Ask The Dietitian: Get Your Facts Right on Fiber and Whole Grains

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During our recent webinar, there were nuanced questions on whole grains and fibers, and we were unable to get to them all. I will try to address some of the important questions that came up and I think deserve a fuller response. Why do nutritional messages about lowering cancer risk talk separately about fibers and whole grains? Doesn’t taking care of one automatically take care of the other? Which is more important to lower cancer risk – fiber or whole grains? Whole grains are an important source of dietary fiber, and both are linked to a lower risk of colorectal cancer. So there is an overlap between the two. In other words, each offers distinctive benefits, and it is important to consider how you include each in your everyday eating habits.

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    Do salads make sense in winter?

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    Salads, although not essential for a healthy meal, do still make sense in winter! It’s an opportunity to try different ingredients than what you use in a summer salad.

    Winter Salads: Rethinking Ingredients
    Greens: Today’s grocery stores stock all types of lettuce year-round, so you don’t have to switch up your greens for winter. For more seasonal fun, however, try kale or the winter versions of spinach, which stand up well to hearty flavors. These greens are high in beta-carotene, lutein, and vitamin C, and spinach is a good source of the B vitamin folate that helps protect our DNA.

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      New Year, New Food

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      I love finding unusual fruits and vegetables to incorporate into my daily routine – changing up the types of vegetables provides your body with the right balance of nutrients and encourages you to get creative with cooking.

      The most recent unique vegetable I’ve incorporated into my meal planning is rutabaga. This lesser known round root vegetable originated as a cross between turnips and cabbage. It is nutty and mildly sweet tasting and can be roasted, sautéed, baked, boiled, mashed, or added to soups and stews. It is a popular dish around the world, with various native preparations. In the Netherlands, it is traditionally served boiled and mashed served with sausages. In Australia, rutabaga is known as swede, and is used in casseroles, stews and soups to enhance flavor.
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