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

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Sanna Delmonico, MS, RDS, CHES

Sanna is an instructor at The Culinary Institute of America in the Napa Valley, where she teaches food safety, gastronomy and nutrition to culinary students and chefs.

Article Archive

Ask the RD

January 17, 2018

Question: I know chocolate is considered a healthy snack, but are all kinds of chocolate healthy?
Answer: Chocolate has complex flavors, amazing mouthfeel and myriad phytochemicals, including polyphenolic compounds with antioxidant activity (Katz, Doughty & Ali 2011). It is linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes and even improved mood (Mostofsky et al. 2017; Scholey & Owen 2014; Sorenson & Astrup 2011).

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Ask the RD: Is kefir like yogurt?

September 19, 2017

Question: Is kefir like yogurt? Does it have the same health benefits?

Answer: Kefir is a tart, fermented-milk product similar to yogurt. It is thought to have originated in the Caucasus Mountains, where it is traditionally made from cow, sheep or goat milk. Kefir is sometimes slightly carbonated and may contain small amounts of alcohol.

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May 10, 2017

Sanna Delmonico, MS, RDN, CHE, is on the faculty at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, in Napa, California, where she teaches food safety, nutrition and gastronomy. As a dietitian nutritionist working in a culinary school, she makes it her goal to help students see the connection between good health and delicious food.
Question: Dried seaweed snacks are really popular these days—even my kids like them. How nutritious are they? What about other types of seaweed?

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April 17, 2017

Question: I use chia seeds and flaxseed in smoothies. How do they compare to fish as sources of omega‐3s?

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What Are the Facts About Alkaline Water?

January 19, 2017

Question: A lot of people are talking about alkaline water. Does it help with all the things I have heard, like preventing cancer?

Answer: Claims about the benefits of alkaline water include effectiveness in treating heartburn as well as preventing cancer and cardiovascular disease. The theory goes that consuming water with a higher pH will balance the pH of your body, negating the effects of acidifying diets that, according to the theory, lead to a variety of health problems.

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January 18, 2017

Question: Do safflower oil supplements help with weight loss? I have heard they are especially good for reducing belly fat.
Answer: The safflower oil and weight loss story is a great example of what can happen when one small study gets more media attention than it really deserves. The study you’re thinking of, which was covered all over the media and the internet, looked at the effects of safflower oil as well as conjugated linoleic acid (found in animal fats) on body composition and concluded that supplementation may be helpful for weight loss (Norris 2009).

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December 14, 2016

Question: A lot of people are talking about alkaline water. Does it help with all the things I have heard, like preventing cancer?

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October 20, 2016

Question: I just discovered roasted walnut oil and love it in salad dressing. How does it compare with olive oil?

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September 29, 2016

Question: Are purple and red carrots, purple cauliflower and other colorful varieties of vegetables nutritionally the same as the regular vegetables?
Answer: I was recently served a salad of thinly shaved ribbons of purple, red, orange and yellow carrots. It was beautiful, unique and delicious. I’m glad to see these colorful vegetables become more widely available, because it makes cooking and eating that much more interesting. Nutritionally, colorful varieties are both similar and different to the more usual options.

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Ask the RD: Is Millet Nutritious?

August 18, 2016

Question: Is millet as nutritious a grain as quinoa? Can I cook it the same way?
Answer: Millet is an “ancient grain” that is increasing in popularity owing to its nutty flavor, chewy texture and good nutrition. While quinoa is very familiar to Americans and seen everywhere from trendy bowls in fast-casual restaurants to pancakes made by home cooks, millet is just being discovered. Actually, most of us do know millet, at least by sight. It is the small, round, yellow grain found in your backyard bird seed.

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Is Millet as Nutritious as Quinoa?

July 21, 2016

Question: Is millet as nutritious a grain as quinoa? Can I cook it the same way? Answer: Millet is an “ancient grain” that is increasing in popularity owing to its nutty flavor, chewy texture and good nutrition. While quinoa is very familiar to Americans and seen everywhere from trendy bowls in fast-casual restaurants, to pancakes made by home cooks, millet is just being discovered. Actually, most of us do know millet, at least by sight. It is the small, round, yellow grain found in your backyard bird seed.

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Ask the RD: Is Raw Milk Nutritious and Safe?

June 21, 2016

Question: What’s your take on raw milk? Is it more nutritious than pasteurized milk? Is it safe?
Answer: In choosing to emphasize whole foods and unprocessed foods (both worthwhile endeavors), some people have embraced the idea that raw, unpasteurized milk is preferable to pasteurized milk. However, you have asked the most important question: Is raw milk safe? In the case of milk, safety should be your biggest consideration.

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