Brenda Schwerdt, For the News Tribune
I struggled with naming and writing this article because I am a firm believer that all foods can fit into a healthy diet plan. But there is a pattern among dietitians of the foods we routinely avoid. By "routinely avoid," I mean these foods are not commonly stocked in our refrigerators or cabinets. However, that doesn't mean we don't eat them on occasion.
Fat is an essential part of our diet, but not all fats are equal. I frequently get asked about the different types of fats, and I have a great handout that simply defines the differences between saturated and unsaturated, how they affect our body, and food sources. But I often have patients asking why there are these differences.
The FODMAP diet is a new diet plan being used to treat IBS and other GI distress. The acronym FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo- Di- Mono- saccharides and Polyols. FODMAPs are short chain carbohydrates. FODMAPs pull water into the intestinal tract, may not be digested or absorbed well, and could be fermented by bacteria in the intestinal tract when eaten in excess. Symptoms of gas, bloating, cramping and/or diarrhea may occur in those who may be sensitive to the effects of FODMAPs.
Today, everything can be made "smart," even our kitchen appliances. Sometimes this technology can help us learn to cook, keep track of ingredients and eat healthier.
I'm typically not a fan of hiding fruits or vegetables in foods to make foods seem healthier. Yes, zucchini chocolate cake can be delicious, and slightly more healthful than plain chocolate cake, but it is still chocolate cake. I especially do not like hiding foods in children's food. You are not teaching your child to like their vegetables if you have to hide them. You are not learning to like zucchini; you are learning to like a different kind of chocolate cake.
The world of dietary supplements is controversial. Some vitamin and mineral supplements show protection for certain diseases, while there is also evidence that supplementation may increase prevalence of some diseases.
Milk is likely the single food item that I am asked about the most often. There is good reason why I get so many questions, it seems like every day there is a new type of "milk" for sale at the local supermarket. Milk protein allergies, lactose intolerance and just looking for different alternatives have driven the increase of new milks and alternative milk products. When asked, "What type of milk should I drink?" my answer is always, "It depends; what kind of milk do you like?"