Ask a Dietitian

As a child I did not drink milk very much because the taste made me gag and now as an adult I have grown intolerant to lactose, but it kind of comes and goes. Does this have to do with my lack of milk intake as a child and how could I best reverse this?

Hello there!  Thanks for your question!

Lactose intolerance happens because our small intestine doesn't produce enough of an enzyme called lactase to break down the sugar, lactose.   It is common in many adults even if you didn't drink milk as a child.  Symptoms often occur 30 minutes to 2 hours after ingesting milk products or a large amount of milk products.  Some of the symptoms are:

Is any of the following grilling methods preferred over the others in terms of producing safer grilled foods? Charcoal, gas, electric, etc.? If so, why?

Hello there and thanks for the question!  Wow, what an interesting question, too!

When it comes to grilling, it doesn't matter if your grilling over charcoal, gas or electric to produce safer grilled foods.  (Environmentally, charcoal does more harm to the environment but that's another issue.)

What is the difference between natural and processed cheeses? Can you provide examples?

Hi There!  Thank you for your question!  Cheese is a great source of calcium but it can also be full of saturated fat.  The American Heart Association recommends limiting your intake of saturated fat.  To keep calories in check (as well as saturated fat), look for reduced-fat versions and try to limit the full fat cheeses.

Truth or myth?Is it true that different blood types have different nutritional needs?

Hello there!  I am glad you decided to ask your question here before you started this diet.  Thank you!

There is a diet that claims that eating according to your blood type can give you optimal health.  Unfortunately, this diet is short of science.  Meaning, there is no research studies proving that this diet can help with your health.  So, yes, it is a myth.

Did live probiotic die if I cooked fermented mustard leaf?

Hello there!  What an interesting and somewhat challenging question!  

First, let's talk a little about probiotics.  Probiotics, as defined by the World Health Organization, are "live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a healthy benefit to the host."  What that means is that it's the healthy microorganisms found in yogurt, kimchi, fermented mustard leaf, and sauerkraut, to name a few, that are good for your gut.  The key here is that these microorganisms are live.

I recently attended a lecture about the importance of consuming enough fiber. The presenter spoke very highly about "wheat berries" and so I bought a pound of them. Unfortunately, none of my cookbooks include recipes using wheatberries. Help!

Hello there!  I am so glad you were able to learn more about fiber and specifically, wheat berries.  I have to admit, wheat berries are not the first whole grain that comes to my mind when adding more fiber in my diet but don't fret!  They are definitely a good source of fiber that can be used many whole grain meals!

A little info about wheat berries:

Can you eat tofu raw, or does it need to be cooked (if so, for how long)?

Hello there!  Tofu is a great alternative to adding protein in your meals!  AND you can eat it both cooked or uncooked.  Tofu is a vegetarian protein source made from condensed soybeans. It has about 8 grams of protein in 3.5 ounces or 100 grams.  It also has about 2 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fat, AND a wide range of vitamins and minerals.  

Hello! I just visited the doctor for the first time in my adult life and found out I am anemic, prediabetic, and have narcolepsy. I've been trying to find out what foods to avoid, any help with that would be much appreciated! Thanks!

Thanks for your question. Unfortunately, I can't answer questions about medical conditions over the internet. I recommend that you talk to your healthcare provider about this. You can also ask for a referral to a registered dietitian who will have access to your medical records and can help you develop a plan for your diet.

Reading a lot on wheat and how it's connected to belly fat.should I just not eat wheat or can I substitute something else

Hi there.  What an interesting question!  There are many health claims on wheat and belly fat.  However, I think one big item that has been overlooked in these claims is the kind of wheat that most people are eating.  Americans tend to over-consume refined and processed wheat products.  Think white bread, bagels and pasta.  These types of products are usually less nutritious and tend to be higher in fat and sugar.