Top 10 healthy donations

Food items can be dropped off at the U-M Frankel CVC


donation[1]As the holidays approach, many of us become increasingly aware of opportunities to donate household items, especially food, to those in need.

In support of, U-M Frankel Cardiovascular Center employees and patients will find a convenient donation cart located at the 3rd floor Frankel CVC entrance. But before you make your donation, consider tips for healthy holiday donations from U-M Registered Dietitian Nutritionists Kathy Rhodes and Sarah Meyers. The two stress the importance of donating food items that will help recipients stay in good health. Continue reading

Video: Heart-healthy shopping at your local farmers market

Michigan ranks fourth in the nation in the number of markets

Now is the right time to visit your local farmers market for fresh, delicious produce.

Michigan ranks fourth in the nation in the number of farmers markets, so If there isn’t one in your community, you’re sure to find one in a nearby city or town.

University of Michigan Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Sarah Meyers points to just a few of the benefits of shopping at a farmers market:

  • Fresh, local, heart-healthy fruits and vegetables are readily available. Choose from apples, broccoli, squash and kale, just to name a few.
  • Making friends with your area farmers gives you opportunities to learn about how your food is grown. Farmers can also teach you how to pick and prepare the tastiest produce.
  • By shopping at your local market, you’re helping the environment by reducing shipping and processing costs.
  • Produce is often less expensive than store-bought versions, so you’ll save money.
  • What you spend at your farmers market goes directly to the farmers, so it stays in the community.

Shopping at your local farmers market is a win-win for everyone: You get fresh, tasty local produce, the environment benefits and the local economy grows.

Take the next step:

Frankel-informal-vertical-sigThe University of Michigan Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center is a top ranked heart and heart surgery program among Michigan hospitals. To learn more, visit our website at

Five tips for heart-healthy eating

U-M nutritionists share favorite tips on Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist Day

fruit veggie heart blogThe theme for this year’s Nutrition Month (throughout March) is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle.” In honor of this, as well as today’s Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist Day, we asked the U-M Cardiovascular Nutrition Team to share tips for heart-healthy eating. Here’s what they had to say …

1. There’s no one size fits all

“Diets abound, from vegetarian to meat-based, from low carb to ‘the right carb’ — and everything in between. The truth is, the same diet is not right for everyone. When it comes to the best eating pattern, there is no ‘one size fits all.’ Our genetics, weight, blood pressure, cholesterol values and blood sugar are just a few of the measures that can guide us to learn the best eating pattern for each of us individually. Working with a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist is one way to learn the best eating pattern for you.” — Kathy Rhodes, PhD, RDN Continue reading

Healthy, easy camp food ideas

Top tips for nutritious eating at the campsite or on the trail

camping 320x320

Make sure your camp food menu includes healthy choices..

If you’re planning a camping trip this season, there’s a good bet s’mores and hot dogs will be on the menu. While many of us love eating these campfire treats, it’s important to make sure camp food includes nutritious items to give us the energy we’ll need for outdoor activities. Our bodies need a combination of high-quality carbohydrates, lean protein and heart-healthy fats to keep us going. With that in mind, here are some healthy camp food ideas that are both easy and satisfying.

Say yes to “good” carbs

High-quality carbohydrates supply energy to our brains and muscles. They include fruit, dairy and whole grain products. For long-lasting energy, choose whole grains with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. Here are some smart choices:


  • Fresh fruit that can be easily transported: apples, oranges, bananas, peaches, grapes and berries
  • Dried fruit (can be eaten alone or added to a trail mix or bars)
  • Squeezable fruit (fun for kids but can work for adults, too)
  • Individual fruit cups packed in juice or water

Continue reading

Energy drinks and your health

Are they safe?


The number of emergency room visits associated with energy drinks has skyrocketed since 2007.

Energy drinks — Red Bull, Monster Energy and Full Throttle, just to name a few — are the fastest-growing beverage in the entire beverage industry. In 2012, Americans spent $10 billion on energy drinks. Makers of energy drinks tend to target advertising toward children and young adults, which might explain why three-quarters of individuals age 2-22 drink at least some caffeine — the main ingredient in energy drinks — daily. Even more alarming, 63 percent of children ages 2-5 consume caffeine on a daily basis, according to the March issue of Pediatrics.

How much caffeine is safe?

Energy drinks can contain up to 500 mg of caffeine per serving. In comparison, coffee averages 100 mg per cup while cola averages 35-55 mg per 12-ounce can. Too much caffeine can lead to anxiety, hyperactivity, insomnia, increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established 400 mg of caffeine per day as a safe limit for most adults; however, the agency has not set a safe limit for children and adolescents. Continue reading

FDA proposed food label changes

New serving size guidelines reflect actual U.S. eating habits

Food labels haven’t changed much since first being introduced in 1994 by the Food and Drug Serving sizes reality checkAdministration (FDA), despite the fact that our eating habits — including what and how much we eat — have changed over the years. In addition, much more is now known about the connection between nutrition and such chronic diseases as obesity, heart disease and diabetes, which affect millions of Americans.

The FDA, with input from consumer and industry groups, recently released proposed food label changes based on new serving size guidelines. These guidelines are based on the latest scientific information, which more accurately reflects current U.S. eating habits. The new food label format is designed to be easier to read and understand, enabling us to make healthier food choices.

What to expect

The proposed guidelines include:

  • Making the “Calories Per Serving” font size larger and bolder to give consumers a better idea of how much they’re eating.
  • Providing calories and other nutrition information for the package/container serving AND for the whole package/container (for certain foods that could be eaten in one sitting).

Continue reading