Jena DeMoss: Dietitians’ most popular questions

Published 5:59 pm Tuesday, November 2, 2021

You asked … and asked, and asked. Therefore, it only felt right to compile a list of Hy-Vee dietitian’s most frequently asked questions (and answers) about diet, food choices, healthy eating and more. Dive in and get the lowdown.

Which is best — fresh or frozen veggies? Would you find it surprising to know that the bagged produce found behind the frozen doors is just as nutritious as the fresh varieties? That’s right. A veggie in any form is packed full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Think of the frozen options as a safe way to increase their shelf life. Plus, they can be a convenient side-item staple to any meal you make.

Should I avoid fruit? Absolutely not! But what about the sugar content, you ask. The sugar found in fruit is not the same thing as added sugar, which is found in sodas, candy and other ultra-processed foods. A serving of whole fruit provides your body with nutritious vitamins and filling fiber, and can be a great alternative to sweets. Try pairing with a protein option like peanut butter or chocolate hummus! 

Is vegetarian, keto, or the Mediterranean diet (etc.) the best way to eat? Honestly, the best way to eat is one that meets all of your nutritional needs and a plan that you can stick with long-term. If you’re unsure what that looks like for you, a Hy-Vee dietitian can help!

Do I need to drink eight  glasses of water per day? This age-old advice is just that — old! The magical eight glasses of water was an easy number to remember, yet your water intake should be modified to fit your lifestyle and activities. A good rule of thumb? Check your urine and ensure it’s a light yellow hue.

Is sugar (or salt or fat) the biggest problem in our diets? We can’t point fingers at one single nutrient or ingredient behind a poor diet. The major problem? Eating too much ultra-processed foods and not enough produce, whole grains, lean meats and healthy fats over a long period. Balance is key, and using the 80/20 rule (80% wholesome foods and 20% treats) can help keep you healthy and happy, too.

Should I go gluten-free? If you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease or have a gluten sensitivity, then a gluten-free diet is an absolute must for you. Otherwise, a gluten-free lifestyle isn’t needed, nor healthier, than one that includes gluten-containing ingredients.

The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

Raspberry Protein Oats

Serves 6

All you need

• 1½ cups plus 2 tbsp milk, divided

• 3 scoops Performance Inspired vanilla bean-flavored whey protein powder

• 1 cup quick oats

• 1½ cups frozen red raspberries, plus additional, thawed, for garnish

• 3 tbsp PB2 powdered almond butter

• SkinnyDipped dark chocolate cocoa almonds, for serving

All you do

1. Combine 1½ cups milk and vanilla protein powder. Stir in quick oats and frozen raspberries. Transfer mixture to 6 small jars with tight-fitting lids. Cover; refrigerate overnight.

2. Combine powdered almond butter and 2 tablespoons milk; drizzle on oatmeal. Garnish with thawed frozen raspberries and chocolate almonds, if desired.

Recipe source: