Category Archives: Research

Why should you get advice from a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist?

Almost any type of information is accessible these days. You can go online and find what you are looking for, if not from self-help books, podcasts, or TV programs. And if that’s not enough, you can even join groups and browse forums, to get information straight from other people’s experiences.

But at this age, when information is free-flowing, and the temptation to self-diagnose is stronger than ever (Hello, Google.), why should you seek help from an expert such as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist?

Cheerful doctor on the phone in her office while she is using her laptop

Nutritionists Know

It is the job of your Nutritionist to find out the latest in health and nutrition research and what they mean for you. As published information over time tend to express different views on what’s good for the body and what should be avoided, it is important to talk to someone who makes it his number one priority to be informed, and sort through the large amounts of data , so he can advise you on just what will work for your specific needs.

Value of One-on-one Consultation

Your needs can very well be different from that of the next person. Though people can have very similar concerns as having high cholesterol, difficulty in losing weight, or wanting to get in better shape, a Nutritionist is in the best position to tell you what changes you should be making. He does this through taking time to personally listen and know you; your history, the concerns you want addressed with regard to your nutrition and health. He will also be able to monitor your progress over time as you make improvements. In these consultations, you are also made accountable to someone other than yourself; which will help to nudge you during a slump or when you don’t feel motivated enough to follow through with your regimen.

Help Navigate Food Allergies and Intolerance

Aside from helping you avoid allergy attacks by keeping you informed of your food allergies, and food intolerance, nutritionists help in a way that can drastically improve the way you view your food and eating. Knowing that you have food allergies and intolerance has a tendency to limit you to only the safe food items that are already top of mind. Your Nutritionist can help give you a considerable number of food options that may not be commonly known,  and actually help you bring joy back to eating.

Wonders for Weight Loss

Many people may stick to a handpicked weight loss strategy for a time, fail, try another, fail again and finally get frustrated and give up. Six o’clock diet, fad diets, crash diets; just the myriad of options out there can be reason enough for you to put off dieting  until the next day. Though Nutritionists may not be as adept in other areas involved in weight loss, such as working out or exercising, nutritionists have the 411 on the food that you put into your body. That alone is already a big part of the weight loss equation. Nutritionists can give you structured and personalized meal plans that you can follow which is tailored to your needs and considers your own vitals to help you lose and keep those stubborn pounds off. They can also give you advice on how to modify and substitute ingredients, in case you have trouble putting together meals set out in your plan.

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What’s more is that with the advancements in communication technology, channels for nutritionists have vastly widened to make their Nutritionist consultations accessible and closer to people. Nutritionist can now do remote consultations through the internet. Applications are now able to provide meal photojournaling services via mobile devices. These day-to-day meals can then be shared with nutritionists so they can give valuable expert advice on what should or should not be done. People can now be able to integrate these into their everyday meal decisions so that they can efficiently reach their health goals.

So the next time you want to make changes in your diet, consider asking advice form a Nutritionist. It will prove to be highly beneficial. 🙂

The HAPILABS Team

Mindful Eating Means Eating Less

It turns out that you don’t even have to concentrate hard to reap the portion control benefits of mindfulness!

At HAPILABS, we’ve recently been talking about some work done at Cornell’s Food and Brand Lab by Dr. Andrew Geier, Dr. Brian Wansink and Dr. Paul Rozin. It’s a paradox: you can be both mindful and mindless at the same time.

The idea of this research was to figure out how to stop mindless snacking by introducing mindfulness without having to fundamentally overhaul someone’s eating behavior. The researchers did a simple experiment: they brought students in to watch a movie, and served them tubes of Lays Stackables, some of which contained chips dyed red at regular intervals.

Cornell food and brand lab Brian Wansink

Cornell Food and Brand Lab Director Brian Wansink. Photo Credit: Robin Wishna

Some people had tubes with no red chips at all, and others had a red chip at every serving size, and another at every two-servings. So there were three types of potato chip tubes: one with no red chips, one with a red chip every 7 chips, and another with a red chip every 14 chips. (There was a second experiment to verify and expand on the first with the no-red-chip tubes, and then tubes with red chips every 5 chips and every 10 chips.)

As it turns out, college students can go through a lot of chips! But when they ran across the red chips, they stopped. In fact, the students who encountered red chips ate about 50% less than their peers without red chips. And more than that, the ones who had red chips were very good at estimating how many total chips they ate. Their estimates were off by less than one chip, compared to the group without red chips – they underestimated by over a dozen, nearly a third of the total chips eaten!

Think about it: Being “off” when you guess how much you eat by nearly ⅓ is like thinking you are taking in a daily dose of 2000 calories, but it’s really 3000.

In one class, the divider chips were simply dyed red and students were told the chips were left over from a past experiment. In the other class, it was a tomato basil chip and students believed they were participating in a study to test food companies’ new flavor-mixing strategy.

There was a plausible reason given for finding the red chips, but the students didn’t know that they were being tested on consumption. Yet, the wider the spacing of the red chips, the more people ate.

Original Publication: Red potato chips: Segmentation cues can substantially decrease food intake.