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, it is not necessary to eat three meals a day. It all depends on the individual's goals and calorie intake. Transcript: "Is it really necessary to eat three meals a day? I would say it's not necessary to eat three meals a day. I think it totally depends on the individual's goals. Individuals can have a lot of success eating less than that. They can have success eating more than that. If the goal is to build lean mass, likely recommended to have at least three meals, if not more than that, per day, or at least getting protein more times in the day. Ultimately, what matters is calories in, calories out. And again, it depends on the goals as well. That matters, and the overall macronutrient composition matters more than how many meals you're having in a day."
Avoid artificial sweeteners, emulsifiers, and food colorants because they compromise gut microbiome. Transcript: "Hey, Mike, there's a great scientific paper I'll throw in the comments below, showing that we should avoid artificial sweeteners like saccharin, sucralose, ACE K, and aspartame. We should also avoid products with emulsifiers, like carboxymethyl cellulose, polysorbate 80, and carrageenan. And we should also avoid food colorants like titanium dioxide, because all of these actually compromise gut microbiome. This paper showed that concentrations of good bacteria, several different types of good bacteria, went down significantly when concentrations of these ingredients I just mentioned increased."Food Additives, Gut Microbiota, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Hidden Track
No, it is not appropriate to force picky eaters to try new foods or finish their meals. The best way to help a picky eater cultivate a better relationship with food is to read Ellen Satter's book, Child of Mine, and put the division of feeding responsibility she advocates into practice. Transcript: "Is it ever appropriate to force a picky eater to try new foods or finish their meal? So let me ask you a question. Say that you are visiting a foreign country and there is a local delicacy there, some sort of insect, a deep fried insect on a stick. And everyone else is enjoying it and they're savoring it and they're loving it. And you are looking at that food and it scares the life out of you. And it's terrifying. And, you know, it looks gross, you're afraid of how it's going to taste, you're worried about the texture. How would you feel if somebody forced you to try that new food or to finish the entire plate of it if it were served to you? Okay, for someone who's truly a picky eater, that's literally what it can feel like when you are serving a food that they are scared of. And so my personal opinion and my opinion based on my training and my reading is no, I don't think that it is appropriate to force people to try things or force people to finish meals. I have a lot of adult patients who will not even look at spinach or peas because they were forced to eat it when they were children and they want nothing to do with it. And also think about what message you're sending to a child. How good must this food be if you have to force me to eat it? And so I think if you're really struggling with picky eaters, my best advice to you is get a book called Child of Mine by Ellen Satter. It really will help you understand how to build a healthy feeding relationship with somebody in your family, I'm assuming a child, who really is a selective eater and who struggles with eating and with diversifying their diet. Getting into the power struggle with force feeding and ultimatums and you can't leave the table is never a winning strategy. And so I think if you want to get out of the power struggles and find a way to help and support your picky eater develop and cultivate a better relationship with food and eating, read Ellen Satter's book, Child of Mine, and really put the division of feeding responsibility that she advocates into practice. It will, I think, be a much more peaceful feeding environment and mealtime because of it. So, hope that helps."Ask me a question!
Adding avocado to a breakfast sandwich may lower its overall nutrient density, but will still contribute to improving the overall nutrition quality of that food. Transcript: "How does the addition of avocado to a breakfast sandwich affect its overall nutrient density. Well, often nutrient density is considered the amount of nutrients per calorie in food. And since avocado is going to provide a lot of calories through those monounsaturated fats, the nutrient density will actually probably go down a little bit. But that's not to say adding avocado to a breakfast sandwich would not improve the overall nutrition quality of that food."
I love coming up with recipes because it helps remove barriers for athletes to eat in a healthy manner. Transcript: "So what do I like most about coming up with recipes? Really, I love trying to change athletes' behaviors. I love trying to educate them on ways to live in a healthy manner. And coming up with recipes, I'm trying to find things that are easy for the athlete to follow and meet their needs. So a big thing I love with it is removing barriers. Because if I can remove a barrier to an athlete getting into the kitchen and cooking for themselves and getting all the nutrients they need, that's a win in my book. So I would say removing barriers for athletes to eat in a healthy manner is what I love most about coming up with new recipes."
Genova Diagnostics is the best microbiome test to provide the most complete data. It requires an practitioner, but you can also start with biome testing on your own. Transcript: "So the question, what microbiome test would provide the most complete data? And the answer to that would be my favorite is Genova Diagnostics. They've been around the longest. They merged with another company not too long ago so I believe that they really have the best and most up to date systems and the most researched backed testing. So Geneva Diagnostics, you'll have to get through a practitioner. Now there's also biome, which you can do all completely on your own. So some of it does depend if you have punctual medicine practitioner, which I would recommend if you really try to optimize your microbiome, but you could always start with the biome testing to get going as well."