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COVID-19 (Coronavirus): Updated information and resources from IDEA

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Jennie McCary, MS, RD, LD



Article Archive

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November 1, 2012

Answer

Like bean sprouts, sprouted grains are whole grains, such as wheat berries, that are allowed to sprout. In the case of popular sprouted breads, sprouted berries (often wheat but sometimes also oat, millet, barley and/or other varieties) are ground up and baked in the recipe. These little sprouted seeds are thought to pack more of a nutritional punch than unsprouted berries. And compared to refined and enriched grains stripped of the germ and bran, they do.

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September 27, 2012

Answer:

Omega-3 fats are essential fatty acids, meaning we need to get them from food. Well-known for improving heart health, omega-3 fats are necessary
for proper brain functioning and may also help treat asthma and depression. These healthy polyunsaturated fats are found in a variety of foods, but the best source—fish—is not a main staple of the American diet. It’s no wonder that taking fish oil supplements has become the norm. Jumping on the bandwagon, food companies are offering more omega-3-fortified foods and beverages—from breads and cereals to milk and eggs.

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August 22, 2012

Answer

Most people have heard the health warnings about trans fats. They raise LDL (artery-clogging) cholesterol and lower HDL (good) cholesterol, increasing the risk for heart disease and stroke. Trans fats are easier to spot now that the amount is listed on the Nutrition Facts Panel of food labels. However, it is still important to scan the ingredients list for sources of trans fats (hidden as partially hydrogenated oils) because the U.S.

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June 29, 2012

Answer: The variety and availability of dairy-alternative milks have exploded in the marketplace. This is good news for vegans and vegetarians who require plant-based beverages or for those who do not consume dairy products. Dairy-alternative milks also help people with health conditions such as milk allergy and lactose intolerance.

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May 17, 2012

Answer:Postexercise fuel is all about recovery. First priority is hydrating to replace any fluid lost; next step is consuming carbohydrate combined with protein for greater glycogen storage. After endurance exercise, the recommended carb-to-protein ratio is 3–4:1 (3–4 grams of carbohydrate for every gram of protein). Depending on timing, this may be a small snack or your next meal.

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April 22, 2012

Answer: Red wine has enjoyed a solid reputation for being heart healthy because it is a rich source of resveratrol, a phytochemical with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. But in early January an investigation of the work of researcher Dipak K. Das, PhD, ScD, MD, revealed more than 100 counts of falsification and fabrication of data, thus casting doubt on all of his reservatrol research. Das is not the only global researcher investigating resveratrol. Still, the effects of resveratrol are controversial.

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March 22, 2012

Answer: The Paleo Diet suggests that we should model our way of eating on the hunting and gathering techniques of the Paleolithic period. The diet recommends sticking with animal protein, fruits and vegetables, while staying away from dairy, grains, legumes, high-glycemic fruits and veggies, salty foods and refined sugar. It is a high-protein, lower-carb diet that is also promoted to athletes as a way to enhance performance.

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February 17, 2012

Answer: Made popular by the Chia pet, these tiny black seeds offer health benefits beyond watching something green grow. Turns out chia seeds are a good source of fiber and are rich in antioxidants and ALA (alpha-linoleic acid), the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid—
even more so than flaxseed. They also provide a variety of minerals, including iron and calcium.

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January 26, 2012

Answer: Soy is the richest source of legume protein and is very versatile. It is enjoyed in many forms, including edamame, tofu, milk, nuts, tempeh, flour, textured vegetable protein and protein powder.

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January 18, 2012

Answer: Carbohydrates (carbs) are the body’s main source of energy. However, all carbs are not created equal. Telling them apart can improve your health and performance. Examples of “good” carbs are whole grains, fruit, vegetables, beans and low-fat dairy. In other words, “good” carbs are nutrient-rich foods that offer the body more than energy. They come packaged with fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.

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October 18, 2011

What is the nutritional breakdown of Dungeness crab?

This question made me smile, as it brought back memories of crabbing with my dad on Puget Sound in Washington. As a little girl, I was filled with excitement pulling up the crab pot to see how many we’d caught. After we boiled the crab at home, it was naturally served with melted butter (I didn’t think much about nutrition back then).

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September 27, 2011

Question:

I’ve seen inulin listed as an ingredient in more and more food products. What is it, and is it healthy?

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August 23, 2011

Question

Can you curb sugar cravings by increasing the percent of protein in your diet?

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What are some effective, easy-to-find, tasty foods with anti-inflammatory properties?

June 14, 2011

Answer

Certain foods—such as berries—deserve the spotlight when it comes to lowering inflammation. But more important than individual foods is an overall eating pattern that is rich in colorful plant-based foods, balanced with quality protein and healthy fats. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans give this same advice. The good news is that you can easily find inflammation-fighting foods in your local food market.

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Reforming the Way Americans Eat

June 14, 2011

CEC approvedquiz 4: Page 118From the White House to local school boards, our government has ambitious goals for improving how we eat and challenging policies that encourage unhealthy diets. Objectives of current health initiatives include the following:

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What are the health benefits of coconut water?

May 18, 2011

Answer

Coconut water has certainly caught on, reaching far beyond athletes and celebrities to the mainstream public. A clear juice from young coconuts, coconut water is touted to be immune-boosting, a good digestion aid and an excellent recovery drink—whether from a workout or a hangover. While there isn’t scientific evidence to back up these claims, coconut water is a hydrating beverage, so if you crave something with more flavor than plain water, this might be what you’re looking for.

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April 25, 2011

Question

What are the differences among sea salt, kosher salt and table salt?

Answer

Essential for health in small amounts, salt has become very trendy and—when mixed with messages to reduce sodium—is probably fairly confusing to consumers. So here is the real scoop.

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March 15, 2011

A fixture in the American kitchen, the microwave oven is a huge convenience. However, concerns raised in the media and through the Internet question its role in the kitchen and its impact on our health. Microwave radiation is and always has been tightly monitored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to assure that potential radiation emissions don’t pose a health hazard. However, questions about human exposure to low levels of microwaves remain unanswered, and research is under way.

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January 11, 2011

Is it true that fruits should never be eaten after a meal, since the sugar interferes with proper digestion and leads to weight gain?

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December 14, 2010

Feeling sleepy after a meal could be caused by a number of things, including what, when and how much you’re eating. That sluggish feeling occurs when your blood sugar drops. Eating too much sugar and refined carbohydrates can be a problem. A balanced diet keeps blood sugar levels in check, so include protein, complex carbohydrates and a little fat at meals. If you typically eat one to three large meals a day and don’t snack, spreading those calories out into smaller meals and snacks may improve your energy levels. Caffeine intake and dehydration can also contribute to fatigue.

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