Carla Duenas

Taking supplements depends on the type of supplement and the person. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida, says when we look at the population there are certain people who might need them, like pregnant women who have a nigher need for folic acid, for example.

Children have a higher need for calcium and vitamin D if they are picky eaters even more. “And also the elderly, because as we age we still need some of the same minerals, but the appetite decreases, so sometimes supplements have a place in there”, she explains.

Duenas recommends to just check with your physician, who can test to see if you are deficient and what type of supplements you need. “Eating healthy doesn’t mean that you need to eat perfect,” says Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida.

She explains eating healthy is eating balanced meals from the five food groups: protein, grains, dairy and fruits and vegetables. You should eat from three out of these five for every single meal.

Another tip is to try to eat every three or four hours to keep your energy level. Vitamin D and probiotics are very popular supplements. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida, says probiotics are very trending, because it does help with gut health.

She also explains yogurt is a natural food form of those probiotics. “”And with supplements it is really important to look at the strain of the cultures that you are taking the probiotic and also the amount to the live cultures”, she highlights.

The most common supplement is the multivitamin, it is thought as a health insurance to make sure that they have everything they need. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says the healthy eating plate is the ideal tool for healthy eating, for weight loss, it promotes health in general for heart disease, and diabetes, for example.

She explains half of the plate is vegetables, “this really increases the amount of fiber vitamins mineral”; only 25% of the plate is carbs, and the other 25% is protein. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says people think that in order to lose weight, they only have to go to the gym, but you can incorporate in your cooking routine some exercises.

“Ideally, if you’re looking to really lose weight, we really encourage people to look at what they’re eating, reducing the calories, improving the quality of the foods, and choosing the right foods,” she explains. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says most of the minerals that we get from whole grains are found in wheat containing products: “Pasta and breads, those are the ones that we think most commonly contain gluten and if we go gluten free, we can be missing some of the minerals we need”.

She explains gluten intolerance is when a particle of gluten can trigger a whole cascade of responses in the body, where it affects them negatively. Trying to get the lowest possible fat, when reading the numbers on the label when buying a product is the best way to understand the nutritional information of any product.

Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, explains with a graphic what the numbers mean. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, explains it is not just the level of exercise you are doing, but it is also about eating right, because you have to fuel your body with the right amount of calories it needs.

“With a registered dietitian you can come up to that line where your body really has the energy to feel for that particular exercise or goal that you have in mind,” she says. She recommends physical activities to improve quality of life. Nutrition and exercise are a good combination, because one can fuel the other. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida, says we need nutrition to be able to have energy and exercise, we need carbs, protein and healthy fats also.

“Food is fuel and when we think about exercising having the energy recovery that healthy food is really the fuel for your fitness and to be stronger and faster”, explains Chantis Mantilla, Exercise Physiologist at the same institution.

If you are taking the time to exercise do not revert your improvements with junkie food, choose better options. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says the idea is that if you are going to eat right before a workout you try to do it at least an hour before, so you are not digesting while you are working out.

“For example, if it’s a race or you’re really performing and you’re nervous and pressured, then your digestive system is gonna be out of whack. So, the recommendation there is to just maybe drink some kind of carbohydrate containing drink, like a sports drink,” she points out. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says supplements are not necessary, but it will depend on your goals. “We should always start with food first, that should be your basic level of your pyramid, where we get through food all these vitamins and minerals, even for the exercise performance, like creatine,” she points out.

She explains supplements are important if, for example, you are not eating enough or what you are eating your body is not metabolizing enough to be able to have an adequate level of vitamin D. She recommends talking to your health provider dietitian to determine if you actually really need it or not. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, recommends having separate cutting boards for fruits, vegetables, meats and fish in order to avoid spreading bacteria. The three most common bacteria are: salmonella, E-coli and listeria.

The specialist also recommends not using the same plate for the cooked meats and the raw meals, especially salads. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says apple cider vinegar will not burn fat: “It will not prevent carbohydrate absorption to the level that we’d want to see for prevention of weight gain, but it’s a healthy habit, it can get you on the right track for continuing your healthy habits throughout the day”.

Lucette Talamas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, explains another myth could be not eating fruit or fruit is high in sugar: “If you’re having one to two servings of fruit as part of a healthy balanced diet, there’s nothing wrong with eating fruit”. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida, recommends having one teaspoon of salt throughout the day and if you have high blood pressure is less than that, it’s about half of a teaspoon. She says you really have to be mindful of where and what are you eating.

Chantis Mantilla, Ph.D., Exercise Physiologist at Baptist Health South Florida, points out eating healthy will become a habit at some point and the same will happen with exercising if you make the effort. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida, explains how you can substitute salt in your diet. She recommends using different spices and herbs, such as red pepper, oregano and garlic powder.

“For example, if you’re buying a tomato sauce that is low salt or no salt added, consider adding a lot of oregano to it. It’s gonna bring up the flavor there. Some of the things you can try is lime juice with everything that you’re making,” she says and also recommends a blend of herbs and spices called Mrs. Dash. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says the worst thing you can do after a workout is skipping a meal, or skipping a snack: “If you don’t eat, those muscles are not gonna recover, so you might be losing weight, but that’s going to slow down your metabolism.”

She also explains the serving size for snack has to be related to the size of your hand. For example, if you are looking for protein in a snack, like a piece of string cheese, it has to be about the size of your index finger. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says to build muscle you need strength training: “It could be with your own body, or it could be in the gym with dumbbells, but you have to have some kind of resistance training exercise,” she points out.

According to her, to lose fat, cardio or any kind of aerobic exercise will help; if you’re completely sedentary getting out and walking will also help. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says it really doesn’t matter how many calories a person is consuming throughout the day, as long as those meals are spread out throughout the day.

She recommends having three meals and two snacks (in the morning and in the afternoon).

The Registered Dietitian explains the body needs energy even three or four hours and food is fuel for it. That cycle is the best to keep satiety and hunger control as well. Drinking plenty of water or other calorie-free beverages is a good tip to lose weight. Lucette Talamas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says artificial sweeteners are not the solution, although they may seem like the next step, and recommends just drinking water to stay hydrated.

Another tip is to eat something for breakfast. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says it could be a half a cup of oatmeal with some fruit in it and a tablespoon of peanut butter. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says having an excess of calories could be emotional or lifestyle related. “The main thing to remember is that calories are energy and the body runs on energy. So, we need to constantly feed it and in order to lose weight, there needs to be a deficit by consuming less calories or burning more calories than what we consume,” she explains.

She also says drastically cutting back on calories and restrict yourself from eating can be just as bad as overeating. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida, explains the American Heart Association has identified six sources of salt that can be bad for your health.

She recommends trying to cut out processed breads, rolls, cold cuts and cured meats, pizza, poultry, canned soups and sandwiches. According to her, the best option is eating at home something that you make without so many preservatives. Diet, physical activity, whether you use food to respond to stress, physiologic and genetic make-up, age and health status are some of the factors that influence body weight.

Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says those factors will determine how fast or how quickly you burn fat, where you put on weight when you gain weight and when you lose it as well.

Lucette Talamas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, explains the less sleep you are getting, the more opportunity there is to eat, and when you are sleep-deprived, the hunger hormones can be disrupted. Walking, jogging, swimming, dancing and biking are great physical activities that benefit your heart. Chantis Mantilla, Ph.D., Exercise Physiologist at Baptist Health South Florida, says the biggest thing to remember is that we really want to be in that moderate to vigorous range, so you should not be able to sing while exercising.

Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida, points out the activity you choose have to be one that you really enjoy and stick to it. Any processed meats are not recommended to be eaten at any point, because they are classified by World Health Organization as carcinogens, affirms Lucette Talamas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida.

She advises decreasing the frequency and portion of any processed meats.

Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian at the same place, also recommends not eating frequently meat, chicken or fish cooked at high temperature, because they can be carcinogen. “The recommendation is cooking over medium heat,” she says. What is charcoal good for? Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, explains the meaning of activated charcoal and how it is used to detox the body. Is there fear of eating fruits at nighttime? Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, talks about this and explains the difference between good carbs and bad carbs on fruits. What can you do for healthy eating on vacation? Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, gives some tips and recommends having a plan to avoid going overboard. There is a way to continue your healthy eating on vacation. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, talks about the importance of the portion control and how proteins, grains and vegetables should be distributed on your plate. What is the purpose of an alkaline diet? Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, talks about this type of diet and the belief that most diseases arise from an acidic environment. What happens to the body when you skip meals? Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, explains how skipping meals can affect your metabolism, and how the body will try to compensate. The mix of celebration and stress we have on holidays can cause unhealthy eating. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, gives us some tips to have a healthy meal routine during those days. Fad diets usually promise rapid weight loss, but are they safe? Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, explains why she does not recommend people to follow a fad diet, its disadvantages and dangers. Rigid food combinations, avoidance of certain foods, and confusing scientific evidence are signs of a fad diet. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, explains these and more signs, such as no mention of exercise. What is high-fat coffee? Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, talks about this coffee made with coffee, butter, and coconut oil that is used in the ketogenic diet and its health benefits. Holiday parties not always have the healthiest snacks options to keep you eating healthy. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, tells you what you can do or bring to the party, and gives some tips, such as cutting back the sugar on the recipe you are making. Paprika, parsley, and chili powder are some alkaline spices and herbs. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, explains their uses and why they are healthy spices, and talks about the properties of ginger. What is the best low sodium diet? Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, gives us some great alternatives to avoid loading our body up on sodium, and talks about the amount of calories an average American holiday meal has. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), people gain the most weight between mid-November and January. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, talks about how many pounds someone can put on during the holidays, and says how to prevent gaining weight on vacation. Metformin is the most common medication for treating diabetes, says Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida.
She affirms changes in lifestyle and nutrition are part of the equation to prevent and treat diabetes.
The expert also advises exercising and following the correct instructions of physicians. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says the night before the race is the best time to fuel your muscles, to store the carbohydrate you need for the race.

“The only mistake that people do is either eating too late, too much, or only carb loading the night before.” She recommends starting the carb loading process two to three days before the race. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, recommends eating the night before the race a plate with 50% carbohydrate, because the muscles need that protein to recover from the training.

She also points out the importance of vegetables, they are going to help with recovery, and to stay healthy so you do not get a cold or flu in the middle of the training. Lucette Talamas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says is not a good idea to skip meals during the day.

She advises, if someone has a special meal, having a light breakfast and light lunch if there’s a special situation, an early dinner.

The expert says skipping meals is unhealthy and it makes a patient go into celebration hungry. “The general person out there may feel very consumed when it comes to the topic of what to eat, especially what to eat for weight loss,” says Lucette Talamas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida.

She explains the best thing could be to trust registered dieticians, whether it’s through private consult or through articles that they write, because their job is to interpret the science for you and help make it simple. All foods are mainly made up of carbohydrates, protein and fats. They are called macronutrients, explains Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida.
She affirms all of the carbs turn into sugar at some point. In the blood this sugar is known as glucose. Insulin response is the amount of the type of carbohydrate that people are consuming.
The expert explains a graphic about the effect of carbs on BG. She says the constant spike up and crashing of insulin over the years can cause diabetes or prediabetes. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, explains that a lot of people think that protein is the most important nutrient, but when it comes to endurance sports carbohydrate is the first one, because that is what the body uses for energy to keep us running, for example.

She also says during high intensity endurance the body is relying mostly on carbohydrates. “That’s the reason why when you’re doing a half marathon or full marathon, we need to be looking at the carb fueling strategy that a lot of athletes use the night before or a few days before, which is eating more carbs to be sure the body has appropriate storage, and then during the race.” Sometimes people will have no symptoms of diabetes, but typically if blood sugar rises above a normal level, the initial symptoms of it are: fatigue, frequent urination, hungry and thirsty, affirms Lois Exelbert, Nurse Diabetes Educator and Patient Care Manager with Baptist Hospital of Miami.
Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, advises checking with the physician at least on an annual basis, because some of the symptoms can be attributed to many other things. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, says there are formulas of carbs during the race. One of them is 30-60 g per hour of running, which is 1 to 2.5 sports gels or 16 to 40 ounces of sports drinks per hour.

She explains that during the first hour that you are running you are not going to intake anything, maybe towards the last end lesson of that hour, you can have your first gel. Carla Duenas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, recommends when it comes to a gel trying one brand and you will know if that doesn’t sit well, because while running your stomach starts grumbling and you start to feel cramps.

About food, she says if you eat a piece of chicken with rice and a lot of salad and the next morning, you are running and you feel you need to go to the bathroom, it could have been the extra fiber you had. Resistance bands are very useful to do exercise at home. Chantis Mantilla, Ph.D., Exercise Physiologist at Baptist Health South Florida, says strength training is another important piece of physical activity, it is not just cardio what we have to do.

“We should try to incorporate strength activities and a variety of them at least two times a week. With someone who has heart disease it is better to do low resistance higher repetition, because they are building the muscles, they are helping with bone development and maintenance without putting yourself at risk for that high blood pressure,” she explains. If food has been left outside for more than two hours, It’s necessary to decide to refrigerate it or reheat it for preventing the spread of bacteria. This “danger zone” is known like “Two hours mark”, explains Lucette Talamas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida.

Amy Kimberlain, Registered Dietitian at the same place, also advises remembering an alternative to keep away from the “danger zone”, which is the temperature control. It is very important to know your heart rate and also to learn how to take it. Chantis Mantilla, Ph.D., Exercise Physiologist at Baptist Health South Florida, says the best way to find it is taking it in the morning and should be between 100-170 beats per minute if you are 20 years old; 95-153 bpm if you are 40 years old, for example.

She also explains your target heart rate zone should be between 50 and 85% and the maximum heart rate will be the 100% and can be taken after doing moderate or vigorous exercise. High blood pressure affects one out of three American adults and it can lead to serious consequences, like heart disease. Chantis Mantilla, Ph.D., Exercise Physiologist at Baptist Health South Florida, says exercise is essential for our health.

The American Heart recommends exercise for 150 minutes in a week and, in addition, you should be doing at least two days of moderate strength building. Lucette Talamas, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida, points out dieting is usually seen as something negative, but the reality is that we are all on a diet. “We have to accept that we just need to learn the healthier ways to eat,” she says.

She explains Fad diets don’t work, because after starting the diet, people lose the motivation and give up on continuing eating healthy and eventually they gain weight again.

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