Allison Webster's blog

Personalized Nutrition: Ready for Prime-time?

Welcome to 2018, everybody - a time where we can hand-select everything from the ingredients in our fast-casual salad to the patterns we get in our Sock of the Month Club, all from the comfort of our own homes and offices. With customization as king, the demand for a more personal approach to health is growing stronger.

In the Know about Nutrigenomics

Here at the IFIC Foundation and in my time spent as a nutrition researcher, I’ve read piles of studies showing that some research subjects showed a health benefit from a dietary intervention, while others responded in the opposite way or didn’t change at all. One of the typical explanations is that “genetic variation” played a role in the differences. But what are these genetic variations? How do the foods we eat interact with our genes? And how does this relate to our overall health?

Microbial Misconceptions: Fermented Foods

We’ve officially (finally) made it to the last few weeks of 2017, and that means that foodies and trend forecasters are busy compiling their lists of food trends to watch for in 2018. While new fads and flavors are cropping up all the time, fermented foods have been perennial favorites of chefs, food bloggers, health nuts, and even your grandparents (shoutout to my grandma’s homemade pickles). But as their popularity continues to grow, it’s easy to lose sight of the real vs. perceived health benefits of fermented foods, and that’s where we come in.

Sound Science: History of Soy and Health

A walk into any restaurant, coffee shop or grocery store confirms that there are few foods as versatile as soy. We can sub soy milk in a morning latte, toss tofu in a stir fry for dinner, throw a veggie burger on the grill or enjoy edamame while waiting on sushi. Soy’s presence in our diets has grown over the last several decades due to scientific research recognizing its potential health benefits and shifts in consumer demand toward more plant-based diets.

Whey-ing The Options: Which Yogurt Is Best?

Over the last few decades, supermarkets in the U.S. have been inundated with a growing supply of new yogurt varieties. In simpler times, yogurt lovers only had to focus on buying flavors they liked the most. Today, however, the process of purchasing yogurt includes layers of decision-making, including choosing between many different types and quantities of protein, fat and sugar. To make matters even more confusing, different styles of yogurt are becoming increasingly available, such as Greek, Icelandic and French varieties.

Coffee & Health: What the Science Says

What does a morning without coffee sound like to you? If you answered “scary, sleepy, and confusing”, you’re not alone. Over 80% of U.S. adults drink coffee at least occasionally, and 60% of us drink a cup or more every day. Long considered to be a habit (or a crutch) that delivers a quick boost of energy to power through the day, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the perks of moderate coffee consumption extend far past its ability to wake us up in the morning. Here’s a rundown of some recent, evidence-based findings on one of our favorite hot beverages:

Here’s What Your Diet Would Look Like If You Ate Based on Internet Headlines

Do you find today’s headlines about diet and nutrition to be endlessly confusing? Are you tired of trying to separate the "bad" foods from the "good" foods? Do your eyes glaze over while reading blogs about gluten-free, raw, vegan diets, only to snap out of it with an empty bag of potato chips in your lap? Well, then I guess it’s your lucky day.

We here at the FACTS Network pulled the Internet Headline Guide to what you should definitely* stop eating immediately, based on recent news headlines. Take a deep breath … here we go.

Cold-Pressed Juice: Hipster Hype or Health Hero?

Whether you’re a yoga guru on a cleanse, a gym rat looking for antioxidants, or just perusing the beverage options at the corner coffee shop, chances are you’ve seen cold-pressed juice. This trend has caught the attention of health-conscious people looking to get their fruits and greens in a quick, drinkable form. Bottles can be found anywhere from specialty juice shops to chain grocery stores.

But why are we infatuated with liquefying our fruits and veggies? Are the health benefits worth the hype? Let’s take a closer look.

Is Everything You've Been Told About Breakfast Wrong?

From an early age, we’ve been taught that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. We hear that eating first thing in the morning can help to control our weight, and can even help us shed unwanted pounds.

Hot Off the Presses: 5 Key Takeaways for Evaluating Nutrition in the Media

Every day, we are bombarded with the results of new nutrition studies proclaiming the latest on everything from red wine to coconut oil. We read about the “battle” between low-fat versus low-carb diets and question whether juice cleanses really are “fat-busting”. Sure, the headlines grab our attention, but how do we know if there’s strength beyond the media hype? Last week, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics sponsored “Hot Off the Presses: Evaluating the Evidence Behind Today’s Nutrition Media Headlines”, a webinar mediated by IFIC’s Director of Nutrients Communications, Kris Sollid.