The Worst Nutrition Advice in History: a dietitian’s response

Jessica Penner, RDSmarten Up4 Comments

 The Worst Nutrition Advice in History: A Dietitian’s Response As a Registered Dietitian and an expert in human nutritional sciences, many people have asked me to respond to this article by Kris Gunnars, about bad nutrition advice from “mainstream nutrition.”  I’m tempted to say that he’s got it all wrong, but the truth is that he just has us all wrong. Yes, he calls out nutrition advice that is bad… possibly even the worst.  My dietitian colleagues and I are generally in agreement on that.  We’re nutrition professionals, and we make up the field of “mainstream nutrition.” So, the question is, what makes him think we’re making these … Read More

are pesticides, GMOs, and big junk food poisoning baby formula?

Jessica Penner, RDSmarten Up11 Comments

baby formula, GMOs, and the lack of danger from pesticides

In response to last week’s guest post, by fellow RD Laura Creek Newman, I received the following comment: “Sorry, but I cannot ignore this post!! This writer needs to clarify the difference between hybrid and genetically modified foods, which is huge!! Hybrid plants have been around for a very long time and are bred from the same parent plant, whereas genetically modified plant are not the same at all. They have only been around since the mid nineties. Corn, for example, is bred to contain a pesticide, so that when a worm eats any part of the corn, it dies! … Read More

there’s nothing sinister lurking in that baby formula

Jessica Penner, RDSmarten Up6 Comments

baby formula, GMOs, and the lack of danger from pesticides

I’m so excited to share this article written by guest author Laura Creek Newman! Laura is a Registered Dietitian with a wide experience in clinical and community work.  She has significant and evidence-based training in the area of infant feeding. She is also a mom to a beautiful 17 month old, whom she breastfed exclusively until 6 months  and continued beyond a year. She also formula fed after she returned to the workforce, because she found she wasn’t able to express enough for her baby’s needs.  After reading and becoming enraged by this article, Laura wanted to respond.  In particular she felt the need to explain exactly how the ingredients for baby … Read More

how to put an end to your dieting days

Jessica Penner, RDNutrition, Overeating, Smarten UpLeave a Comment

Have you seen this article about fad diets you should absolutely never try?  From the laughable (eating jars of baby food), to the dangerous (purposefully infecting yourself with tapeworms), it’s clear that people are willing to turn off their brains and try anything in the hopes of losing weight. It’s sad that this article even needs to exist.  Many people are obsessed by weight loss, but not many are very successful, so they keep trying new strategies that are ultimately unproven and unsustainable. Many people are so tired of asking weight loss questions, that they will believe anything is the answer. Many people focus on good … Read More

beware of “natural foods”

Jessica Penner, RDSmarten Up3 Comments

Grocery store sign: "Natural foods"

“Natural Foods.” Have you ever come across this in your grocery store? It’s a section that sells gluten-free, vegan, and other alternative foods and supplements. It’s separate from the rest of the store. You might find it, as I did, tucked away between dairy and home decor. Seeing this section of “natural foods” made me wonder in frustration, “what, is everything else in this store considered unnatural?” And why on earth are the veggies not in the natural section, when I can peek into the natural section and see these… A recent survey found that the word “natural” helps to sell … Read More

nutrition washing

Jessica Penner, RDNutrition, Smarten Up1 Comment

I remember the first time I came across multigrain tortilla chips. It was the summer after my first year of university, back in the dark days before I was formally educated in nutrition. I was lounging on the dock at my friend’s cabin when she pulled out a bag of these new-fangled chips and cracked it open.  It was incredibly satisfying to snack on them. It’s not as if we were eating regular chips. These were healthy chips. They were multigrain for goodness’ sake! I probably ate a few more chips than I normally would for good measure. It wasn’t … Read More

the power of chia

Jessica Penner, RDNutrition, Smarten Up11 Comments

I recently received this question via email: A week ago I started eating chia seeds because I had seen it in a news article on the top 10 super foods. When I read up on it I can’t help but wonder why everyone in the world is not eating it. What do you know about it? Is it as good as this article says it is? On the scale of optimistic to pessimistic I am usually faulted for being overly optimistic but I have to admit that my pessimistic side clambers to attention when I see a media article on … Read More