City Issues: Health

San Antonio Magazine – May 2017 – by By Chris Warren

San Antonio, We Have a Diabetes Problem: The city is known for high rates of Type 2 diabetes in adults and kids, but UT Health is working to change that as a research epicenter

Dr. Jane Lynch spends a good chunk of her time attending medical conferences. One of two U.S.-based members on the Global Expert Committee on Type 2 Diabetes in Youth, Lynch regularly collaborates with researchers around the world about topics such as how the disease presents itself in the U.S. as compared to India or China.

A professor of pediatrics at UT Health San Antonio, Lynch can be pretty confident that no matter where a meeting is held or what the specific topic is, at some point her hometown will come up. “When you are at a conference, they will start quoting San Antonio data,” she says. “We are an epicenter for Type 2 diabetes.”

Of course, this is not exactly a point of pride for San Antonio—and one of SA2020’s goals is to reduce the number of adults with a reported diabetes diagnosis to just over 12 percent, a target that has already been met. But the flip side of struggling with obesity and diabetes citywide is that San Antonio is also an international leader in diabetes research, with locals pioneering a better understanding of the disease and leading the way in unlocking improved treatments and medications.

One of the ways Lynch hopes to impact the adult Type 2 diabetes rates is through lowering the rate in children. The disease is known as adult-onset diabetes because it usually manifests when people reach their 40s or 50s, but Lynch is at the forefront of research into Type 2 diabetes in people under the age of 18 and sees an alarming number of children at her UT Health clinic. “We have diagnosed over 800 kids…

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3 Ways to Boost Flavor with Less Sodium

by Celina Parás, MSc, RDN, LD
Nutrition Education Specialist, CHEF

Experiment with Herbs & Spices: herbs and spices enhance the taste of food with their unique aromas and bright colors. Fresh or dried, they all provide great flavor to meals without having to rely too much on sodium. When cooking with herbs, there is a general rule to the ratio of fresh to dry herbs when substituting them in a recipe. Because dried herbs provide a more concentrated flavor you’ll need to use less. The ratio is three to one, for every one teaspoon of dried herbs you’ll need three tablespoons of fresh herbs. Examples of herbs and spices include curry powder, onion powder, basil, mint, rosemary, and oregano. Store dried herbs and spices in an airtight container out of the light and in a cool, dry place. To store fresh herbs, wrap on a paper towel and refrigerate in a resealable plastic bag.

Explore using Aromatics: aromatic vegetables not only bring color and flavor to meals but they also add nutritional value. They are so versatile and each provides a unique flavor and health benefits. You can add aromatics to sauces, stews, stir-fries and many other dishes. Vegetables classified as aromatics include carrots, celery, chili peppers, garlic, ginger, leeks, onions, parsnips, shallots, and scallions.

Cook more at Home: most of our sodium intake comes from highly processed foods such as ready-to-eat meals, restaurant meals, canned soups, cured meats, sauces and salad dressings. By preparing your own meals at home, you have more control over the amount of sodium that goes in your food. Try cooking with fresh ingredients and adding to your plate more wholesome foods fresh or frozen fruits & vegetables, whole grains, unsalted nuts & seeds, beans & legumes, and unprocessed meats.

Check out our fun & delicious CHEF Approved Recipes to prepare at home!

Enjoy a Colorful Variety of Fruits & Veggies

by Celina Parás, MSc, RDN, LD.
Nutrition Education Specialist, CHEF

Fruits and veggies are an important component of everyday meals. They are low in fat and calories, and packed with essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Fruits and veggies are also a source of phytonutrients, which are components that are responsible for giving plant foods their bright colors and may also promote health. To ensure you get all of the essential nutrients, try choosing from a variety of fruits & vegetables from different colors, aim for at least 5-colors a day from the many types available including:

RED: Apples, cherries, cranberries, guava, pomegranates, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon, beets, red bell peppers, radishes, tomatoes.

ORANGE/YELLOW: Apricots, cantaloupe, grapefruits, lemons, mangos, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pineapples, butternut squash, carrots, corn, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, yellow bell peppers, yellow squash.

GREEN: Avocados, green apples, green grapes, honeydew melon, kiwi, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans, cabbage, celery, cucumbers, green bell peppers, kale, leeks, okra, spinach, zucchini.

BLUE/PURPLE: Blackberries, blueberries, figs, grapes, plums, eggplant, purple cabbage, purple tomatoes.

WHITE/BEIGE: Bananas, pears, cauliflower, garlic, jicama, mushrooms, potatoes, turnips.

Tips for parents:

  • Mix it up: fresh, frozen and canned all fruits and vegetables provide essential nutrients. Frozen & canned fruits and vegetables are usually budget-friendly and practical. Select frozen fruits and vegetables closest to their natural state (i.e. no added sugars and sauces). Try rinsing and draining canned vegetables to remove excess sodium.
  • Keep it simple: sometimes fresh fruits and vegetables can be forgotten in the fridge. Try rinsing them as soon as you are back from the store and place it in a nice bowl that is easy to reach in your fridge or kitchen. Precut fruits & veggies and place them in resealable snack size bags for grab-and-go snacks.
  • Roast away: roasting vegetables caramelizes the natural sugars and enhances their flavor. Try roasting cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, onions, and sweet potatoes.
  • Homemade dips: try making yogurt-based dips to combine with fruits and veggies. Try out the following CHEF-approved recipes!

Try these amazing CHEF-approved recipes!

Rainbow Fruit Skewers with Cinnamon Dip Yogurt

Ranchy Dip with Veggies

CHEF: Teaching Pediatricians About Taste

SA! Salud America! – Posted on February 26, 2016 by Lisa.

The taste of food impacts our eating habits and, in turn, our health from a very young age, even from the womb.

On Friday, February 26th, Dr. Julie La Barba, a pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio and Medical Director of Culinary Health Education for Families (CHEF), presented to and discussed with pediatricians, medical students, and other healthcare professionals in San Antonio how taste and food preferences are formed and how these preferences can impact a child’s diet.

Dr. La Barba is committed to building a healthier culture and showing how food and medicine can work together. The new CHEF program, under Christus Santa Rosa Health Care, targets practitioners and teaches them the importance of healthy eating and how taste applies to medicine and healthcare through in local Chefs, educational videos, and taste testing.

Read Full Story at SA! Salud America!