Thursday, May 15, 2014
Doctors Perspective

Your choice in foods helps control weight

By Dr. Anthony Policastro

Computers provide us with a lot of information. There are multiple opportunities to use the Internet for health information. Most restaurant chains have their dietary information available on the Internet. It makes sense to review that information before you go out to eat. Sometimes what you find may surprise you. For example, suppose you wanted to have steak at a local steak restaurant like Texas Roadhouse. A sirloin steak of about 8 ounces would contain about 550 calories. If you decided to have a pair of yeast rolls with that steak, they would each contain about 227 calories. That means you would get as many calories from the two rolls as you would from the steak. You might decide to go to Olive Garden. While there you might select a salad with your meal. The house salad without croutons will provide 110 calories. If you decided to choose the Caesar salad instead, that would give you 560 calories. You might decide to stop at Paneras for a cup of soup. The chicken noodle soup would have 80 calories in it. On the other hand, if you chose New England clam chowder, you would get 480 calories per cup. These are just three examples of how choosing what you eat without some background knowledge can increase the number of calories significantly. You might think that it only makes a few hundred calories difference in each case. However, those calories quickly add up. There are 3,500 calories in a pound. Over 50% of the population eats out twice a week or more. That means if an individual has 200 extra calories twice a week, he/she will have 400 extra calories per week. That comes out to 2,400 calories per month or 3,600 calories every 6 weeks. The result will be a weight gain of 8 pounds every year. On the other hand, if someone decides to change eating habits and eat 200 calories less twice per week, they will lose 8 pounds per year. This really has very little to do with eating less. It is more about eating smart. The computer and the Internet can clearly be your friend. The next time you decide to go out to eat, plan what you are ordering ahead of time. Make sure you look at the entire menu. Side dishes like yeast rolls can increase calories very quickly. Decide what you are going to order ahead of time. Then when you get there make sure you stick to the plan. You can decide if you want to gain 8 pounds a year or lose 8 pounds a year. The Internet can help with that decision.

If you have comments about this column or suggestions for other topics, send an email to Dr. Anthony Policastro at

Mind Your Eating presentation Join Lisa Harkins, RD, LDN, at the Cancer Support Community (CSC) in Rehoboth at 6 p.m. on Monday, May 19, to learn how eating mindfully can improve your health. Do you eat when you are bored, stressed, angry, or sad? Do you rush through meals? Lisa, of Ideal Nutrition and Fitness, will guide you to a plan that will help you feel better and also manage your weight.

Call 645-9150 in advance to reserve your spot. All programs offered at CSC are free of charge to people affected by cancer and their loved ones.

Child Loss support program A six-week support group for adults, Healing after the Loss of a Child, will be offered by Delaware Hospice on Tuesdays, 6 to 7:30 p.m., from June 3 through July 8, at Christ Lutheran Church, 315 N. Shipley St., Seaford. This six-week educational support group is open to parents and grandparents who are grieving the loss of a child. Gathering with others who are also grieving such a loss, whether school-aged or adults, can be beneficial. Midge DiNatale, group facilitator, will also share coping methods that she found helpful in her own grief journey after losing her son. There is no fee for this service, however, registration is requested.  Register by Friday, May 30, by contacting Midge DiNatale, GC-C, bereavement counselor, at 856-7717, ext. 4120 or 300-2179, or

Nanticoke offers CPR class Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will offer community CPR classes to anyone interested in learning CPR at 8 a.m. on Friday, May 23, at the Nanticoke Training Center located on Water Street in Seaford. Participants will learn how to perform the basic skills of CPR on adults, children, and infants and how to help an adult, child or infant who is choking and use of the AED. This classroom-based, video, and instructor-led CPR course offers families, friends, and community members the opportunity to learn CPR and need a course completion card. Classes are open to participants ages 12 and up. This program is specifically designed for those who prefer to learn in a group environment with feedback from an instructor.  The target audience is those who have a duty to respond to a cardiac emergency because of job responsibilities or regulatory requirements. Cost is $45. Payment and registration is required by no later than five business days prior to the class. Late registrations may be accepted if seating is available. To register and to obtain a listing of class dates/times, contact the Nanticoke Memorial Hospitals Training Center office at 629-6611, ext. 8919. Pre-registration is required.

Diabetes education program Nanticoke Memorial Hospital will hold a four-session diabetes educational program on June 4, 11, 18 and 25, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the hospital. The cost of the four-session program may be reimbursable by insurance. This four-session program includes weekly education sessions and individualized meal planning for diabetes self-management. Family members/significant others are welcome to attend the weekly sessions. Pre-registration is required prior to attending classes. To register and to obtain additional information regarding the course, contact Nanticoke Memorial Hospitals Diabetes Education department at 629-6611, ext. 2446.