It’s great that so many people care so much about nutrition these days. And in today’s world of viral videos and online petitions, we consumers actually wield a fair amount of power. But, as I explain in this week’s controversial podcast (“Why I’m not worried about yoga mat chemicals in my food“), I think we need to use our leverage wisely.
I tackled another controversy in this podcast on coconut oil and cholesterol. Lots of people (most of them, selling coconut oil) are making lots of claims about the health properties of coconut oil. Here’s the latest research on how the saturated fats in coconut oil affect cholesterol levels.
Here is some encouraging news on probiotics and weight loss and a reality check on collagen supplements to improve your skin.
And in the e-mailbag this week, a reader wonders about the health and nutritional features of quark cheese and another worries about whether baby carrots are actually a good choice.
Have a great week!
February is Heart Health Month, so what better time to review the conventional wisdom? Is the standard advice on diet, cholesterol, and heart disease bogus? A lot of people think so. But it’s important to take family history into account.
While we’re on the subject of sacred nutritional cows, there’s a persistent rumor that milk actually causes osteoporosis. I’ve got a closer look at the arguments against milk here.
I frequently hear from folks who wonder whether blending fruits and vegetables into a smoothie somehow destroys the fiber. Yet an equal number of people seem convinced that blending fruits and vegetables actually releases more nutrients. So which is it? Does blending produce make it better or worse for you? My answer here.
If you’re worried about recent reports of counterfeit olive oil, here’s a quick guide on how to identify the real stuff.
Finally, a quick Q&A on curcumin, the compound that makes turmeric so good for you.
Although it wasn’t a planned theme, the last two Nutrition Diva podcasts focus, at least in part, on the medical profession. This episode on whether you should take lutein supplements to protect your eyes also takes a look at the ethics of doctors selling supplements to patients. The following week’s show is about how patients, doctors, and nutritionists need to work together to address complex health problems (with some additional info on diverticular disease, IBS, and GERD).
From the mailbag this week, advice for those who find that eating healthy has unpleasant side effects (“Help! My healthy diet gives me gas”), and a request for a nutritional comparison of whole wheat and spelt. And from the “news you can use” category, a new study finds that adding avocado to your lunch can banish afternoon snack attacks.
Just in time to rescue those New Year’s resolutions, this week’s podcast is on will power and why it probably WON’T power you through for more than a week or two. You might also enjoy this interview on the same topic with Tom Hall on WYPR-FM.
There’s also good news for those who prefer their pork a little pink in the middle, instead of well-done (the way our mothers were trained to prepare it.)
And finally, Ann Fisher (of WOSU-FM) and I discuss the week’s most interesting nutrition news–everything from vibrating forks to the USDA’s surrender on school lunches. (The segment starts right around minute 20.)
Happy New Year!
A few tips for wrapping up your holiday season and kicking off your New Year’s Resolutions:
And, just to break things up a bit, here are a couple of topics that have nothing to do with the holidays:
- A round up of research on maca, a Peruvian herb said to help with menopause, prostate health, fertility, and libido!
- New research finds that corn oil lowers cholesterol 3 times more than olive oil. Nonetheless, I won’t be replacing my EVOO with corn oil anytime soon. Here’s why.
‘Tis the season to host and be hosted! What’s the best way to communicate special dietary needs to hosts? What are your obligations as a host to provide healthy options? Richie Freeman (aka Modern Manners Guy) have teamed up in a two-part series devoted to nutrition and etiquette! Part one tackles the rights/obligations of guests with special dietary needs. Part two pertains to the hosts. Hope you enjoy this special collaboration!
As promised, here’s part two of my part-two series on fertility–looking at how diet and nutrition affects male fertility.
If you live in a part of the world that experiences cold winters, you might be interested in this quick take on how cooler temperatures affect calorie needs.
And finally, a reader wonders how essential oils compare nutritionally with the foods their made from? Is adding a few drops of cinnamon oil to your oatmeal even better than adding ground cinnamon? Find out here.
Have a great week and eat something good for me!
As the temperatures dip and the days get shorter, comfort foods may seem like just the thing. If you find yourself craving carbohydrates at this time of year, it may be due to a seasonal dip in serotonin levels. Eating carbohydrates tends to increase serotonin production, which can elevate your mood–but only temporarily. In a few hours, you need another fix. By the time winter is over, you may have packed on a lot of carbohydrate-fueled pounds.
A better way to stimulate serotonin is with regular exercise. Exercise stimulates serotonin production with no carbohydrate hang-over. Instead of gaining winter weight, you might even trim down. Overcoming your Fall fatigue and getting yourself moving may take some self-discipline at first. But the rewards, in the form of more energy and a brighter mood, come quickly.
Happy December! This week’s podcast was the first in a two-part series on fertility, focusing on how nutrition affects fertility in women. Next week, I’ll have some tips for you fathers-to-be!
An informal survey tells me that most of you are firmly convinced (from personal experience) that sugar has addictive qualities. Researchers are still debating the question, however. Read more in my article “Sugar and the Science of Addiction,” from this month’s Food and Nutrition Magazine.
A recent podcast on the low FODMAP diet (a new dietary approach that is working miracles for IBS sufferers) triggered lots of mail, including a couple of some great follow-up questions. For example: Why is tofu allowed but soybeans aren’t? How about low-FODMAP foods that also lower cholesterol?
And, while we’re at it, here’s last week’s podcast on phytosterols, a plant-based nutrient that can help lower cholesterol.
Probiotics have been another hot topic lately, including when to take them and how to store them. Here’s another tidbit on what foods to eat with your probiotics in order to maximize their benefits.
Lastly, here’s an article on the importance of vitamin D for healthy aging.