Ask a Dietitian

Thank you for the great information regarding dark chocolate! Is milk chocolate nutritionally the same, or does one have more health benefits over the other?

Hello there!  I'm glad I was able to answer all your dark chocolate questions!

Milk chocolate, unfortunately, does not have the same nutritional value than dark chocolate.  This is because milk chocolate contains less cocoa than the dark chocolate has.  Additionally, the milk chocolate has been diluted with milk, sugar and cream, which lessens its nutritional value than dark chocolate.

Hello! I'm in a play in 3 weeks and I need to lose some weight to fit into my costume. I'm a 5'10 17yo female and I weigh 174 lbs. I have 3 weeks to drop 9 or 10 pounds. How can I do this healthily?

Hello there and congratulations on acting in a play!  How exciting for you!

Losing weight is a game of patience.  Our bodies gets used to the weight we currently are at and fights to lose weight, which is why it usually takes time to lose weight.  A healthy weight loss can be 0.5 lb to 2 lbs/week.  This page from an older question on losing weight may give you some ideas on how to lose weight eating a balanced diet.

Good luck!

My child can live off of bean and cheese burritos if I allowed her to. She loves fruits and vegetables but Im concerned that her intake of pinto/peruvian beans may lead to obesity. She's currently 14yrs old, 5'0, 106lbs and has Down Syndrome.

Hello there! 

Having picky eaters in a family can be a challenge when you are trying to make sure they are eating healthy.  You should be happy that your daughter is choosing healthy foods like fruits, vegetables and even beans!  Beans are a good source of protein and a good source of fiber.  The fiber will help her stay full and the protein is good for her muscles.  Her love of cheese and bean burritos can be a good thing...but I bet it could be even better!

Can you break a weight loss plateau by "calorie dumping," or suddenly eating more for a day or 2 to shock the body or is that a myth?

Hello there!

Weight loss plateaus do occur in a lot of people who are losing weight.  You may have been losing weight by eating healthy and becoming more active.  After a while, you are feeling "stuck" at a certain weight.  One theory is that your body may be comfortable at that set weight.  Another is that your body has got used to the routine you probably have set on your weight loss journey and your metabolism has adjusted to the calories and the activity.  There are a few ways to get pass the plateau.

Could you provide me with easy and delicious gout-friendly recipes for all meals and snacks?

Hello there and thanks for the 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.

Does dark chocolate have health benefits? (What about considered to milk chocolate?)

Hello there and thanks for the question!

Yummy dark chocolate!  If you buy a good quality dark chocolate, it does have a decent amount of soluble fiber and minerals.  In a 100 gram dark chocolate bar, you can get as much as 11 grams of fiber BUT you also get about 600 calories!  So, even though dark chocolate has a good amount of fiber and minerals, like iron, magnesium, copper, it is also a high calorie treat.  That is why eating dark chocolate should be consumed in moderation.

I am 20 years old and recently became a vegetarian (excluding meat only). I lift weights and am pretty active. I was wondering which multi-vitamin would be best to make sure I have enough vitamin B12, iron and Vitamin D.

Hi there and thanks for your question!  When you say you are excluding meat only, do you mean you are excluding just red meat?  Or does that include pork and poultry products?  Will you be eating fish and seafood?  Even if you are excluding beef, poultry and pork, you can get your recommended daily amount of B12, iron, and vitamin D by eating whole foods and without taking supplements!