Thursday, April 13, 2006

Conversations with a Nutritionist

Monday, I took advantage of the free nutrition consultating service on campus, and engaged in conversations with a nutritionist. I found my visit with the school nutritionist to be very positive and helpful. First of all, she told me that for the most part I had good habits, and that I was pretty aware of all my bad habits (a.k.a. - chocolate). That was encouraging. Here are a few tips that she shared with me, mixed with a few more interesting tidbits I came across on the internet. (Nothing earth shattering - but still good to review)

1. Fill half your plate with vegetables.
2. For many North Americans - 40% of their calorie intake comes from "OTHER FOODS" - i.e. not grains, milk, fruits and vegetables, or meat and alternatives.
3. Read labels - looks for good things like grams of fibre/serving in addition to calories, grams of fat etc.
4. Try to make more snacks fruits and vegetables
5. If you want to absorb calcium, you need to have vitamin D kicking around in your system.
6. Buyer beware of labelling rules especially for health food products. According to a CBC marketplace study, many probiotic supplements fell short of their promised quantities - I would assume this would apply to other products too.
7. Look for an updated Canada's Food Guide in the next few months.

Her mention of Probiotics - foods containing active cultures of healthy colon bacteria - caught my interest and this afternoon, I've been poking around the internet looking for some solid science on Probiotics, seeing how I bought a container of Activia Yogourt to try yesterday. This link takes you to a educational video sponsered by Activia Yogourt explaining how it works in a very cautious manner. It probably won't win any entertainment awards, but it is cute if you can endure 14 minutes of cartoonly education video with muzak in the background.

There appear to be a lot of glowing reports for Probiotics and skeptisism. Here are a few articles which hit the highlights:

"A Bug for what is bugging you" - USA Today
"Some Bacteria is Good to Eat" - CBC Marketplace
"Microorganism Warfare"

Note that all of the above come from the Canadian Research and Development Centre for Probiotics. However, the articles are interesting if you have a bit of time for a read.

Jennith Posted by Picasa

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