Allison Webster's blog

Hydration: It’s a Fluid Situation

This is the second installment of a new video series in partnership with Osmosis, a group that focuses on health science education, highlighting the basics of several nutrition topics. Click here to watch the first video in the series, “Fundamentals of Fats”.

Getting Personal: How Much Sodium Do We Need?

Here at the IFIC Foundation and across the internet, we’re seeing, reading and writing more and more about personalized nutrition. Our genetics and environment play significant roles in how our bodies respond to and use certain foods and nutrients. Today let’s focus on sodium.

Fast Take: This Is No Time to Disparage Asparagus

I hope that you’re reading this before you decided to throw that new bunch of asparagus directly in the trash can (if not, I’m sorry for your loss). Many of you may have come across several news stories this week detailing the relationship between the amino acid asparagine and breast cancer metastasis (in mice).

Gut Check: Fiber and the Microbiome

If I were to go out and do a Jimmy Kimmel-esque Pedestrian Question on why fiber is good for us, I’ve got a few guesses on how it would go:

“Fiber keeps you regular (hehe)”

“I think fruits and vegetables have a lot of it?”

“It feeds our gut”

You’re the dietitian, aren’t you supposed to be the one telling me?”

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: