Foods To Keep Urinary Tract Infections Away

October 1, 2022

About 60% of women will experience a urinary tract infection (a UTI) at some point in their life. And while men can get UTIs as well, women are 10 times as likely to get them and about 40% of women will get another UTI within 6 months of the first infection. Prevention is the key to being UTI free! In this show, we’ll share some symptoms of a UTI, what causes a UTI, what foods you will want to avoid or incorporate, and some key preventative supplements that might help as part of your prevention plan.

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MELANIE: Good morning and welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition, brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. I'm Melanie Beasley, and I'm a registered and licensed dietitian. And I've been working in the field of nutrition for over 30 years. I have worked with many in the battle to overcome osteoporosis. Both my cohost and I work with people going through cancer treatments or repairing their body after various cancer treatments that can really play havoc. We've worked with many who are experiencing one or many autoimmune conditions, plus of course, we work with clients who simply just want to lose some weight and get healthy.

But today I want to address the many women who I have worked with who experience frequent urinary tract infections. About 60% of women will experience a urinary tract infection or a UTI at some time in their life. Miserable. Today, Jolene and I will be addressing both the foods to eat and the supplements to take to keep urinary tract infections away. If you've ever had one, that's the goal. So joining me today as our cohost is Jolene Carlson. Welcome Jolene to this very important show. It's so fun to see you face to face. You live, oh gosh, eons away, don't you?

JOLENE: Not eons. It's so worth the trip. It's so great to see you too, Mel.

MELANIE: It's fun. And often Jolene, as you know, we try to motivate listeners to give up junk food and processed carbs and eat real natural foods that occur in nature or found on the farm, For example, rather than potato chips, we say eat a half a cup of cooked real potatoes with butter. Nobody's suffering there. Instead of a bowl of breakfast cereal, we suggest a couple of eggs cooked in butter with a small side of hash brown potatoes also cooked in butter. Yum.

We often make these recommendations to help people lose weight, but I have found that when clients have reoccurring UTIs or even bladder infections, they experience enough pain that they are more than willing to give up processed carbs, such as chips and soda, cookies and bread, to get relief. So, Jolene, let's go over some symptoms of UTIs and what causes UTIs before we even start. Please share with our listeners a little bit about yourself. You're so interesting. You've got such a great background. You wear many hats in your life. And I am a dietitian, and you are a nutritionist.

Listeners often want to know the difference. And also, I know being a nutritionist is the second or third career for you, and your first shoot out of the box was, you were a teacher for many years, right? So it kind of plays well into your clinic.

JOLENE: Yeah, yeah, exactly, Mel. A lot of times when I'm talking to people and they're like, I don't understand where you, why or how you wear so many hats. I'm like, it’s really different hats, but it's the same kind of job. Like I knew at a very young age that my passion or my purpose was service, and service shows up in so many different ways. There's so many great jobs we can do around service.

MELANIE: That's a great point.

JOLENE: And the first one happened to be a teacher, and my mom was a teacher. I grew up around a lot of teachers. And yeah. So I went to college to become a science teacher and spent 20 years teaching high school science, middle school science. And I had the opportunity to work with so many different kinds of kids.

I did, I worked with at risk kids. I worked with gifted and talented kids; all different ages. And the benefit of being able to see people from so many different backgrounds and experiences is you just start to really learn people and understand their stories. And that really lot of us have so much in common with our stories. We all have something going on, something that we can use help with, support with, additional education with.

And, and being a teacher really, really helped me learn how to do that. How to educate in a way where I could talk to and talk with you know, that age group in a way where I felt like I could serve them and make them better.

MELANIE: Wonderful way to put it.

JOLENE: Yeah. So that, that was really great. And yeah, the difference between nutritionist and dietitian, I love that you brought that up because this is something that a lot of people don't understand and I didn't even understand until I went through college.

What is the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?


JOLENE: Dietitians and nutritionists are both experts in the field of nutrition. You know, it's just kind of the path that you take going there. So for me as a nutritionist, I had to have a master's degree. Dietitians I think they're going to start to have a master's degree, but I think before that it was like a four-year degree, but specifically in a field of dietetics.


JOLENE: Whereas for me, in the field of nutrition I had an undergraduate and then my master's was specifically in the nutrition field and, and I did human nutrition and functional medicine. So a little bit of difference is the education and kind of how you get there. There's certainly things that dietitians do that nutritionists don't do. Like I don't do, I didn't learn about like IV therapies or some of the food safety and science that a dietetics person would.

But we both have to get state licensed and go through that licensure, and we both have to do the same amount of internship or clinical hours to get licensed. So it's really just a little bit of like what you focus on and the education that's different.

MELANIE: The pathway to get there, but we're…

JOLENE: Yeah. Yeah.

MELANIE: We're both all about the food, helping the client getting healthier.

JOLENE: Exactly. Exactly. Yep. And, and I think it's awesome to have such an array of dietitians and nutritionists at Nutritional Weight and Wellness because like with many things, those differences and different backgrounds just give clients more of a broad spectrum of people that they can talk to and things that we can bring and we help each other out with when we talk with each other. Right?

MELANIE: We do, when we, we have weekly meetings and it's great because we can glean from each other different perspectives, so you can come, come back fully fueled for your clients, and feel like you can bring the best forward. Mm-Hmm. So I know I've got several people that I'll text.

JOLENE: Yes. Oh yes. We all are on, on a text chain and sometimes you're like, oh, sorry, I didn't know it was 10 o'clock at night, or it's a Sunday.

MELANIE: I have questions.

JOLENE: Yes. So, yeah. So what a great, yeah, what a great thing that there's so many knowledgeable people and I love that we have all different experiences to really help each other out, and then that that helps our clients.

MELANEI: Nutritional Weight and Wellness has a great community, both in the professionals, but also in our clients. Our clients become part of our community. So it's been great. So I don't know if you were aware, Jolene, but in the early years of my career, I was a dietitian in the Navy, and I know you have military background. You're very connected to the military and you still are. So thank you for your service.

JOLENE: Thank you for your service. And I did know that, Mel, which just makes you one of the many things that make you such a rockstar. You have so many amazing things that you've done in your life. Yes. I am still in the military. I'm fortunate enough to be in the Army National Guard. I was telling you before the show, I'm going into my 17th year of being in the military, which even surprises me. Yeah, you know, I look back and I sometimes it feels like I just started. But again, it's a service job, right? So it's, yeah. It's a different hat and it's a different way to wear the hat, but all my hats have the same purpose, which is to help people.

MELANIE: You have a serving heart.

JOLENE: Yeah. That's, that's just what my purpose is, or I feel like that's what my purpose is. And my whole job description of the military, I mean, I do medical planning, medical logistics. That's mostly been my job. I'm working on a little bit of holistic health and fitness initiative that the military is doing in the state. But really I said, you know, every job I do is just about taking care of soldiers. You know, so whatever I can do to take care of soldiers and make them happier, healthier, and help them and their families, then they will be better soldiers.

MELANIE: Wonderful. And they serve our country. So it's just passing it forward.

JOLENE: Right, Right. It's, it's a great opportunity and I feel very blessed to have the ability to do that.

MELANIE: Now that you listeners know us, here's another little fact. We are dietitians and nutritionists who do not believe in restricting calories. Did I blow anybody's mind out there this morning? We teach clients to eat more for healing. And remember that 60% of women will experience urinary tract infections sometime in their life. Some of you are out there listening or nodding your head, and they often need to eat well in order to heal that situation.

JOLENE: Mm-Hmm. Yeah. That's such a misconception of that eating more is what most people need. And so we, we definitely spend a lot of time with our clients talking about how nourishing your body is what heals it, not restricting your body. We do that, we do that quite often. And then just UTIs are the most common reason why women go to make an appointment at their medical clinic or even go to urgent care. They, women get UTIs 10 times more often than men, and about 40% of women will get another UTI within six months of the first infection. That's what we're going to talk about today. It’s painful, it's chronic, and once you have it, it's really hard to get rid of it. So prevention is the key. And that's what we talk about here at Nutritional Weight and Wellness.

MELANIE: Yes. And it is time for our first break. I hope we've captured your attention so far listeners and you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition, brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Our topic today is foods and supplements to keep urinary tract, urinary tract infections; oh my goodness; urinary tract infections away. Easy for me to say. I am Melanie Beasley, registered and licensed dietitian, and I'm in studio with Jolene Carlson, licensed nutritionist. We'll be right back.


MELANIE: Welcome back. So moving forward, listeners, urinary tract infection seems to be a tongue twister. So when we say UTI, that's what we're talking about; urinary tract infection.

JOLENE: I love the abbreviations. They help, They help. Those all become mouthfuls, especially in the morning.

MELANIE: And then the military, you're used to those acronyms.

JOLENE: Yes. Yes.

What are some symptoms of having a UTI?


MELANIE: So, yeah. For those of you lucky listeners that have never had a urinary tract infection, you may be wondering, what are some symptoms of having a UTI? Let me read you a list. And you might have some of these and maybe some you don't. So you may have burning or pain when you urinate. You might have cloudy urine or strong smell, feeling like you cannot void completely. Sometimes you see blood in the urine. You can, it can advance to where you have fevers and chills. And most concerning in elderly, they may not experience any symptoms, but they would have confusion.

And so they bring them, loved ones, bring them to the doctor, and then they say, oh, they have a urinary tract infection. So if you're a caretaker of someone who's older now you know.

JOLENE: Yeah. And it's great to say that because like everything we do around nutrition and health, it's very individual, but no matter who you are, UTIs don't discriminate. Like they hit anybody from young to old, men to women, you know, healthy, not healthy people. And so really, you know, all of us that have jobs like you and I do where we're seeing clients or people that work in the medical profession, or even as a teacher, there's a lot of people that have jobs where they just can't step away and go to a bathroom break.

And of course, when you have that urge to have a bathroom break, you want to be able to go to the bathroom and it, you know, and it feels urgent. And that just makes that UTI even worse or last longer when we can't void the way that we need to. And then if it does get worse, and UTI is an infection, some people develop fever, chills, nausea, or even vomiting because it really becomes this chronic infection.

And that's because it is an infection caused by a pathogen or a bacteria that goes enters through the urethra. And the urethra is that tube that carries urine out of your body. I forgot to tell listeners, I, sorry, Melanie. I'm going to take just a little break, but I'm super excited because we're starting this, this new class. It's called the Ongoing Education and Support.


JOLENE: And it starts October 17th. We have it at a bunch of locations, six locations. We have one virtually. And these classes are amazing because for those people that have taken other courses at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, this is kind of like the dive in a little bit deeper.

MELANIE: Mm-hmm.

JOLENE: And you can take as many as you want out of all the options to give you more information. And we'll talk more at our other breaks about, about this class and when to sign up and when they start. But if you want more information right now, go to for the ongoing support and education classes.

Sign Up for Nutrition 4 Weight Loss-Ongoing Support & Education

MELANIE: They're going to be great. Much more supportive.

JOLENE: Yeah, I'm excited. I'm teaching the one in Wayzata. And just looking at the topics, I, it's just those things that people always ask questions about, like sleep and fat and stress and hormones. And that's what these class topics are around is all those things that we want to know just a little bit more about. And so now we have an hour of class time to be able to really dive in.

MELANIE: It's going to be wonderful.

How we approach treating and preventing UTIs


JOLENE: Sorry, I forgot to talk about this. I got pretty excited about talking about UTIs, but there's also that class. But yeah, I think people going back to UTIs, just understanding that it's an infection, which means there's a pathogen, which is the bacteria that causes it, and we'll talk more about that bacteria. And then there's the host for pathogens, which are our bodies. And so what we like to do at Nutritional Weight and Wellness and why we help people overcome UTIs is because we focus on both the pathogen and then also healing the host.


JOLENE: And if we get those two things together, you're really going to have the best chance to fight these.

MELANIE: You are. You want to bring in the friendly bacteria into the house.

JOLENE: Yeah, exactly.

MELANIE: We're the house.

JOLENE: Oh, that's a great way of saying it. I love that.

MELANIE: If we get, if we get the friendlies inside the house, everything goes a little better.

JOLENE: Right. You want the neighbors in your house, not the strangers. Right? Or more of, of the neighbors.

What can cause a UTI?


MELANIE: And so listeners, you might be wondering, where does this bad bacteria that causes a problem come from? Well, it's usually from bacteria in fecal matter and it travels to the area around the urethra. About 75% of the time that unfriendly bacteria is E. coli.

JOLENE: So E. coli is that pathogen that we just talked about.


JOLENE: You know, and E coli is everywhere. Many of you listeners have probably heard of E coli. And so when it ends up in your feces and with your, you know, your feces being close to the urethra, I sometimes they just kind of combine space. And if we don't have the right stuff to fight off that E. coli…

MELANIE: It attaches.

JOLENE: Yep. Then it attaches. And it can cause problems like UTIs. And most of you know, if you've experienced in UTI or know somebody who has that, the conventional treatment is going to be round of antibiotics. If they reoccur and reoccur, which they often do, that's what we usually see. And you're taking antibiotic after antibiotics; some people even take antibiotics as a prevention for UTIs, like it's prescribed to take it because they might get UTIs, you know, during certain times or certain seasons. And so they might be taking an antibiotic. Of course, if we do that over and over again, we could become antibiotic resistant too.

MELANIE: And, you know, Jolene, can I pop in here with a client story?

JOLENE: Yeah, please do.

MELANIE: I had a client who had chronic urinary tract infections or this sensation that she had chronic urinary tract infections. So she had a lot of other things going on, but they ended up putting her on low dose antibiotics every day and a bladder spasm medication. Well, once we worked together, got her eating real food, got her off the sugar, got some good probiotics into her, which we're going to talk about later, in three, and we removed some other foods that were problematic, but within three months she was off all her prescription medication and she's urinary tract infection free. And that's what we want is to bring comfort and health.

JOLENE: That's amazing. That's amazing. And that's what we love and that's how we're so passionate about talking about these things that some people don't want to talk about. You talk about UTIs and you talk about stuff down there, and it becomes uncomfortable. Obviously, this is what we do. You know, we talk about this stuff all the time, so it's not uncomfortable for us, but we want all these listeners to know that there is a way forward, and we've seen it over and over again with UTIs, that when you take care of the pathogen and you take care of host or the house, you're really able to overcome these chronic infections.

MELANIE: You can fight. Your body can fight.

JOLENE: Mm-Hmm. Yeah. According to the CDC, which is the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, antibody resistance, so taking them too much and becoming resistant to them is a major public health concern. So if we can avoid the need for overuse of antibiotics; antibiotics are really, really important and we need to use them when we need to use them. Absolutely. But sometimes we don't need to use them as much. And it's that overuse that can become a problem.

So what we're going to do is we're going to focus, like you said, Mel, in your client example, which foods can we eat to help be preventative? What supplements can help it be preventive and heal chronic UTIs? And then of course, how do we individualize that to a person? So we're going to start with like we always do, what are some of the lifestyle factors or food first things that we can do to help with UTIs?

What are some “food first” ideas that can help with UTIs?


MELANIE: Always with the food first. We got to nourish the body.

JOLENE: Yep. Take the care of the host.

MELANIE: So it can fight. Take care of that host. So the first thing I want to say is start drinking lots and lots of water. Filtered water is always best. And think drink water or get a UTI. And then drink water or get a UTI. That is a key. You might even write it on your water bottle, but eight to 10 to 12 glasses of water daily. And then you want to limit that coffee to one cup a day because caffeine is very dehydrating to the body. And then replace coffee with some herbal tea. But drinking that water is a powerful preventative habit because it helps flush the bacteria out of the bladder.

JOLENE: Absolutely.

MELANIE: And out of the urethra. So it doesn't have that opportunity that E. coli cannot attach and create a problem in the house.

JOLENE: Yeah. We don't want, we don't want problems in the house or trash in the house. Right?

MELANIE: Right. And so think of water as kind of like the vacuum cleaner or the dust mop, but it's really cleaning it up and it's, and it's also hydrating, you know, so it’s hydrating all the tissue. It's helping with how your body uses nutrients, metabolism.

MELANIE: So water, water, water, water. Just think half your body weight in ounces of water is the guide. So we're up to break two. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Let me tell you a little more about this new series of support and education classes that Jolene and I are excited about. These classes start the week of October 17th and are held in person at each of our six locations, plus at least one night virtually. We're keeping these classes small so you can get the support that you need. Check it out on our website. We'll be right back.


JOLENE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. The Ongoing Support and Education series of 24 classes. That's what's amazing, Mel. 24 classes that you can pick from in any amount, you know, so you can sign up for how many you want. But that's 24 different topics that you can really get in depth in based on what you're looking for. And these will just give you some additional education, that motivation of being with others and extra support to maybe take you to that next level.

Like, you know, all of us just kind get stuck in a rut, like I constantly need to talk to you guys. I'm always checking in with other people. I'm always educating to keep on track. And it's just a helpful thing to do. Mel will be leading the group in Eagan on Thursday nights. Yay. And I'll be, like I said, leading in the classes on Wednesday nights in Wayzata.

There'll be a Zoom one that Teresa will be hosting, so lucky Zoom people. And then Monday nights it'll be Leah in Woodbury and in person on Mondays and then Kristi, which will be great class too, is on Tuesday. So all we're trying to say... And we also have Oralee in Maple Grove, and she's a great well-known instructor, is that we're all really excited. There's lots of options and it gets to be in person if that's something that you like and need.

MELANIE: And it gets to be Zoom if you like to stay home in the winter and be in your pajamas. Lot of options.

JOLENE: Or for our listeners that live far away. Right. So I hope you're as excited as obviously we are about it. So you can sign up or call us at (651) 699-3438.

Sign Up for Nutrition 4 Weight Loss-Ongoing Support and Education

MELANIE: And you know, Jolene, I've taught Nutrition for Weight Loss for many years. It's my favorite class to teach actually. And so many clients were like, so what's next? Now we have what's next.

JOLENE: Exactly. Exactly. Yes. So it's a long time coming and it is here listeners, so hopefully we'll see you in those classes.

MELANIE: A lot of went into it I know.

More on the importance of water


JOLENE: Mel, you were talking about water before break and I, you know, I know you guys hear it all the time if you're a regular listener that we always talk about water, but it's not because we just love water and love talking about it. It's really because it is that important for anything, for your metabolism, like we've talked about before, for your sleep, for your cravings. And of course, it's also really important when you have infections when you're not feeling well.


JOLENE: And we know that like if you have the flu or a cold, what are we always told? You know, drink lots of water.

MELANIE: And there's a reason for that. It's it, it helps to flush out toxins, helps the liver to process viruses, colds, flu, everything. It helps every system in the body; helps make your eyes feel soft and your skin feel soft so you don't have dry eye or flaky skin.

JOLENE: Right. Yeah. I mean, it makes sense, right? If you think about water being a substrate for everything else that happens in our body.

MELANIE: Mm-hmm.

JOLENE: And so if you have enough of it or you're drinking it, you're just going to help out all those things your body already knows and wants to do to heal you.


JOLENE: And give it the support.

MELANIE: And the, the lining of the urethra is skin. So we've got to hydrate that.

JOLENE: Exactly.

MELANIE: We've got to keep you hydrated.

JOLENE: So, so water, just, you've heard it here again on Dishing Up Nutrition. Water's a big deal. And I think you're going to talk also about sugars, Mel, right?



MELANIE: So I know that as a teacher you were really limited to your bathroom breaks. Right? And that's a really tough habit if you're drinking a lot of water: going to the bathroom. And I've also had clients that were a dental hygienist and they had just as much difficulty trying to get to the bathroom on time.


MELANIE: Or if I had them drinking a lot of water, taking a break was a real problem. So I had a client as a dental hygienist. And she said, Oh, Melanie, I just, I can't take a break to go drink water. So she was working these long shifts and she said, It's so difficult. I've got to take my mask off. I've got to go in this special room. I've got to go wash my hands. So we developed a plan. Before she even goes to work, she drinks 35 ounces of water.

From the time she wakes up, she stops about an hour before she goes to work so that she can void and, and not have that having to go to the bathroom. And then she does her best during her work, but then as soon as she gets home, she starts consuming another 35 to 60 ounces of water. And we try to get her done before eight o'clock, so it doesn't disrupt her sleep. But that has worked so much better and she's reaping the benefits of feeling hydrated, and no more urinary tract infections.

JOLENE: Right.

MELANIE: So that's been a win for her.


MELANIE: So there, it's just coming up with a methodology that works for you and your lifestyle.

JOLENE: And yeah. If I quickly say Mel. I have a similar client. She's a home health nurse, and so she, she doesn't want to have to go to the bathroom because she doesn't know if she will or can use like, you know, their facilities. And so every conversation we have; I see her monthly, that's a conversation about how to work around the water and, and tips like that are fantastic, but it's, it's really hard to do when you have to have jobs where you either can't use the facilities or you can't step away and there's a lot of jobs where that's, that's an issue.

Limit/eliminate sugar and processed carbs to prevent UTIs


MELANIE: Yeah, absolutely. Well, if you are a sugar or processed carb eater, that spells trouble too because bacteria, especially E. coli, loves sugar and grows rapidly from sugar. So think sugar and UTIs or think eliminate or limit sugar and processed carbs and you'll free yourself of these UTIs. Remember, the pain and the discomfort of a urinary tract infection and suddenly that high sugar coffee is not really so tempting anymore, the sugar, you just think, okay, is this worth the pain I could be enduring in a few days?

JOLENE: Yeah. It goes back to that why that we always talk about, you know, we all need a why to, to understand is it worth taking these things out? And anybody that's had a UTI can say, yep, that's a big enough why.

MELANIE: That pain really motivates change. It's unfortunate, but…

JOLENE: It is. Sometimes that's, you know, sometimes that's what it takes for us. And, and yeah, the sugar thing is huge. And so someplace that I know I start with clients, Mel, that seems to work with lot of clients, and this is both for UTIs as well as just any metabolism, sugar metabolism thing is really focus on your first meal and your last meal the day.

Right? Because when we're not eating, so in that fasting time between our last meal and our first meal is when your body's doing most of its healing, right? So we want to allow that healing to take place. And if we're stressing our body out with our first meal or last meal with more additional sugars that might be contributing to inflammation or to these UTIs, it, it makes it so we're, you know, kind of doing an uphill battle.


Eat to nourish the body


JOLENE: Okay. So one thing we can do is just really balance our breakfast and evening snack. If you can start somewhere, you know, start with one or both of those things and what balance looks like would be like the farmer style breakfast, you know, so we always talk about the eggs and the sausage and veggies cooked in that delicious butter or olive oil. When you start that way where you're not getting sugar right away in the morning through the coffee or through a muffin or through cereal or through toast, you're setting your body up to heal and recover, and that sets your metabolism and the tone for the entire day to be in an anti-inflammatory or an infection fighting state.

MELANIE: I think that really helps you get on top of those sugar cravings.

JOLENE: Yeah. And then, right. So having that energy and getting your metabolism in check right away makes the rest of your day a little less challenging to not have as many cravings and not feel like you need to have that constant sugar all day long. And the same with the evening snack. You know, make that balanced, you know, get, get the good fat, you know, a little bit of good carbs. You know, like we talked about the berries and cream or maybe a spoonful of nut butter. But really try to limit that sugar so your body can repair and it can get the energy that it needs.

MELANIE: And making sure that you're getting enough of that healthy fat and your protein at a meal helps you get on top of those cravings. Because when we have cravings it's very, very difficult to give up sugar.


MELANIE: So sometimes that's the first step is saying, let's get rid of these darn cravings and then the rest will fall into place. About 10% of young children also get UTIs. So for them, swap out the breakfast cereal and the cereal bars and the Pop-Tarts because of the sugar content. Maybe boil some eggs. You can mash it into or chop it up into organic cottage cheese, some pea pods, and carrot sticks. Some like organic deli meat with cream cheese rolled around a pickle, whatever they will eat that is low in processed carbs and sugar and is a real food. One of the things my children loved when they were younger was I would wrap ham around apple slices and cream cheese.

JOLENE: Oh, yum. I never thought about apple. Wow. That's great.

MELANIE: And Jolene, you mentioned two meals to really pay attention to: breakfast and that evening snack and dinner. Well we've covered breakfast. Tell us about that evening snack.

JOLENE: Yeah, we know personally and we also know working with clients that that evening time is so, so hard. That's a time that if we haven't gotten enough fat and protein and balance throughout the day, that's when the cravings really stick, really hit us. Correct?

MELANIE: Yes. And of course, because we've basically have been undernourished throughout the whole day and eventually your brain and your body is like, No, thank you.

MELANIE: Panic mode.

JOLENE: I'm done. I know that processed carbs are going to give me the quickest energy hit. And so that's what I want. And it's things like the wine, the ice cream are the most common ones. Crackers I hear all the time; popcorn.


JOLENE: And, and that's all just part of telling us that we just need, you know, when we eat better throughout the day, we'll have less of those cravings.


JOLENE: Because we don't expect anybody because we know it's nearly impossible just, just to use willpower to resist that.

MELANIE: And I, I really think what's happening is, you know, listeners that the thing you do when you go to the cupboard and you open the cupboard and you're thinking, I just want something. I just want something. And you grab maybe some crackers and then you go sit down, you eat that and you think, nope, that wasn't it. And then you go back to the cupboard and you eat it. Well, what's really happening is your body is craving nourishment, but you keep giving it; I've certainly done this. You keep giving it processed foods that provide no nourishment.

JOLENE: It's empty, it's empty calories or empty nutrition.

MELANIE: And the body in the brain are like, Nope, that's not what I need. And it sends you trekking back to that fridge or that cupboard. So I challenge you when you have that, start with real food. Start with like we said, the, the ham around apple slices with some cream cheese or some cheddar cheese. Have that and then see how your body and your brain respond. And you might be surprised that you don't need to make those multiple trips in the evening.

JOLENE: You’ll feel better.

MELANIE: You'll feel better and the body gives a big “ah”.

JOLENE: Mm-hmm. And that's why we go back to the beginning where we were saying we're not about restriction or calories. We're actually about feeding people more. Because when you eat the right stuff and nourish your body; it might be more food or more calories. But when your body feels like it's nourished, it performs the way that it wants to. And that's again, your body will take care of you.

MELANIE: So instead of thinking, oh, I'm deprived of these things, focus more on I'm going to nourish myself first. And then I'll decide.

JOLENE: Yep. Exactly.

MELANIE: Start with the nourishment.


MELANIE: So we're ready for break three already. Jolene, I’m not going to be to see you for long. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Our topic today: Foods and Supplements to Keep Urinary Tract Infections Away. It was a topic requested by a listener. And if you have a topic that you want us to talk about, join our Dishing Up Nutrition Facebook group and tell us what you want to learn about. Just search for Dishing Up Nutrition on your Facebook app and join us. We'll be right back.

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JOLENE: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. As dietitians, nutritionists, we write articles, we cohost the show, we teach classes, but most of us spend most of our time meeting individually with clients to develop individualized plans and support. Our goal is to achieve their health goals and make them just their best selves. We always say it's about the quality of life.


JOLENE: And have the quality of life that they want. If you are struggling with UTIs, we encourage you to make an individual appointment. We've worked with many clients with UTIs successfully, but it is like everything else individual on what people need. And that's where we can help you with that one-on-one support. Call us at (651) 699-3438 and set up an appointment.

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MELANIE: Yeah. And when we left for break, I love that you mentioned popcorn.

JOLENE: Oh, people love popcorn at night.

MELANIE: Who doesn't love some popcorn?

JOLENE: And during the day.

MELANIE: And during the day.

JOLENE: And in the morning. And at the movie theater.

MELANIE: Yes. I remember I used to have a big bowl of popcorn and if I didn't finish it, I'd wake up in the morning and start in, Well, what is wrong with popcorn? I think we need to talk about why we don't consider that as a safe snack. Well, some of the weight loss companies out there say it's low calorie. So it's a great idea, but we're not a calorie in, calorie out kind of company. And we believe that popcorn, because being low calorie is not the best. It spikes your blood sugar and it converts rapidly to sugar in the bloodstream. So I eat some pistachios instead when I want that crunchy popcorn salty. I reach for pistachios.

JOLENE: Mm-Hmm. Like you said, said earlier like, go for those fats. You know, the things that are going to nourish you. And that's exactly why we can't just eat a handful of popcorn. It's the whole bag. It's the whole bowl. Sometimes it's a couple bowls cause it's not nourishing you. You know, and I tell clients often that calories truly define our measurement of energy. Correct?

MELANIE: Mm-hmm.

JOLENE: And so we want energy. And so we actually want the good calories. So why, when you were saying before, Mel, that saying no to the wine or the ice cream and the popcorn is because they do turn into glucose, which is sugar in your body. And all of those pathogens like E. coli, the one that causes UTIs, or most commonly causes UTIs, they love, thrive and grow on sugar.

MELANIE: And bacteria loves sugar. E coli being a bacteria sets you up for any kind of infection.

JOLENE: Right. Right. And so it, it's really everything. And that's why ending your day with a good evening snack is going to protect you not only against the UTIs, but it's also going to protect you against other infections and really support your immune system.


JOLENE: So you're less likely to get infections. The other things that help when you, you know, balance that evening snack with those, those fats and those, those good energy sources is it stabilizes your blood sugar, which we've talked about many times, helps you get better sleep and you lower that sugar loving bacteria. So those other bacteria that help fight the pathogens will actually do their job. And those will be your probiotics that will help you get rid of those UTIs.

What are some healthy bedtime snack ideas?


MELANIE: Because when you think about it, if you have popcorn at night, you've got that blood sugar running through your system all night. And that's just not a good, that's not a good plan. So I often recommend deviled eggs and celery sticks with almond butter or cottage cheese and fresh raspberries, a few pecans on top. You know, even two to three strips of bacon with half of an apple sliced thin with cream cheese: delicious.

JOLENE: Those sound so good. They all sound so good. And that's intentional listeners. When our body when our minds are just drawn to those healthy fats, those healthy foods, those real foods, that's intentional. Our body wants it and it knows it wants it. So we talked about the food. We talked about drinking lots of water and limiting the processed carbs and sugar that feed UTIs.

Supplement support for UTIs


So let's talk about supplements. So ways that you can give additional support. We always say probiotics. So instead of antibiotics, probiotics. So get the right bacteria, decrease the wrong ones, and your body will take care of a lot of those infections. So we talk about Bifido Balance, which is a great probiotic. That's a good intro probiotic for most people; has lots of benefits. And then we also talk about Acidophilus, which is the one that helps with acid loving types of infections.

MELANIE: Yep. And those are two of our master strains. So starting with those are really gentle for our clients. And so starting them out with some before each meal is what I do. So they have a steady stream of them all day. But we found that probiotics help prevent reoccurring UTIs for many women. And many of you may have heard us say that probiotic comes from the word “for life” and antibiotic means “against life”.

Well probiotics help that healthy microbes grow, while antibiotics kill off bad bacteria. They don't know the difference and they kill off the good bacteria. So we've got to replenish them. And a really good dietary source of probiotics are fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented beets, fermented pickles out there, fermented vegetables of any sort. Some people, it's a popular hobby. I feel like it, it, it probably is your hobby.

JOLENE: I enjoy it. Yes. There, it's really easy to do if you are interested in learning more about fermenting veggies.

MELANIE: Yeah, it's great. And so Jolene, that's your source. You’re a source for that.

JOLENE: I love fermentation. But really what's really interesting too, I just want to make sure listers know that the, the vagina and the urogenital area where UTIs are happening, there are more than 50 different microorganisms that live there. Okay. And they keep that area healthy. So again, your body already knows what to do if it has the right information. It has the right bacteria in a healthy body.

The problem starts when that balance is thrown off because we're feeding more of the unhealthy bacteria like E. coli with sugar. So if that sugar balance, for example, is thrown off, we get more of those pathogens, less of the ones that help fight it off. As we get older, lactobacilli probiotics are, are depleted. And those are the ones that help with that healthy balance. And so for lactobacilli probiotics, we recommend Acidophilus because that's the one that really helps support that healthy bacteria to balance or counteract the unhealthy bacteria.

MELANIE: Yeah. It's really good to make sure that you've got a good microbiome. And the role of the probiotic, lactobacillus acidophilus, is to keep that population of lactobacilli healthy and strong, which helps in turn fight off the bad bacteria. We're keeping the house healthy is what we're saying.


MELANIE: We don't want it to turn into a UTI because if we, if we are having the right probiotics, then that bacteria cannot grab hold of the urethra; passes on through.

JOLENE: Excellent. And then, so in addition to probiotics, fats are really important. Like you said before, that, that urethra is tissue around there. And so the more we can hydrate and support those tissues through good fats, water. We also love GLA, gamma linoleic acid. That's a supplement that we recommend to people. Taking three or four of those a day will help all tissues: your eye tissues, your vaginal tissue, your skin, and then the other fatty supplements, fatty acid supplements are vitamin E and vitamin D. And we know having adequate amounts of those is really, really important too.

MELANIE: Really important. Mm-Hmm. About 400 IUs of vitamin E. And then we want to maintain your vitamin D level between 60 and 80. So here's your homework today, listeners. If you have had a vitamin D test, go check it. Pull it up in MyChart and see if you're between 60 and 80. I find for many clients, they have been living on a fat free restrictive diet. So we want that fat to soften and nourish and moisturize tissues to provide a boost of nutrients. For a strong immune system, I will often recommend a high quality multivitamin that was designed for women. Twice Per Day is great. You take it two a day, which is really nice, and it comes in two small capsules. It's easy to take and it's high in your B vitamins. It’s a win.

JOLENE: That is a great one. And I know we're saying a lot of supplements here and that's another reason why it's so valuable to, to make an individual appointment because of course you would tailor these to each person based on what they need. We just know that they're really helpful in addition to those real foods. So to kind of rephrase, we talked a lot about water. We talked about how important it is to have the right probiotics in the house and eating the right foods.

MELANIE: Yes. So we hope that we have made a difficult topic a little easier to understand. Our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple, yet powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thank you so much for joining us today.

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