Showing posts from June, 2022

Why I Don't Recommend the Glycemic Index

 In theory, the Glycemic Index sounds good. Lower glycemic index foods are supposed to cause a smaller rise in blood sugar whereas higher glycemic index foods cause a larger blood sugar spike. Eating lower glycemic index foods could be a good way to prevent or control diabetes. However, there's more to choosing what to eat than just picking low glycemic index foods.   The first time you see a list, it might surprise you. I saw this list from a doctor:  Apple juice 41 Orange juice 52 Brown rice 55 Banana 55 Potato chips 56 Ice cream 61 Pineapple 66 Watermelon 72 Baked potato 85 To an uneducated patient, this list makes fruit juice seem like a health food. It scored lower than other healthy foods like brown rice.  Ice cream seems healthier than pineapples, watermelon, & baked potatoes.  Glycemic Index Looks at One Thing These foods look "healthier" because glycemic index looks at one thing only--the rise in blood sugar.  It is true that ice cream causes a slower rise in

Post-COVID-19 Nutrition (Part 1): When To See a Dietitian

You may know that I was working in an ICU when COVID-19 first hit my hometown. As a RDN & CNSC, I provided nutrition support to those patients who were on ventilators & couldn't eat by mouth.  However, I have since transitioned to working in a different facility. Sometimes, I am still working with patients with active cases but, more often, I am working with patients recovering after COVID-19 or other illnesses. You may have heard the phrase "Long haul COVID", which refers to the negative health effects that someone experiences after the acute phase of COVID-19 infection. But, in my experience, there can be a prolonged recovery period after other critical illnesses & injuries as well, called post-viral syndrome or post-ICU syndrome. Here's why: In general, illnesses & injuries trigger proinflammatory pathways. These trigger cytokine signaling (sometimes called the cytokine "storm") and increased metabolism (or catabolism).  This catabolic pha

Supplement Saturday: My Search for a Multivitamin

 I've been taking a multivitamin for years, probably starting around when I started studying nutrition in college. But, I started the search for a good quality multivitamin only about two years ago.  Before that, I bought my multivitamin & any other supplements (primarily calcium, vitamin D, & flax oil) at the grocery store or a mass retailer, like Target. I knew that multivitamins & supplements weren't well-regulated, but I didn't really care about it. I was satisfied with the products I'd been buying...until I bought a store-brand supplement that seemed to give me severe headaches in 2020.  Characteristics I Look For In a Multivitamin:  1. Quality Testing. This is now a must for me. Testing is important to ensure that the product I am buying contains what it says it contains & does  not contain unwanted contaminants. Sone of the brands available in stores do test their products. For example, many Nature Made products have the USP-verified seal on them.

How to Meal Plan

There are multiple reasons you might want to meal plan. Planning meals in advance can help you make a grocery list. Having a meal plan can help make week nights easier. When you come home from work, no need to spend time debating, "What am I having for dinner?" If you plan ahead, you can even start prepping the meal ahead on the weekend or whenever you have spare time. A meal plan is not the same as a diet plan. It's not about counting calories or other nutrients. It's simply about planning ahead. As such, the guidelines I am about to share are general, healthy habits & are not intended for any specific medical condition. If you have a condition, like kidney disease, diabetes, or Crohn's Disease, you may want to work with a dietitian or other healthcare professional to learn about the appropriate dietary habits for your condition. Step 1: Consider any constraints.  Before you actually start picking out the food for you meal, determine if there are any factors

Supplement Saturday: The Top 3 Supplements I Recommend To My Clients

When I first decided to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), I thought the bulk of my job would be educating people on how to make healthier food choices. But, I learned that nutrition isn't just about reading food labels to make healthier choices at the grocery store. A large part of my current work is recommending supplements. Here are the 3 supplements I most often recommend to my current clients and why... #1: Multivitamin This probably is not a surprise. Most clients come to a dietitian because they aren't eating well. If they aren't eating well, they aren't getting enough vitamins & minerals. So, of course, I recommend a multivitamin-multimineral supplement. The particular multivitamin formula does vary. Clients who are menstruating often need more iron, for example. There are also specialty formulas for people for health conditions including kidney disease & macular degeneration. Some formulations, like the New Chapter Every Woman's One D

How My Diet Has Changed

I will be honest. I have not always been a good eater. Even after I became interested in nutrition, my diet was not as good as it is today.  Fifteen years ago (or more!), I decided to become a dietitian & started learning about nutrition...I switched from eating one processed breakfast to another, though. I cut back on processed toaster pastries & replaced them with cereal. Less calories & sugar means it's healthier, right? At least, that's what I thought.  I still eat cereal on occasion, because it is convenient. But, now, I look for something with nuts & seeds for protein. Other protein choices at breakfast include cottage cheese, yogurt, and tofu. Several brands of frozen waffles & pancakes offer higher-protein versions. Occasionally, I will eat eggs or vegetarian sausages. (I don't eat meat, but meat is another protein choice.) For lunch, I often ate peanut butter on bread, carrots, & applesauce. That's four food groups--protein, grains, veg

Supplement Saturday: Should We Take Supplements?

  This is a hotly debated question in the health & wellness community.  Some people say that we can meet our nutrient needs through food & that taking vitamins just makes expensive urine, because we will pee out excess nutrients.  On the other hand, others say that most people probably don’t actually meet their nutrient needs because many people don’t actually eat a nutritious diet. Furthermore, our nutrient needs are affected by many factors, such as genetic mutations, disease, amount of exercise, age, pregnancy, breastfeeding, menstruation, gender, & even amount of sunlight exposure.  My Professional Opinion  Admittedly, my professional perspective may be warped. Most people don’t come see me because they’re already healthy.  In my opinion, most people are not meeting their nutrient needs through food.  Reasons Why People Don't Get Enough There are many reasons that people might not get enough of the vitamins & minerals they need.  Not Eating Enough Overall: Wheth


The information provided in this blog is not intended to replace individualized medical advice provided by your own doctor, dietitian, or other healthcare professional.
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