All Posts In Ask the Experts

Ask the Experts: Favorite Halloween Treats

by in Ask the Experts, Halloween, October 25, 2012

candy bar
As a registered dietitian, my philosophy is to embrace holidays like Halloween without going overboard. This means allowing my children to go trick-or-treating and indulge in SOME treats. I’m not the only nutrition expert with this philosophy—I spoke to top experts around the country who weighed in on their favorite Halloween treats.

Ding Dong at the Dietitian’s House
Nutrition consultant Alexandra Oppenheimer, MS, RD claims “It’s not all apples and raisins at my house; I do give out candy but purchase ones that have some redeeming qualities. When picking out my Halloween offerings, I choose chocolates with nuts like peanuts or almonds and skip the sugary caramel. I choose chocolates (and lean towards the darker varieties) because of the potential heart-health benefits and antioxidants. In addition, they also provide fiber, protein and calcium. For these reasons, I prefer passing out chocolates versus candies made completely out of sugar with little to no other nutrients. Although plain chocolates and those with nuts do contribute nutrients, it’s important to remember they are still a treat and should be eaten in moderation.”

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Ask the Experts: Myth Busters!

by in Ask the Experts, October 2, 2012

nutrition label
Dietitians are always trying to dispel the obscene amount of nutrition myths floating out in the world. We asked nutrition experts around the country about their favorite (or rather, least favorite!) nutrition myths and how they set the record straight.

MYTH #1: Organic foods are more nutritious
BUSTEDBonnie Tandy Leblang, MS, RD clears this issue up by saying:

“In terms of vitamins and minerals, organic foods are generally no more nutritious than conventionally grown foods.  Organic refers to the way the food is grown, handled and processed — that is without the use of pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, hormones or, in the case of milk and meat, steroids.”

Shopping for Organic Produce? Use the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen

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Talking to the Experts: Food Network Kitchens’ Leah Brickley

by in Ask the Experts, September 25, 2012

leah brickleyLeah Brickley is a recipe developer in the Food Network Kitchens and is also a dietetic technician (DTR), working toward her master’s degree in nutrition. Leah works on developing recipes for Food Network Magazine, Food Network Magazine Cookbooks, Food Network Apps and foodnetwork.com. We caught up to find out about her schooling, her secrets for healthy home cooking and how she maintains a healthy diet while working in one of the busiest test kitchens in the world.

Can you tell us more about what you do as a recipe developer-nutritionist at Food Network?

Sure! I have a combined degree in culinary arts and nutrition and I’m a DTR (dietetic technician registered). I’m also getting my master’s degree in nutrition. So, I get to develop a broad range of recipes from barbecued brisket to apple pie but with a special interest in healthy recipes. I’m here as an internal resource for my coworkers who have nutrition-related questions and I keep up on current health news and trends.

Do you sample every recipe made in the Food Network Kitchens? Is it difficult to eat healthy when you’re around food all day long?

I eat almost everything! We have two set times for tastings and everyone who participates has to taste and give feedback. Eating healthy isn’t as difficult as it sounds, even with that volume of food. We develop recipes using real and fresh ingredients. When I first started I did need to learn moderation because I often overate. Now it’s a few bites of everything and lots of water (and a jog or kickboxing after work)!

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Healthy Diet Excuses and Solutions

by in Ask the Experts, Diets & Weight Loss, January 17, 2012
feet on scale
Do you need help keeping your new year's resolution?

If your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, it’s time to prepare yourself. Once times get tough, the excuses start coming. We asked top nutrition experts from around the country some of the most popular or outlandish excuses they’ve heard over the years. Do any of them sound familiar?

Excuse #1: “I end up eating my kid’s sweet snacks.”
D. Milton Stokes, MPH RD CDN, a Connecticut-based dietitian in private practice says “This is truly outlandish because the child doesn’t have to have those snacks (not that the snacks are forbidden, but unhealthy snacks aren’t manditory), but the parent seems to be using the child as a vehicle for dietary sabotage.”

Solution: Be mindful of the snacks coming into your home. Choose sweet snacks sparingly or for special occasions.

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Ask the Dietitian: Should You Keep Your Weight Loss Plans a Secret?

by in Ask the Experts, Diets & Weight Loss, January 10, 2012
diet secret
Should you announce your diet plans, or keep them a secret?

One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. But once you begin your diet plan, should you announce it to everyone or keep your lips sealed?

Q: What’s the best way to ensure weight loss success, tell your friends and loved ones or keep it secret?

A: There’s no right or wrong way to do it. At the end of the day, to get rid of that gut, you’ve got to go with your gut!

Research supports that a lack of motivation and accountability are common barriers to dropping those pounds. That’s why weight loss programs like Weight Watchers consider meetings and weigh-ins keys to success. On the other hand, some experts argue that you’re better off keeping things quiet.

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Ask the Experts: Budget-Friendly Tips

by in Ask the Experts, October 26, 2011
healthy food cheap Living a healthy life doesn’t have to cost more.

We’re always reminding you that a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to break the bank. How about some expert tips to back that up? We polled nutrition experts across the country for their best tips for eating smart and exercising on a budget.

Brown Bag It
Our September Brown Bag Challenge was a huge success. If you missed it, it’s never too late to start bringing your lunch to work or school. Annette Schottenfeld, MBA, RD, CDN, President of Nett Nutrition, Inc. says:

“Packing your own lunch not only saves money, but also guarantees much needed nutrition to get you through the day. Select lean meats and veggies on whole grain bread with a side of seasonal fruit for a delicious and satisfying lunch. Additional savings can also be had by making your own single-serve snack bags.”

Packing up single servings goes for dinner leftovers too. Karen Ansel, MS, RD, CDN tells us:

“Wrap leftovers into single-serve portions immediately after dinner. Not only will you save money because you’re not throwing out perfectly good food, you’ll have a single serve, healthy homemade meal in the freezer waiting for you next time you have no time to cook.”

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Ask HE: Should you eat just the egg white?

by in Ask the Experts, September 14, 2011
hard-boiled eggs
Is it really healthy to skip the yolk?

Many health-conscious folks opt for egg whites only. Little do they know they’re wasting a huge dose of protein and other precious nutrients when they toss out those golden yolks.

Q: When looking to take in healthy protein from eggs, should you go for the whole thing or just eat the egg white?

A: When you look at the nutrients it’s hard to dispute. Eggs have a lot of nutrition going on and most of it’s found in the egg yolk.

Marcia Greenblum, MS, RD, senior director of nutrition education for the Egg Nutrition Center brought us up to speed on all the goodies that eggs have to offer. The white of a large egg provides 3.6 grams of protein, but you’ll also find an additional 2.7 grams hanging out in the yolk. The yolk is also home to all the heart-healthy fats and hefty doses of vitamins like riboflavin, D and B12; nutrients like choline and selenium are also in abundance.

Yes, yolks are also where all the not-so-healthy fat and cholesterol are hiding. If you do have high cholesterol, you may have to limit your intake, but with only 1.6 grams of saturated fat per serving, eggs can certainly be worked in to a heart-healthy diet. To cut down on some of the fat and cholesterol, use a combination of whole eggs plus a few extra egg whites in egg dishes like omelets, frittatas and quiche.

Tell Us: Do you keep or toss the yolks?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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Ask the Experts: Top Back-To-School Tips

by in Ask the Experts, September 2, 2011

back-to-school kids lunches
The hustle and bustle of getting the kiddies back to school can make your head spin. We’re not just talking about the youngsters either. People of all ages are getting ready to start their studies – and let’s not forget about mom and her hectic schedule too! We asked nutrition experts from around the country to share their top back-to-school tips to help ease the stress of this busy time of year.

Start Off Right
Our experts agree, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Healthy Eats contributor Katie Cavuto Boyle says “it’s tough to learn when you’re hungry so remember to eat breakfast; it fuels your mind and body so your school day is productive and enjoyable.” But if you’re like most families, mornings are hectic. Registered dietitian Sherri Hoyt suggests some advance planning. Kids (and parents!) may be tempted to skip breakfast or grab a sugar-laden pastry or fatty breakfast sandwich on the run.  Instead, “take time to make time”. . . in other words, plan for tomorrow’s breakfast the night before.

In need of a few quick breakfast ideas? Check out our Top-5 Quick Breakfast Ideas.

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Foods for Workouts: Cardio

by in Ask the Experts, Healthy Tips, April 13, 2011

people on treadmills

An all-around healthy diet is best for any exercise routine, but cardiovascular exercise requires a balance of special nutrients. If you get cardiovascular exercise regularly (and we all should) – here’s how to fuel up.

The best foods to fuel your workout »

Ask HE: Your CSA Questions, Answered

by in Ask the Experts, Farmers' Market Finds, March 21, 2011

produce

Local farms across the country are gearing up for another harvest season, and we can’t wait! You can get your own little piece of a local farm by signing up for a community-supported agriculture program. So, is it the right choice for you? We’re breaking down some frequently-asked CSA questions to help you decide.

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