Ask a Dietitian

I constantly find myself bloated and unable to use the bathroom. I've cut dairy products and soy based products hoping it will help but nothing is helping. I eat veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, and asparagus daily. I drink vegan protein drinks.

Sorry you're not feeling well!  It sounds like with the bloating and inability to use the bathroom, you are constipated.  Here are a few tips that may help get things moving in your gut: 

Drink plenty of water: constipation is caused by dehydration in your colon.  Drinking plenty of water will help to ensure water is not removed from your colon and make stools easier to pass.

What's a good fish to bake and a good way to bake it? I don't like the lemon taste. Also, I don't like baked fish. I need to eat fish twice a week.

Hi there!  Baked fish is an excellent way to prepare fish and not too hard.  Many kinds of fish are good to bake in the oven, salmon, cod, tilapia, etc.  Be sure the fish is completely defrosted and pat dry with a paper towel before preparing to bake.  Preheat the oven to 375 F (for a thin fish - like tilapia) or 425 F for a dense fish (salmon or cod).  Brush the top of the fish with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

I'm drawn towards a vegan diet, but keep hearing that it's not really good for people. With no outstanding health or nutrition issues, how much meat/dairy can we safely eliminate?

Hello!  A vegan diet can be healthy if it is well planned.  The most important thing is to be well informed and very aware of which vitamins, minerals and other nutrients you are eliminating.  You may need to take supplements if you are unable to get them in your diet.  A vegan diet eliminates meat and all meat products, putting you at risk for deficiency of vitamin B12, calcium, iron and vitamin D.  Without careful consideration to be sure you are getting adequate intake of these nutrients you can become deficient.  

Hello, why does canned tuna in oil have more niacin than tuna in water?

The amount of niacin found in tuna in oil vs. tuna in water are actually not much different.  Tuna in oil only has about 1.5mg more niacin than tuna in water.  This is probably because niacin is a B vitamin, meaning it is water soluble - some of the niacin may drain off in the liquid.  Tuna packed in water is preferrable because it is lower in salt, lower in fat and higher in omeg-3 fatty acids.

My grandson is 8 years old and weighs 170 lbs. Can you tell what would be a good diet to lose some of that weight?

I applaud you for wanting what is best for your grandson and wanting to help him be healthy.  It is extremely important to remember that what often works for adults does not work, and can actually be harmful, for children.  Children are growing and have different nutrition needs to help them grow, learn and for their bodies to develop correctly.  It is important not to put children on a "diet" (restrict lots of foods or calories) or put them on supplements.

Hello! I am a 35 year old woman who is 167 lbs and 5'8" tall. I am medium build. I exercise by running 2x per week. I have been eating around 1000 calories daily. I need to raise my caloric intake. What is the best distribution of foods for me?

Hi there, you are correct in that you need to increase your daily calorie intake!  Eating adequate nutrients allows our body to use what it needs and discard the rest without storing calories.  Getting a variety of different food groups is always best.  This variety helps to ensure appropriate nutrition with different vitamin and mineral intake.  

I am a new mom with belly problems. I want to increase my metabolism and want a diet to follow on a daily basis. I exercise. Can I skip meals??

Good for you for wanting to take control of your health!  Your metabolism and nutritional needs change after giving birth.  Good nutrition and plenty of fluid is important to supply your body with enough energy to care for yourself and your new baby.  Since your body is changing and your energy needs are higher than normal, I do not recommend skipping meals.  Here are some quick tips to good nutrition you may find helpful:

Any tips for those dealing with psoriasis?

Thank you for your question and I'm sorry to hearing you are suffereing from psoriasis.  Unfortunately, I cannot give medical nutrition advice on the internet. I recommend that you talk to your doctor about your specific health needs and ask to be referred to a registered dietitian to develop an individualized diet plan. They will consider your existing condition(s) and any medication you may be taking when developing a plan.

My teenage daughter is concerned about gaining weight, how can I acknowledge her concern but encourage healthy practices? What are some helpful dietary tips that resonate with teenagers?

I understand your concern and applaud your focus on encouraging healthy practices!  It is important to remember that "healthy" comes in all shapes and sizes.  Being healthy means getting a variety of foods and different kinds of exercise without being overly restrictive.  

I'm looking for low sodium meals to help maintain my blood pressure as well as heart healthy.

Almost all of the recipes on qualify as low-sodium and heart-healthy recipes. I recommend double checking the nutrition facts at the bottom of a recipe for saturated fat and sodium, however, before you cook it. It is best to work with your doctor to develop a plan that fits your specific health goals. You may also be able to work with a Registered Dietian through your health clinic for more specific guidance.

These are a few recipes that might fit your needs: