Preventing Vitamin D Deficiency through Diet and Lifestyle

Q: I am Vitamin D deficient and should be taking 2,000 IU’s a day. Without taking vitamin supplements or drinking milk, what else can I eat or drink organically to make up for the deficit that would be equivalent to taking 2,000 IU’s a day?

A:  The best way to avoid deficiency is to consume foods rich in vitamin D3, get some sunshine and take a supplement.

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Creating Umami: How to cook with less salt

Many ingredients besides salt can give dishes rich satisfying flavor. The following tips will help you transition to a lower sodium diet without sacrificing flavor by creating what is called umami. Often called the “fifth taste” umami suppresses bitter compounds (in foods like kale and broccoli), heightens the existing flavor of dishes and increases the perception of saltiness.

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How to Handle Your Next Snack Attack

Nutrition and eating healthfully have a direct impact on your energy, motivation, and productivity. To keep energy levels up, eat nutrient dense snacks at regular intervals throughout the day—about two hours before, and two hours after a meal. A nutrient-dense snack provides: protein, healthy fat, fiber, and about 150 calories. The following snacks will silence cravings and keep you from overeating in the evening.

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Q&A: How much protein do I need?

Q: My husband is a big protein advocate and says I don’t get enough. There are a lot of things like protein shakes and pre-workout supplements floating around the market. I’d love to know: How much is “enough”?
N.S., Newington

A: Adequate protein intake is associated with improvements in lean body mass, strength, balance and functional health, especially as we age. The amount of protein you need is based on several factors including: body weight, muscle mass, physical activity and age. 

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Q&A: Do certain foods increase fat-burning

Q: I’ve heard that there are some foods you should not mix in order to avoid fat storage. For instance: Don’t consume a fat with a carb or a carb with a protein. I may have the combinations wrong but is there any truth to this and if so, what are the best combinations to maximize fat burning?

LM, Rocky Hill

A: There isn’t enough evidence to support the claim that eating certain foods together maximizes fat burning but there are several lifestyle patterns that can support your metabolism.

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Q&A: What is healthier, butter or margarine

Q: I am wondering which is healthier to use: Butter  or light spreadable margarine, like light I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter? The latter contains palm kernel and palm oil, which I thought aren’t too healthy, but I thought that butter has more saturated fat and calories.

Joyce

A: Yes, light I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter! does have less saturated fat and calories than butter but it also contains palm oil, monoglycerides and diglycerides that aren’t so healthy.

Monoglycerides and diglycerides are emulsifiers, structurally similar to fat that are often used to combine water with soybean oil (or other fat) to make lower calorie buttery spreads. When mono- and diglycerides are manufactured in a lab, or when exposed to heat for processing and prepared foods, trans fatty acids — the least healthy of all the fats — can be formed.

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