Healthy Holiday Eating


The holiday season – it’s the most delicious time of the year! But all those tasty treats and traditional holiday foods can also mean lots of extra sugar, fat and calories.

According to the National Institutes of Health, American adults gain about one pound between Thanksgiving and the New Year. And people who are already overweight may gain up to five pounds. Although a single pound might not sound like much, most of us don’t lose the added weight. Over the years, the continuous weight gain can lead to serious health consequences including diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

“It’s definitely worth having strategies in place before the start of the holiday season to curb any potential weight gain,” says Carolyn McCune, R.D.,  a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at Mills-Peninsula. “It’s not so much what you eat on a single holiday – it’s the accumulation of treats we consume between Halloween and the New Year that really adds up.”

McCune offers the following tips to help you enjoy your favorite holiday foods without sacrificing your waistline and good health.

Read More

Which Diets Really Work?


About 45 million Americans go on a diet each year and spend an estimated $33 billion on weight-loss products. There’s the vegan diet for people who avoid meat and cheese. There’s Paleo for people who only eat meat, fresh fruits and vegetables. There’s the gluten-free diet for people shunning breads and pasta.

Which diets really work? None of them – and all of them.

“Any diet works as long as you’re on it,” says Natalya Denissov, M.D., a Mills-Peninsula family medicine doctor. “When you go off the diet you regain the weight. Sometimes you regain even more than you lost. So you really need to find an approach to eating that you enjoy.” Read More

Best & Worst Foods to Lower Cholesterol


High cholesterol is one of the major risk factors leading to heart disease, heart attack and stroke. The good news? You can lower your bad cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke with healthy lifestyle eating choices and exercise – and following a medical plan, if prescribed by your doctor.

As you may have seen in the news recently, cholesterol itself isn’t bad. We all have cholesterol in our bodies. But it’s important to learn about the difference between good (HDL cholesterol and bad (LDL) cholesterol and how it affects your health.  Take this short American Heart Association Heart Health Quiz to test your cholesterol knowledge.

In this blog post, Deborah Kurzrock, a Mills-Peninsula registered dietitian, weighs in on the best and worst foods for lowering cholesterol levels – and on the benefits of exercise to prevent or help manage bad cholesterol. Read More

Healthy Holiday Eating Tips


Traditional holiday food — such as turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, wine and all the fixings – contains an astounding 2,500 to 3,000 calories and 229 grams of fat per serving. That’s more calories and fat than adults should have in an entire day.

No wonder the average American gains one to two pounds over the holidays. More troubling, most of us never lose that extra weight, says Leah Groppo, R.D, a nutritionist with the CardioMetabolic Program located at Mills-Peninsula Health Services. Over the years, accumulated holiday weight gain can lead to diabetes, heart disease, obesity and more.

Read More

Get a Vitamin Boost Through Food

Colorful fruits and vegetables

Instead of taking supplements, look to healthy foods to boost your vitamin intake. Start with these four simple tips from Debbie Kurzrock, a registered dietitian at Mills-Peninsula’s Dorothy E. Schneider Cancer Center in San Mateo. Read More

Vitamin Supplements: Yes or No?


Half of all Americans take vitamin supplements, according to a recent Gallup poll. But are vitamins in pill form really good for you?

“Most adults with a balanced diet don’t need to take supplements,” Tarini Anand, M.D., a Mills-Peninsula internal medicine doctor, says. “In fact, 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.” Read More