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3 Reasons Why Health and Wellness Professionals Should Use Social Media

Posted by Jean Ragalie-Carr, RDN, LDN, FAND @ 7:00 AM

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More and more people are seeking health information on the Internet. In fact, 72 percent of adult Internet users in the United States have searched online for information related to some health issue; 35 percent have searched online specifically to diagnose themselves. If you’re anything like me, you see this as an opportunity for a conversation – you want to jump in to help correct misinformation, provide credible, science-based counsel and be a resource to people hungry for information to improve their health.

My foray into the social media space began about five years ago when I joined Twitter. Since taking a social media certification course about two years ago, I’ve been even more engaged on LinkedIn and Twitter, and recently launched my own personal blog to help connect people with agriculture – as well as blogging on National Dairy Council’s The Dairy Report. The more I engage, the more benefits I see. My non-social days are over.

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If you are poised to engage in social media, recognize that health professionals and scientists who become involved in social media benefit themselves and the public they serve. Here are three reasons why you should consider taking the leap:

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Going Wild for Fermentation: Yogurt’s Popularity and Expanding Role in Health

Posted by Gregory Miller, PhD, FACN @ 7:00 AM

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Pickled and fermented foods have become increasingly popular over the last year. Have you tried pickled cauliflower, onions, or eggplant? These foods made the top of the list of foods predicted to be popular in 2015, according to the latest trendspotting report. Though fermented foods seem to have gained trend status recently, throughout history many of the world’s most valued and flavorful foods, including cheese, kefir and yogurt, were achieved through fermentation.

Fermentation is a process in which bacteria converts a carbohydrate, such as starch or a sugar, into an alcohol or an acid. Yogurt is made by fermenting milk. To make yogurt , Lactobacilli (i.e. L. bulgaricus, S. thermophiles, and L. acidophilus) convert lactose, the natural sugar in milk, to lactic acid, which coagulates milk protein (casein), creating yogurt’s thick texture and making it easier for people with lactose intolerance to digest. When speaking of lactic acid, microbiologist and nutrition teacher Shan Kendall said, “it’s nature’s preservative; that’s what people used before they had refrigeration.”

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Experimenting with Milk to Help People Enjoy It Again

Posted by Gregory Miller, PhD, FACN @ 7:00 AM

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If you have ever worked with cancer patients, you know they often develop an aversion to foods eaten right before chemotherapy or radiation treatment because the food is associated with the sickness that follows. Well, a similar aversion to cow’s milk may develop in people who have experienced gastrointestinal symptoms as a result of lactose intolerance. Makes sense, right? But if you haven’t experienced it yourself, you may not relate. The most important thing to know is that lactose intolerance is very individual and people often tolerate varying amounts of lactose.

We can point to evidence demonstrating that most people who have low levels of the lactase enzyme needed to digest lactose can drink a cup of milk with a meal without symptoms of intolerance. But will this information encourage people who have experienced lactose intolerance want to try milk again? Maybe, but maybe not.DMI_NDC_7.28_FoodAversions_TDR.com Read the rest of this entry »

Dairy’s Role in Helping Develop Nutrition-Sensitive Food Systems Around the World

Posted by Gregory Miller, PhD, FACN @ 7:00 AM

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“Reaching the world’s people with adequate food has been a challenge for modern agriculture and foods systems for more than half a century,” concludes the report, Healthy Food for a Healthy World: Leveraging Agriculture and Food to Improve Global Nutrition, released on April 16 by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Malnutrition – from undernourishment to obesity – is a growing global challenge affecting every country on earth and putting a quarter of the world’s population at serious health risk. Dairy companies have taken an active role in helping with this issue, and knowing where we are and where we’re going can help you when answering clients’ questions.

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Benefits of a Brain Break?

Posted by Margot Savoy, MD, MPH, FAAFP @ 7:00 AM

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It’s rough to be a learner today. With so much information available constantly, people overtax their ability to understand, retain and apply new topics by trying to take it all in as quickly as possible. School teachers have successfully used brain breaks to help improve learning, concentration, improve stress and increase test scores, and so can your clients and even you.

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NDC Celebrated 100 Years at SNA Conference with a Look to the Next 100

Posted by Camellia Patey @ 7:00 AM

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More than 5,500 school nutrition professionals gathered in Salt Lake City on July 12-15 to explore, discover and inspire at the School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) Annual National Conference (ANC). National Dairy Council (NDC) was thrilled to be at the conference and we wanted to share some highlights with you.

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NDC kicked off the conference by hosting a centennial celebration breakfast with school nutrition thought leaders. NDC President Jean Ragalie-Carr, RDN, LDN, FAND along with Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP 60) student ambassador from Utah Casy and NFL alumni and FUTP 60 ambassador Mark Schlereth provided words of inspiration on the importance of eating nutrient-rich foods at school and being physically active for 60 minutes a day through FUTP 60. Read the rest of this entry »

Protein: Offering People Function and Fitness

Posted by Moises Torres-Gonzalez @ 7:31 AM

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People look for protein in the foods they buy and use in meals, snacks and after workouts. In fact, 23 percent of adults say they are increasing the amount of protein in their eating plans. Today, we have a better understanding of the importance of eating an adequate amount of protein, and maybe more relevant, eating an adequate amount of high-quality protein – for not all proteins are created equal. Yesterday, at the 2015 Institute of Food Technology (IFT) Annual Meeting, I moderated a symposium sponsored by National Dairy Council that featured new insights on the importance of protein. I wanted to share key details with those of you working with patients and clients.

During this session, three prestigious experts in the areas of protein nutrition and protein ingredient research spoke on some of the hottest topics of interest including the role of dietary protein on muscle protein synthesis, appetite, satiety, weight management and aging, and the importance of high-quality dairy protein ingredients in meeting the global demand for innovative, higher-protein foods and beverages. Additionally, the symposium included a discussion of the intersection of nutrition and sustainability, which we will discuss separately in a future post on The Dairy Report.

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Fast Facts to Grow Your Farming Knowledge

Posted by Jean Ragalie-Carr, RDN, LDN, FAND @ 8:09 AM

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Did you know that less than 2 percent of the American population are farmers? They help feed 100 percent of us. Dairy farmers make up part of that 2 percent with 47,000 dairy farm families across the U.S.

As I have been out talking to fellow health and wellness professionals and people from across the U.S., it’s clear that there is a disconnect about where food comes from. This infographic from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics does a great job of explaining farming 101 to help registered dietitians and other educators share the story with the public. It also highlights that we all have a role in ensuring healthy people and a healthy planet through behavior changes such as portion control and less food waste. Would love to hear your thoughts on this; reach out to me on Twitter @JeanRagalieRD.

Please click infographic for full version.

What’s the Whole Story: What’s the Difference in Whole vs. Low-Fat Milk?

Posted by Judith Jarvis, MS, RDN @ 8:25 AM

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Whole milk seems to be making a come-back, according to USDA data on milk sales during the first three months of 2015. Full-fat yogurt is also on the rise.

Though it’s not completely clear what is driving the renewed interest in whole milk, people responding to a survey in 2014 say “better taste” is a reason for switching to a higher fat milk. Many people indicate they are drinking higher fat milk because their family does and they want to buy only one milk type. People also perceive it as healthier and more nutritious. According to trends data, people’s interest in eating reduced fat or lite foods has been falling over the last four years or so. Could it also be that people may have less fear of fat due to emerging  research in the news challenging long-held beliefs about fat and heart disease risk? Read the rest of this entry »

Then to Now: A Look at the Progress of School Nutrition

Posted by Jean Ragalie-Carr, RDN, LDN, FAND @ 7:31 AM

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“Ideally, a school lunch consists of one nourishing main dish, a glass or two of milk, fruit or vegetable in some form, bread and butter or a sandwich, and a simple dessert.”

– Excerpt from School Lunches Using Farm Surpluses; USDA; September 1940

School nutrition programs have a long standing history. This excerpt demonstrates that the core components of school nutrition have remained marginally unchanged for over 75 years. Milk has been an integral component of the school nutrition programs from the start.

Let’s explore how school nutrition has progressed over time, but still remains the same at its core: an avenue to nourish our children so they can grow up to be healthy and productive citizens. Read the rest of this entry »