On Nutrition: Questions from readers
By Barbara Quinn
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's National Nutrition Month a campaign sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to help us better informed food choices. This year's theme is "Get Your Plate in Shape" And as promised, here are some questions from readers:
"Help! Help! I do like to nibble at night and I don't know if that is good for me or not. Please write an article. I desperately need it." Madelon Z.
Night time nibbling may or may not be good for you. Are you nibbling on an apple or a half gallon of ice cream? A cup of tea and a cookie or a bag of tortilla chips and dip?
Are you nibbling because you are hungry? Or for emotional comfort? (A certain dietitian I know occasionally succumbs to M&M's while she writes her nutrition column.)
If you have the desire to eat because your stomach is empty, blame it on ghrelin a hormone that urges us to eat. Ghrelin can also make us feel hungry when we don't get enough sleep. So if you feel like late-night snacking, a path to beddy-bye might be more productive for your waistline than a trip to nibble-land.
"I just read your article on the benefits of tea in 'The Fayetteville (NC) Observer'. I would like to know if decaf tea has the same health benefits as caffeinated tea. Thank you for your help." Sandy W.
Many of tea's health benefits come from a class of naturally-occurring substances called "flavonoids," which are minimally affected by processing. According to the "USDA Database for the Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods" decaffeinated teas contain fewer of some types of flavonoids and more of others when compared to regular tea. So overall, decaf tea is still a good choice.
"Please comment on an article in the February issue of Bottom Line newsletter entitled, 'Put down that slice of bread!' It says whole wheat is bad for us and causes obesity, digestive diseases, arthritis, diabetes and heart disease. It's very confusing." Carolyn S.
No wonder you are confused. This article draws some pretty outlandish conclusions from the scientific research. Interesting that about the same time this article appeared in Bottom Line, the Harvard School of Public Health published an article entitled "Fiber: The Bottom Line." Harvard nutrition specialists conclude, "When you eat a healthy diet rich in whole grains, vegetables and fruit Ö you'll be lowering your risk of diabetes, heart disease, diverticulitis and constipation." They go on to recommend we "choose foods that list whole grains (like whole wheat and whole oats) as the first ingredient."
Other documented health benefits associated with eating foods made with whole grains include a reduced risk for stroke and type 2 diabetes. Whole grains have also been shown to help control weight and blood pressure, and reduce the risk for colorectal cancer.
Cynthia Harriman, Director of Food and Nutrition Strategies for the Whole Grains Council a non-profit consumer advocacy group invites us to visit http://www.wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/what-are-the-health-benefits and review the evidence for ourselves.
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Barbara Quinn is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.
Beware of the hCG diet
© 2011, The Monterey County Herald Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services