Catching up on Omega-3’s

I am a health conscious dietitian and try to practice what I preach. So of course when I learned of the scientific evidence that eating oily fish is associated with reduced cardiovascular risk and decreased inflammation, I resolved to eat the recommended 3.5 ounces of salmon twice a week.

As time passed and I reflected on my week’s intake of the recommended oily fish (salmon, mackerel, lake trout, herring or sardines) I realized I was falling short every week by one serving. Yes, I had a laundry list of excuses that sounded like many of my own clients,

“My kids don’t like fish.”

“I have to make two meals to accommodate everyone’s tastes.”

“I didn’t have any in the house to prepare.”

“They ran out of fresh salmon at the market.”

“The price was too high this week.”


So my answer to my shortcoming was to purchase canned salmon and come up with a recipe that takes me no longer than fixing  a can of tuna. This is what I came up with:



1 7.5 oz. canned salmon or 1 cup fresh cooked salmon, flaked

1 stalk celery, sliced

1 sliced green onion, sliced

4 slices tomato

shredded lettuce


1 T canola oil

½ T white wine vinegar

1 t Dijon style mustard

½ t fresh thyme

1/8 t minced garlic

cracked black pepper to taste

Directions: Remove skin from salmon and flake. Add to bowl with chopped celery, and green onion. Set Aside. Mix dressing ingredients together and blend. Pour over salmon and mix. Divide between two slices of wheat bread. Add lettuce and tomato. Serves 2.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 288 calories; 28 g protein; 15 g carbohydrate; 13 g fat; 2 g saturated fat ; 86 mg cholesterol; 595 mg sodium

Please let me what you think about this recipe or what  ideas you  have to improve it.

Diane Boyd, M.B.A., R.D., L.D.N.

Are Athletes Getting Ripped Off By Dietary Supplements?

Billions of dollars are spent on nutritional supplements every year. However, this profitable industry is not held to strict standards of providing pure, safe or effective products. The most recent case I have heard about relates to the circumstances surrounding sprinter Michael Rodgers, the former 2009 National Champion for the 100 meter dash. He qualified for this years team  when he placed third at nationals. Now reports speculate he may have lost his eligibility by testing positive for a stimulant, methylhexameamine, found in an energy drink.

Where is the responsibility in the nutritional supplement industry? Unfortunately, the responsibility falls on the consumer! It is the consumers responsibility to know that supplements are not pure, safe, or necessarily effective.

Beware: when you take a nutritional supplement there is nothing protecting you from potential harmful ingredients or from false or misleading claims.

If you are concerned about optimizing your sport performance,  you should be concerned about properly fueling your body. Food is your body’s fuel. Consider wholesome foods which provide a better nutritional value than any supplement.

Are you aware that:

• Food can provide the same nutrients a supplement does.

• Nutrients are absorbed better from food than they are from supplements.

• There are no side effects to food.

• Plant foods contain phytochemicals in amounts that are likely to promote health. Supplements frequently add these substances in large amounts which can be dangerous.

• Available scientific evidence does not support claims that taking phytochemical supplements is as helpful as consuming the fruits, vegetables, beans and grains from which they are taken.

• Food is cheaper.

• Most would agree, food tastes better.

It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that the best way to meet nutritional needs is by a wide selection of a wide variety of food. They  point out that food, particularly plant based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds and teas have a myriad of other health promoting substances beyond vitamin and minerals-including carotenoids, polyphenols and flavonoids. These are substances linked to preventing or reducing the risk of certain diseases.

Amy Bragg, R.D., C.S.S.D., L.D., Director of Performance Nutrition at the University of Alabama and Vice President of the Collegiate and Professional Sport Dietitians Association believes there would be less reliance on supplements if athletes had better access to whole foods which offer benefits that supplements do not.

Athletes deserve to know what they’re eating is safe and supports their training. They spend enormous amounts of time practicing, drilling and conditioning. They can’t afford to be sick, under or overfed, or fatigued. A diet made of whole foods, wisely chosen from a broad spectrum of real foods and varied daily is the best way to meet an athlete’s nutritional needs.

Published by Diane Boyd.

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