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Dr. Rachel: The Teaching Doctor

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Dr. Rachel Reitan is the host of her own medical segment on News with a Twist, Dr. Rachel: The Teaching Doctor, which won a Suncoast Emmy in November 2013 for On-Air Medical Reporting. Launched in 2012, Dr. Reitan has used the Dr. Rachel platform to better inform people about their health and their body. Her ultimate goal is to help people realize that they only have one body and they should treat their body like a palace.

Dr. Rachel takes complicated medical information and turns it into easy-to-understand information. She is passionate about teaching her patients and viewers simple ways to get and stay healthy. She is also known for tackling topics that are timely, life-saving, and sometimes controversial.

No stranger to television, Dr. Rachel has been featured on television newscasts on CBS, NBC, and Fox in Los Angeles and the Dr. Phil Show-”Women in their 50′s having babies.”  She has published health articles in many magazines and newspapers.

Dr. Rachel is a specialist in Minimally Invasive Surgery. She is a certified DaVinci Robotic Surgeon as well as Single Incision Surgeon.  She is also a member of the International Society of Cosmetogynecology.  She is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology (Ob/Gyn) and fellow with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. She is on staff at Louisiana State University Health Science Center, Pediatric/Adolescent Consultant at Children’s Hospital, Women’s Health Specialist at Southeast Louisiana Veterans Administration Women’s Health, and The Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office-Rape Division.

Born in Sioux City, Iowa she was the first interracial adoption with Lutheran Social Services in Iowa.  She grew up in Decorah, Iowa, the youngest of 5 children. She studied Nursing as an undergraduate student at the University of Southern California and worked as a Registered Nurse at Cedar Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, before deciding to go to medical school.

Dr. Rachel earned her Medical Degree (MD) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Rachel did her residencies at John Hopkins and LSU. She practiced Academic medicine at University of California-Irvine before returning to New Orleans nine days before Katrina!

An avid animal lover, she rescues stray puppies and kittens, has them spade/neutered and finds them good homes. Dr. Rachel is a member of SPCA, New Orleans SPCA Spade and Neuter Program, New Orleans Feral Cat Program, and The Human Society.

Dr. Rachel loves football, Zumba, and having fun with good friends and family. One of her top destinations for her out of town guests—a spin through a drive thru daiquiri store! They are amazed.

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If you’re going to French Quater Fest, you better slather on the sunscreen before you go! Here’s what you need to know about sunscreen.

If you’re looking to loose some pounds you might want to pick up that spoon at breakfast time. News with a Twist teaching doctor, Dr. Rachel explains.

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - Whether you’re on a diet or just trying to be health Dr. Rachel Reitan wants you to record how much cholesterol you eat tomorrow.

She says a person should only eat 200 milligrams of cholesterol each day. But that can be hard, given that one egg yolk already contains more than that.

Cholesterol Content of Foods

2% Milk, 1 cup = 10 mg

Butter, 1 tsp = 11 mg

Egg, 1 = 210 mg

Salmon, 3.5 oz, = 63 mg

Oysters, 3.5 oz = 55 mg

Shrimp, 3.5 oz = 194 mg

Ground Beef, 3.5 oz = 78 mg

Sirloin, 3.5 oz = 89 mg

Chicken (no skin), 3.5 oz = 85 mg

People who switch from regular soft drinks to diet soft drinks can lose 20 pounds in short period of time without changing their diet or exercise.

One 12-ounce can of regular soda has 10 teaspoons sugar in it. A 32-ounce Big Gulp has 27 teaspoons of sugar! Way too much.

Would you sit down and eat 10 or 27 teaspoons of sugar?!? No? Well, that is what you do when you drink those sodas.

And, calories from sugar are more easily turned into fat in your body than the calories from fat.

If you drink regular soda, starting today, try mixing half diet soda with half of your regular soda for about two weeks. Then, every week, increase the amount of diet soda until you have completely switched yourself to 100% diet soda.

You will not even realize the difference. But, boy, your body sure will!

Dust mites are the microscopic creatures that like to live in our beds and eat flakes of our skin when we’re asleep. They’re also a major trigger of allergies in many people.

Dr. Rachel Lagniappe says to wash your sheets, pillowcases and other bedding every week in hot water, then dry them in a hot dried to kill those uninvited roommates.

You need to eat your vitamins to be healthy, but do you need to take a multivitamin. Let’s ask the doctor!

Dr. Rachel explains what you need to know about vitamins.

Vitamins are compounds that are necessary for our body to grow and function.  We cannot make vitamins within our bodies, so we must obtain them from the foods we eat.

Americans are overfed but are not getting the 13 essential vitamins that our bodies need.  So you may benefit from a multivitamin.

Vitamins are either water-soluble or fat-soluble.

The water-soluble vitamins are not stored in our bodies, the these foods must be eaten daily, ideally in every meal.

If you eat more than the required dose of these vitamins, the excess is removed from our bodies in our urine.

And if you take more than you need you are just wasting your money.

The fat-soluble vitamins A,D,E and K are stored in our body.

Taking more than the recommended does of these vitamins can be toxic and lead to health problems, so beware.

The best way to meet your vitamin needs it to eat a balanced diet containing a variety of foods.

If you can’t meet your needs through food alone, because of a chronic illness, malabsorption, poor diet or because you are dieting, then you may require a vitamin.

Consider a multivitamin that contains minerals as well.  And make sure it does not contain more than the recommended dose of vitamins A,D,E, and K.

All brands of vitamins are basically the same so work with your doctor to puck the one that is best for you.

If you have a question, send an email to

What’s the dirtiest object in your kitchen? It’s your sponge.

But Dr. Rachel Lagniappe explains it doesn’t have to be.

We hear so much about limiting the amount of fat we eat, but some fat is good for you. Dr. Rachel breaks down which fats are good and which are bad.

Dr. Rachel’s Lagniappe: Headphones and Hearing Damage.