Diet & Nutrition

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    The McDougall diet for multiple sclerosis (MS) is a diet created by John McDougall, MD, who is also a nutrition expert. The diet is based on starches. Starches are a category of food that are vegetable in matter but also have a lot of calories, such as beans, corn, sweet potatoes and rice. The diet also includes non­starchy green, red, purple and yellow vegetables -- such as kale, broccoli and cauliflower -- and some fruits, grains, rice, tubers and legumes. The McDougall diet avoids meats, dairy, oils and processed foods.
     
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    The Wahls protocol (diet) was developed by Terry Wahls, MD, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 2000. Ultimately, this protocol is a new way of eating based on Paleo principles, but organized to maximize these nutrients that are important to the brain. Dr. Wahls tracks 36 vitamins, minerals, essential fats and antioxidants in the diet.

    The Wahls diet basically means adding more leafy green vegetables to your diet: sulfur­rich vegetables like cabbage, mushrooms and the onion family; deeply pigmented foods like carrots, beets and berries; grass-fed meats; wild fish and seaweed. The Wahls diet avoids wheat, grains, legumes and dairy.

    As people progress in the diet, they transition from their existing way of eating to a more nutrient­dense and low­glycemic way of eating that Wahls proposes is better for their brain health.
     
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    AMark Hyman, MD, answered
    What are some non-gluten sources of fiber?
    The best non-gluten sources of fiber are all types of vegetables and fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains outside of wheat (quinoa and buckwheat). Watch as functional medicine expert Mark Hyman, MD, shares some gluten-free sources of fiber. 
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    ANatalie Castro-Romero, MS, RD, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of Baptist Health South Florida
    Have you ever wondered how many calories are in that burrito you just ordered? Are you curious about that bowl of broccoli and cheese soup or tub of movie popcorn? Thanks to new regulations released from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you’ll soon have more information about the items offered in restaurants and food-service establishments with 20 or more locations by November 15, 2015, when new FDA regulations go into effect. Health and nutrition experts say that while this added knowledge provides important weight-loss and health-maintenance tools, you should combine that calorie information with some diet wisdom: all calories are not created equal.
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    AMichael Breus, PhD, Psychology, answered
    How can a food curfew help me get a good night's sleep?
    What you eat at the end of the day can have a dramatic effect on how you sleep at night. Watch as sleep specialist Michael Breus, PhD, explains how a food curfew can help you properly digest what you've eaten in time to get a great night's sleep.
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    AHealthCorps answered
    In an effort to cut down on unhealthy saturated fats, most food experts suggest limiting red meat consumption and choosing the leanest cuts when possible. Even white meats, such as turkey and chicken, have saturated fat, especially if you eat the skin. If you're interested in adding more plant-based proteins to your diet in place of meat, you have plenty of choices. Along with nuts, seeds, legumes and beans, here are a few to consider:
    • Peas: one cup of peas contains about 9 grams of protein.
    • Hemp seeds: one ounce has about 10 grams of protein. It pairs well with Greek yogurt, which is also protein-packed.
    • Broccoli: one cup, cooked, has about 7 grams of protein.
    • Lentils:  one cup cooked has 18 grams of protein
    • Quinoa: one cup cooked has 9 grams of protein
    Note that most health professionals recommend that you get 35% of your daily calories from protein. That translates into 46 grams for the average woman and 52 grams for the average man.
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    AStefanie Sacks, MS, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    Eating healthfully is about balance. Based on my personal and professional experience, it is ideal to give your body a variety of all macronutrients (carboyhydrates, proteins and fats) at each meal. Considering color, texture and flavor is also important. 
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    Some American adults get too little vitamin D, vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin C. More than 40% of adults have dietary intakes of vitamin A, C, D and E, calcium and magnesium below the average requirement for their age and gender. Inadequate intake of vitamins and minerals is most common among 14-to-18-year-old teenagers.

    Adolescent girls have lower nutrient intake than boys. But nutrient deficiencies are rare among younger American children; the exceptions are dietary vitamin D and E, for which intake is low for all Americans, and calcium. Approximately one-fifth of two-to-eight-year-old children don’t get enough calcium in their diets, compared to a half of adults and four-fifths of 14-to-18-year-old girls.
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    AAmy Myers, MD, Family Medicine, answered
    Myers_WhatAreFoodSubstitutionsForCornInDiet_031214.mov
    Corn is a hidden ingredient in many foods, so you may experience symptoms of a corn sensitivity and not even know it. Watch functional medicine specialist Amy Myers, MD, share common names for corn, and what you can substitute for corn in your diet.
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    AJanet Brill, PhD, RD, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    What are the health risks of eating undercooked beans?
    Eating undercooked beans can be toxic, as they contain a protein called lectin that can cause many GI issues. Watch nutritionist Janet Brill, PhD/RD, discuss why it's key to fully cook your beans, and the symptoms you can experience if you don't.