Author Archives: Rebecca

About Rebecca

Registered Dietitian

Is High Fructose Corn Syrup Bad for You?

We’ve seen the commercials that attempt to disperse negative reputation of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) conveniently produced by the Corn Refiners Association and we’ve read the studies that vehemently protest consumption of it. So what’s the truth? What does the research say? What do you believe? The following is a brief summary as well as my opinion on the HFCS issue.

Let’s start with a definition. High fructose corn syrup is a sweetening agent added to processed foods where some glucose is changed to fructose (two types of sugar). At the end of the processing, both fructose and glucose are present. HFCS is chemically similar to table sugar, which we’ve been using as an “added sugar” sweetener for years. Is HFCS worse for you than table sugar? Is it correlated with obesity? Does it cause it?

Research Summary

Much of the research done on the topic shows indecisiveness of the effects of HFCS on weight. Older studies found that when subjects consumed higher amounts of sweetened drinks, like sodas, they gained more weight. More recent studies however, say that HFCS isn’t particularly to blame for the high rates of obesity. Princeton University found that rats that were given HFCS gained much higher amounts of weight than those rats that were given table sugar, even though they consumed identical calorie amounts. The HFCS rats also had higher rates of triglycerides, or ‘blood fats’. Long-term studies bring up the prevalence of another dangerous condition, metabolic syndrome. Gaining, almost 50 percent more weight than rats eating a normal diet, metabolic syndrome and obesity were at an all time high. (more…)

Tips to Gain Weight the Healthy Way

Okay, okay… please don’t throw rotten tomatoes and raw eggs at me, but it’s true… there are some people out there who would like to gain weight, but want to do it in a healthy way. If that’s you, read on for some useful tips to help you reach your goals.

There are several factors for why people may want to gain weight:

  • People who are underweight based on genetics and eating behaviors
  • Athletes who are trying to bulk up for sports performance
  • People with a recent medical procedure, like having your jaw wired shut, or having your tonsils removed (ouch!)

Whatever the reason, gaining weight should be done in a healthy way with nutrient-dense foods instead of junk foods that are consumed just for the sake of adding calories. (See dieters, it’s not all about stuffing your face in order to gain weight).


4 Ways to Beat Stress Eating

Stress has become a part of our culture, and undoubtedly you may have experienced a sense of being overwhelmed quite often. For some, stress eating or stress drinking alcohol are enormous saboteurs on the path to health and wellness. It’s not just the excess calories that nudge you away from your goal. Here are four factors that people struggle with during stressful times:

1. Alcohol Backfires on Your Well-Being

Stress drinking cocktails or a few beers after a hectic day at work is what some see as a ritual to unwind, but this can backfire later. Alcohol prevents the brain from entering deep sleep leaving you unrested and stressed the next morning. Alcohol also dehydrates you. If you do drink, keep it to one drink a night. That means five ounces of wine or one shot of liquor… not an over-sized glass with a mixed drink.


Tips for Healthy Digestion

Do you remember that episode of Magic School Bus where the kids on the bus fly into their classmate’s mouth and learn about the inner workings of digestion? Information simple enough for elementary school children, right? So, why are so many Americans struggling with knowledge about food choices and their reactions as your body breaks it down?

Without digestion, you won’t be able to get the essential nutrients you need. As your body breaks down food and it travels through the intestines, all those components of food are caught and stored. Everything you decided to put in your mouth, be it an apple or a Snickers bar, will play a role in your digestion.


Flax and Chia Seeds Pack Nutritional Punch

Flax seed oil and chia seeds are filled with nutritional benefits that are essential to your overall health. They are filled with both omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids that our bodies cannot make, so we have to get them from food sources.

There are some cautions to consider with flax seed oil, however. Because it is a fat, it can go rancid, and you must take the necessary precautions to avoid that. You need to make sure that exposure to heat, air and light are all minimal or avoided.