Home ยป RD Q&A vol. 29

RD Q&A vol. 29

Thanks for all the birthday wishes for Mr. Prevention! He chose to go out for create-your-own stir fry and there were no rebuttals from me! I worked at a similar restaurant (Flat Top for any of you in Chicago or Champaign, Illinois!) in college, and I miss being creative with restaurant meals! We then walked over for ice cream — I got a scoop of toasted coconut (life changing good) and he got an $8 apple pie sundae that looked amazing. Mr. Prevention was in bed by 8:30pm and I think that’s the way he liked it. Pathetic!

Here’s another great line-up of Q&A questions! If you have a question you’d love to ask, please leave it as a comment or email me at preventionrd (at) gmail (dot) com. Thanks tons!!

Hilary: Flax oil itself is unstable in heat and light, correct? Does this mean that if there if flax meal in a dish that I bake (at 300-400 degrees F) the benefit of flax is destroyed, either partially or completely?

Prevention RD: This is a GREAT question! I love the nutritional make-up of flaxseed oil, but it so expensive and goes rancid so quickly :(. Flaxseed oil can be used in low-temp cooking (not above 350 F) but during the cooking process, some of the antioxidant properties are lost (according to latest research). Ideally, flaxseed oil is used in dressings and other “raw” (uncooked) recipes. I hope that helps!


Hilary: What are your thoughts on orthorexia. Do you or have you had any clients or patients with orthorexia? Do you think it should be included in the DSM?

Prevention RD: Wow, what a fascinating question. Love it! For those who may not know, orthorexia is “compulsive behavior to eat ‘perfectly’ healthy”. Unlike many RD’s, I have absolutely no interest in eating disorders — I cannot relate to anything about the diseases and quite frankly, find it very, very sad. I digress. I believe orthorexia is a very real thing, and I have met with patients who suffer from very extreme, compulsive behavior when it comes to the food they eat. More so than eating “pure” (no colorings, preservatives, etc.), I have crossed paths with food extremists who monitor every bite they eat despite being perfectly healthy and at a healthy body weight, restricting or eliminating foods they enjoy for fear of weight gain or another adverse effect. Should it be in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)? Yes. I truly believe that food and health, just like most anything else, can lead to compulsions that are unhealthy and unsafe, and that require professional intervention.


Hilary: How is coconut oil produced such that it does not have a strong coconut flavor?

Prevention RD: I am not 100% sure on this, but I believe it’s from the processing. Extra virgin coconut oil is the least processed and has a stronger coconut flavor. The more processed coconut oils, have a much more mild coconut flavor.


Liz: I’m curious about what your thoughts are on the documentary Forks Over Knives. I thought the video made some excellent points about the benefits of eating veggies & fruits, and I was particularly appreciative of them covering the “pleasure-seeking” tendencies of the human body to crave calorie-dense foods (it’s not just me! hooray!). I’m just skeptical of their assertion that meat and most especially dairy are always bad for the human body, or that the food pyramid can’t be trusted since its creators had ulterior motives (they were owners of big dairy or meat companies). Since joining Weight Watchers over a year ago, I can attest that my consumption of fruits and vegetables has gone up dramatically (and probably exceeds the recommended 3-5 servings a day) and that I certainly feel better than I did before (I’ve also started exercising, quit overeating, etc.), but I remain skeptical of the idea that the “veggie-based diet” is the way to go. Thoughts?

Prevention RD: Hi Liz! Thanks for your question! I have not seen this documentary, but I have seen many similar. You’re absolutely right about cravings — all humans are engineered to love the taste of salt, sweet, and fat. Not cool, right?! I think your efforts to increase fruits and vegetables is a huge, huge step in the right direction. We simply do not eat enough fruits and vegetables in this country and I think THAT is the problem. I don’t point the finger at meat and dairy, I point the finger at what we eat too much of (refined carbohydrates, sugar, saturated fat, and trans fat) and what we don’t eat enough of (fiber, omega 3’s, antioxidants, etc.).  What I take home from such documentaries is that you don’t NEED meat or dairy to intake enough protein or calcium. If you look at the food industry and changes in processing, manufacturing, ranching, etc. meat and dairy have been impacted a lot…much more so than any other food groups. Many years ago, we didn’t inject cows with hormones to induce lactation, and we certainly didn’t over-immunize cattle and take them to feed lots to eat GMO corn. My point is, it’s not meat or dairy that’s the problem, the problem is how we get meat and dairy today. As a means to increase fruits and vegetables, I do eat many meat-free meals and encourage others to do the same. I will say that this is an opinion of my own that I do feel is scientifically sound, but this is a very hot topic among RD’s and you’ll see that we probably vary a lot in our opinions of dairy and meat!


Samantha: Hi again! I told my boyfriend I asked you about his heartburn and now of course he has a bunch of questions for you! So here is part 2 of my heartburn question…Do you know if/how the acid destroys the stomach lining/esophagus and what to do to heal the damage already caused. I’ve heard that the medications don’t heal, only prevent an excess of acid. I’ve been told that aloe juice type drinks can be used to help prevent the excess of acid as well, if taken daily, and it helps heal the damaged area. Is that correct?

Prevention RD:  I love the reflux questions…it’s one of my favorite topics, oddly enough! The stomach is designed to handle highly acidic pH’s, the esophagus is not. The GI tract is designed to move food, chyme, bile, and all that jazz in one direction only — down and out! Over time, reflux (contents of the stomach coming up into the esophagus) causes damage, scarring more or less, to the esophagus. Time and reducing reflux (more damage) is what will help the esophagus to heal. I have heard a time or two about the use of aloe as either an acid reducer or helpful for repairing damage to the esophagus, and it makes sense. This isn’t used in clinical settings, but it is used in the “complimentary and alternative” side of nutrition. If he uses it, I would do so in small doses. It’s worth a shot as aloe is a well studied plant that is considered safe with minimal side effects. I hope that helps!


Hilary: For the Q&A… what is your favorite brand of veggie broth to use for making soups? (I really like the Trader Joe’s veggie broth but it is not Kosher, which is a requirement for some upcoming cooking I’m doing).

Prevention RD: Ah, I must admit…this is not an ingredient I am brand specific to. I never eat just broth, so by the time it has morphed into a soup or risotto, it takes on so many other flavors I don’t worry too much about what I start with. I do always keep a low-sodium broth base (powder) that is from Akin’s, which I believe is a southern US health food store. I do enjoy the Meijer Organics (low sodium) line – delicious! I wish I had a Trader Joe’s close by — I do love most everything of theirs. Sorry I’m not of more help!

My staff and I are in training ALL day today. This has been a tiring week and I’m just glad I squeaked out a workout last night! At least it’s nearing the weekend!
Be well,
Share With Your Friends!


  1. Erica @ EricaDHouse.com
    September 27, 2012 / 6:40 am

    As someone with a Masters in Psych I 100% agree with your response about orthorexia. I think it is a genuine eating disorder that should be entered into the DSM so people suffering from it can get the treatment they may need. I’m so glad someone asked that and people are starting to realize it exists!

  2. Anele @ Success Along the Weigh
    September 27, 2012 / 7:55 am

    Great Q&A’s! I’m passing the reflux stuff on to the Mr.

  3. Danielle
    September 27, 2012 / 9:29 am

    For Hilary – You may want to try Imagine brand No-Chicken Chicken Broth. I have tested my fair share of broths and I can adamantly declare this one to be the best. It’s flavorful without having tons of added sodium.

  4. Kristen @ swanky dietitian
    September 27, 2012 / 2:38 pm

    This was a great Q and A!
    I watched forks over knives and I agree with you that we don’t eat enough of the right foods. For me, I try to limit animal proteins more for ethical reasons. But with that said, I do feel good I have cut back my consumption of animal proteins since its helped me to be more creative in the kitchen.

  5. Sara
    September 27, 2012 / 4:34 pm

    I think Hilary was asking if she uses ground flax meal in a baked good, does it lose it’s nutritional properties from high cooking temperatures like flax oil does. I was curious about this myself and looked it up – several studies have shown that unlike flax oil, ground flax can be used in cooking/baked goods and the nutritional properties are not destroyed by heat. I was happy to see this since I use it frequently!

  6. Kate
    September 27, 2012 / 10:15 pm

    I would love to be in bed by 8:30

  7. Melinda
    September 28, 2012 / 12:32 pm

    DH (who is 36) has bad arthritis in his knees. He started running about a year and a half ago even though these issues were already present. He does take glucosamine/condroiton supplements but someone recently told him there were inflammatory foods he has eaten that has helped him. Can you share what some of these foods are and if there’s certain ways they need to be prepared to get the maximum benefit?

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