Tips for Sensible Snacks


Is it healthy to snack or is this just a sure-fire way to pile on unwanted pounds?

“Snacks can be an important part of a nutritious and balanced diet,” says Valerie Spier, MPH, R.D., CDE, a registered dietitian and diabetes educator at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “But you do need to be thoughtful about the quality and quantity of snacks. It’s very easy to overdo it and too many snacks can easily derail efforts to maintain a healthy weight.” Read More

Do Vitamins Boost Health?


Americans are gobbling down their vitamins, but do vitamin supplements provide true health benefits?

“Most adults with a balanced diet don’t need to take supplements,” says Tarini Anand, M.D., a Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) internal medicine doctor. “A variety of natural foods, rather than supplements, is the best source for getting all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients you need to stay healthy.”

Proceed with Caution

“Think carefully about your diet and what supplements you are taking,” Lisa Hladik, M.D., a PAMF internal medicine doctor, says. “A supplement could potentially give you too much of one nutrient and cause a health issue.” Read More

Breakfast Made Easy


With excuses ranging from “I don’t have time” to “I work out in the morning,” breakfast has become the most skipped meal of the day. But breakfast may be one of the best things you can do for your body.

“A balanced breakfast that includes protein and healthy carbohydrates helps give you mental stamina,” says Karen Astrachan, CSSD, R.D., M.S. CDE, a nutritionist at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF). “It also helps you feel full for longer, so you won’t grab that processed high-calorie pastry or donut mid-morning, when you start to feel famished!”  

By keeping your blood sugar levels steady with a balanced breakfast, you’ll feel better all around, and get off to a good start for the day.  

There are simple, healthy choices you can pull together in just a few minutes, says Darcie K. Ellyne, R.D., M.S. CDE, who helps PAMF patients develop healthy eating habits. The key is planning ahead – shop for the right foods and prepare them in advance.

Give yourself a fresh start to the day with a healthy breakfast energy boost. Here are some recipes for quick morning meals from PAMF’s registered dietitians: Read More

Make Healthy Eating a Lifelong Habit

lifehealthyeatingblogAmericans are obsessed with losing weight, and with good cause. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 68.8 percent of the U.S. population is overweight or obese. This condition can cause a wide range of health problems, from type 2 diabetes and gallstones to coronary disease and strokes.

But despite all the headlines about one “magic diet” or another, there’s really only one way to achieve and maintain your healthy weight, says Erica Framsted, M.S., R.D. CSO, a dietitian at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.

Turn healthy eating into a lifelong habit you enjoy.

Healthy eating, she says, is not a diet. It’s more like a hobby that you can get better at over the years. Here are her tips to help you get started.

Read More

Foods to Boost Your Immune System

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Winter often brings on sniffles, coughs and sometimes the flu. Beyond a flu vaccination, what else can you do to stay healthy? Research suggests you can boost your immune system by getting enough sleep, exercising, and – most importantly – eating key healthy foods.

“The three main antioxidants that help boost our immune systems are vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E. And the best way to get those antioxidants is to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables,” says Judy Farnsworth, R.D., CDE, a registered dietitian at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.

Food That Fight Illness

Antioxidants help stabilize free radicals, which can damage the body’s cells and compromise the immune system. Different fruits and vegetables contain different types of antioxidants, so it’s important to eat a colorful variety, Farnsworth says. Stock up on green leafy vegetables, broccoli, garlic, citrus fruit and berries. Dark berries such as blueberries are especially potent, antioxidant powerhouses. Read More

Holiday Eating Can Be Healthy

Yes, Virginia, you can keep a healthy diet during the holidays, even when sugar plum fairies are dancing in your head.

The trick? Don’t deprive yourself – have a little of your favorite treats and still maintain good overall nutrition. In this video, Linda Shiue, M.D., shares her top tips for healthy eating during the holidays, including:

  • Don’t deprive yourself
  • Pre-eat: have some fruit before the party
  • Chose foods carefully
  • Drink in moderation
  • Don’t forget to exercise
  • Get enough sleep