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Articles written by leanne mccrate


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  • Dear Dietician: Fad diets

    Leanne McCrate|Updated Oct 1, 2019

    Dear Readers, It seems there is always a fad diet out there that, once and for all, will solve our problems. Many of us have been on these diets, myself included. Many years ago, I tried a diet where you followed a strict meal plan for 3 days, then ate whatever you wanted within reason, (whatever that means) for the following 3 days. The problem was I couldn't make it through the first three days! Wikipedia defines a fad diet as one that is popular for a time, similar to fads...

  • Dear Dietician: Wheat & gluten

    Leanne McCrate|Updated Sep 24, 2019

    Dear Dietitian, I've been experiencing a lot of digestive problems like stomach cramping and bloating. My friend who has celiac disease thinks I may have it, too. I have an appointment with my doctor and have been reading up on celiac disease. What is the difference in gluten sensitivity, celiac disease, and wheat allergy? Susan Dear Susan, It can be very disruptive to have a digestive problem, and I'm glad you are taking the right steps to get this resolved. First off,...

  • Dear Dietician: Addiction

    Leanne McCrate|Updated Sep 18, 2019

    Many of us know someone who has struggled with an addiction. Perhaps they have tried to quit smoking or are addicted to drugs like heroin or methamphetamine. The American Psychiatric Association defines addiction as a complex condition, a brain disease that is manifested by compulsive substance use despite harmful consequence. (1). Does substance addiction include food? Although food addiction is not included in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental...

  • Dear Dietician: Iron deficiency

    Leanne McCrate|Updated Sep 10, 2019

    Dear Dietitian, My teenage daughter was recently diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia. She follows a vegan diet and has been taking a vegan supplement. Are these as good as regular iron pills? Mom Dear Mom, It is not uncommon for women of childbearing age to become iron deficient, especially if they have heavy menstrual periods. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency and the leading cause of...

  • Dear Dietician: Gastroparesis

    Leanne McCrate|Updated Sep 4, 2019

    Dear Dietitian, I have acid reflux and gastroparesis, both are under good control with medication. I drink water and sugar-free sports drinks, and I'm getting tired of them. Are there other drinks you would recommend? I do not have diabetes. Sharon Dear Sharon, It is not uncommon for those who have gastroparesis to also have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). For those who are not familiar with gastroparesis, it is a condition where the actions of the stomach are slowed...

  • Dear Dietician: Precisioin Nutrition

    Leanne McCrate|Updated Aug 28, 2019

    Dear Readers, You may have heard about an innovative approach to dietary intervention known as precision nutrition (PN). This approach includes individualized meal planning based on your DNA. It is more than what you eat, as it includes physical activity, sleep habits, family medical history, and your microbiome. Your microbiome is the collection of microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites) living in certain areas of your body, mostly in your intestines. The pur...

  • Dear Dietician: Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains

    Leanne McCrate|Updated Aug 21, 2019

    Dear Readers, Do you get enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet? Most of us don't. These foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Furthermore, research points to plant foods in the prevention of some diseases, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. If there is one thing nutrition experts agree on, it's that we need to eat more plant foods. Consider these helpful tips to create a healthier version of yourself: Rule #1 - Choose foods...

  • Dear Dietician: Sugar and cancer

    Leanne McCrate|Updated Aug 14, 2019

    Dear Dietitian, I enjoy a small glass of juice every morning at breakfast and was shocked to read that sugary drinks, even fruit juices, can increase the risk for cancer! Is this true? Jane Dear Jane, You are wise to question just about anything referring to nutrition in the media. Many headlines are attention-getting and even shocking, so let's take a look at the science. The NutriNet-Santé study, was a prospective, cohort study, which included over 100,000 participants,...

  • Dear Dietician: Eggs

    Leanne McCrate|Updated Aug 6, 2019

    Dear Readers, Eggs have made headlines again with a study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Is it the incredible, edible egg or a food you should limit in your diet? As with many nutrition studies, the results go back and forth, which can be confusing and even frustrating for consumers. This study set out to find if egg consumption or dietary cholesterol increased the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and death. Nearly 30,000...

  • Dear Dietician: Natural Remedies

    Leanne McCrate|Updated Jul 31, 2019

    Dear Readers, Chances are many of you who are reading this are taking some type of herbal supplement. Be it ginseng for better energy, saw palmetto for prostate health, or echinacea to improve immunity, many are turning to natural remedies for their health. It is important to know that herbal supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As with any medication, herbal remedies may have side effects. To be safe, talk to your doctor before starting an...

  • Dear Dietician: Antioxidants

    Leanne McCrate|Updated Jul 23, 2019

    Dear Readers, Most of you have probably heard of antioxidants and that they are good for you, but what are they exactly? Antioxidant is a chemistry term that simply means prevention of oxidation, which is the transfer of tiny, electrically charged particles known as electrons. Antioxidants protect us from free radicals, which damage our cells and lead to diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer's. Free radicals result from food digestion, everyday cellular...

  • Dear Dietician: Coffee

    Leanne McCrate, BVD|Updated Jul 16, 2019

    Dear Readers, For many of us, it's a morning must-have, almost a medical necessity. We just aren't functional until we've had that good-to-the-last-drop cup of coffee. Coffee has hit the news lately. Is it good for you or is it not? Studies are conflicting, which is no surprise. Some reports estimate that Americans spend about $20 a week on coffee and drink an average of 3.6 cups per day. That's over $1,000 a year and more than 1,300 cups of coffee! A study led by Steffen...

  • Dear Dietician: The National Institute of Health

    Leanne McCrate|Updated Jul 10, 2019

    Dear Readers, A few weeks ago, I printed a column on ultra-processed foods. The National Institute of Health (NIH) performed a study and found that participants on an ultra-processed foods diet consumed about 500 calories more per day than the group who consumed an unprocessed foods diet. As I pointed out, the study was comprised of only 20 people, which is too small to apply to the entire population, although the study was hailed as ground-breaking by the media. Another...

  • Dear Dietitican: Calcium

    Leanne McCrate|Updated Jul 2, 2019

    Dear Dietitian, I read your last column on calcium where you recommended that we get the mineral in our diet rather than pills. Is it better to get calcium from plant foods or dairy products? Wondering Dear Wondering, Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, accounting for 39% total body minerals. Most of us know that calcium is needed for strong bones and teeth, but did you know it is also needed for blood clotting? Calcium initiates the release of blood-clotting...

  • Dear Dietician: Excess calcium

    Leanne McCrate|Updated Jun 25, 2019

    Dear Dietitian, I am sixty years old, and I've always been health conscious. I eat right and exercise three times a week. Recently, I've read that too much calcium may increase your risk of heart attack. Is this true? Also, how much is too much? Mary Dear Mary, How many times did you hear, "Drink your milk" when you were a child? Milk is a good source of calcium, which is needed for healthy bones. Our bodies will build bone until about age 18, then we must consume adequate...

  • Dear Dietician: Processed Foods

    Leanne McCrate|Updated Jun 18, 2019

    Dear Dietitian, My daughter is on a health kick and complains that I use too many processed, convenience foods. She insists these foods are unhealthy and claims that studies prove it. Do you agree with her? Signed, Overworked Mom Dear Mom, One day while working in the hospital, I whipped out a frozen dinner and popped it in the microwave. A co-worker snarled and said, "Ew, that's bad for you! It's processed food!" Aside from the annoyance, which I'm quite sure was intended,...

  • Dear Dietician: Steamed Vegan

    Leanne McCrate|Updated Jun 11, 2019

    Dear Readers, A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece on nutrition myths. There were some myths specific to cancer, one of which read: Myth: An-all vegetable diet helps cure cancer. There was a patient in the hospital that revealed she had followed an all-veggie diet for cancer and exclaimed, “I lost 30 pounds, and it was all muscle!” A vegetables-only diet will leave you malnourished and dissatisfied, and on no uncertain terms, will not improve a cancer diagnosis. This drew cri...

  • Dear Dietician: Childhood Obesity

    Leanne McCrate|Updated Jun 5, 2019

    Dear Dietitian, My son is in the fourth grade and is beginning to form unhealthy eating habits. He eats junk food while sitting in front of the computer. He is getting chubby, and I worry that he will get in these patterns for life. Can you help? Signed, Worried Mom Dear Mom, You are wise to start acting now. Behavior patterns are easier to modify when they are "nipped in the bud." According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the obesity rate...

  • Dear Dietician: Crohn's disease

    Leanne McCrate|Updated May 29, 2019

    Laura Broussard, the Family Nurse practitioner at Parker Medical Center, submitted her resignation to PureView Health center early last week. Pureview Director Jill Steeley said Broussard will end her tenure with PureView July 12. Her last day of practice at Parker Medical is expected to be around July 1, but Broussard has not been finalized that yet. Broussard is returning to Oklahoma, where she worked previously and where members of her family live. “I have enjoyed immensely...

  • Dear Dietician: Microbiome

    Leanne McCrate|Updated May 22, 2019

    Dear Readers, When I told friends and family that I would be writing about the microbiome this week, there were some raised eyebrows. My friend Ken said, "Of course, the microbiome. What is that?" The microbiome, sometimes referred to as microbiota, is the collection of microorganisms (think tiny bugs) living in certain areas of the human body. It is made up of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. While most of the microbiota reside in the intestines, they are also found...

  • Dear Dietician: Crohn's disease

    Leanne McCrate|Updated May 15, 2019

    Dear Dietitian, I was recently diagnosed with Crohn's disease, and I'm having a hard time figuring out what foods I should avoid. Can you help? Signed, Kathleen Dear Kathleen, I know this is a tough condition to deal with, having seen more cases in my last few years of clinical practice than ever before. For readers who are not familiar, Crohn's disease is one of two types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the other being ulcerative colitis. As the term ulcerative implies,...

  • Dear Dietician: IV Vitamin Therapy

    Leanne McCrate|Updated May 7, 2019

    Dear Dietitian, My girlfriend has been getting IV vitamin therapy and says she feels great. She insists I give it a try, but I want to know more before I join her. What do you think? Signed, Kat Dear Kat, Intravenous (IV) vitamin therapies, also called IV cocktails, are available in high-end spas, places called drip bars, and some clinics. These infusions offer a variety of nutrients from vitamins and minerals to antioxidants to amino acids (the building blocks of protein)....

  • Dear Dietician: Unhealthy eating

    Leanne McCrate|Updated Apr 23, 2019

    Dear Dietitian, My son is in the fourth grade and is beginning to form unhealthy eating habits. He eats junk food while sitting in front of the computer. He is getting chubby, and I worry that he will get in these patterns for life. Can you help? Signed, Worried Mom Dear Mom, You are wise to start acting now. Behavior patterns are easier to modify when they are "nipped in the bud." According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the obesity rate...

  • Dear Dietician: Listeria

    Leanne McCrate|Updated Apr 17, 2019

    Dear Readers, If you have been listening to the news lately, you may have heard about more food recalls. This time almond butter and avocados were recalled for concerns of listeria contamination. Listeria monocytogenes is type of bacteria found in soil and water and in some animals, including poultry and cattle. It can also be found unpasteurized cheese and milk. Listeria can live in processing plants and contaminate a variety of processed meats. When someone consumes food...

  • Dear Dietician": Insulin

    Leanne McCrate|Updated Apr 10, 2019

    Dear Readers, Chances are you know someone who has diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 30 million Americans have the disease. There is type 1 diabetes, where the pancreas no longer secretes insulin, so the patient must take insulin shots. With type 2 diabetes, the pancreas secretes insulin, but either it is not enough to keep blood sugars under control or the body cannot use it efficiently. People with type 2 diabetes sometimes take insulin in...

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