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Know More About Sugar

By Brandon Bolton, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

This week is Sugar Awareness Week. It is a time to spread awareness and prevalence of sugar and the damaging too much sugar can have our bodies. During Sugar Awareness Week, we should set a few goals to help reduce how much sugar we eat and drink – especially with added sugar. A great place to start is to understand sugar a little more. These healthy habits can carry forward for the rest of the year!

Natural sugars are found in foods such as fruit and milk. Added sugars are found in processed foods like soda, fruit juice, candy, cookies, cakes, breakfast cereals, condiments, and much more. A diet high in added sugars can cause weight gain and an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, fatty liver disease, and much more.

The American Heart Association recommends most women consume no more than 24 grams of added sugars (6 teaspoons) daily, and men should consume no more than 36 grams of added sugar (9 teaspoons) daily. Children ages 2-18 should try to eat less than 24 grams of added sugar daily. For reference, the average person in the United States consumes around 71 grams of added sugar per day (17 teaspoons). Be sure to check your food label to get a better understanding of how much sugar is in your food.

Here are some tips on how to decrease your intake of added sugars:

  • Swap sodas, juices, sweetened teas, and energy drinks for water or unsweetened seltzers.
  • Drink your coffee black or use a zero-calorie sweetener such as Stevia.
  • Try plain yogurt and add fresh or frozen berries.
  • Consume whole fruits and vegetables instead of sugar-sweetened smoothies.
  • Replace candy with a homemade trail mix of fruit, nuts and a few dark chocolate chips.
  • Use olive oil and vinegar in place of sweet salad dressings like honey mustard.
  • Look for cereals, granolas, and granola bars with under 4 grams of sugar per serving.
  • Use natural nut butters instead of sweet spreads like Nutella.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages that are sweetened with soda, juice, honey, sugar, or agave.
  • Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, focusing on fresh, whole ingredients.
  • Try to prepare meals at home, it can be hard to tell how much sugar is in foods when eating out.
  • Consume a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Check nutrition labels to see how much sugar is in your product.

If you have any questions regarding sugar or any other nutrition related concerns, please reach out to one of NOAH’s Registered Dietitians!

Healthy Weight Week: Healthy is More Than Your Weight

By Mina Goodman, Registered Dietitian 

The name Healthy Weight Week can be somewhat misleading. What most people think of with “healthy weight” might be getting on the scale, setting a new weight goal, or starting a 2021 crash diet. This week is more so about finding your healthy weight which can be determined by making small and personalized diet and lifestyle changes. Although Body Mass Index (BMI) and weight changes might give us an idea of health, it is only one piece of the puzzle to a healthy life. That’s why it is important to recognize other factors that affect weight, health, and happiness.  

Instead of counting calories or restricting how much you eat, try these to help achieve to a healthy weight: 

  • Accept your body shape and size.

Each body is not the same shape and size, which may be important when setting expectations for realistic weight loss goals. It’s difficult to judge a book by its cover when it comes to health because it is assumed that people at higher weights are sicker or live shorter lives. Research has shown that people in overweight and obesity class I BMIs may have improved longevity compared with normal weight, underweight, and obesity class II or greater BMIs.  

  • Find movement you enjoy.

Exercise doesn’t have to be training for a marathon. Taking a walk with friends, family, or a good playlist is a good option. Experiment with online work out videos, swimming, biking, roller skating/blading, yoga, tai chi, gardening or other home projects, and whatever other activity you can think of. No matter your weight, physical activity is important to do on most days.  

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables are full of fiber, water, vitamins, minerals, and energy for our body to use. Eating more whole and plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds can reduce risk of chronic diseases and help to maintain or lose weight.  

  • Try to stress less.

If our bodies are in a constant state of stress, it can be difficult to maintain weight. Here at NOAH, we have behavioral health services like counseling and psychiatry to help manage stress, anxiety, and depression that may be affecting how difficult is to lose weight.  

  • Sleep quality matters.

Sleep is another factor affecting weight and health. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per day and that should be quality sleep not altered by drugs or alcohol. Having a nighttime routine can help improve the quality of sleep. This can include turning off screens a few hours before bed or having a hot cup of herbal tea at the end of the night – you can make the routine your own or look online for other common routine tips and ideas.  

  • Drink enough water.

Most adults need at least half a gallon of water daily, which is 64 fl oz. Others may need up to a gallon per day. The body cannot work as well without being properly hydrated so look for ways to increase your fluid intake through herbal/sugar free teas, naturally flavored seltzers, or herb/fruit infused waters. If plain water works for you, try carrying a water bottle wherever you go, setting reminders on your watch or phone, or leaving bottles/glasses in places you usually sit or by your bed to start drinking first thing in the morning. 

Remember, being healthy isn’t necessarily about what the scale says. Many people can be healthy, or at least healthier, by making a few of these intention changes in their daily lives. If you want additional assistance, guidance, and support to living healthier, contact NOAH about our Nutrition Services.

Diet and Lifestyle Tips for Cancer Prevention

By Mina Goodman, RDN

While there is still much research to be done on what causes cancer, there are still some easy tips for cancer prevention and healthy living.

To reduce your risk, consider these tips:

  •  Limit processed and fatty meats – these include bacon, sausage, hot dogs, and lunch meats. Try for more fish, poultry, and plant based proteins (beans, tofu, tempeh, seitan, nuts, seeds, or soy products).
  • Choose foods with more nutrients – limit added sugars, sodium, saturated fats and trans fats. Look for choices rich in vitamins and minerals instead such as fruits, vegetables, and other plant based foods.
  • Eat more plants – these include, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. Aim for 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily!
  • Increase (or maintain) your level of physical activity – try to move your body for at least 30 minutes a day, most days. This can be walking, biking, swimming, dancing, online workouts, or whatever you enjoy.
  • Avoid alcohol – if you do choose to drink, limit your intake to one serving a day for women or two servings a day for men. One serving is estimated at 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of liquor.
  • Avoid tobacco or smoking in any form – if you need help quitting find the resources you need at NOAH
  • Drink plenty of water – drink at least eight 8 oz. glasses per day (64 oz. or 4 bottles of water or to drink half your body weight in ounces (so someone weighing 200lbs would drink 100oz daily).
  • Try a Mediterranean diet – this way of eating focuses on plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. When possible choose healthy fats, such as olive oil, over butter and fish instead of red meat.

Getting started on a healthier lifestyle can be one way to focus efforts on cancer prevention and to prevent other diseases. Working with one of NOAH’s Registered Dietitian Nutritionists is a great first start. Make an appointment today!

Creating a Positive Body Image by Stephanie Olsinski, MS, RDN

In learning about eating disorders and how they can affect everyone, it is important to care for not only those affected but for yourself to ensure that you are always taking care of your health, both mental and physical. 

NEDA created a list of 10 Steps to Positive Body Image which is shared below:

  • Appreciate all that your body can do. Every day your body carries you closer to your dreams. Celebrate all of the amazing things your body does for you like running, dancing, breathing, laughing, dreaming, etc.
  • Keep a top 10 list of things you like about yourself such as things that aren’t related to how much you weigh or what you look like. Read your list often. Add to it as you become aware of more things to like about you.
  • Remind yourself that “true beauty” is not simply skin-deep. When you feel good about yourself and who you are, you carry yourself with a sense of confidence, self-acceptance, and openness that makes you beautiful regardless of whether you physically look like a supermodel. Beauty is a state of mind, not a state of your body.
  • Look at yourself as a whole person. When you see yourself in a mirror or in your mind, choose not to focus on specific body parts. See yourself as you want others to see you; as a whole person.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. It is easier to feel good about yourself and your body when you are around others who are supportive and who recognize the importance of liking yourself just as you naturally are.
  • Shut down those voices in your head that tell you your body is not “right” or that you are a “bad” person. You can overpower those negative thoughts with positive ones. The next time you start to tear yourself down, build yourself back up with a few quick affirmations that work for you.
  • Wear clothes that are comfortable and that make you feel good about your body. Work with your body, not against it.
  • Become a critical viewer of social and media messages. Pay attention to images, slogans, or attitudes that make you feel bad about yourself or your body. Protest these messages: write a letter to the advertiser or talk back to the image or message.
  • Do something nice for yourself; something that lets your body know you appreciate it. Take a bubble bath, make time for a nap, find a peaceful place outside to relax.
  • Use the time and energy that you might have spent worrying about food, calories, and your weight to do something to help others. Sometimes reaching out to other people can help you feel better about yourself and can make a positive change in our world.

Our Care Team at NOAH are here to help you create & manage your healthy lifestyle habits. Need help setting or sticking to your goals? Call 480-882-4545 today!

What is Healthy Weight Week? By Rhyan Geiger, RDN

Healthy Weight Week (January 19-25) is a week to celebrate making healthy lifestyle choices by eating nutritious foods, living actively and embracing body positivity. Diets aren’t beneficial in creating lifelong habits that lead to overall improved health. This week is about ditching diets and creating healthy habits instead. During Healthy Weight Week, hide your scale and avoid other measurements like calorie counting. Love yourself and love your body. Change your thinking this week and focus on these goals instead: 


• Set realistic health guidelines for yourself.
• Accept your weight and embrace who you are.
• Focus on positive lifestyle changes.
• Change your thoughts. Erase negative thoughts and begin positive self-talk: “I am beautiful” “I am strong.”
• Do not diet or obsess on food, weight, or calories.
• Eat Mindfully. Eat when hungry, stop when full.
• Move your body in a fun way, not because you feel like you have to.
• Relax. Take time out for yourself.


Change your thinking and follow our goals instead! At NOAH, we’ll work with you and your #child to choose the best path for their overall #health and #wellness. Please call for an appt. at 480-882-4545.

One Stop Shop

Who has time to drive all over town for medical, dental and or specialty visits during the week? Do you even have the ability to take days off work for such outings? No, of course not! That’s what makes Community Health Centers special. We are One-Stop-Shops – get all services at one location, and we are right in your community. Learn about our integrative care model!


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