Here are your top 5 nutrition FAQs answered: Submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured in our our monthly FAQ.
1) For those who don’t eat animal products or dairy, do you recommend soy as a source of protein? What are the concerns?
Ans: Soy is controversial, because there are many mixed studies linking it both to increased and decreased cancer rates. I play it safe and only recommend soy in unprocessed or fermented forms such as edamame, miso and tempeh. I tell my clients to steer clear of processed or concentrated forms of soy like soy milk and soy protein isolate, which is often found in protein bars and protein powders.
2) What is a quick, healthy, go-to snack I can eat at work to hold me over until lunch or dinner?
Ans: Choose a snack that combines complex carbs and protein. So, a piece of fruit like an apple or a small bowl of fruit salad and some nuts or a spoonful of nut butter. Raw veggies and hummus is also a great high-fiber, lean protein snack. For those who do dairy, plain Greek yogurt with fresh berries and cinnamon is a delicious, high-protein source for a snack or a meal.
3) I’ve heard psyllium is a good source of fiber and can help lower cholesterol and detoxify the body. Is it okay to take?
Ans: It’s better to get your fiber from fruits, vegetables and whole grains which ideally make up your everyday meals and snacks. However, if you choose to use psyllium, it’s important to drink plenty of water, because it works by forming a gelatinous gel in the digestive tract that needs to keep moving! As with any supplement, it’s important to follow the directions on the label, start out slowly to see how your body reacts and, as always, consult with your physician or healthcare provider.
4) Can someone who has celiac disease or gluten sensitivity eat oats and oatmeal?
Ans: Oats, in and of themselves, do not contain gluten. So, technically, yes it’s okay to eat oats and oatmeal. However, because oats are usually processed in the same facilities and often on the same equipment as wheat, barley and rye, there could be cross-contamination. Some oats are certified “gluten-free,” which indicates they are safe for those who are sensitive. Call the manufacturer to inquire about their processing methods if you are unsure.
5) Is tea dehydrating?
Ans: Tea that contains caffeine is dehydrating. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it pulls water out of the body. It’s best to stay hydrated with pure water, because the body doesn’t have to digest it. However, caffeine-free teas are not considered dehydrating. Herbal teas like mint and chamomile are naturally caffeine-free.