Doug Cook RD
Nutrition Demystified. Health Exemplified
Nutrition advice that makes sense. Separating hype from reality.

Category Archives: Blog

14 Top Diet Trends For 2014. Nutrition Experts Predict

Breakfast spread

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Like fashion, food and nutrition has its fair share of ‘what’s hot’ and ‘what’s not’.

Quinoa was the darling a few years ago and certainly remains as a pantry must-have but the love fest is waning; not unlike kale’s rise to stardom. Like many of my friends, clients, and dietitian colleagues, if I see another kale chip recipe or hear how quinoa and kale are going to save the world, I’m gonna pluck my eyes out.

Don’t get me wrong, I love kale and will continue to grow it in my garden. It’s a fail-safe veggie that can pretty much stand up to anything but kale’s fame can’t last forever. There are new trends on the horizon.

14 Top diet trends for 2014 as predicted by 500 dietitians

According to a survey of more than 500 Registered Dietitians conducted by the nutrition trade magazine, Today’s Dietitian, and a leading food, health and wellness public relations agency, Pollock Communications, North America’s interest and demand for nutrition information is at an all-time high.

Do You Need To Take Supplements?


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“Vitamin supplements are a waste of money and could do more harm than good”

Supplement bashing headlines like these have been making the rounds, yet again, and like most stories on health in the media, are imbalanced and not well researched. As well, they are written by ‘health specialists’ with no training in basic sciences or necessary skills to critique the studies his or herself.

Check out the article from the online version of the Mirror from the United Kingdom. Similar articles have ran in other newspapers and on TV news shows like here, on CTV in Toronto and the online version of the Irish paper The Independent “The pills that make us ill”.

To make matters worse, intelligent, well structured rebuttals never make a similar headline let alone even get printed in mainstream media or aired on the evening news. Anyone genuinely interested in getting more facts to make an informed decision are left on their own.

Recipe. Mexican Corn Muffins


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This recipe is from a muffin cookbook I stumbled upon a long time ago; I think my sister got it as a present. I really can’t remember. The cookbook is appropriately named ‘Muffins’. When I first started to get interested in nutrition, these recipes were a staple for me; full of healthy ingredients like dried fruit, nuts, seeds, wheat germ, oat bran, wheat bran and the like.

I used to try out a couple of different recipes at a time with my dad as a co-taste-testing guinea pig. I ate them for breakfast, snacks or part of a meal that might be paired with yogurt and fruit. I’ve recently re-discovered the banana muffin recipe and have been on a banana muffin & peanut butter kick.

Health Brief. Vitamin D And Depression. Magnesium Helps Heart Disease

Beach umbrellas_cliento foto

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Vitamin D improves depression and nerve pain in type 2 diabetes

According to a new study that was presented at the Depression Research Conference at Loyola’s Health Sciences Campus in October, vitamin D was found to decrease nerve pain (neuropathy) and reduce depression in a group of women with type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes has long been known to cause pain because of the way it can damage nerves and having diabetes is also associated with increased rates of depression. This new study looked at how pain influenced the way depression was treated and was the first of its kind to evaluate the role of vitamin D on this  association.

Weekly doses of 50,000 IU of vitamin D2 were given for 6 months (an average of 7,142 IU per day). It needs to be noted

Recipe. Baked Apple With Brazil Nuts And Figs


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What do you do when you’ve got lots of apples in the house or, as was with my case, have apples that are on the verge of turning?

Bake ‘em of course!

I had four large Mutsu (also known as Crispin) apples that I had picked up at the local butcher store that were on the verge of self-fermenting. Not quite off but almost so; they tasted a little sour. Always hating to throw out or waste food, I thought I’d try salvaging them with a classic baked apple recipe.

Baked apple with Brazil nuts, cinnamon, & figs

Apples are a low cost, nutritious fruit that are grown around the world including Southern Ontario where I live. Apples are full of fiber, a smattering of vitamins and minerals but are loaded with

I Am A Dietitian And Nutritionist


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It’s an exciting time to be in the field of nutrition but at the same time, never has there been so much nutrition information available to the public; the sources seem endless: youtube, social media, websites, blogs and more. There are many other professions, both regulated and unregulated, who are providing nutrition advice, advice that influences public opinion and perception.

Not only that, there is a wave of misinformation about what a Registered Dietitian is, what we do as work, what our values are, questions about regulation, and a lack of awareness of the quality of our education and training.

I believe that the time for Registered Dietitians is now; Registered Dietitians are poised to take a greater lead with respect to being seen as the preferred choice for nutrition advice and as credible nutrition professionals.

Registered Dietitians have the solid education and training needed to fulfill this role by helping the public sort through all of the nutritional chatter, dogma, ‘nutritional religion’ and misinformation that they encounter everyday. It is for this reason that I wanted to share a Registered Dietitian ‘creed’ of sorts; the results of a collaboration that I, and several of my Dietitian colleagues, feel best reflects our practice but this version of the ‘creed’ reflects my viewpoint.

What is a Registered Dietitian?

I am a regulated health professional but my practice is not dictated by a governing body. This ensures my education, training, and practice meets and exceeds legal and professional standards for safe, ethical, and quality health care. Public safety is the primary concern.

I love food and am passionate about health; the perfect combination for a nutrition professional.

Olive Leaf Extract Benefits And Blood Pressure. An Experiment. Part 2

AOR Olive Leaf Extract NOx

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The experiment continues….

Note, this is a self experimentation and in no way is to be considered medical guidance or advice. Taking olive leaf extract with blood lowering medication may cause your blood pressure to go too low.

I’m just finishing week 7 of taking an olive leaf extract supplement by AORtwo, 400 mg capsules, standardized to 75 mg of oleuropein, for a total of 150 mg per day, to see if it could help lower my ‘high normal’ blood pressure; something that I reviewed in Part 1.

Olive leaf extract and its impact on my blood pressure

Week 1

My blood pressure was relatively constant all week in the 130-134 / 84-90 range.

Caffeine And Seep. What’s The Connection?

Cafe latte

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The word can conjure up a lot of mixed reactions ranging from ‘I love my morning fix’ to ‘it’s a poison that’s sure to kill you’.

Don’t you just love the world of hyperbole?

But what’s often overlooked is caffeine’s possible impact on sleep and sleep quality. Is there any truth to the notion that caffeine can interfere with sleep, even when people claim they can have a coffee and go to bed and not be affected?

Caffeine and sleep. Are the two poor bed fellows?

While it’s true that caffeine is habit forming, that, in and of itself, doesn’t automatically mean it’s ‘bad’. Moderate caffeine consumption of up to 400 mg per day

Weekend Wrap-Up. Soundbites That Caught My Eye

Computer cat

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Physical activity reduces risk of cardiovascular complications in type 2 diabetes
The risk of cardiovascular complications in people with type 2 diabetes is directly related to the frequency and duration of physical exercise, according to results of a large follow-up study…

Lack of clear evidence for new guidelines on prescribing statins

Pregnant woman on raw vegan diet raises controversy

Some ‘healthy’ vegetable oils may actually increase the risk for heart disease