What’s New With Nutrition Facts

Make a trip to any grocery store and you’re sure to encounter vibrant colors of red, green, yellow and blue. Grocery store aisles are filled with food packages designed to grab your attention. Each calling out: buy me! While attractive designs and bright colors are necessary for helping products stand out, they’re not the most important part of food packages. The nutrition facts label is. January 2020 brought with it a few changes to the nutrition facts label. You’ll need to understand what’s new to make informed food choices.  

What is the Nutrition Facts Label?

Look on the back of most packaged foods and beverages and you’ll find the nutrition facts label. This panel details nutrient contents like calories, fat and vitamins. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determines the information food labels should include. In 2016, FDA made updates to food companies’ labeling requirements. The new regulations took effect for large companies earlier this year. Here are a few differences you might have already noticed.


We don’t always eat the recommended serving size. Everyone knows this including food companies and FDA. For example, one half of a candy bar may be recommended but most people consume the entire bar. To reflect what people actually eat, on some food packages you can find nutrition information for the recommended serving and for consuming an entire package. This change makes it easier to determine the nutrients you’ll consume by eating an entire package without doing so much math. To make nutrition information even easier to access, we can also find serving information in larger, more bold type. 


The new label displays calorie content in larger type. This change was likely made in hopes that people would pay a bit more attention to the number of calories they’re taking in. In contrast, there’s a bit less information about calories on the label too. You can no longer find information on “calories from fat”. This could be because our society is not as fearful of fat nowadays. We’ve also learned a lot about how necessary healthy fats are in our diets. 

Added Sugars

Not all carbohydrates are created equally. Carbohydrates include those naturally occurring in foods like the lactose found in milk. They also include carbohydrates like sugar used to sweeten foods. The new nutrition facts label includes information on carbohydrates from added sugars. These are ingredients used only to sweeten food. They add calories without many nutrients. Previously, you could only find carbohydrate content broken down by “dietary fiber” and “total sugar”, not “added sugars”. 


You may notice some changes to the nutrients included on food packages. The nutrients listed on the old label included vitamins A and C. Food companies are no longer required to include vitamin A and C content information because most people consume enough. Vitamin D and potassium are required because many Americans lack proper amounts of these nutrients. Iron and calcium will continue to be included on the new label. 

The percent daily values (DV) were also updated. These percentages can be found across from nutrients. Percent DV represents the amount of a nutrient a food contributes to the consumer’s daily diet. This value is based on the daily value or amount of a nutrient recommended for Americans (4 years old and older) to consume per day. DV recommendations have been updated as we learn more about food’s impact on health. The changes in DV have led to changes in the percent daily value foods contribute. 


It’s important to understand the nutrition facts label to make educated food decisions. Changes in the nutrition facts label should reflect changes in our eating trends. As a whole, the nutrition information Americans should focus on looks different than it did in 1994, the year the previous nutrition facts label was mandated. This is because our priorities are different. Nowadays, our food challenges include things like consuming too many calories and vitamin D deficiency. Food packages should include information that will help us overcome these struggles. And now they will! The information on the new nutrition facts panel can be used to help health-conscious individuals make food choices that encourage well-being for years to come.

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Covid-19 Risk Factors and How to Manage Them

Today, we would like to center around a subject that has sparked medical interest and infectious disease research all around the world: COVID-19. More specifically, we are delving into modifiable risk factors, how to manage or prevent them, and how your medical team at Cederquist Wellness Center is ready to help you along the way.

Risk Factor #1: Metabolic Syndrome/Obesity

Metabolic Syndrome is a cluster of conditions such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat and high cholesterol levels that increases a person’s risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Unfortunately, many people with metabolic syndrome may not recognize the risk or even know that they have a combination of risk factors and those with these underlying health conditions are being shown to be at greatest risk with mortality in regards to COVID-19. When you add obesity to the equation the risk becomes even greater.

Obesity is defined as having a body mass index of 25 or higher. You can calculate your body mass index using this BMI calculator. Additionally, Cederquist Medical Wellness Center uses the latest technology to calculate measurements for total body fat percentage which can also be a very useful tool for assessing overall health and risk, as well as measuring waist circumference and extensive labs to assess metabolic risk even further.

Obesity is a serious and life-threatening chronic disease that can lead to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, lymphedema, poor blood circulation and hypertension. Having too much excess body weight puts pressure on your heart, liver, gastrointestinal tract, and respiratory system. It has also been proven that obesity can lower immune function and increase cellular autoreactivity[1]. Furthermore, observations are suggesting that the inflammation associated with these common comorbidities associated with metabolic syndrome and obesity may be strongly related to COVID-19 severity.

Now more than ever, is the time to optimize our metabolic health. Many factors come into play when determining the cause and best treatment plan for patients. It is important to remember that obesity is not “just a number” or “lack of willpower”, it is a chronic and metabolic condition that requires a specialized treatment plan and ideally, implementation of a strong support system. Practitioners at Cederquist are specially trained to aid patients in weight loss and are ready to help you make valuable changes in your nutrition, lifestyle, and overall health.

Risk Factor #2: Stress

Stress can manifest itself in many different forms. While experiencing short-term, moderate stress levels is normal, high-intensity, chronic stress can have damaging effects on our health. Studies have shown that increased levels of stress can have a profound effect on our immune system[2]. As we know, a weakened immune system can put us at greater risk for contracting disease. Recognizing when stress levels are running high is an important process in the stress relief system. Noticing odd patterns in behavior such as constant fidgeting, lack of concentration, changes in eating habits, etc. can all be signals of high psychological stress. Implementing ways of stress management such as daily exercise, adequate nutrition, and self-care practices are essential to achieving good overall health.

Risk Factor #3: Smoking

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking is one of the top risk factors for developing severe illness after being diagnosed with a COVID-19 infection. Smoking causes oxidative stress to develop within the respiratory tract as well as other systems, which depletes our antioxidant defenses and places our immune system at a disadvantage. Smokers are encouraged to increase their intake of fruits and vegetables, especially foods high in vitamin C in order to help the body replenish those much-needed nutrients and antioxidants. For those looking to reduce or eliminate their smoking habits, our team of medical professionals use an individualized, holistic approach that will help you reach your goals in a functional and safe manner.

Final Thoughts

Your trusted healthcare team at Cederquist Medical Wellness Center recognizes that these are unpredictably tough times. Despite varying changes and adjustments, health and safety should always remain a priority. We at Cederquist are constantly researching and implementing methods in which we can safely and effectively continue to provide top-quality healthcare to all.

We invite you to call 239-260-9956 to schedule a complimentary appointment to discuss how our programs can further optimize your health and decrease risk. 

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Ways To Minimize Stress And Get Better Sleep

Stress and sleep are not too commonly thought about when dealing with topics involving health and well-being. The truth is sleep and stress levels can affect everything from chronic disease risk, mood, and overall energy levels. Today, we’ll discuss how high levels of stress and poor sleep hygiene can greatly impact your overall well-being and give you tips on what you can do to improve.


The CDC reports that about 1 in 3 Americans do not get enough sleep and that correlates to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and depression[1]. Bad sleep quality can also have certain effects on your mood and cause you to make poor food choices throughout the day. So, what does effective sleep look like and how can you get the biggest snooze for your buck? Although sleep time may vary from person to person, we often recommend adults ages 25-65 years old get about 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. The American Sleep Association also recommends that you reduce consumption of caffeinated beverages, nicotine, and limit the use of decongestants before bed, as these may cause a ripple in your sleeping patterns[2].

Ways to maintain good sleeping habits include:

  1. Turning off all electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
  2. Sleeping in a dark, quiet environment with a comfortable bedspace.
  3. Participating in a relaxing activity before bed such as a warm bath or meditation session.
  4. Maintaining your sleep environment at a comfortable temperature of about 70°F.


Stress can manifest through a variety of methods including environmental triggers, neurological imbalances, unpredictable life circumstances, etc. It’s important to identify which triggers to avoid as well as learn the right tools to help manage stress. Chronic stress can lead to problems with digestion, recurring headaches, irritability, and bring on long-term health issues such as high blood pressure and heart disease.

We recommend implementing exercises that help with mindfulness and stress relief such as:

  1. Journaling. Doing this for 20 minutes can help you reflect upon the highlights of your day and remind you of your accomplishments.
  2. Getting regular exercise. Studies have shown that exercising for at least 30 minutes a day can greatly improve symptoms of anxiety and depression[3].
  3. Taking a “techno-break”. A study published in the International Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health states that excessive use of the Internet, wireless networks, computers, cellphones, and other devices can result in anxiety, frustration, and low job performance[4].

Your medical care professionals at Cederquist Medical Wellness Center know how important it is to maintain good sleep hygiene and are committed to helping you achieve improved mental as well as physical health. Along with good habits and mindfulness exercises, we offer supplements that can help enhance your sleep and help lower stress levels.  All of these are available in our Cederquist store.  Call our office to order.

• GABA- studies have indicated that GABA can help to enhance alpha wave production in the brain to promote relaxation and moderate stress, as well as support IgA levels which may support immune health.

• Metabolic Balance- The main ingredient l-theanine has been shown to promote relaxation without drowsiness and help to moderate stress as l-theanine is an amino acid derivative from tea.

• Cortisol Calm- This supplement has been known to maintain a healthy cortisol response to promote relaxation, restful sleep and positive mood.

Make sure to discuss your options with your Cederquist medical or dietary provider to help you embark on your stress-free, sleep health journey!

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Boosting Your Immunity

Boost Your Immunity

Let’s talk about immune support. There’s a conundrum of scientific papers, articles, opinionated blogs, etc. that touch on the matter of immune health, especially during this unprecedented time of COVID-19. Today, your trusty Cederquist team dives into the depths of evidence-based, peer-reviewed research in order to provide top-quality advice regarding which supplements we believe to be most effective when it comes to supporting your immune system.

Vitamin C

Researchers have observed, time and time again, that Vitamin C deficiency correlates to low immunity and puts people at a higher risk of infections. But how does this actually happen? Vitamin C is known for its antioxidative properties which help defend against environmental toxins, as well as its ability to promote phagocytosis – cellular ingestion of pathogenic bacteria.[1] This helps our body reduce inflammation associated with infections and allows for a speedier recovery. Although we always recommend getting your daily Vitamin C from food sources such as berries, kiwi fruit, broccoli, and tomatoes; supplementation may also be helpful.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is more commonly thought about when it comes to bone health, but it also plays an important part in autoimmunity. In fact, Vitamin D has been used to treat tuberculosis for centuries![2] Vitamin D is necessary for intracellular (within each individual cell) communication, specifically for immune cells.[3] As you can imagine, the better the communication within cells, the easier it is for the entire system to work together. Sources of dietary Vitamin D include salmon, portobello mushrooms, and non-fat yogurt. Supplementation is often recommended for certain groups.


Zinc is a mineral commonly found in foods like baked beans, chicken, and oysters. Zinc is traditionally known for its effects on our ability to taste and smell, DNA synthesis and even wound healing. It also supports immune health by encouraging the growth of T and B cells, otherwise known as immune cells. Similarly, to vitamin C, zinc will also promote phagocytosis.[4] We recommend that when consuming foods high in zinc, you avoid pairing them with whole grains and cereals as they contain phytates and can inhibit absorption.

N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC)

Lastly, N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine or NAC can greatly help reduce oxidative stress commonly caused by respiratory infections. NAC is needed in order to replenish stores of glutathione, an antioxidant your body uses to get rid of free radical damage. Studies have shown that glutathione has the potential to reduce inflammation in our respiratory system, especially in patients suffering from chronic bronchial infections[5].

Our Recommendations

Now more than ever, we can recognize the importance of preventative medicine. We at Cederquist Medical Wellness Center are ready to provide you with the most up-to-date, evidence-based information for you and your loved ones. So, you can rest assured that our expert team of physicians, dietitians, and wellness staff are working around the clock to get you feeling your best. Here at Cederquist Medical Wellness Center we test for micronutrient deficiencies to provide the most comprehensive nutrition analysis to determine what your needs are. Call us today to book your free consultation!

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A Midlife Middle is Risky

Your Middle-aged Middle is Risky

With ¾ of pound weight gain per year on average in mid-life, researchers found that even such a slight increase in weight leads to metabolic dysfunction, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

The incidence of diabetes in the US has doubled over the last 15 years, and mostly occurs in adults from age 65-79.  

This follows on the heels of the fact that 70% of US men and women 60 or older are overweight or obese.

Most physicians know that adiposity is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes among, young and middle aged adults.  There are certain lifestyle choices that contribute  to the gradual weight gain the many people experience starting in their middle years.

Many of the small lifestyle choices adults can make, such as individual food choices, the quantity of sleep they get, their alcohol intake, and TV-watching habits all affect weight in surprising ways.

This challenges the conventional wisdom that it’s just a balancing act of calories consumed vs. calories burned.

A diet with more high-fat or high-carbohydrate foods promote weight gain. Most of the foods that were positively associated with weight gain were starches or refined carbohydrates.  Researchers could not find a significant difference between low-fat vs. skim milk vs. whole milk, and the consumption of nuts was associated inversely with weight gain.

A matter of not just quantity, but also quality. The type of diet associated with less weight gain is the same diet that is linked to less diabetes and less heart disease.  Important too, is the fact that with diabetes and heart disease, treatment is difficult, while prevention is more effect and more important.

With ¾ of pound weight gain per year in mid-life, researchers found that even such a modest increase in weight has implications for long-term adiposity-related metabolic dysfunction, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

Participants’ weight increased with higher consumption of potatoes, refined grains, 100% fruit juice, sugary sodas, alcohol, processed meats, and unprocessed meats. 

When the subjects had increased intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and yogurt, this led to weight reductions.

Small changes in diet and lifestyle can make a big difference for bad or for good.  It’s important to pay attention to that because the weight creeps on so slowly. Adults in middle age often overlook these types of gains because they are so gradual.  Diabetes risk multiplies with each pound gained, and this is much easier prevented than treated.

Mozaffarian D, Hao T, Rimm EB, et al.  Changes in diet and lifestyle and long-term weight gain in women and men. N Engl J Med 2011; 364: 2392-2404

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Call on your Dietitian

Call on Your Dietitian – It’s good for your Weight Loss

In Naples, many of our patients are seen during season, and then return home for the summer months.  One of the best ways we have found to help patients who still desire to lose weight over the summer is to touch base with them via weekly phone contact or email from a dietician.

The research shows we may be on to something.

In a study published by Annals of Internal Medicine in 2009, researchers found that high frequency, or weekly, contact by a dietitian over the phone is even more helpful for losing weight than low frequency contact with a dietitian face to face.  The study participants who spoke with a dietitian each week on the phone had more weight loss than any other group, with the most weight loss being in the group that had high-frequency face to face contact with a dietitian.

Participants were evaluated after 6 months for change in body weight, waist circumference, lipid, glucose, and insulin levels, as well as blood pressure, weight-related symptoms, and quality of life.  All patients received a lifestyle manual, access to a weight loss website, instructions for energy intake, pedometers, a daily goal of 10,000 steps, and behavioral strategies.

Based on the results of the study, the type and frequency of lifestyle counseling support have a profound effect on weight loss.  Participants lost the greatest amount of weight when exposed to frequent face to face contact, then frequent phone contact, followed by low frequency face to face, high frequency email, and no dietitian contact.

Physicians typically have difficulty implementing lifestyle counseling despite the additional benefits of combining both weight-loss medication and lifestyle modification programs.  As a clinical practice based on creating and developing healthy lifestyle changes and weight management, we are able to provide this service to patients to help them improve their health on so many levels.

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Healthy Weight Reduces Cancer Risk and Improves Outcomes

There are more than one half million cancer deaths in the United States each year, and one third of these deaths are attributed to sub-optimal diet and physical activity practices. Maintaining a healthy weight, staying physically active throughout life, and consuming a healthy diet can substantially reduces the lifetime risk of developing cancer, as well as influence overall health and survival after a cancer diagnosis.

The American Cancer Society’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines serve as a source document for communication, policy, and community strategies to improve dietary and physical activity patters among Americans. In 2006 they published updated guidelines for the primary prevention of cancer and guidelines for improving outcomes among cancer survivors through tertiary prevention.

The two sets of guidelines have similar recommendations, including: achievement and maintenance of a healthy weight; regular physical activity of at least 30 min per day and at least five days per week; a plant-based diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and low in saturated fats and red meats; and moderate alcohol consumption, if at all.

The strongest current evidence for primary prevention and for improving outcomes after a diagnosis of cancer relates to the achievement of a healthy weight. Overweight and obesity are known risk factors for several types of cancers, and the evidence is increasing for other types. Thus, cancer survivors and persons hoping to reduce their primary risk of cancer should be encouraged to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight (BMI = 18.5-24.9 kg per m2).

Strong evidence also suggests that increased levels of physical activity reduce the riks for colorectal and breast cancers. In addition, evidence of benefit is accumulating for cancer survivors. Moderate-to vigorous levels of physical activity of at least 30 min per day on at least five days per week are recommended, although benefits related to colorectal cancer may require higher levels, i.e., at least 60 minutes per day). Some examples of moderate-intensity activities include: walking; dancing; horseback riding; yoga; golfing; mowing the lawn; and job-related walking and lifting. Examples of vigorous-intensity activities include: jogging or running; fast bicycling; circuit weight training; aerobic dance; soccer; cross-country skiing; and heavy manual labor (e.g. forestry, construction).

Alcohol is associated with a higher risk for a variety of cancers. Risk is largely apparent at levels of more than two drinks per day for men and more than one drink per day for women. However, moderate alcohol consumption is protective against cardiovascular disease, a significant comorbid condition among cancer survivors.

Physicians are encouraged by the American Academy of Family Physicians to find teachable moments to impart appropriate nutrition, physical activity, and weight management guidance to their patients and to support policies and programs that can improve these factors in the community to reduce cancer risk and improve outcomes after cancer.

Amercian Family Physician June 1, 2008. Volume 77, Number 11 pp1573-1578.

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Exercise as an Appetite Suppressant

Aerobic Exercise as an Appetite Suppressant

In a small study of overweight and obese adults, 3 months of aerobic exercise, with no change in diet, led to a significant decrease in body fat and a spontaneous decrease in caloric intake.  The percentage of weight loss and the reduction in caloric intake correlated positively and significantly with concentrations of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which plays a role in appetite regulation.  Increases of this compound may possibly suppress appetite.

In the study, researchers evaluated blood levels of BDNF before and after 3 months of aerobic exercise in 15 overweight or obese men and women.  The participants ages 26-51 years exercised on a treadmill and bicycle.

At the end of the 3-month exercise period, study subjects experienced a significant decrease in BMI (from 30.6-30.1), waist circumference (from 108.1 to 105.1cm) and percentage body fat (35.2 to 33.3%).  They also experienced a fall in systolic blood pressure (128.7 to 122.6 mmHg) and diastolic blood pressure (82.3 to 72.6 mmHg) and spontaneously consumed fewer calories each day.

Serum BDNF rose from 2.4 ng/mL before exercise to 7.8 ng/mL after exercise, and the concentration of BDNF was correlated positively with the percentage of weight loss to a fairly high degree.

This is great news for patients who struggle with appetite control, and may be an option to take the place of appetite suppressant medications.

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Do Artificial Sweeteners make you eat more?

New evidence from epidemiological studies may shed some light as to why artificial sweeteners may make you eat more.  For example, drinking one can of diet soda per day was associated with a 34% increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome, compared to those who did not drink any carbonated beverages.  People who drank the sugar-sweetened versions had a 10% increase in risk.

It’s not clear why artificial sweeteners may make weight gain more likely, but preliminary data suggest that it could be due to the brain’s reaction.  One study compared the brain activity of 12 healthy women fed sugar or the artificial sweetener sucralose.  Both substances activated areas of the brain associated with pleasant taste, but sugar had a stronger effect in those areas that played a role in expectation and satisfaction.  The authors suggest the finding indicates sugar may turn off the desire for more sweetness, but artificial sweeteners do not.  Additional calories are needed to get it to stop.

The other side of the argument is that many people lose weight by eating artificially sweetened foods as part of their weight-loss plan.  Continued mechanisms are being researched that may link artificial sweeteners with increased food intake. Plans for observational research are being made to determine if an association between diet soda and the development of insulin resistance and other metabolic issues exists.

Recipes Resources Home

Pork Chops with Onion Mushroom Gravy

Pork Chops:

  • 4 boneless center cut pork chops (5oz each chop)
  • 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound of button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 fresh garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ cups low sodium beef stock or vegetable broth
  •  Cooking spray
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Fresh thyme sprigs, 3
  1. Clean and slice mushrooms.
  2. Preheat large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Add mushrooms to the dry pan and cook for about 4 minutes or until caramelized.
  4. Slice shallots and garlic and set aside.
  5. Remove mushrooms from the pan and set aside.
  6. Coat pan with cooking spray, add shallots and garlic, cook for about 2-3 minutes or until caramelized. Remove and place with mushrooms.
  7. Add the pork to the pan and brown both sides, about 5 minutes each side. Remove the pork and set aside.
  8. Add the pork to the pan and brown both sides, about 5 minutes each side. Remove the pork and set aside.
  9. Reduce heat to medium, add the thyme and allow the stock to reduce to half.
  10. Return pork chops to the pan, reduce heat to low. Cover and cook the pork for 5 minutes or until the pork is fully cooked through.
  11. Remove pork chops and set aside. Discard thyme stems. Add oil to the pan and stir. Then add mushrooms, shallots and garlic and stir all together in pan to make gravy.
  12. Top pork chops with gravy. Serves 4.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: One 5oz chop
Calories 269
Total Fat 11g
Saturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 106mg
Sodium 275mg
Total Carbohydrate 5g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 1g
Protein 35g