BistroMD Health Library

Get excited about reading again with fun and interesting tips from our experts, including The M.D., our dietitians, and our fitness expert. In our health library, you will find all of the information you need to achieve your goals of making a healthy lifestyle change. So, start reading and start losing!


Get excited about nutrition, and learn as you go with these information-packed resources on a wide variety of nutrition-centric topics! Our bistroMD experts review the importance of the macronutrients protein, fat, and carbohydrates, as well as how to make them work most efficiently for you.

Ask The Dietitian

Our Expert Dietitian Answers All Of Your Nutrition Questions


Q: Can I use low calorie sweeteners, while on the BistroMD plan?

A: Yes. Low calorie sweeteners are safe for everyone except people with phenylketonuria, who should not use aspartame. Calorie-free sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, sucralose and acesulfame-K won’t increase your blood glucose level. The sugar alcohols — xylitol, mannitol, and sorbitol — have some calories and do slightly increase your blood glucose level. Low calorie sweeteners will not have a negative effect on your diet, just as long as they are used in moderation.

Q: If I choose to cook on "My Night" what cooking oil should I use?

A: The best choices are canola oil, olive oil or peanut oil (if your family is not allergic to peanuts). Don’t use olive oil for high temperature frying, however, because it does burn. Other good choices for cooking oil include soybean oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil, and corn oil.

Q: How much should I exercise?

A: Studies show that even the most inactive people can gain significant health benefits if they accumulate just 30 minutes or more of exercise, or other physical activity each day. For the greatest overall health benefits, experts suggest 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercises, (walking, biking, jogging, swimming, aerobic classes, and cross-country skiing) most days of the week. Plus, some form of anaerobic exercise like muscle strengthening or stretching is recommended at least two to three times a week.

If you have been inactive for a while, you may want to start with less strenuous activities like walking or swimming at a slower pace. Beginning at a slower pace will allow you to become physically fit without straining your body. Once your body adjusts to regular exercise, you can gradually increase the pace of your workouts.

Q: Are multi-grain and whole grain the same thing?

A: Many grain-based foods have labels that include terms like “multi-grain,” “stone-ground,” “100% wheat,” “cracked wheat,” “seven-grain,” and “multi-bran.” Unfortunately, none of these terms ensures that the product is made with whole grain flour. Additionally, a darker color does not guarantee that the bread you choose is made using whole grain flour.

The term “whole grain” means that the food contains at least some unrefined flour. When whole grain flour is used, the fiber and nutrients in the bran, and the germ in the grain seed are all contained in the product. The term “100% whole grain” means that the product contains only whole-grain flour. Generally, foods made with whole grains are healthier than those made with refined flour. The only way to ensure that a food is made from whole grain is to read the ingredients listed, and look for the term “whole grain” on the label.

Q: Are some fats better than others?

A: Yes. Unsaturated fats are the healthiest for your body. This includes both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. You can find these “healthy fats” in foods like nuts, vegetable oils, olives and avocados.

If you are looking to cut back on fats, then ditch saturated and trans fats. Saturated fats are found in full-fat dairy products like ice cream, half and half, sour cream and cheese. These fats are also found in various kinds of meat, and are even found in chicken skin, bacon, and lard. Trans fats are found in margarine and shortening, as well as many processed packaged foods and sweets. Try cutting back on how much saturated and trans fats you eat; it’s vital for your weight loss. Cutting back on these fats will also reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Q: Why is eating fish good for my heart?

A: Fish and shellfish contain a type of fat called omega-3 fatty acids. Research suggests that eating omega-3 fatty acids lowers your chances of dying from heart disease. Fish that naturally contain more oil (such as salmon, trout, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines) have more omega-3 fatty acids than lean fish (such as cod, haddock, and catfish).

Be careful of eating too much shellfish as some types, like shrimp, are high in cholesterol. You can also get omega-3 fatty acids from plant sources, such as canola oil, soybean oil, walnuts, ground flaxseed (linseed), and flaxseed oil.

If you have a question about BistroMD, or want to learn more about our program, visit our home page, or call: (866) 401-DIET.

Written By bistroMD Team. Published on January 31, 2013. Updated on January 31, 2013.


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