I’ve decided to try to organize the Q&A’s. Volumes seemed appropriate! Happy Friday, everyone! Here we go with your questions!!!
Francesca: I wanted to ask you a quick question about whey protein powder. It’s my understanding that consuming whey protein is detrimental to your kidneys since the protein is so concentrated and it’s hard for the kidneys to process it, which sometimes results in kidney issues. Is this true? If so, should I skip the powder altogether or is there a safe “dose” to consume?
Prevention RD: Questions like this are so interesting to me! This is along the lines of “the colon needs cleansing” – untrue. Healthy kidneys can process larger doses of protein at a time. That said, excessive protein intake over time can be taxing on the body, including the kidneys. To answer your question, whey protein is absolutely safe. As for how much protein one should intake, a general rule of thumb I use is no more than 1.2-1.4 grams per kilogram* of body weight for those that are moderately active. The DRI for protein is 0.8 grams a day and most Americans more than meet this recommendation. 🙂
*1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds
Hilary: Why does nutritional yeast cause me to have horrible intestinal bloating and pressure? I know some of the health benefits of using it in recipes, and I want to use it, but I am always overcome by these very uncomfortable symptoms when I consume it…. so I don’t. What makes these symptoms occur? Any tips for easier, comfortable digestion of nutritional yeast or animal-free substitutes in recipes?
Prevention RD: Nutritional yeast is PACKED with vitamins, particularly the B vitamins which are water soluble. With such large doses, the gut can experience some discomfort (the vitamins are soluble in the water). If I had to guess, being well hydrated and drinking lots of fluids with the meal containing the nutritional yeast may help. Other than that, I’m not sure what you can do other than use very small amounts of nutritional yeast and monitor your symptoms. Rest assured, I’ve heard this same complaint and experienced it myself! Hope you get some relief and are able to add it into you meals!!
STH: My sister is on the Ideal Protein diet and, frankly, I’m worried about how safe it is. The diet is VERY restrictive–no carbs of any kind, no dairy, no nuts, no beans, and only certain vegetables (no carrots, for instance) and only very limited exercise is allowed. She basically eats steak, salad, and the treats she buys from the diet sponsor. She’s lost about 70 pounds on it, but has plateaued with 50 or 60 to go, which means she’s been on this diet for almost a year and a half, with no end in sight. I just don’t see how this can be healthy, and she hasn’t learned anything from this experience about healthy eating, so I fear that she’ll gain all the weight back once she goes off the diet. I’d be interested to hear what you think about this.
Prevention RD: Honestly, it breaks my heart to hear that. One of the biggest red flags on whether or not a diet is “safe” and “sound” is if it omits entire food groups. The food groups exist for a reason — they each emphasize different macronutrients (carbs, protein, and fat) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Eating from each food groups constitutes a balanced diet. Then to restrict exercise? RED FLAGS EVERYWHERE! Also, see the first question on today’s Q&A. I would venture to guess that she’s intaking an unsafe amount of protein and it can cause damage to her kidneys if she were to continue restricting carbohydrates long-term. All that said, you’re in a tough spot. She can argue that she’s lost a lot of weight and is “healthier”. People who have found success with weight loss (even if temporary) will obviously take offense and put up their guard if someone critiques their methodology. Even still, this restrictive diet has been going on for a long time. If you haven’t done so already, I would speak with her about the safety of this diet. I would be happy to email with her, as well. Hugs to your sister.
Hilary: Fun question…what’s your favorite non-produce edible to pick up at a farmer’s market?
Prevention RD: Our new farmer’s market in Michigan has these great whole wheat pizza doughs that are par-baked. It makes pizza night way faster than starting with yeast, water, and flour! 🙂 Honey, maple syrup, and local grass-fed meats are always favorites, too!
Lindsay of Life and Kitchen: I have a coworker who’s sister is a dietitian and recommends that her clients only use spray butter because it is “healthier.” Is spray butter really healthier than real butter?
Prevention RD: Personally, I don’t buy spray butter (but I love my Misto to spray olive oil!). Spray butter is lower in calories and fat, by a LOT, but the ingredient list is quite lengthy and definitely not “natural”. The recent trend has been towards less processed and more “whole” foods, which spray butter would not qualify. It’s really up to the consumer as to what they value most – more whole, unprocessed foods or those lower in calories. All that said, my hospital is supposed to be trans fat free and I just found liquid Blue Bonnet in the fridge that contained hydrogenated oil (trans fat). Eek! Label reading is key! But I guess to answer your question, I don’t agree or disagree, I would assess each client or patient individually and tailor my recommendation to their goals.
Jan: To save time is it OK to freeze chicken breast with a marinade in the bag or will this cause the chicken to “break down ” from too much of a good thing?
Prevention RD: Yep! If the marinade is extremely acidic it may be subject to some breakdown but nothing detrimental to the end product. 🙂 Good question!
Lindsay of Life and Kitchen: I read that whole milk is healthier than low fat/skim because chemicals (or something like that!) has to be added to low fat to give it a milky texture. What kind of milk do you recommend?
Andrea: I have a cooking technique question.. I’ve making making several different kinds of truffles lately and I was wondering how you get the coating so smooth. Every time I make them, they are no where near smooth and then I get finger marks from where I picked it up. help! 🙂
Prevention RD: Here’s a little trick I learned when making buckeyes for the first time — use paraffin wax! It’s perfectly harmless to eat and it makes truffles and other chocolate-coated treats smooth, hard, and shiny! You can find paraffin wax in any grocery store near the canning goods and you just melt it along with the chocolate. Simple! 🙂
As always, feel free to leave your question below in a comment, on Facebook, or email it to me at preventionrd at gmail dot com!
Donna is coming into town tonight! We have big plans of kayaking, microbrew drinking, and girl talk! 😀