Articles about Nutrition

Ask the dietitian…

I often have people stop me and ask me nutritional questions, so I thought it would be fun to share some of these questions with you from time to time.

Q. I remember your article regarding protein and that our protein needs are low, I make a veggie and greens smoothie every morning is this OK?

A. Yes, you are right, the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein is lower than most people know/intake. As a review we only need on average between 40-60 grams of protein a day which is easily obtainable. Now for that smoothie, I’m a big fan of homemade smoothies – homemade because you can control the ingredients. Smoothies are also an easy way to get several servings of fruits and/or vegetables in one meal. Fruits and vegetables are carbohydrates (good carbs), but a meal entirely of carbs will leave you feeling hungry before your next meal. To alleviate this, just add a little protein to your smoothie. This is as easy as adding a few scoops of plain yogurt, milk, or soy milk.

TIP: I actually buy my favorite Greek yogurt when it is on sale and then I fill ice cube trays with the yogurt, freeze it, and then pop the cubes out into a freezer bag. This way I always have yogurt on hand for my morning smoothie. I actually do this with summer fruit too. Cube, slice or puree, and freeze. Saves time and money.

Q. Is it true that two tablespoons of wheat grass a day will provide me will all the nutrition my body needs?

A. Short answer no. In fact, there is no one food that can provide all the nutrition our bodies need on a daily/weekly basis. Wheat grass gets a “superfood” type of following but actually there is not much scientific evidence that wheat grass is any more superior then other fruits and vegetables. In fact if you look at the nutritional facts comparing wheatgrass, broccoli, and spinach there is no one winner. Of note, many believe that wheatgrass contains B12, it does not nor does any vegetable, rather it is a byproduct of the microorganisms living on plants.

On a daily basis our bodies need carbohydrates (fruits, vegetables, and grains), protein (beans, meat, fish, poultry, dairy), and fat (think healthy – olive oil, grapeseed oil, canola oil, omega 3 from fish, etc.) to provide our bodies with the nutrients necessary to function. Carbohydrates are used for energy, protein for cell repair and growth, and fats provide essential fatty acids, keep our skin soft, and deliver fat-soluble vitamins. Thank goodness, as a foodie I would be very bored eating one food a day! Also, our bodies do not absorb 100% of any nutrient at any one time, so it is important to eat a variety of foods throughout the day, therefore by the end of the day your body had the opportunity to absorb the nutrients needed to function.

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