The Diet Lowdown – Dietitians’ Most Popular Questions

The Diet Lowdown – Dietitians’ Most Popular Questions

Aug 03, 2023Tori Sajovec, RD, LD

You asked, she asked, he asked, they all asked … and asked, and asked. Therefore, it only felt right to compile Hy-Vee dietitians’ most frequently asked questions (and answers) about diet, food choices, healthy eating and more. Dive in and get the lowdown.

1. Which is best - fresh or frozen veggies?

Would you find it surprising to know that the bagged produce found behind the frozen doors is just as nutritious as the fresh varieties? That’s right – a veggie in any form is packed full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Think of the frozen options as a safe way to increase their shelf life. Plus, they can be a convenient side-item staple with any meal you make. You can still season them to kick it up a notch, or purchase options that are pre-seasoned. Be mindful of the sodium content in some packages, but we say, stock up!

2. Should I avoid fruit?

Absolutely not! But what about the sugar content, you ask. The sugar found in fruit is not the same thing as added sugar, which is found in sodas, candy and other ultra-processed foods. A serving of whole fruit provides your body with nutritious vitamins and filling fiber, and can be a great alternative to sweets. Bananas, apples, berries – they’re all great options and should never be banned. Similar to frozen veggies, look for the no-added-sugar frozen fruit! They are great to use for smoothie bases, or even thaw out when your favorite fruit is not in season.

3. Is vegetarian, keto, or the Mediterranean diet, etc. the best way to eat?

Honestly, the best way to eat is one that meets all of your nutritional needs and a plan that you can stick with long-term. If you’re unsure what that looks like for you – a Hy-Vee dietitian can help! We take into account your lifestyle, which includes home life, work, physical activity, schedule, dietary needs and more! Then, we create simple yet sustainable goals that will help you succeed with your plan.

4. Do I need to drink 8 glasses of water per day?

This age-old advice is just that – old! The magical 8 glasses of water was an easy number to remember, yet your water intake should be modified to fit your lifestyle and activities. A good rule of thumb? Check your urine and ensure it’s a light yellow hue. Typically an increased water intake correlates with warmer temperatures, excessive exercise, and more.

5. Is sugar, salt or fat the biggest problem in our diets?

We can’t point fingers at one single nutrient or ingredient behind a poor diet. The major problem? Eating too much ultra-processed foods and not enough produce, whole grains, lean meats and healthy fats over a long period. Balance is key, and using the 80/20 rule (80% wholesome foods and 20% treats) can help keep you healthy and happy, too.

6. Should I go gluten-free?

If you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease or have a gluten sensitivity, then a gluten-free diet is an absolute must for you. Otherwise, a gluten-free lifestyle isn’t needed, nor healthier, than one that includes gluten-containing ingredients. However, we do have some great gluten-free options on WholeLotta Good that you can add to your cart – check them out here.

Here’s a tasty recipe, Sautéed Chard and Eggs. Although it can be related to specific lifestyles, this is just a delicious recipe that can be satisfying and filling. Not only that, but eggs are a great source of protein and healthy fats to support brain function throughout the entire lifespan.

Sautéed Chard and Eggs

Serves 2

All you need:

1 lbs. fresh chard, stemmed

2 tbsp Spectrum Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 cup chopped red onion

1 cup sliced mushrooms

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp Celtic Sea Salt

½ tsp Simply Organic Black Pepper

1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar

2 Hy-Vee large eggs

2 slices Hy-Vee bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled

All you do:

  1. Cut chard leaves crosswise into 1-inch ribbons; set aside.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil on medium-high heat. Add onion, mushrooms and garlic. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until onions are softened. Add chard to skillet. Use tongs to turn the leaves over in the pan to coat with some of the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with vinegar.
  3. Spread chard mixture to sides of skillet; crack eggs in the center. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until whites are cooked. Use a spatula to gently transfer eggs and chard to dinner plate. Sprinkle with bacon crumbles. Serve immediately.


Still have so many burning questions? We are here to answer them! Check out the free, 30-minute Discovery Sessions that we offer to anyone interested in meeting with our Hy-Vee dietitians. These sessions are provided so we can chat more about your health and wellness goals and we can share how best we can help you related to your specific needs. Find a Hy-Vee dietitian here to schedule a Discovery Session.

*The blog articles, recipes and recommendations found on this site are not intended as medical advice and should not replace consulting with your medical provider. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

About the Registered Dietitian      

Tori Sajovec RD, LD, received her Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics with a minor in English from Iowa State University. From there, her passions took her to New Orleans, Louisiana, where she completed her 10-month dietetic internship program through Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. As her knowledge of food and nutrition grew, so did her desire to educate customers and clients on their overall well-being. Her goal as a dietitian is to make health and wellness an insightful and enjoyable lifestyle for all.

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