ½ cup

Non starchy Vegetables

1 serving = 5 grams carbohydrates

Food Serving   Size
Vegetables, cooked ½ cup
Vegetables, raw 1 cup
Vegetable juice ½ cup

Combination Food

Food Serving   Size
Soup 1 cup
Stew, meat and vegetables 1 cup

2 carbohydrate choices = 30 grams carbohydrate

Food Serving   Size
Lasagna or noodle casserole 1 cup
Pizza ¼    of 12 in thin curst
Potato or macaroni salad ½ cup

3 carbohydrate choices=45 grams carbohydrates

Food Serving   Size
Burrito (beef and bean) 1 (5 oz)
Dinner-type frozen meal 1 (14-17 oz)


Fast-Food Choices

Food Serving   Size
Chicken breast 5 oz
Chicken nuggets 6 pieces
Chicken stir-fried with vegetables 1 cup
Egg roll 1
Taco 1 small

2 carbohydrate choices= 30 grams carbohydrate

Food Serving   Size
Breakfast sandwich, biscuit or English   muffin variety 1
Hamburger, regular 1

3 carbohydrate choices = 45 grams carbohydrate

Food Serving   Size
French Fries 1 small
Sandwich grilled chicken 1
Sandwich, submarine 1 (6 in)





It’s National Blueberry Month!

It’s National Blueberry Month!

BlueberrySummer is a great time to enjoy fresh fruit. Throughout the summer different fruits are readily available at the grocery store, farmer’s market or in our own backyards.

July is National Blueberry month and a great time to enjoy this colorful, flavorful fruit. Blueberries have been a staple in the American diet for many years. They are colorful, taste good, healthy and convenient. Blueberries are low in fat, sodium free and a good source of fiber and vitamin C. One cup of fresh blueberries at 80 calories provides 5 grams of fiber and 15% of the vitamin C you need for the day. Blueberries are easy to prepare and serve. There is no peeling, pitting, coring or cutting. Just rinse in clean, cool water, eat and enjoy.

  • Selection and Storage

When purchasing fresh blueberries look for ones that are firm, dry, plump, smooth-skinned and relatively free of leaves and and stems. Berries should be deep-purple blue to blue-black in color. Reddish berries are not ripe. Fresh berries should be refrigerated, but not washed until ready to use. Refrigerated they will maintain their quality for 10 to 14 days. Blueberries can easily be frozen for later use. The easiest way to freeze is to pack unwashed berries dry into freezer containers or bags leaving ½-inch of headspace. Washing blueberries before freezing will result in a tougher skin. They can also be frozen on a tray and then packed into containers as soon as they are frozen. Be sure to wash before using.

Using Blueberries

There are lots of recipes for using blueberries, but some of the best ways to use them are simple and easy:

  • Wash and eat
  • Add to pancakes, muffins or quick bread
  • Serve on top of ice cream or frozen yogurt
  • Top dry or cooked cereal with them
  • Add them to fruit salad or tossed salad.

Enjoy this colorful, healthy fruit of summer!


Shop the local farmer’s markets

Shop the local farmer’s markets

fmarket7Farmer’s markets can be found in many of our communities. Buying produce from local growers is a good way for you to support the local economy and to eat healthier. Strawberries are a good source of vitamin C and potassium and can add color to your dishes. They taste sweet and add some crunch to your foods. A dish of plain strawberries is good. Another way to serve strawberries is to put a serving in a bowl and top them with low-fat, sugar-free vanilla yogurt. That way you will also get some of the calcium you need, too. Buy strawberries that are firm and shiny with a healthy color. Strawberries that are dark or dull are usually overripe. Strawberries bruise very easily. One bad strawberry can affect the whole container! Wash the strawberries before before removing the hull and just before you will be using them. Rinse them under cold water – do not soak strawberries!

Spinach is usually found at most local markets. Spinach is an excellent source of folic acid, vitamin A, potassium, and magnesium. It is a good source of Vitamin C and iron. Fresh spinach makes a delicious fresh salad. Most of the spinach in our supermarkets is prewashed. This is due to the fact that spinach grows best in sandy soil that clings to the plant. Thoroughly wash spinach just before using it. Wash it by immersing the leaves in a large bowl of water and shaking the leaves gently. Do not soak spinach. Make a main-dish salad with lots of mixed vegetables with the fresh spinach and try some of the newer low-fat dressings. Add cooked chicken, ham, or other protein source for a complete meal.

As the summer progresses, more fruits and vegetables will be available. One key to make sure to get the most nutrients from your fresh fruits and vegetables is to limit the amount of time you keep them in storage. First-quality fruits and vegetables can deteriorate in the refrigerator, losing vitamins and nutrients. Plan to buy only what you will use in a few days. That goes for all produce. Research shows that the longer a food is stored, the greater the nutrient loss. Fragile produce like berries, tomatoes, peppers, etc. should be stored for only two or three days. Bagged greens deteriorate quickly after opening – use them up in a day or two.


Olive oil and leafy salads – could this combination lead to lower blood pressure?

Olive oil and leafy salads – could this combination lead to lower blood pressure?

leafy-green-sardine-saladThe combination of olive oil and leafy salad or vegetables is what gives the Mediterranean diet its healthy edge, say scientists. When these two food groups come together they form nitro fatty acids which lower blood pressure, they told PNAS journal. The unsaturated fat in olive oil joins forces …


5 more reasons to eat eggs

5 more reasons to eat eggs

EggsEggs have never been proven to cause elevation of cholesterol or heart disease. What follows is taken from an article from and published in the Huffington Post. Please be aware that the healthiest eggs are hard boiled which keeps the yolk from getting oxidized.

1.       Because eggs are high in choline, essential for brain development for babies, it is an ideal food to eat for pregnant women
2.       Because eggs are high in protein, they make you feel full and may help you to cut back on snacking
3.       An amino acid called TYROSINE may help with reflexes and quick decision making
4.       Eggs are high in antioxidants which may decrease the risk of heart disease and cancer. My regular readers already know that artificial antioxidants found in vitamins are worthless.
5.       Eggs may lower blood pressure by the same mechanism as ACE inhibitors (Lisinopril, Ramipril, etc.)

The White Kidney Bean Diet

The White Kidney Bean Diet

Have you ever heard of this one? The white kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) is supposed to help you lose weight by blocking the absorption of starches. Unfortunately, its effectiveness is questionable. Some studies have shown a 3-4 pound weight loss but this was not considered to be statistically significant when compared to placebo. Although thought to be safe, the most common side effect is gassiness. Long term safety is unknown.

Please be aware that there is no such thing as “A FAT BLOCKER”. The only way to lose weight is to change your lifestyle with diet and exercise. Sometimes it may be necessary to use FDA approved drugs to help, but beware of the next great diet fad.

Do Walnuts Improve Brain Function?

Do Walnuts Improve Brain Function?

Neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia, cognitive disorders and loss of motor functions are increasing probably due to the increase in the number of elderly people. This article looked at the effects of eating walnuts on brain chemistry. The polyphenolic compounds that are found in English walnuts are thought to decrease inflammation and reduce oxidation of brain cells thereby improving brain functioning and behavior.

The author concluded that, although many factors are associated with brain decline, the addition of poor diet and lack of exercise made things worse. They also stated, which I agree, that medical treatments are limited when it comes to improving brain functioning.

So, yes. Walnuts can be beneficial-along with a healthy diet and exercise.

The Journal of Nutrition, 02/07/2014


Will the new food labels help you?

Will the new food labels help you?


The nutrition labels have always been very difficult to understand (even for health professionals). I can remember several years ago while attending an air show at MacDill AFB with my daughter; it was so hot that I decided to buy frozen lemonade. It was only 4 ounces but really helped quench my thirst on this unbearable hot day in the sun. Then, we decided to read the label: 39 grams of sugar/serving. And then we see that the 4 ounces was considered 2 servings! For someone who preaches the dangers of sugar, I couldn’t believe I actually ate 78 grams of sugar in one sitting.

The new proposed nutrition labels, while still a bit ambiguous, are an improvement over what we now have. At least not serving size estimates are more honest.

Women are usually mush better at limiting serving portions, but most men will finish the whole bag of chips or cookies in one sitting: that is, their serving size will remain the WHOLE bag.

As a general rule of thumb, please limit your quantities of sugar to less than 9 grams per serving.

For more information, contact our office or set up an appointment with our registered dietitian.


FDA Proposes Changes To Nutrition Label Including More “Realistic” Serving…. – Forbes shared via



Decreasing heart disease with dietary fiber

Decreasing heart disease with dietary fiber

A study from England reviewed the relationship between fiber and heart disease in multiple studies dating back to 1990. What they found was that the more fiber you ate, the less likely you were to get heart disease. It didn’t matter if the fiber was soluble or insoluble or whether it came from vegetables, fruit or cereal. What has not been determined is exactly HOW fiber decreases cardiovascular disease.




Do probiotics help with weight loss?

Do probiotics help with weight loss?

A study from the British Journal of Nutrition found that, all things being equal, women dieters who took probiotics lost almost twice as much weight after 12 weeks when compared to women who took a placebo. The probiotic was a mix of Lactobacillis, Inulin and oligofructose and the dose was divided into 2 capsules-30 minutes prior to breakfast and dinner. The same study failed to show any benefits to men, who seemed to lose weight easier than women. The product used was made by Nestle but is not yet available in the U.S. It is unknown whether other probiotics have the same effect.