NYSAND in the News

6 Healthier Alternatives to Sports Drinks According to Dietitians - featuring Jonathan Valdez, NYSAND Media Spokesperson

Jonathan Valdez, owner of Genki Nutrition and the spokesperson for New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, recommended drinking orange juice fortified with calcium and vitamin D.

"Not only does it have electrolytes like sports drinks," he said, "but it also has concentrated antioxidants such as hesperidin that may fight off high blood pressure and cognitive decline."

WATCH: How an Artist is Humanizing the Homeless; What's Up with the Kombucha Craze? - featuring Hannah Smith, NYSAND Media Spokesperson (1/31/2019)

5 Simple Swaps for Making Pizza Healthier - featuring Jonathan Valdez, NYSAND Media Spokesperson (1/15/2019)

"The unhealthiest part of pizza is the sausage, pepperoni, or ham that is used," said Valdez. "These are high in saturated fat and sodium."

"Most people don't eat the recommended amount of five servings of fruits and vegetables," said Valdez, who recommends adding spinach, mushroom, garlic, bell peppers, onions, and olives to pizza. "By swapping [unhealthier toppings] for more vegetables or fruit (like pineapple), you will have the benefits of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B-complexes, manganese, selenium, iron, potassium, copper, and other antioxidants."

For those watching their carbohydrate intake, Valdez points to cauliflower crust as an alternative that has been increasingly popular.

"Different brands make their crust differently, so you would have to look at the nutrition label, but in general [cauliflower crusts] are less in carbohydrates, fat, and calories and higher in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorous," said Valdez.

7 Healthier Ways to Satisfy Your Chip Craving, According to Experts - featuring Jonathan Valdez, NYSAND Media Spokesperson (1/8/2019)

When it comes to chips, "it's the matter of frequency and amount of chips you consume that will make an unhealthy habit," Valdez told INSIDER.

He calls out trans fats or hydrogenated oils as something to avoid. "Trans fat is responsible for increasing bad cholesterol or LDL and decreasing good cholesterol or HDL. High amounts put consumers at greater risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart attacks," said Valdez.

Sodium is also a big one. "The average American consumes greater than 3,400 milligrams of sodium, while the recommendation is lower than 2,300 milligrams by the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans," said Valdez.

"Baked chips are the bomb," said Valdez. "They still have that crispiness but at lower calories."

He recommended Lay's baked potato chips. An ounce (about 17 chips) has 120 calories, 3.5 grams of fat (no saturated or trans fat), 160 milligrams sodium (7% daily value), and 2 grams of sugar. Valdez also likes Tostitos oven-baked scoops, with 120 calories, 3 grams of fat (including 0.5 grams saturated fat), 140 milligrams sodium, and 0 grams sugar for every ounce - about 16 chips.

Valdez recommended pairing hummus with celery or carrots for a satisfying snack.

Oat Milk: This Dairy Alternative Keeps Selling Out Everywhere, But is it Healthy? - featuring Jonathan Valdez, NYSAND Media Spokesperson (1/8/2019)

What is oat milk?

You guessed it: Oat milk is made with oats. Typically, it’s made from steel-cut oats or whole groats (hulled oat grains) that are soaked in water, says Jonathan Valdez, RDN, ACE-certified personal trainer, owner of Genki Nutrition and media representative for the New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Once the oats are fully soaked, the mixture is blended and then strained. The result is a creamy-like texture that people like to sub for cream in their lattes.

Another downside is that oat milk has to be fortified with vitamins and minerals in order to improve the nutritional content, “and it doesn’t compare to the benefits of eating actual oats,” Valdez says. In fact, the oat milk you see in stores has minimal amounts of fiber and protein, which is what makes oatmeal a nutritious and filling meal. Many oat milk brands also pump their beverages with added sugar to improve the taste

Dietitian Share Healthy Holiday Treats - featuring Hannah Smith, NYSAND Media Spokesperson

Putting You First: A Healthier Holiday - featuring Hannah Smith, NYSAND Media Spokesperson (11/19/2018)

Is Seltzer Actually Good for You? - featuring Rachel Stahl, NYSAND Public Relations Coordinator (12/7/2018)

The consensus of the overall evidence right now says that plain, carbonated water is just as hydrating and healthy for you as regular water. But Stahl cautions that flavored varieties may not pack the same bang for your buck. “Not all carbonated waters are the same,” she says. “Some may have added sugar.”

10 of the Best Keto Meal Options at Chain Restaurants - featuring Jonathan Valdez, NYSAND Media Spokesperson (12/6/2018)

The Best Late-Night Snacks, According to Nutritionists - featuring Jonathan Valdez, NYSAND Media Spokesperson (9/18/2018)

“Nighttime is when you are the least metabolically active and is the main reason you shouldn’t eat large amounts in the evening,” said Jonathan Valdez, owner of Genki Nutrition and media rep for New York State Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. He recommends eating dinner, which should be the lightest of your meals for the day, at least 2-3 hours before bed to give your body ample time to digest. Additionally, he said a big meal right before bed can lead to problems sleeping.

16 Delicious Avocado Recipes That Will Make Your Mouth Water - featuring Julie Lee, NYSAND & STAND Member

Julie Lee, MS, RD, at Binghamton University shares this easy breakfast option to fuel your morning. The combination of healthy fats from the avocado, protein from the egg, and complex carbs from the toast breakdown slowly, providing you with a steady stream of energy to get through the morning. Add any fresh veggies you have on hand—tomatoes, leafy greens, sprouts, or bell peppers. Here’s how you can enjoy eggs at every meal!