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Meritus Endocrinology

General Nutrition

Q & A

Are colon cleanse programs really necessary?

Colon cleansing may be necessary to treat constipation or to prepare for a colon procedure. Colon programs promoted for general health have been used in traditional medicine in India and China but I am not aware of any research that proves it to be necessary. Overuse of these programs can cause a dependency and prevent regular bowel movements. Some herbal or coffee enemas can cause harm by electrolyte imbalance. Colonic irrigation or pumping water into the colon can introduce pathogens if they are not properly sanitized and may even perforate the colon.

What’s your opinion on having nutritional snacks on high school campuses?

Healthy snacks could reinforce good snack choices, but I wonder why they are needed if the students eat at meal times and schools are appropriately funded.

Does the number of calories in raw food change any if you cook it?

Does the number of calories in raw food change any if you cook it? Is it safe if I count calories content in raw food and assume it will be the same after cooking?

The caloric content of foods doesn’t change, but the volume or weight does change. Many meats will shrink 30% or weigh 30% less when cooked as compared to the raw weight. Some of this loss is caused by water loss or juices, including fat, that run out during cooking. Those juices contain calories! It is important to note if the calories reported for a food are based on the food being raw or cooked (ready to eat).

Is the crust on bread any more or less nutritious than the rest of it?

The crust is the same as the rest except for any coating such as an eggwash that may help the browning that is so attractive.

Is it okay to drink a low-sodium V8 each day? Does it help?

I do not always eat enough fruits and especially vegetables. Is it okay to drink a low-sodium V8 each day? Does it help?
The V-8 will help provide vitamins and minerals but will not replace the benefit one gets from the fiber in fruits and vegetables.

What do these past four readings of “hair analysis mineral ratios” tell you regarding potential health problems? My past hair analysis test indicates...

Sorry, no comment! Research I have read concludes that the relationship between results of hair analysis with the levels of minerals/metals in body tissues is unreliable, so these readings cannot be considered good information for diagnosing health problems.

How should I count sugar alcohols when on a low-carb diet?

What are “net carbs” and should I trust that number?

When looking at the Nutrition Facts label, total carbohydrates include dietary fiber, sugars, sugar alcohols, and other carbohydrates. Fiber and sugar alcohols are indigestible or partially digestible.

Net carbs are calculated by subtracting both of these from total carbohydrates. Depending on how conservative you want to be in figuring your carbohydrate intake, you can either use net carbs, or subtract one half of the sugar alcohol and all or half of the fiber from the total carbohydrates. Given that the DRI (dietary reference intake) for carbohydrates is 130 grams per day, the impact of how one counts these carbohydrates will not be very significant. For further information on DRIs go to the USDA’s food and nutrition Web site.

Should people eat breakfast even when they’re not hungry?

No, not necessarily. Skipping a meal on occasion may not be the worst thing for most of us. This becomes a different issue when medication enters the picture, especially for those with diabetes. If lack of hunger persists or if one loses weight, then these could indicate other health issues to discuss with your doctor.

Out of all the sugar substitutes, is Splenda the least of all the evils?

I avoid sugar as much as possible, so I drink water with flavor packets made with Splenda.

The data for that would be based upon the FDA’s acceptable daily intake (ADI) for Splenda and how much Splenda is in the individual product you’re drinking. To answer that question, you should look up the individual product. But the FDA has recognized all of the artificial sweeteners as safe, even for pregnant women. That said, if someone is eating three to six packets of those a day, I would be asking, as stated previously, what other foods the person has eaten that contain sugar substitutes, and why consume so many of these foods?

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