Short Q&A today! Where are all the inquisitive minds?! 🙂
Samantha: I was wondering if you could explain more about fatty liver disease. I have been hearing about it a lot recently in magazines like First magazine, and in the news. It seems to be affecting people of all ages, when I was always told it affects older people. Can you clear up some of this confusion? What is this disease and who is more susceptible? Thanks!!
Prevention RD: In my first job as an out-patient dietitian, I saw so many cases of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Those who are overweight, obese, diabetic, or consume high carbohydrate/high sugar diets are at highest risk of fatty liver disease. With some small changes to the diet, the fatty liver should resolve and the liver enzymes trend towards normal in a matter of weeks. In short, high levels triglycerides (“fat”) cause the liver to accumulate fat from the filtering of blood that is excessive in fat. The excessive fat causes the liver to become scarred and over time, causes damage. Because the liver is responsible for blood filtration, controlling the amount and types of fat in the blood becomes crucial. Most every fatty liver patient I’ve seen has elevated triglycerides. Adhering to a carbohydrate controlled diet that is rid of alcohol and low in simple sugars (and sodas, juice, etc.) is the best way to lower triglycerides through the diet. Great question! Fatty liver is one of my favorite nutritional topics to counsel on 🙂
Nicole: Last year, we went to the local high schools for a practicum site. The new school lunch policy was getting ready to take full swing so many of the school systems were already in play. Part of the policy is that the kids don’t just receive about 850 calories for lunch, but the food is more nutritious, which will keep them full longer. Instead of all refined starches and cheese and “junk” food, the lunch ladies are starting to have to cook again. This means real turkey breast, fresh fruits and vegetable salads, low sodium and nutrient dense foods. When I did my practicum, I had to ask the kids what they thought of the new lunches and 90% of them hated it! They said everything from, it was bland, they didn’t like the spices, it was too colorful, too crunchy, and they wanted their old food back. So the kids just wouldn’t eat their lunch. I just found this new video on yahoo about a high school that made a music video about how much they hate the new food policy. You may recognize the song! I think this may spark a debate on your blog, because if you watch the video, you realize the kids are saying their friends who picked up food, such as Funions and soda, from the nearby gas station are full for the entire day. And the kids who ate the school lunch are starving. Just a thought to put this up on the next Q & A. I have a personal interest in this topic and the music video is actually pretty good.
Prevention RD: Hi Nicole! Miss you 🙂 (Nicole is a fellow student of mine!). I am so glad you brought this video to my attention and it sounds like your rotation in the schools was very eye-opening. I have to say, I think Obama was on the right track with this one. If there were more athletes than sedentary, obese children, I may think differently, but that’s not the case. With programming cut, such as gym classes, kids are burning less calories than in years past. The movement towards cooked meals that are high in nutrients and low in calories lends to a very balanced and filling diet. Perhaps the problem is, as you indicated, is that the kids aren’t actually EATING the, meals because they don’t “like” them. The 600 calories for an elementary school lunch, 700 calories for a middle school lunch, and 850 calories for a high school lunch are perfectly appropriate. Of course this is assuming that kids 1) eat an adequate and appropriate breakfast and 2) eat an adeqcheuate and appropriate evening meal. The video quotes 2,000-5,000 calories for growing kids, and I would have to err on the lower side of that range for most every school-aged kid. I would love to hear others’ thoughts on this as I don’t have kids! Great topic, Nicole!
Please feel free to send your question to me at preventionrd at gmail dot com!
Wednesday already! Yesterday was BANANAS at work. What a whirlwind of a day. Thanks again for all the well wishes for my computer – xo!