Registered Dietitian since 1999, Abby Langer has a passion for all aspects of nutrition. She has won awards for her teaching and has served on her regulatory college’s council. Abby focuses on body respect and intuitive-style eating, and works with brands aligned with her nutrition philosophy. She has extensive experience in media and a dedicated, engaged following. When not working, Abby loves running, discovering new foods, and spending time with her family.
Chocolate should not be cut out of a healthy diet, but it should be consumed in moderation. Dark chocolate may have health benefits, but the sugar and fat content may cancel out those benefits. Transcript: "So the question is, is chocolate healthy or unhealthy? As a dietician, I think that a healthy diet is not only what you eat but your attitude towards food and eating. And if we cut out chocolate or perceive it as unhealthy, it can lead to guilt and shame around eating it. A healthy diet has a variety of foods, including chocolate. Does that mean that you should be eating chocolate at every meal? Absolutely not. But you shouldn't really be eating anything at every meal. In short, yeah, I mean, chocolate-- it's not the most healthful food. But it's still emotionally nourishing, and it's delicious. So don't cut it out. Dark chocolate also has a lot of polyphenols in it, which are antioxidants, which may have health benefits, although those health benefits may be canceled out by the fat and the sugar in the chocolate. And also, you might not like dark chocolate. You might prefer milk, which is totally fine. There are no real unhealthy foods. There are foods that you want to eat less of, or you want to eat them less often. And chocolate may be one of them. But definitely don't cut it out."
The best thing to do after a meal is to get up and go for a walk. It helps to control our blood sugars and is a great way to stay active. Transcript: "Hi, there. Thank you for your question. So the question is, what's the best thing that we can do after a meal? And the answer is to get up and have a look because studies have shown that when we go for a walk or are active in some way versus lying on the couch after eating, it helps to control our blood sugars. Of course, it's not realistic to expect that you're going to be active after every single meal you eat in your lifetime. But doing your best to even go for a short walk after having especially a larger meal is a great idea."
Apple cider vinegar has been shown to reduce blood sugar after a carb-rich meal, but no other benefits have been proven. It can also damage your stomach lining and tooth enamel, so it's best to avoid it. Lemon water also has no real benefits and won't help you burn fat. Transcript: "The question is, are there benefits to consuming apple cider vinegar every day? Apple cider vinegar has become the darling of the wellness industry, but unfortunately, it's not all it's cracked up to be. Acetic acid has been shown in some small studies to reduce blood sugar by a bit after carb-rich meal. Still, I wouldn't suggest taking it for that purpose. I mean, if you eat a salad with an apple cider vinegar dressing with your meal, that is good enough. Aside from that, the benefits that people say come from apple cider vinegar are mostly overblown and mythical. It won't cleanse you or detox you in any way. It doesn't really promote health, and it can really eat away at your stomach lining and your tooth enamel, so I don't really recommend it. The same actually goes for lemon water, it's been completely blown out of proportion by the wellness industry. There's no real benefit to taking them in water. It's just hydrating, but so is regular water. And I think it goes without saying both apple cider vinegar and lemon water do not burn fat, so please don't fall for that one."
To optimize nutrition on a budget, I recommend canned and dried legumes, eggs, tofu, grains from bulk stores, fresh, canned, and frozen fruits and vegetables, and add-ons like curry pastes or chili paste to amp up the flavors. Transcript: "Hi Lane, thanks for your question. The price of groceries is out of control, so I fill you with this one to optimize your nutrition on a budget. I recommend a couple of things. First of all, canned and dried legumes like chickpeas and lentils, which are very versatile and can sub in for meat in most recipes also recommend eggs. They're simple, they're versatile, and they're cost-effective as is tofu. Another cost effective highly. A nutritious protein. And if you buy the tofu that's set in calcium, it's a great source of calcium. As far as grains go, I recommend the bulk store because you can get exactly what you need and how much of it that you need. And you don't have to spend a ton of money, bulk stores, are generally amazing for grains, like rice and quinoa, and also spices, and things like flour, and baking supplies. Lastly, fruits and vegetables. I highly recommend a good variety of fresh canned. Frozen know that canned and frozen vegetables are often actually more nutritious than fresh because they're picked and packed at the peak of ripeness. They don't sit on a track going to their final destination, which causes them to oxidize out some of their nutrients. When you're buying canned items, just make sure they're packed in water. And that items that are frozen are frozen simply without any extra sauces. You can't forget the add-ons just because you want to Eat simply and cheaply, doesn't mean that you need to eat food with no flavor. Try some Curry, pastes some chili paste, some Harissa for your meals, to amp up the flavors. I hope this helped"
Bacon can fit into a healthy diet as long as you limit it and pair it with other lean proteins. Eating too much of any food, including bacon, can be unhealthy so moderation is key. Transcript: "So the question is is bacon, unhealthy, you know, I think any food is unhealthy. If we eat too much of it, even carrots, as far as bacon bacon is higher in, saturated fat, then lean proteins, lean animal proteins. However, it can fit into a healthy diet. Absolutely. I would say it's not healthy or unhealthy. It's just a food that maybe want to eat less often than a leaner version of protein. In short. I mean, any food is unhealthy if you eat too much of it, bacon included. So, just limit it and couple times a week and you should be fine. It also depends on the rest of your diet. Are you eating a ton of saturated fat? A ton of animal protein? If so, you want to cut down on all of those things, one food is not going to make us healthy or unhealthy. One food is not healthy or unhealthy. It is your diet as a whole."
Don't worry about picking the top three fruits, just eat whatever fruits you like and have a serving or two a day. Fruits are high in sugar but they also come with antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber. Transcript: "So what are the top three fruits, the ones you'll eat, those are the three top fruits, only ten percent of Americans, get enough, fruits and vegetables. And so I'm not going to recommend top three or bottom three. Anything. I just want you to eat your fruit and eat your vegetables. There are a lot of diets out there that say, you should only be eating berries and green apples, and lemons like who eats a lemon. And that the reason is that That they're so low sugar but honestly fruit is high in sugar like we need to get over that and you know and just accept it that sugar is packaged with antioxidants vitamins and fiber. So it's not just like eating a candy bar. Choose whichever fruits you want and have a serving or two a day and you're good."