Ask a Registered Dietitian
Julian Carpenter, Registered Dietitian and Independence County Agent, answers your nutrition questions.
Hey y’all! I just want to thank all of you that submitted a question to Julian and I want to thank Julian for taking the time to be the guest this month. Let’s see what Julian had to say to each of your questions:
“I have a lot of food allergies and intolerances that cause my diet to be very restrictive and I have been having issues with beans. While researching, I came across the FODMAPS diet that is currently popular in New Zealand and I’m considering trying it. Is such a restricted diet healthy to receive adequate nutrition?” - Jo
Hey there Jo! FODMAPs are carbohydrates (sugars) that are found in foods. Although, not all carbohydrates are considered FODMAPs. You mentioned having issues with beans lately. Could you try eliminating beans only and see if that takes care of the problem? I would hate for you to restrict foods that aren't necessarily causing you any issues. But if other FODMAP foods are causing problems, it is recommended to cut them all out for 6 weeks and begin slowly introducing the foods back into your diet to identify the problem. I don't think the diet is meant to be restrictive of all the FODMAP foods forever (unless that ends up being what works for an individual). The problem could also be that you are consuming too much of the certain food at one time (for your particular gut). You could try cutting back on the portion size and see if that helps the symptoms.
But to answer your question about whether it would provide adequate nutrition, I believe so. Again, since not all carbohydrates are considered FODMAPs, that leaves certain fruits and vegetables as low FODMAP foods. It also leaves options in the meat, dairy, and grains group. So although the diet is very restrictive, like you said, I think you could get adequate nutrition if you consumed a variety of the foods that are allowed on the diet but it might be extra challenging with your previous restrictions.
I hope this helps. Good luck to you, Jo!
“Is there such a thing as a Geriatric Dietitian?” – Nancy Y.
Yes, there are dietitians who specialize in geriatric nutrition. I’m not exactly sure where the closest one might be to your area but if you are interested, I can locate one for you, Nancy!
“Diabetes runs in my family and I am worried about becoming a diabetic. My wife and I are always on the go and I typically eat breakfast at work, two granola bars. What is an on-the-go breakfast I could eat that would help prevent diabetes?” – Anonymous
One of my favorites right now is an English muffin with a slice of cheddar cheese and a turkey sausage patty warmed up for about 30 seconds in the microwave, once I get to work. This provides 270 calories, 25 grams of carbohydrate and 17 grams of protein. I like to add a serving of fruit, also. (Peach, apple, banana)
Eating protein and fat with your carbohydrates is key to keeping your blood glucose stable and helping your body digest slow and steady until your next meal. Granola bars, although fine for an occasional snack, are typically not going to provide much protein or fat.
“What food category should the bulk of calorie intake come from? Why can’t I just eat Oreos that’s the real question!” – Kelli E.
This is an important question Kelli. The recommendation for the typical American looks like this:
Carbohydrates 45-65% of intake
Fat 20-35% of intake
Protein 10-35% of intake
And Kelli, all things in moderation!
“Are there foods that help with fingernail or hair growth (or hair or nail strength)?” – Amy C.
Hey there Amy. So many nutrients are involved in making your hair and nails healthy, strong and shiny! Fish, beans, nuts, flaxseed, egg yolks, bell peppers, tomatoes, citrus fruits, dark leafy greens, beef, poultry and organ meats. Basically, eating a healthy and varied diet will do your hair and nails some good!
“What are your views on Intermittent Fasting and the KETO diet?” – Torrie S. (Yes friends, its me.)
In short, I typically recommend to eat when you feel hungry while trying to follow the MyPlate recommendations. Healthy fats, low fat dairy, whole grains, lean protein and lots of fruits and vegetables are key to a healthy lifestyle!
“I am overweight and I don’t like to count calories or keep track of my diet, what can I do to help me to lose weight besides keeping track?” – Torrie S. (Yeah it’s me, again!)
This goes back to my previous answer. Eat when you feel hungry not just because you are bored or stressed. Also, start trying to make some healthier swaps. If you usually buy white bread, try whole grain bread. Whole grains help you feel fuller longer because of the increased fiber. If you aren’t eating any vegetables, try buying just one vegetable this week and incorporate it into a dinner or two. If you usually eat some sort of junk food every day, try to cut back on the amount you would typically eat. When it’s gone don’t bring any back into the house, if it’s not there you can’t eat it. Oh, and ditch the soda as soon as possible. Small changes over time really add up! Once you’ve created one healthy habit, start with another.
SHORT ANSWER: If you don’t want to count calories, make healthy food choices (most of the time) and move your body every day!
Thank you all so much for submitting questions. That was fun! While talking with our favorite blogger, Torrie, I mentioned something she had never heard. It got me thinking about how many others have never heard something similar so I thought I would share. Living a healthier lifestyle doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Personally, I try to live by the 80/20 rule. Choose healthy foods 80% of the time and less healthy foods 20% of the time for a good balance. Over the span of a week of meals, that’s about 4 treats for yourself! Yay! There’s always going to be birthday celebrations, office parties and holiday gatherings and those are the perfect time to give yourself a little grace and enjoy some of those tempting foods you love so much. Then you can get right back on track with healthy eating!
Take good care of yourselves, friends!!
Julian Carpenter MS, RD, LD
*Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.