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Artificial Sweeteners: Can (& Should) They Help You Reach Your Weight Loss Goal?

Artificial Sweeteners: Can (& Should) They Help You Reach Your Weight Loss Goal?

Artificial sweeteners — to use or not to use them? This is a question I have been asked by more people than I can count throughout my career as a dietitian. Whether teaching diabetes classes, doing individual counseling sessions or just pushing my cart through the grocery stores, people want to know if sugar substitutes…

Essential Oils, Nutrition & Health: Harmful, Helpful or Just Hype?

Essential Oils, Nutrition & Health: Harmful, Helpful or Just Hype?

Like you, I have been approached by many who are promoting ‘nutritional’ oils to relieve all types of health conditions. I am skeptical and have many questions about the safety and effectiveness of essential oils. Not to mention how much they will cost me to gain their ‘benefits’. I began to wonder if they are…

I thought I knew what to look for on the label but I was wrong! The calories listed on the front did not line up with the truth for the food I ate, what should I look for?

This is very frustrating for all of us, including dietitians. I was recently duped by the label on a popcorn box! The front of the box said 160 calories and I thought that for the bag and used that to compare other microwave popcorn. Was I wrong! The true calories of that popcorn according to…

My mother complains about a dry mouth all the time. What can I do to help her?

Thank you for being a caregiver for your mother and wanting to do all you can to make her comfortable. There are several reasons why she can be experiencing a dry mouth for you to check out. It is very common for older adults to experience dry mouth but should not be considered a normal…

I read that pregnant women should eat more fish? Can you explain?

Hot off the presses! The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have just released advice for pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding and young children, suggesting those groups eat more fish. They do go on to state that the fish should be low in mercury, which is something that dietitians…

Detective Foodsafe & The Case of the Tummy Troubles

Detective Foodsafe & The Case of the Tummy Troubles

Detective FoodSafe enters the scene and sees a woman struggling with abdominal cramps and gas, doubled over in pain. She immediately sweeps in to investigate and look for clues to the cause of the problem. Spotted on the kitchen counter was a quick bread made with blueberries and banana. There were also fresh fruit in…

Eating before I go to bed is bad, I have heard. Sometimes I feel hungry before bed, are there good snacks that will help me sleep?

Thank you for your question. The importance of a good night’s sleep for our health has taken center stage among researchers and health professionals lately. We can track our sleep patterns using fitness wearable devices and smartphone apps and often find ourselves sleep deprived. Not getting a good night’s sleep can affect our performance, energy…

I am diabetic and am confused about whether I should drink orange juice. Is it OK?

That is an interesting question and actually one I get asked quite a lot by people trying hard to maintain their blood sugar by eating healthy meals. Orange juice is often recommended to bring blood sugar up when it goes too low, a condition known as hypoglycemia, because of its ability to be digested and…

Reading Food Labels for Smarter, More Nutritious Shopping & Eating

Reading Food Labels for Smarter, More Nutritious Shopping & Eating

Food labels have become very popular reading material, which is good news for those who are reading them now and their families who are reaping the benefits of better nutrition. It may not, of course, be the best of news for those whose products might not fit well into a healthy diet. We read food…

Someone said I should not use my meat marinade on the meat at the table. Is that true?

Meat and poultry marinades placed on raw meats to flavor and tenderize the protein foods should be discarded once the meat or poultry is on the grill or once it is no longer being used to baste the food. This is the last time the marinade will have the opportunity to heat thoroughly to kill…

I already know that a growing child needs a balanced diet. But what are some of the key nutrients kids need, and where can you find them?

Great question! Most moms know that kids don’t always eat as planned or on schedule. I know with my own kids how tough it was to get them to eat what I thought they should when I wanted them to eat. The eating habits of one of my children were especially challenging and I had…

10 Essential Tools in This Dietitian’s Kitchen

10 Essential Tools in This Dietitian’s Kitchen

I love to be in the kitchen! I also love reading cookbooks and exploring the grocery store for new items. One of the reasons I became a dietitian was to be around food, which I have had the pleasure to enjoy since my very first job. I don’t believe that I have had a real…

Since it is picnic time, I am worried about keeping my food safe. What foods should I be worried about?

Great question! Many people want to learn the tactics needed to keep their food safe, especially as the picnic and barbeque season gets into full swing. Keeping vulnerable foods cold and out of the temperature danger zone is very important to prevent food borne illness in our family and guests. This is true whether the…

My friend says she is allergic to MSG and I shouldn’t eat it either. What foods have MSG and should I avoid it?

Allergies or intolerances to certain foods are very individual. Most true allergies occur in relation to a protein containing food such as nuts, milk and eggs. People experience an intolerance to foods that cause them gastrointestinal upset, especially when eaten in large quantity. Our bodies use enzymes, such as lactase, to breakdown other compounds in…

How to Pick Fruit at the Peak of Flavor & Enjoyment

How to Pick Fruit at the Peak of Flavor & Enjoyment

Summer’s here and the garden is growing! I am lucky, in my home garden I have blueberries, grapes, peaches, figs, and apples. Some are more productive than others and each year is a new experience when it comes to what will grow well and what needs more help. I also have to be quick to…



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Kathy Birkett RDN

Hi, I'm Kathy Birkett. I've been providing nutrition advice and education for many years to people in a variety of nutrition settings and have gained expertise that I would like to share with you and your family.


I am a registered, licensed dietitian with knowledge to help you achieve a sustainable lifestyle plan for both you and your family!


I have a passion for good health, nutrition and physical well-being for all ages. I want to help you in your wellness journey by providing nutrition and health information!


I encourage you to read my articles, ask a question or send me a suggestion that can help everyone as we walk the path of health together!


Here's to your health!

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