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  • Adriano dos Santos

Answering Your Top 10 Burning Questions

Welcome, health enthusiasts!

Ever wondered what a functional nutritionist would say to help improve your health? Look no further!

answering questions from clients

In this blog, I've compiled the most frequently asked questions from patients this year, providing you with the latest evidence-based insights. Let's dive into the burning questions and unravel the secrets to a healthier life.

1. Are Sugar Alternatives Healthier?

Not necessarily. 🍯 While honey and maple syrup contain some polyphenols, the sugars in these alternatives can still lead to blood glucose spikes. To satisfy your sweet tooth, consider adding vanilla or cinnamon to whole fruits.

2. The Salt Dilemma:

Salt is not the enemy. 🧂 Adding salt to whole, potassium-rich foods is fine. The real issue lies in added salt in processed snacks and cereals. Pairing sodium with potassium-rich vegetables helps mitigate the negative effects of excess salt.

3. Impact of Fruit on Blood Sugar:

Whole fruits are beneficial. 🍇 Eating them with nuts or yogurt can help balance blood glucose levels. Colourful fruits, like berries and plums, provide extra polyphenols that support gut health.

4. Seed Oils: Friend or Foe?

No need to avoid seed oils. 🌻 Opt for extra virgin olive oil, rich in polyphenols and monounsaturated fats. It aids in lowering "bad" cholesterol levels.

5. Meeting Your 30 Plants a Week Goal:

No fixed serving sizes. 🌱 Aim for a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, spices, seeds, and herbs. Research suggests that 30 different plants per week promote a diverse and well-fed gut microbiome.

6. The Role of Meat in a Healthy Diet:

Balance is key. 🥩 While a plant-focused diet is recommended, animal foods like eggs and kefir can be nutritious. Enjoy them as occasional treats for a sustainable and healthy diet.

7. Embrace Whole Plant Foods:

Go for the plants. 🌿 Frozen fruits and vegetables are equally nutritious. Choose plants first, even when dining out, and experience a shift in your approach to food.

8. Probiotic Supplements: Yay or Nay?

It depends. 🦠 Opt for natural probiotics from fermented foods. Research suggests that three small portions a day can make a positive impact on gut health.

9. Chocolate's Cognitive Boost?

Possible, but not guaranteed. 🍫 Dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa may enhance thinking skills, though more evidence is needed. A small indulgence before tasks might be worth a try.

10. Detecting Micronutrient Deficiencies:

Uncover hidden hunger. 🌐 Micronutrient deficiencies may not always be visible but can impact health. Clinical assessments and specific laboratory tests are crucial for identifying deficiencies and tailoring personalized nutrition strategies.


  1. American Gut: An open platform for citizen science microbiome research. mSystems. (2018). 

  2. Gut-microbiota-targeted diets modulate human immune status. Cell. (2021). 

  3. Ultra-processed diets cause excess calorie intake and weight gain: An inpatient randomized controlled trial of ad libitum food intake. Cell Metabolism. (2019). 

  4. Thompson B, Amoroso L, eds. Combatting micronutrient deficiencies: food-based approaches. CAB International and Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Published 2011. Accessed February 8, 2022.

  5. Bailey R, West Jr. K, Black R. The epidemiology of global micronutrient deficiencies. Ann Nutr Metab. 2015;66(S2):22-33. doi:10.1159/000371618.

  6. Ritchie H, Roser M. Micronutrient deficiency. Our World in Data. . Published August 1, 2017. Accessed February 8, 2022.

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