Ask The Expert

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Q: How do I identify a fad diet?

A: With so many diet and weight loss solutions available, it can sometimes be hard to know what to spend your money on and when to walk away. After all, the weight loss industry is a 60+ billion dollar entity and there can be a lot of unhealthy, unrealistic, quick fixes out there. To help you wade through all the muck, here are the signs of a Fad Diet:  

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Q: I am trying to lose weight and heard that a low carb diet was the way to go, is this true?

A: The answer is yes and no. Reducing your carbohydrate intake can help you to lose weight, however any diet that eliminates or greatly restricts any one food group can be very difficult to follow and is not realistic or conducive to everyday life. Not to mention it is not always best for your health. Instead, you should focus on balancing your food groups, increasing your vegetable intake and choosing healthy or “complex” carbs, such as whole grains, over unhealthy or “simple” carbs such as sugar and white flour.  

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Q: I don’t like to drink water, but am trying to avoid sugary juice and soda, what are some suggestions for beverages I will like?

A: My friend you are not alone, a surprising number of people dislike the taste of water. With most clients I encourage them to give it time and keep drinking it, try it cold, try it warm, try it with ice, try it from the fridge etc. Perhaps you may build up a “taste” for it. Your body will certainly look and feel better. In the meantime though, try adding fruit or cucumbers to your water. This can be done in a big pitcher that sits in the fridge, or it can be done on a single serving basis. Any kind of fruit is fine, whatever you prefer just throw it in. Also consider sparkling water, although drinking carbonated water only is not recommended, having an occasional seltzer with lemon or lime can take boring water to a whole new level. And even though these are not my favorite, sugar-free flavorings can be a good go between for someone working on cutting out juice, soda, or sweet tea, however it should not be a permanent change.

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Q: The doctor tells me that I need to watch my sodium intake because I have high blood pressure, is it safe for me to use a salt substitute instead?

A: Great question and a common one. 

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Q: How can I stop being sick and tired of being sick and tired?

A: Look no further than what you eat. Most of us are quick to spend loads of money on medications and other products to help deal with the symptoms of a cold or flu, but then hesitate at the price of fresh kale or organic oranges. What we eat affects how we feel. Eating a well balanced diet that includes at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies each day is the best defense we have against fatigue and illness. Don’t forget - we are what we eat!

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Q: My son is hyperactive and it has been suggested that we avoid artificial food dyes, is there any truth to this?

A: Great question and a very hot issue! As it happens, there is some evidence that shows a link between hyperactivity and food dyes. Some dyes such as Blue No. 2 and Yellow No. 5 are actually banned in other countries. The overall non-committal, politically correct, statement is: Artificial food dyes may cause an increase in hyperactivity in some children.  

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Jessica Carter MS, RD, LD

Meet Jessica

Jessica Carter is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. She is the founder and president of Core Health & Nutrition, LLC.

As a wife, mother, and dedicated professional, Jessica is passionate about living life to the fullest while still maintaining balance.

Jessica founded Core Health & Nutrition on the fundamental belief that with the right information and a little bit of motivation, anyone can have good health. She also believes that the ability to prevent disease and lead a healthy life is all about making the right choices. It is the mission of Core Health & Nutrition to provide clients with the knowledge, the tools and the motivation to make the best decisions for their health.

Learn More About Jessica...  
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