Findings from the 2017 Annual Food and Nutrition Symposium in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida - Part 1

Holli Lapes RD, LD/N

In July 2017, we attended the Annual Food and Nutrition Symposium (FANS), which is put forth by the Florida Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (FAND) and provides science-based, cutting-edge educational sessions presented by recognized experts in nutrition. We heard from more than 30 national and international speakers providing over 20 hours of continuing education. The continuing education units (CEUs) are a requirement for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN or RD) for national registration and state licensure.

What is the Difference between an RD and a Nutritionist/Health Coach?

A nutritionist or health coach is an unregulated term that can refer to anyone! Sometimes, a
nutritionist or dietitian is used as an abbreviation, or short hand, for a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). If it’s unclear, just ask the health professional to clarify their credentials. An RDN has completed at least a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from an accredited university plus an 8-month internship in the field, passed a state registration exam and are typically licensed by the Department of Health in their state, designated by LD/N.

Session Highlight: Dietary Patterns that can Prevent and Control Diabetes by Osama Hamdy, M.D., Ph.D.

When it comes to diabetes management, how do we know something isn’t right? Well to start, there are currently 47 diabetes medications on the market. Also of interest to note for those with a family history of diabetes, is the closed loop cycle of diabetes and obesity. First, a person with a family history of diabetes gains some weight. Second, there is an increase in the need for glucose to feed the additional tissue they have acquired. Then, more insulin is produced from the pancreas. Third, insulin resistance sets in – the cells are not responding to the insulin, and more insulin is secreted, which leads to cellular exhaustion and the development of type 2 diabetes. The cycle now starts over because the person gains more weight from the excess insulin!

Dr. Hamdy’s presentation revolved around the history of diabetes. He explained that diabetes was once defined as a carbohydrate intolerance disease. He quotes Louis Newburgh in 1936 in that “the discovery of insulin was a setback to the advancement of nutrition”. Have we actually regressed? Yes. In 1942, the diabetes diet recommendation was to include more protein in the diet. If you saw the 2014 documentary “Fed Up”, you may recall the film’s exposure of the McGovern report of 1977 emphasizing that the public should eat more carbohydrates and should cut back on fat. This report was in part based on skewed research from cardiologist Ancel Keys who preached that fat causes heart disease.


Further, the food pyramid of 1980 illustrated that the base of one’s diet should consist of carbohydrates, reflecting the McGovern report. Then, people with diabetes liberalized their carbohydrate intake to 55%–60% of their daily diet.

Dr. Hamdy reminds us that diabetes is in fact an insulin resistance disease and not a carb intolerance disease. Now, the Joslin Diabetes Center recommends a maximum of 40%–45% carbohydrate intake, in which the carbs are of low glycemic index. Also, to always include protein with the carbs to prevent blood sugar spikes. Dr. Hamdy recommends protein intake to be 1.0–1.5 g/kg versus the standard 0.8 g/kg of body weight.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our coverage from the Annual Food and Nutrition Symposium!

About the author: Holli Lapes RD, LD/N is a Blogger & Social Media Content Specialist at Life Extension. She is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist residing in the South Florida area. Holli believes that quality dietary supplements are an essential tool that have a variety of applications from maintaining good health to managing chronic disease. 

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