Tag: food and nutrition experts

Buyer Beware: The Dangers of Confusing Food with Supplements

by in Food & Nutrition Experts, July 31, 2017

Are you looking for the magic pill for weight loss, increased energy or anything else that ails you? You aren’t alone. While the draw of dietary supplements is strong and the claims compelling – don’t be fooled – these products are not the same as food. For example, a recent study identified green tea extract as a potentially dangerous ingredient. While sipping on green tea can benefit health, the supplemental form commonly found in weight loss and bodybuilding supplements has been linked to many cases of liver damage. Here are 4 other supplements that are much more dangerous than their food-based counterparts.

 

Why Supplements Can Be So Dangerous

Unlike foods and medications, the dietary supplement industry has very little FDA oversight. For this reason, many products sold on store shelves and online are manufactured without proper safety testing. These dangers may be the culprit for a dramatic uptick in liver disease over the last decade. Health conscious consumers are rightfully confused. When a nutrient gets attention for its health benefits, it’s logical to look for more from a supplement, but this can do more harm than good. While there is a time and place for supplements when a true deficiency has been detected, some of the most popular nutrients out there can treat your body very differently when taken in supplement form. The good news is, however, it’s spectacularly hard to eat your way into toxicity if you stick to the whole food sources. Read more

Can Packaging Give Your Food a Health Halo?

by in Food & Nutrition Experts, Food News & Trends, July 18, 2017

We all try our best to eat healthy and buy nutritious food for our families. But the amount of information, misinformation and just plain marketing speak we’re hit with every trip to the grocery store can make goal hard to achieve. “Many foods contain front of package nutrient claims that make you think you are eating a healthy food,” says Alissa Rumsey M.S., R.D., author of Three Steps to a Healthier You. “This so-called ‘health halo’ often causes people to overeat foods they think are healthy.” Read more

6 Little Tricks to Prevent Vacation Weight Gain

by in Food & Nutrition Experts, Healthy Tips, July 11, 2017

With summer in full swing, I’m daydreaming about the travels I have planned for the season — including a couple of weeks in Europe — and about ways to make my travels healthier too. The tactic I’m using for part of my Europe trip: renting an apartment. This allows me to prep breakfast and even dinners — plus, I get the bonus of getting to cook with local produce! When my boyfriend and I were visiting the Pacific Northwest last summer, we whipped up the most delicious meal in our apartment rental, using mushrooms and huckleberries from a local farmers’ market.

 

To help you have the healthiest vacation possible, I rounded up top tips from my dietitian colleagues. I hope you put them to good use!

 

Load up on local produce. Hello, papaya and passion fruit! “Resort and cruise buffets are jam packed with fruits, vegetables, as well as lean protein options, which can help you feel full on fewer calories,” says Marisa Moore, RDN, owner of Marisa Moore Nutrition. “Fill up on those foods during your first trip to the buffet. If you’re heading to a tropical location, indulge in the abundant local fruits and vegetables, which are naturally nutritious and lower in calories.” Read more

5 Tasty Recipes to Cure What Ails You

by in Food & Nutrition Experts, June 28, 2017

Between the demands of work and family, life can get you stressed, upset and zap your energy. Luckily, there are foods you can eat to help feed your mind, body and soul. So the next time you’re feeling fatigued, stressed or your skin looks a mess, consider these recipes to cure what ails you.

Stay Energized

Instead of turning to candy which will give you a quick-fix sugar high, turn to fiber-filled whole grains like sorghum, quinoa and farro. Whole grains take longer to digest, giving you long-lasting energy. They also provide a boat load of energy-boosting B-vitamins.

Recipe: Grilled Scallops with Orange-Scented Quinoa (pictured above) Read more

3 Ways to Be Confident in Your Food Choices

by in Food & Nutrition Experts, June 22, 2017

According to the 12th Annual Food and Health Survey released by the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC), 78-percent of Americans encounter a lot of conflicting info about what to eat and what foods to avoid. More than 50-percent of those polled say that this conflicting info makes them doubt their food choices. Here are 5 ways you can be confident in the food decisions you make.

Stop Making Assumptions

The survey also found that many consumers are making incorrect assumptions about certain foods, including fresh verses frozen and canned. Consumers are almost five times as likely to believe a fresh product is healthier than canned and four times as likely to believe a fresh product is healthier than frozen. Read more

The 6 Nutrients Vegetarians and Vegan Diets May Be Missing

by in Diets, Food & Nutrition Experts, June 17, 2017

Incorporating more meatless meals into your diet is a great way to boost health. Research shows that eating more plant-based foods and less animal products can reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even some cancers. However, whether you choose to eat this way part-time or all of the time, there are a few nutrients that need more planning to ensure you are getting enough. Luckily, there many whole food sources, fortified foods, and supplements to ensure you are meeting the daily nutrient requirements. If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, or plan on switching any time soon, be mindful of these 6 nutrients.

 

Vitamin B-12

Vitamin B12, found primarily in animal products, is needed for production of DNA and maintaining nerve cells. A deficiency can cause megaloblastic anemia and nerve damage, among other problems. Therefore, a reliable source of B-12 is essential, especially for vegans, in order to prevent deficiency. Since fortified foods vary greatly in the amount of B12 they supply, a daily supplement is recommended instead. Read more

What Vegetarian Dietitians Eat at Fast-Food Restaurants  

by in Chefs and Restaurants, Food & Nutrition Experts, May 28, 2017

As a dietitian and longtime vegetarian, I find that people are often surprised to hear that I do sometimes eat fast food. But these days, there are some tasty, balanced vegetarian options at restaurants like Subway, Chipotle, and Panera. Here are some of my healthy favorites, and picks from fellow vegetarian and vegan dietitians.

 

Subway: Veggie Delite Salad + Egg Patty

This is my off-the-menu go-to: I top a Veggie Delite Salad with an egg patty. I request a base of spinach and add a ton of veggies: tomatoes, green bell peppers, red onion, cucumber, banana peppers, and jalapenos. I top the salad with sprinkling of shredded cheese, as well as dried oregano and red wine vinegar. I love that Subway sells apple slices, so I’ll usually grab a baggie of those, as well. Read more

Should You Take a Collagen Supplement? 

by in Food & Nutrition Experts, May 26, 2017

Some are claiming that they’ve found the fountain of youth, and it’s in a bottle at your local vitamin shop. Collagen is the newest supplement fad to hit the market, and many are adopting this new craze in the hopes of having tighter skin and less aching in their joints. But does it really do what it promises?

 

What is collagen?

Quite simply, collagen is the structural protein found in animal connective tissue. As the most abundant protein in the human body, it’s found in skin, muscles, bones and tendons. Collagen is also found in animal meat, so eating is it not new…but bottling and selling it as a supplement is. Many claim that taking collagen supplements will reduce wrinkles, make skin look younger and increase the elasticity in the joints. Yet, collagen is quickly broken down during digestion, so how can any of this be true? Read more

Ask An Expert: Is Couscous Healthy?

by in Food & Nutrition Experts, April 2, 2017

Ever wondered about couscous…what is it? How it’s prepared? And most of all, is it healthy? A registered dietitian weighs in on this commonly misunderstood food.

 

What Is Couscous?

Often mistaken for an ancient grain, couscous is actually tiny pieces of wheat pasta – basically a mixture of semolina flour and water. Popular in cuisines around the globe, couscous is quick cooking and can be used like rice to accompany a wide variety of foods.

Traditional or Moroccan couscous are very small grains that can be prepared by simply adding hot water or broth and allowing to steep for 5 minutes to allow the liquid to be absorbed. Larger round pieces of couscous known as Israeli or pearled can be cooked in boiling liquid. This version takes slightly larger to cook and has a more robust and pleasantly chewy texture. Read more

Can The Mediterranean Diet Help Treat Depression?

by in Diets, Food & Nutrition Experts, March 26, 2017

Feeling a bit down? New research suggests that a Mediterranean diet can help treat depression. Now that’s cause for celebration! The study suggests that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and lean proteins may be able to treat major depressive episodes.

 

The study

The researchers followed 67 Australian individuals with a history of depression and poor dietary habits. Study participants were randomly sorted into two groups. One group received dietary intervention, consisting of 60-minutes of Dietitian-lead nutrition one time per week. The second group received social support, otherwise known as ‘befriending’ or spending time with another individual discussing neutral topics, like sports, news or music. In addition to the interventions, both groups were being treated with a mixture of anti-depressive medication or therapy.

The dietary intervention group learned about the importance of eating a Mediterranean diet, including 5-8 servings of whole grains per day, 6 servings of vegetables per day, 3 servings of fruit per day, 3-4 servings of legumes per day, 2-3 servings of low-fat and unsweetened dairy foods per week, 1 serving of raw and unsalted nuts per day, 2 servings of fish per week, 3-4 servings of lean red meats per week, 2-3 servings of  chicken per week, 6 eggs per week and 3 tablespoons of olive oil per day. They were also encouraged to reduce their intake of sweets, refined cereals, fried food, fast-food, processed meats and sugary drinks to no more than 3 per week. Read more