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

Lourdes Castro, MS, RD

As a Registered Dietician, Lourdes is an Adjunct Professor at New York UniversityÔÇÖs department of Nutrition, Food Studies & Public Health and holds a Masters degree in nutrition from Columbia University. She is the author of three cookbooks Simply Mexican; Eat, Drink, Think in Spanish and Latin Grilling and is the director of the Biltmore Culinary Academy. Visit her website at www.slicethin.com.

Article Archive

Ask The RD: Are all types of fiber created equal?

September 24, 2015

Question: I know that it is best to avoid overly processed foods as much as possible. But isn’t
the fiber found in fortified foods such as breakfast cereals as good for you as the fiber found in naturally occurring foods? In other words, aren’t all types of fiber created equal?

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Ask the RD

August 16, 2015

Question: I recently saw a carton of milk labeled “Grass-Fed Milk.” Is that simply organic milk from cows that are pasture raised? Is there anything I should know about it?

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Ask The RD

June 17, 2015

Lourdes Castro, MS, RD, is an adjunct professor at New York University’s department of nutrition, food studies and public health; she earned
her master’s degree in nutrition from Columbia
University. She is the author of three cookbooks: Simply Mexican; Eat, Drink, Think in Spanish; and Latin Grilling. She is also the director of the Biltmore Culinary Academy in Miami. Visit her website at www.slicethin .com. Send your questions for Lourdes to [email protected]

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Ask the RD

May 12, 2015

Question: There seems to be much buzz about bone broth and its healing effects. Can you shed some light on this for me?

Answer: Bone broth does seem to be getting its share of attention these days, and not just from the wellness community. While bone broth is very popular within the Paleo DietTM, professional athletes such as Kobe Bryant are turning to this hot beverage for an athletic edge (it is rumored that the Lakers team now offers bone broth to its players as a recovery drink, at Bryant’s request).

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Ask the RD

April 17, 2015

Answer: The fact that grain products are fortified is probably why the terminology is confusing. Folate is the generic term for the B vitamin naturally found in foods. Folic acid is the form of the vitamin that is added to fortified foods and multivitamins.

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Ask The RD

March 16, 2015

Question: A friend recently told me about a new sugar substitute she is using called xylitol. She loves it and feels it is far better than the artificial sweeteners on the market. Can you shed some light on xylitol for me?

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Ask the RD

February 20, 2015

Question: I have a couple of questions regarding eggs. Specifically, what is the best way to store them, and how long do I have
to consume them? My understanding is that the date stamped on the egg carton is the sell-by date, and I have about a week or so after that date to con- sume the eggs. My sister believes the date is an expiration date and says the eggs should not be eaten after that day. Also, my husband, who grew up in Europe, feels it’s okay to store eggs on the kitchen counter, and I’m not sure that is safe. Can you clarify these issues?

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Ask the RD

January 19, 2015

Question: I keep hearing and reading about the alkaline diet. Can you explain how it works and if it’s as good as it appears to be?

Answer: You are right—the alkaline diet seems to be having “a moment.” While the theory behind the diet has yet to be scientifically proven, at its core it is a healthy regimen.

THE BODY’S PH

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Ask The RD

December 10, 2014

Question: I keep reading articles that refer to the polyphenol content of superfoods. Are polyphenols simply antioxidants?

In a word, yes, but since polyphenols seem to be powerful antioxidants, it’s worth understanding them better. A phenol is an organic compound that contains an aromatic ring (Figure 1). Polyphenols, which are compounds found in plants, are distinguished by the pres- ence of more than one phenol (Figure 2). Many polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that can remove free radicals from the body and reduce inflammation.

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Ask the RD

September 16, 2014

Lourdes Castro, MS, RD, is an adjunct professor at New York University’s department of nutrition, food studies and public health; she earned her master’s degree in nutrition from Columbia University. She is the author of three cookbooks: Simply Mexican; Eat, Drink, Think in Spanish; and Latin Grilling. She is also the director of the Biltmore Culinary Academy in Miami. Visit her website at www.slicethin.com. Send your questions for Lourdes to [email protected]

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Plant-Based Power Players

July 24, 2014

My New Year’s resolution is to stop juicing. My juicer extracts the juice of fresh fruits and vegetables, leaving behind a woolly mess of skin, seeds and rinds that I carelessly toss out. As a chef and nutrition expert I should know better, but I do it anyway. However, this year I am committed to keeping foods as whole as possible and eating as many parts of a vegetable as I can.

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Ask the RD

June 17, 2014

Question: A friend of mine suggested I take an apple cider vinegar shot in the morning to increase my metabolism and decrease my appetite throughout the day. Is there any truth to that?

Answer: Health claims associated with apple cider vinegar range from suppressing appetite to lowering blood pressure to aiding in digestion. As for your friend’s claim— that a shot of apple cider vinegar reduces appetite—a study examining the effects of apple cider vinegar on postmeal blood glucose and satiety didn’t show an impact (Chezem et al. 2012).

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Ask The RD

May 27, 2014

Question: I know there is quite a bit of estrogen and are found in soy products, have been shown to stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells in laboratory experiments. However, when it comes to human controversy surrounding soy products and whether they can be part of a healthy diet. But it’s hard for me to believe that studies, the findings are very different, edamame and tofu are considered equal to soy burgers and soy protein bars. Am I right about that?

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Ask The RD

April 16, 2014

Question: Can you please help me understand the characteristics that distinguish a macrobiotic diet from other diets, especially a vegan diet?

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March 19, 2014

Question: I know omega-3 fatty acids are good for me and I should include them in my diet, but I keep reading about the different types—EPA, DHA, ALA—and I am very confused. Can you help me sort out the abbreviations and tell me what I should be looking out for?

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Ask The RD

February 11, 2014

QuestionWhile I’m not a vegetarian, I’ve significantly reduced the amount of meat
I eat; I am concerned I’m not taking in enough iron. I do not want to resort to supplements, as I’ve heard they can cause constipation. How can I make sure I’m getting enough iron through my diet?

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Ask The RD

January 15, 2014

Question
I’ve noticed an enormous amount of Greek yogurt options at my grocery store and have experimented by trying a few different brands of plain low-fat yogurt. Some taste dramatically different from others, while some are considerably cheaper. From
a nutritional standpoint, are all Greek yogurts essentially the same?

Answer

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Ask The RD

December 20, 2013

Question: I’m working toward a career change to health and wellness, and I have a particular interest in nutrition. My interests are in coaching individuals to adopt healthier eating patterns (I’m currently an ACE-certified health coach) and lose weight, and in working with people whose doctors may have suggested “lifestyle changes” to help prevent cholesterol or blood sugars from creeping up further, but who have not yet become diabetic or developed serious heart issues.

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Ask the RD

October 21, 2013

Question: Sea salt is being promoted as if it were much better for us than our usual salt (table salt). Is this a marketing scam, or is there really something to it? Isn’t salt salt (sodium chloride), whether it comes from the sea or from the earth?

Answer: Technically, all salt is sea salt. Some salt is actively harvested today from salt-water bodies, while other salt is mined from mineral deposits that were formed when a salt-water body evaporated millennia ago.

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