13 Answers to Your Most Burning Nutrition Questions

February 28, 2018
| Created by Guest Instructor

This week we wanted to address the most common nutrition questions that we as dietitians get. Take a look and see if this answers any of your burning nutrition questions!  

 Is organic food healthier?

Organically grown food has not been shown to be more nutritious than conventionally grown. We do know that eating organic food supports healthy farming communities and contributes to cleaner air and water. For more information, check out this blog from dietitian Laura.

Should I be using coconut oil?

Coconut oil is a saturated fat, similar to butter. Thus, it is still something to be consumed in moderation. We recommend aiming for about 1 gram (or less) of saturated fat per 100 calories eaten throughout the day. It would be better to cook with canola, olive or avocado oil.

Are diet sodas poisonous?

Diet sodas are not poisonous. They contain artificial sweeteners, which contribute a sweet taste, without any of the calories. There is some research to suggest that artificial sweeteners may alter your gut microbiota, but poison is a strong word and the evidence does not support it.

Are carbs really that bad for you?

Carbs are the body’s preferred fuel source. They support energy levels, a healthy immune system, and are absolutely essential for you. Shoot for a variety of fruits and veggies, whole grains, beans, and dairy products as smart carb choices.

Are protein powders necessary after a workout?

No, although protein powder is convenient, it is not necessary after a workout. Eating a meal that contains both protein and carbohydrates within a couple hours of working out will allow your body to recover optimally.

What are the best supplements for sports performance? 

Supplements are meant to supplement the diet and therefore, you should always choose food first. Eat consistent, balanced meals throughout the day, drink water, and make sure you get 7-9 hours of sleep per night for optimal performance

Are bananas OK to eat?

Yes, bananas are great source of potassium, fiber, and carbohydrates! Eating all fruits and veggies help to support your healthy weight. 

Is it OK to eat after 7 p.m.?

Yes, if you are hungry, please eat! Eating after a certain time period will not cause you to gain weight. What really matters is the quality of the food you eat, not when you eat it. 

What’s the deal with bulletproof coffee?

Bulletproof coffee often contains butter, MCT oil, and/or coconut oil. Keep in mind that these types of fat are ones you want to limit in your diet. It also may be very tough on your stomach due to the amount of fat!

What are the best things to do for constipation?

Drink enough water, do some sort of physical activity, eat regularly throughout the day, and choose healthy fiber sources such as oatmeal, beans, peas, whole wheat products, and fruits and veggies.

Are avocados really that good for you?

Avocados contain monounsaturated fats, which are exceptionally heart-healthy. If you like them, go ahead and enjoy! If not, you can get healthy fats from other sources such as olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, seeds, and most nuts.

Should I do a juice cleanse to detox?

No! Your kidneys and liver already do a great job of removing toxins from your body. Juice cleanses do not contain enough calories to support your daily functions and will most likely leave you feeling tired and unhappy.  Any weight loss is due to fluctuations in water weight, lack of nutrition, and muscle loss and will likely be reversed as soon as you start eating again.

Are GMOs (genetically modified organisms) safe to eat?

Currently the only GMO foods that are commonly consumed are corn, soy, sugar beets, canola, papaya, Arctic apples, cottonseed, and squash. Thus far, GMOs have been continually proven safe for human consumption. If you remain concerned, avoid ultra-processed foods which are the main sources of GM corn and soy.

If you have more questions, please reach out to your local Harmons dietitians!