Archive | January, 2012

2012 Food Trend – Out With Margarine, In with Real Butter!

By Donna Quirk, MBA RD LD
LMC Clinical Nutrition Manager

Recently, I paused when I read a headline stating that real butter was trending in and margarine was trending out.  The Hartman Group, a research and consulting firm that studies consumer and shoppers behaviors, has included this in their recently published “Looking Forward in Food Culture 2012” report.  The report is available to download at

So, what is behind this trend?

First, according to the Hartman Group, consumers tend to be rejecting a “one-size-fits-all, generalized, better-for-you diet” as futile and prioritizing a higher quality of life.  Butter is viewed as a higher quality, less processed food that fits this definition.

Also supporting this trend is a change in the consumers’ beliefs about fats in the diet.  For years, health professionals have recommended a low fat diet (including limiting healthy fats) for weight control and to improve overall health.  The results of research, however, have not supported this recommendation.

Are you confused?  Wondering what you should do?

According to the Harvard School of Public Health the amount of fat you eat is not as important as the type of fat you eat.  Choose healthy fats, limit saturated fat, and avoid trans fat.

Now hear this!  Butter is a saturated fat and some margarine contains trans fat.

The Harvard School of Public Health publishes 5 tips for picking healthy fats.  The tips are:

1.  Choose liquid plant oils for cooking and baking.
2.  Ditch the trans fat.  Read the Nutrition Facts label and look for 0 grams of trans fat.
3.  Switch from butter to soft tub margarine with 0 grams of trans fat.
4. Eat at least one good source of omega-3 fats each day. Fatty fish (such as salmon and tuna), walnuts, and canola oil are good sources.
5.  Cut back on red meat, cheese, milk, and ice cream.

So, even if real butter is a 2012 Food Trend – eat butter in small amounts!

Lexington Cardiovascular

Lexington Medical Center is pleased to announce the opening of Lexington Cardiovascular, a hospital physician practice that will treat patients requiring cardiac, thoracic and vascular procedures including open heart surgery.  Lexington Cardiovascular is one part of Lexington Medical Center’s new line of services offering complete cardiac care to our community. 


Jeffrey Travis, MD, Lexington Cardiovascular

Lexington Cardiovascular

will be home to Dr. Jeffrey Travis, Lexington Medical Center’s new heart surgeon.  Dr. Travis is a South Carolina native who completed his undergraduate degree at Clemson University and earned his medical degree at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.  Dr. Travis completed residencies in General Surgery and Cardiothoracic Surgery at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  He joins the Lexington Medical Center network and Lexington Cardiovascular from Columbus Cardiovascular Surgery in Columbus, Georgia.  Dr. Travis has more than 14 years of experience and has completed more than 750 open heart surgeries.  He is certified by the American Board of Surgery, American Board of Thoracic Surgery and the National Board of Medical Examiners.  Dr. Travis and his wife Sheila have three children.

Victor Gomez will serve as a Physician Assistant at Lexington Cardiovascular.  Mr. Gomez graduated from Midwestern State University and the University of Texas.  He received a graduate degree in the Surgical Physician Assistant program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  Before coming to Lexington Medical Center, Mr. Gomez worked as a cardiovascular Physician Assistant in Greenville, North Carolina, Florence and Columbia.  He has more than twelve years of experience in minimally invasive endoscopic vein harvesting, a procedure allowing the vein for coronary bypass surgery to be harvested from a keyhole incision in the leg.  Mr. Gomez lives with his wife and daughter in Northeast Columbia. 

The specialists at Lexington Cardiovascular have expertise in all areas of the cardiovascular system including cardiothoracic, lung and esophageal, carotid artery and abdominal aortic aneurysm surgeries.  Dr. Travis has specific interests in arterial conduits for coronary artery bypass grafts, mitral valve repair and aortic root replacement.

Beginning this spring, Dr. Travis will perform heart surgery at Lexington Medical Center as part of Lexington Medical Heart Center, a Duke Medicine affiliate.  With fourteen years of experience performing more than 750 open heart surgeries in his career, Dr. Travis looks forward to providing this important service to the people of Lexington County and the Midlands.

“Our cardiac care program will contain the quality you’ve come to expect from Lexington Medical Center,” Dr. Travis said.  “It will have patient-centered care with emphasis on the highest quality possible.”

Lexington Medical Center’s heart program is affiliated with Duke Medicine, home to the #7 ranked heart program in the country.  The partnership with Duke will allow Lexington Medical Center clinicians to build our cardiovascular program on an excellent base, consult with Duke physicians and learn about the latest advances in cardiovascular care.

Lexington Cardiovascular is located inside Lexington Medical Park 1 on the hospital campus in West Columbia at 2728 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 101.  You can call them at 803-936-7095

2012 Food and Nutrition Trend – Increasing Food Prices Means Smart Shopping

By Donna Quirk, MBA RD LD
LMC Clinical Nutrition Manager

As we start the New Year, I have decided to discuss a few of the published food and nutrition trends for 2012, starting with food prices.

We have all noticed an increase in food prices during the past one to two years. We have also felt it in our wallets! The causes of higher prices are complex and are a reflection of our changing world. Some of the most commonly cited causes are:

  • Extreme weather – droughts, flooding, and other irregularities from climate change – have lead to lower grain crop yields globally. For instance, the recent floods in Thailand are affecting rice crops. Weather has also affected peanut yields and the size of cattle herds in Texas.
  • Demand for biofuels made from grains, for example, corn to produce ethanol.
  • Rising oil prices
  • An unsettled and uncertain global economy
  • A growing world population leading to more demand for food but less land to farm.

Although it is believed that food prices will stabilize it is doubtful that prices will return to where they were.

So, 2012 is the year to become a savvy grocery shopper! Here are some tips:

  • Plan your meals and create a shopping list then stick to it!
  • Use the weekly grocer’s sale flyer to plan meals. Choose dishes that use meats and vegetables that are marked down.
  • Only buy perishable foods you know you will use. No one likes to throw out food that is past its use by date.
  • Stock up sensibly. For instance, I buy extra and freeze boneless, skinless chicken breasts when they go on sale for around $2.00 a pound. Discounted frozen vegetables, whole grain bread, cereal, and nuts are also nutritious items to stock up on.
  • Become a coupon expert. Use coupons on sale items to save even more money, but don’t buy something just because you have a coupon.
  • Plan a meatless day every week. Use whole grains and beans as a meat substitute for grocery bill savings.