Friday, October 24, 2008

What Does a Dietitian Eat? (Day 4)

Here is the fourth day of what I eat.

Thursday October 23nd
  • Breakfast - Non-fat Greek yogurt with pomegranate seeds, almonds, and maple syrup; toast with peanut butter
  • Lunch - Half of a croissant sandwich with turkey, ham, mustard, lettuce, and tomato; 1/2 cup pasta salad with olives; 1/4 cup carrot and raisin salad; 1/3 piece lemon raspberry cake; coffee with sugar and half & half; water
  • Snack - Soyjoy bar (I don't recommend was a free sample)
  • Dinner - Omelet (3 whites and 1 1/2 yolks) with sauteed mushrooms, tomatoes, green onions, bell peppers, and reduced-fat cheese; salad with butter lettuce and oregano-Dijon-lemon vinaigrette; water
  • Snack - apple

Approximately: 1525 calories (40% fat, 18% protein, 42% carbs); 21 g saturated fat (12%), 423.5 mg cholesterol, 16 g fiber, 739.5 mg calcium

My target numbers: 45 - 65% carbs, 20 - 35% fat, 10 - 35% protein (less than 10% saturated), at least 25 g fiber, less than 300 mg cholesterol, at least 1000 mg calcium

Comments: This day is a perfect example of why it is so important to eat at home as often as possible. I was invited to attend the LSU Bengal Belle's luncheon yesterday at the Sheraton Hotel. It was a fun event - two of the football coaches and several of the players spoke, door prizes were given away (I didn't win anything), and vendors were selling all thing LSU. When we were seated, all of the food was already on the table: a turkey/bacon/ham/cheese croissant sandwich (lettuce and tomato on the side), pasta and olive salad (vinaigrette dressing), carrot and raisin salad (mayo dressing?), and a piece of lemon raspberry cake. Nothing looked particularly good, but I couldn't sit there and not eat. So I started with the sandwich and removed the bacon and cheese and only ate about 1/3 to 1/2. I had some of the pasta salad and a little of the carrot salad (the carrot salad was actually not bad...I'll have to do a make-over version at home...without the mayo). I made sure to save room for the cake, which looked really yummy. But it wasn't! I had a few bites and decided it wasn't worth it. The coffee was good but there was only half & half, and since I don't like my coffee black I had to use it (which made the coffee even better!)

So I did myself a favor by not eating very much at lunch. But, even though I only ate part of it, I still had over 500 calories worth of food (including 24 g fat and 9 g saturated fat). Just think if I would have eaten everything...1000 plus calories, more than 50 g fat, and over 20 g saturated fat.

The real problem, however, is that I didn't plan ahead for this meal or compensate for it afterwards. If I would have thought ahead that the meal I would be served would be so high in fat I wouldn't have had peanut butter with my breakfast. And I should have cut back on the fat at dinner time (dressing, egg yolks, and cheese). I wasn't over on calories for the day by any means, but I was over my limit of percent calories from saturated fat and total fat and also on cholesterol.

I was short on fiber and calcium. My breakfast usually provides the bulk of my fiber for the day (usually from oats and fruit) and a good amount of my calcium (from milk or a latte).

Remember a few days ago I said I don't eat a "low-carb", "fat-free", or "high-protein" diet...I try to eat a balance of all three because our bodies NEED fat, protein, and carbs, but healthy versions.

Healthy protein sources are those that don't have too much fat and saturated fat. This would include some animal sources:

  • chicken and turkey (breast meat, no skin)
  • pork (tenderloin, loin chop)
  • beef (top round or eye round, 95% fat-free ground, sirloin, tenderloin)
  • lunch meat (less than 3 g fat per serving)
  • fish (catfish, cod, flounder, haddock, halibut, salmon, tilapia, trout, tuna)
  • shellfish (crab, lobster, shrimp, oysters)
  • low fat dairy (milk, yogurt, and cheese with less than 3 g fat per serving)
  • egg whites or egg substitute

And plant sources:

  • beans (all)
  • soy products (tofu, edamame, tempeh)

Nuts and seeds (including nut butter) also provide some protein, but are high in fat (the healthy kind) and should be eaten in moderation (1/4 cup nuts or 2 Tbsp nut butter).

Reduced fat cheese (3 - 5 g fat per serving) and full fat cheese (8+ g fat per serving) are also a good source of protein and calcium, and although the fat content might be high, its worth it to moderation (no more than 1 oz per day on most days). I'll trade fried food for cheese any day!

All of the fat in eggs are in the yolk, about 5 g in each. But not much of it is saturated (about 1.5 g) and its full of fat-soluble vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. So I don't mind eating the yolks on occasion. And P.S...if you buy omega-3 fortified eggs and throw the yolks out, you are pouring money down the drain!

And remember, its not that you can't EVER have high-fat protein sources...just not very often. Believe me, I can't live without a pot roast during the winter!


  1. Blair, I'm really enjoying your blog, particularly this "what does a dietitian eat". So, where's the recipe for the oregano-Dijon-lemon vinaigrette? Your blog always gives me good ideas. What's your take on agave? Do you use it?

    April in Katy

  2. I'll post the salad dressing sometime tomorrow.

    And I do use agave, but not exclusively. Its metabolized a little differently, and doesn't have the same effect on blood sugar as regular sugar does...which could be a good thing. But I've also read that because it is higher in fructose (a type of sugar other than glucose) it may lead to fatty acid production = possible increase in body fat??? This is also a theory concerning high fructose corn syrup.

    So I don't think its a good idea to switch to only using agave instead of sugar...use it sometimes (it is natural after all) and use other sweeteners as well. I use sugar, honey, agave, maple syrup...

    Instead, just try to eat fewer sweet things!

  3. Blair, I am enjoying reading your blog. I share alot with Me-Me. I am trying to change a little at a time. Went to Fresh Market to get a start. Maybe you can help me someday. I was looking for your salad dressing could not find it. Take care! Love, Sherrie