CF and Macronutrients

Adequate calories to support normal growth and development are essential, especially in the presence of pancreatic insufficiency. Energy intake should be based on the patterns of weight gain and growth in the person. If an individual has significant growth deficits, lung disease, or malabsorption, energy requirements may be significantly increased. Currently there is no perfect method to estimate the caloric needs of a person with CF. Instead, a steady rate of weight gain in growing individuals should be the goal. For adults, the desired outcome is to maintain an acceptable weight in relation to height with optimal fat and muscle stores.

To obtain adequate calories and compensate for any fat malabsorption, individuals with CF often require a greater fat intake than what is normally recommended for the general population. Fat restriction is not recommended, because fat is an important energy source, and pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy is used to aid its absorption. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) require less lipase activity than long-chain fatty acids and may be utilized as a better source of fat calories. MCT have a fatty acid chain length between 6 and 12 carbons, making them short enough to be water soluble. They require less bile salt for solubilization and can be transported as free fatty acids through the portal system. Adequate protein intake is essential to meet the needs of growing individuals and maintain protein stores. Good nutrition also plays an important role in preparing the individual with cystic fibrosis for potential transplant later on in life.

Nutrition management is critical for the health and survival of patients with cystic fibrosis-related diseases. Since a majority of these patients have difficulty maintaining weight, calorie restriction is never appropriate. For patients on insulin, carbohydrate counting offers a great degree of flexibility. Patients should be able to eat as they choose with appropriate insulin coverage. Although carbohydrate is not restricted, patients should be taught to distribute carbohydrate calories throughout the day and to avoid concentrated carbohydrate loads.

CF diagram


Southern Grocery Shopping

Southern Grocery Cart

It’s easy to throw healthy eating habits out the window when you’re away from home and your regular routine. Andrea D’Ambrosio, RD talks about ways to create a healthy winter routine while staying on a budget.

Plan ahead and stick to a list
Being prepared before you grab your grocery cart will help you avoid impulse purchases. It also gives you time to look at flyers, find sales and clip coupons. Try taking advantage of no-name products and avoiding shopping while you’re hungry.

Shop in season and avoid being wasteful
Buy in-season foods from local farmer’s markets, which is cheaper, and be resourceful with leftovers, using up excess food before it goes to waste, she says.

Consider vegetarian alternatives
If you study your grocery bill, meat products are often among the most expensive items. Consider planning meals with vegetarian alternatives like lentils, beans and soy. Check out vegetarian websites for heart- and budget-healthy meal ideas, she suggests.

Here are 5 friendly foods and the reasons you should add them to your grocery list:

  1. Fresh, seasonal fruit: A favorite snack to boost energy levels between meals if you feel a little hungry (power of carbs) and allows you to benefit from vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  1. Low-fat (1 percent) or non-fat milk: In order to maintain our bone density, we need to consume adequate dairy to receive calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and protein, which are all essential for bone growth and development.
  1. Whole grains: According to the Journal of Nutrition (2011), oats, barley, rice and quinoa all lower risk of chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, diabetes and cancer, as well contribute to body-weight management and gastrointestinal health. Try buying whole-grain pasta and remember to look for the words “whole grain” on the label.
  1. Almonds: But just a handful a day, and make them unsalted! A portion-controlled (quarter cup) serving of almonds is excellent for lowering cholesterol because of the unsaturated fats, making them a heart-healthy choice. Almonds are high in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, and are naturally high in fiber and a good source of protein!
  1. Edamame: Green soybeans, made popular in Japanese cuisine but available in grocery stores, add a nice nutritional punch. These tasty soybeans can be added as a side dish, steamed in the pod or consumed as a snack or appetizer. Nutritionally speaking, they are another heart-healthy source of protein, fiber and vitamins.–fill-your-southern-grocery-cart-with-healthy-foods

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