Mother and child in the kitchen cooking and preparing healthy food

Every month, we round up the top questions asked by users on HealthTap. March is National Nutrition Month, so to celebrate, here are the top 5 nutrition and food questions our HealthTap users have asked our doctors.

 

1. What are the top factors of good nutrition?

When it comes to eating well for your body, the idea can be a little intimidating. With conflicting information on what’s good or bad for you and new superfood trends popping up all the time, it can be confusing to know how to get started eating a healthy diet.

Eating well is, thankfully, pretty simple.

Dr. Gurmukh Singh puts it best: good nutrition is really just a diet rich with fresh veggies, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and beans, paired with low-fat dairy and limited lean meat.

Eat according to these simple guidelines, and you’re well on your way to a healthy diet.

If you need more tips on great nutrition, check out how to eat for a healthy heart.

 

2. What part of your body absorbs nutrition?

Although your whole body benefits from great nutrition, the intestines are what absorb all the goodness from your food.

As Dr. Martin Fried notes, different areas of the intestine absorb different nutrients. The mineral iron, for example, is absorbed early on in the small intestine, while B12 is taken up by the end of the intestines.

The small intestine is also vital to absorbing the protein, carbohydrates, and fats you eat.

 

3. What is the best treatment for obesity?

Dr. Pierre Moeser and Dr. Michael Dansie both agree that food consumption plays a huge role in fighting obesity.

You should focus on eating nutrient-dense foods, like whole fruits, vegetables, grains, and healthy lean fats and proteins. Try to avoid fried, processed, and sugar-loaded foods as much as possible.

When it comes to weight loss, it’s also important that you’re eating less calories than you burn, which is why doctors encourage you to be active every day.

Developing an exercise and nutrition plan with your doctor is key to keeping weight off while remaining satisfied and satiated. If you’re looking for an easy way to kick off your weight loss, enroll in a weight-loss care guide to help you get moving towards a weight that’s healthy for you. 

 

4. What are food allergies and how are they tested?

On our journey towards eating better, there can be roadblocks. One of the most frustrating can be food allergies.

As Dr. Brian Novick explains, food allergies occur when your immune system gets confused. Essentially, your immune system mistakenly thinks foods, like peanuts or milk, are harmful and attacks them as foreign invaders.

If you’re experiencing hives, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, asthma, or a throat tickle minutes to hours after eating food, talking to your doctor about an allergy test is a good idea. Of course, if you’re experiencing anaphylaxis, call 911 immediately. 

HealthTap’s doctors can help you get a blood or skin scratch test to help determine if you’re allergic to any foods, so schedule a consult today.

 

5. What are the most important parts of a nutrition label?

When it comes to reading nutrition labels, Dr. Martin Fried says you really want to pay attention to the amount of calories, protein, sugar, fat, and sodium. Even just the act of reading nutrition labels and paying close attention to them can help you be more aware about what you’re eating and steer you towards better food habits.

It’s also important that when you read nutrition labels you also make sure to look at what a serving of the food is, so you can keep track of exactly how much you’re eating. 150 calories in a bag of chips doesn’t seem all that bad until you discover a serving is only 9 chips (and 1/12 of your daily calories)!

 

You can join in on the conversation of feeding your body properly or ask a doctor a question or concern of your own on our virtual healthcare platform.

 

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Hannah Dennison

Content Marketing Manager and Writer at HealthTap. Lover of all words, most books, and the Oxford comma.

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