Angie Placeres

Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida, says it is important if you are going to exercise in the afternoon, to make sure you are eating well throughout the day.

“Make sure you eat enough complex carbs or starches so that you have that energy source to exercise,” she recommends. She also explains within two hours of exercising you should eat some protein, because you need to supply the body with energy resources. Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida, says a DASH eating plan of 2,000 calories is more for an active male, between 20 and 30 years old, and for a female she recommends consuming 1,800 calories.

You can consume 6 to 8 servings per day of grains, lean meat, poultry and fish; 4 to 5 servings per day of vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds; and 2 to 3 servings per day of low-fat dairy. Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida, explains vegetables and fruits are similar in terms of a serving and the size of the serving should be like a small fist or a tennis ball.

About eating meat, she says you can also get protein from other sources, such as beans, legumes, rice, vegetables and dairy products. “When we consume excess amount of animal protein, it can lead to having hypertension or gaining weight,” she points out. Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida, explains DASH stands for Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension and it is about eating more wholesome foods, more fruits and vegetables and whole grains for healthy eating and modifying your lifestyle.

According to her, the foods to add to your diet are whole grains, lean proteins, low-fat dairy; and candy, cakes, pastry, fried food, salt, sugar soft drinks and sodium-heavy processed foods are the ones to drop. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist at Baptist Health South Florida, says diet and exercise are ideal in terms of dealing with any chronic disease, especially hypertension. Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says about food labels you have to look at the whole label, but one of the most important things is to look at the serving size, because that will tell you per serving how many calories there are.

She also explains cholesterol, saturated and trans fat should be as low as possible, because those tend to increase heart disease risks. Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, recommends not going hungry to the grocery store because you can grab things that you do not need.

Other tips are making a list to be organized, filling your cart with produce first, and trying to eat the fruits and vegetables that are less expensive because they are in season. Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says a symptom of diabetes is excessive thirst, and it happens because sugar starts to accumulate in the blood, and insulin is not able to do its job, so you have a rise in the blood sugar.

She also explains other symptoms are frequent urination, blurry vision, fatigue, being tired, and sluggish. Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, explains half the plate should be vegetables, one fourth of the plate, the size of a fist should be your greens, it could be whole grain rice, two slices of wheat bread, and quinoa.

She also says the other fourth will be your lean protein. This can be chicken, fish, lean red meat, pork, or anything that has to do with protein. Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, explains sugar-laden cereal is not about bad food, you only have to look at how many you are having of the sugar-laden sweets.

She also says chips are high in fat and many times we do not eat one serving. She recommends making your own at home. Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, explains a diabetes educator works with nurses, endocrinologists, and other dietitians who focus on the diabetic population.

She also says if you have not been diagnosed with diabetes but you have a strong family history, it is important to take action at that time and do not wait until you get a diagnosis and have to take medication. Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, explains the doctor will send patient home with oral medication if it is type 2 diabetes, and will recommend insulin if it is type 1 diabetes.

She points out they also tell them they have to check on sugar, and also they will send them to the certified diabetes educator to be able to get the education they need for meal planning. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist at Baptist Health South Florida, says the best exercises for lowering blood pressure are going to be the ones that just get you moving. “You don’t want to be anywhere you feel like your eyeballs are gonna come out of your head. Walking, biking and swimming at a moderate to low intensity, so if it’s a low intensity a longer duration, if it’s a moderate intensity slightly less than that, that’s gonna be your best exercise for lowering your blood pressure,” he explains.

He recommends doing something every day, because the effect that exercise has on blood pressure is progressive. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist at Baptist Health South Florida, explains exercise helps with hypertension if you consistently exercise. “Exercise one time it’s not gonna help your blood pressure except for that one time, because it uses steroids which is a hormone that relaxes the arteries,” he says.

He also explains the systolic blood pressure is the top number and the diastolic blood pressure is the bottom number. He recommends walking 30 or 45 minutes, then go home, relax and take your blood pressure, you will see the numbers go down. Elise Karnegis, Registered Dietitian & Diabetes Educator with Baptist Health South Florida, says a stress management technique is the 4-5-6 rule: breath in for 4 seconds, hold it for 5 seconds, and breath out for 6 seconds.

Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, explains stress increases blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and heart disease risks. She recommends doing meditation, taking a walk, or reading a book to manage stress. Two or three fruits in the day is the recommended serving size according to Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida.
If we talk about vegetables, the expert advises about half a cup of chopped up vegetable or one cup of leafy greens. She also recommends mixing different colors of fruits and vegetables, because they give different antioxidants which are disease fighter or preventers.
About Omega, she says it’s possible to get it from fish such as salmon, sardines, nuts and seeds. The body does change as people age affirms Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, who recommends trying to avoid chronic disease with healthy habits.
Diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases are impacted by nutrition, she affirms. When someone eats right food, he is including antioxidants which are helpful to prevent different diseases.
Ivan Saavedra, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says for older people it’s important to continue to move, because with aging the levels of oxygen decrease and people usually slow down. For older adults, Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, advises having a healthy plate whit fruits and vegetables of different colors, greens, protein which is about ¼ of the plate.
She recommends including enough calcium and vitamin D, especially if the woman is in menopause, because it increases the risk of osteoporosis.
About fats, the expert affirms it’s important to include monounsaturated fats. She advises a lot of fluids throughout the day, too. There are six essential nutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals and water. People can get most of them from food, explains Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida.
The expert says people need carbs throughout the day, even when they’re sleeping, because the body is using carbohydrates for brain, breath and heart rate.
She also says there are different sources of carbohydrates such as grains which can be considered nutrient-density foods. Brown rice, quinoa and whole wheat breads are better choices, the expert explains. Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, explains sweetened types of carbs, such as desserts, are the most harmful carbs. She affirms the new guidelines say that people have less than 10% of their calories from added sugars and 50% of daily calories from carbs is usually the norm for a younger population and active people.
Protein is important for building muscles and tissues. Six to eight ounces of protein are enough in the whole day, the expert says. Ready-to-eat chicken or turkey; pre-cooked fish, shrimp or crab; steam in-a-bag veggies or brown rice/quinoa; bagged pre-cut and pre-washed salads, fresh veggies, fruit; and frozen veggies for an easy stir-fry are healthy convenience foods.

Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, recommends looking for something as wholesome as possible and adding vegetables, fruits and lean proteins to make sure you are not overdoing a food group. People need to develop healthy eating habits as soon as possible, says Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida.
She considers healthy nutrition should start with pregnant women, because they’re the ones who are nourishing their bodies. If women breastfeed, they have different flavors in the breast milk from the foods that they are eating. When moms introduce solid foods, babies have already been exposed to a lot of those flavors.
Pediatricians recommend introducing vegetables first, because babies have a natural predisposition for sweet flavors and they are going to prefer fruits instead of vegetables, the expert explains. In the adult population of Florida 2.4 million people have diabetes, 579,000 have diabetes but do not know it, and 5.8 million people have prediabetes.

Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, highlights it is important to see your primary care physician, at least once a year, because you will be able to see if you have prediabetes before that type two diabetes takes place. There are helpful tips to prevent Type 2 diabetes, such as talking to your doctor, considering weight loss, doing regular physical activity, improving eating habits, and managing stress.

Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, recommends going to your doctor at least once a year to get your blood sugar test done, because that way you are going to know if you have prediabetes and you can see a certified educator to prevent diabetes. She points out about 70% of Americans are overweight or obese, and regular physical activity and improving eating habits are important to prevent the disease. Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, notes there is no way to know what processed food contains unless you read the ingredients list, and when looking at how many additives there are, you can get overwhelmed.

She also says FCF stands for food coloring for food, which are additives that are safe to put in the food supply. The specialist defines ultra-processed food as the highest level of processing or the furthest away from the original state. Therefore, she recommends eating the least amount of ultra-processed food. Three or four ounces or like a deck of cards is a good portion for protein for lunch or for dinner, explains Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida.
She affirms it’s important to be careful with portions of protein because it can decrease kidney function. She describes additional protein can get from plants as well some legumes or soy. Beans have a lot of iron and fiber.
The expert also affirms it’s important to include calcium, with foods or supplements, because it protects the bones against bone loss which happens after the age of 35. People need to hydrate especially if they’re involved in any kind of physical activity, says Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida.
Water is an essential nutrient. There is water in certain things: when people are drinking coffee, tea and even sodas, but nothing really replaces drinking enough water, she says.
A person needs 8 to 10 cups of water per day. A cup is 8 ounces. She advises always carrying a bottle of water. Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says fresh food is a good option for someone that goes to the farmers market and cook the same day.

She explains an average person who goes to the grocery store buys fruits that are a few days old and cook them two or three days later; whereas the frozen ones are conveniently washed, cut and frozen within minutes or hours of getting picked so they have a lot of nutritional value. Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, suggests not being such an extremist and staying away from all processed foods; instead, you can balance out your nutrition with wholesome foods and a little bit of the processed foods.

Regarding processed organic food, she recommends reading the ingredients list to see what exactly is in this product. For example, if it is bread it should say “whole” in one of the first five ingredients. Weight, age, genetics, poor physical activity, medical history, race and ethnicity are some of the risk factors of diabetes. Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, explains after the age of 45 you have higher risks of getting diabetes, and she highlights medical histories of parents and siblings are a risk factor to look for.

Elise Karnegis, Registered Dietitian & Diabetes Educator with Baptist Health South Florida, says education is the key after diagnosing diabetes. She points out the best weapon you have is your brain, because the more you learn and understand, the less you will be overwhelmed. If someone has access to a gym, Ivan Saavedra, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, recommends doing different kinds of cardiovascular equipment such as elliptical, rowing machine and treadmill.
She includes functional movements like low-skill, gross motor movements, squats, lunges and push-ups, among others.
Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, considers organization as important piece to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, explains diabetes is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the beta cells that make insulin. Those who get diagnosed with type 1 have to inject insulin for the rest of their life, because they can never make it again.

She says type 2 is more insulin resistance, which means the body is still producing, but not as efficiently as it used to and many times those individuals will take oral medications. With a picture, Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, explains how three cups of lentils soup are better than four chicken nuggets even if both have the same amount of calories (200), but lentils are very powerful nutrient-dense foods compared to nuggets.
Nutrient-dense foods have antioxidants, phytonutrients and protein, explains the expert, who also doesn’t recommend eating smoked or processed food every day. She advises taking homemade food. Preservatives, sweeteners, color additives, flavors, spices, and nutrients are some of the types of food ingredients.

Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, recommends trying to stay away from ultra-processed foods as much as you can and use the other ones more as convenience foods, as part of a healthy diet, but not as the only thing you eat. She explains preservatives like sodium increase the salt and blood pressure risk. Planning out meals or making a grocery list can be very useful for having a best nutrition, because empty calories aren’t good, especially for children. Everybody needs to take more fruits and vegetables, says Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida.
Nutrient-dense foods should be taken throughout the day and not just for lunch or dinner. The list includes fruits and vegetables, especially for kids.
The specialist also says taking different colors from fruits and vegetables is the funniest option for eating all the phytonutrients. There are different colors in the plants which help fight infections, heart disease and cancers. Elise Karnegis, Registered Dietitian & Diabetes Educator with Baptist Health South Florida, explains many people think prediabetes is not as bad as diabetes, but it is, because when you are diagnosed with diabetes it is about 10 years of fluctuations in the blood sugar and in that time there has been damage done to the heart and the blood vessels.

Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says people can be diagnosed with a blood sugar test that is done without having eaten anything for at least 8 to 10 hours before. She explains a number between 100 and 125 is considered prediabetes, and a number above 126 is considered diabetes. Water is probably the most important and essential nutrient, because the majority of people body is made up for water, affirms Ivan Saavedra, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida.
Ivan Saavedra, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, explains when people exercise, they have a metabolism and chemical reactions are taken place in their body and they sweat. Water needs to be replaced. The expert recommends drinking a gallon of water if someone is very physically active.
Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, doesn’t recommend consuming dry fruits, because they have a lot of sugar. When people drink juices they are going to miss out the fiber and other nutrients, explains Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida.
She affirms taking a whole fruit is better than drinking its juice. For example, orange itself might have 60 calories versus a glass of orange juice, which can contain 2 or 3 fruits and even 200 calories. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than six ounces of juice per day in Toddlers (children aged 12 to 36 months old). The whole fruit is good for kids, because they get the fiber.

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