The world’s best nutritionists and dietitians answer your nutrition questions. Learn about gut and digestive health, performance nutrition, or weight loss and lifestyle nutrition from specialists like Claire Fudge, JJ Virgin, and Erin Judge.
No, I wouldn't recommend using 5-Hour ENERGY drinks as there is too much caffeine and other potentially sketchy ingredients in the product. Transcript: "Would I ever use a 5-Hour ENERGY drink? Regarding this particular brand of high caffeine supplement, absolutely not. There is such a crazy amount of caffeine and some other ingredients in that particular product that I got to tell you, no, I wouldn't, simply because there's too much in under even extreme conditions. By that, I'm thinking about some of the military, special operations troops with whom I've worked. They can work under some pretty extreme conditions. Even under those conditions, there are better products and better amounts of, well, less caffeine and less amounts of other ingredients they can use to safely wake them up, get them stimulated enough to do their jobs effectively without, again, so much caffeine and other sketchy ingredient in there. So, no, no, I don't think there's really ever any good use, any smart use for 5-Hour ENERGY drinks."
Eating carbohydrates, such as a small snack a few hours before bed, can help promote sleep by increasing serotonin levels. Cherry juice or cherries can also be a good source of melatonin, which has been known to help with the onset of sleep. Transcript: "So when I think of foods that can potentially help with sleep, I think about carbohydrates because carbohydrates can increase serotonin levels. Serotonin is known to help increase the onset of sleep. It also helps with mood and improving calmness. And so serotonin and again, carbohydrates help do that. And so a carbohydrate type food, not a large meal, a couple of hours before bed can help do that. And then melatonin, a lot of people supplement with melatonin, which can be helpful at times and maybe not always a great choice to supplement with melatonin. But cherry juice and cherries, in general, are high and-- or have a good source of melatonin, which can, again, help increase the onset of sleep. And so those are the two things that I would think about a couple of hours before bedtime to help improve sleep."
No, it's not safe to eat raw fish during pregnancy. It's best to avoid it and opt for cooked or veggie sushi. Transcript: "Is it safe to eat sushi during pregnancy? So if we're talking the raw fish, the answer's no. That's one thing that you really want to avoid during pregnancy just out of an abundance of caution. Even if you're at a very well-run and safe sushi restaurant, it's just best to avoid that raw fish. But the good news is lots of sushi restaurants sell sushi that is maybe tempura, meaning it's been fried and cooked. Or there's veggie sushi. There's avocado rolls. Things like that, totally fine to eat. You're just going to want to avoid eating any raw fish if you're pregnant just out of, like I said, an abundance of caution."
Carbohydrates come in different forms, such as starchy vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Eating more of these can help to prevent chronic conditions, improve mental health, and lead to a longer and happier life. To get the most benefit, focus on carbohydrates that have fiber attached, and avoid sugar-sweetened beverages and other sugary items without fiber. Transcript: "The question is, if all carbohydrates aren't sugars, what are the other groups useful for? So, yeah, a carbohydrate is your candy bar, your sugar sweetened beverage. That's all true. But carbohydrates also come in the form of starchy vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. And studies show that if we have more of these in an approach, such as a Mediterranean approach, we actually can help to prevent multiple different chronic conditions. We may live longer, we may be happier. There are studies looking at mental health. So let's not focus on carbohydrates all being in the same bucket, because they're not. Anything that has fiber attached to it, will have a little bit more benefit. Now, having said that, you can be moderate carbohydrate or even low carbohydrates, still get that fiber and still get that preventative aspect in. The key here is not to have things like sugar-sweetened beverages, sugar things that don't have fiber attached. So that's really the key message here."
Coconut oil is not a health food and doesn't provide any real health benefits. It can be consumed in moderation if you like the taste, but there's no need to go out of your way to include it in your diet. Transcript: "Are there any potential benefits to consuming coconut oil, even in moderation? I mean, not really. There's nothing that coconut oil provides in your diet that you really need, that you couldn't get from another source of fat or oil that is heart healthier. So from my perspective, the benefits of coconut oil are purely just hedonic, like deliciousness. It's yummy. It adds flavor to things. But from a health perspective, it's not a health food. It's not something you need to be supplementing. It's not something that I would tell people like, oh, you should have it every day or as part of your regular diet because it's doing, you know, X, Y, or Z benefit for you. So if you like it, use it in moderation. But if you don't particularly care for it, there's no reason to go out of your way to consume it in your diet. Hope that helps."Ask me a question!
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