Ask the RCW Dietitian: Grape Juice and Stomach Bugs

My nutrition question is related to 100% juice. I recently heard from a co-worker that 100% grape juice can impact the pH balance in your gut. Is this true? The benefit would be if you were recently exposed to someone with a stomach bug or you start to feel icky (but not sick yet), drinking grape juice can help you fight off a possible forming ‘bug’ or you’ll possibly be less likely to get it. What are the benefits of drinking 100% juice or concentrate? Should kids avoid this? Great question! There are a few layers to this one so let’s take them one by one. Can grape juice change the pH balance in your gut? The short answer is no, or at least not enough to matter. As I discussed in my breakd

The Missing Ingredient of Wellness

“What’s your sleep pattern like?” When I’m meeting with a client and reviewing their nutrition history, they often seem to be caught off-guard by this question. I ask about their typical food choices, weight history, physical activity level, dietary supplements, and medical history (including blood pressure, blood cholesterol, blood glucose, and the like). But I also ask about sleep. The typical response is an eye-roll or shrug and “It’s not very good, does that matter?” It absolutely does. Just as a poor diet can lessen the benefits of quality physical activity, sleep can affect both our food choices and our ability to fully engage in physical activity. Research has shown that inadequate sl

A Closer Look at the 3500 Calorie Rule of Weight Loss

For anyone who’s been on a diet or attempted to lose weight in the past 30 years, a familiar piece of advice went something like this: “A pound of fat contains about 3500 calories. Simply subtract 500 calories per day from what you’re eating, which will create a deficit of 3500 calories over one week (500 calories/day x 7 days = 3500 calories). You’ll lose a pound each week and lose 52 pounds in one year!” It sounds really simple. And the math is right, a pound of fat contains about 3500 calories. But there are several reasons why this line of thinking is misleading. The first thing to consider is that metabolism changes as weight loss occurs. Consider this example: a 40 year-old, mostly sed

Should We Go Cuckoo for Coconut Oil?

A couple of weeks ago on this blog, we covered the very trendy alkaline diet (click here if you missed it and want to catch up). Perhaps an even trendier nutrition topic is coconut oil. What is it? What does it do? Why is everyone talking about it? First, here’s a quick review of coconut oil’s nutrition facts. 100% of the calories in coconut oil come from fat. One tablespoon provides around 120 calories (about 14 grams of fat). Almost 90% of this comes from saturated fat. It does not contain a notable amount of any vitamin or mineral. So is this just a vegetarian replica of butter? Not quite. What makes coconut oil unique is the presence of medium-chain triglycerides, or MCT’s. MCT’s are bas

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