Health Advice




Quinn on Nutrition: Question about 'natural flavors'

Health Advice / Nutrition /

Dear Barbara,

My reason for emailing you other than telling you your articles are very helpful is about natural flavors. I try to only eat organic foods so when I see natural flavors in the ingredients I don't know why. Organic stevia has natural flavorings in it. Organic crackers have it. Why? What is it? Is it all the same in everything? Is ...Read more


Quinn on Nutrition: Inherited high cholesterol: Can nutrition help?

Health Advice / Nutrition /

"My cholesterol is too high," a patient explained. "But I can't help it. It's hereditary." She was right. Her type of high cholesterol is called familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). It's an inherited genetic defect that causes an abnormal amount of dangerous LDL cholesterol to accumulate in the bloodstream. This condition is fairly common, ...Read more


Quinn on Nutrition: Beets and borscht

Health Advice / Nutrition /

My readers keep me on my toes, for sure. Here are some questions that merit more attention.

Regarding the recent column on beets, Dennis S. writes: "How can one write about beets without mentioning borscht???"

How can one, indeed?!! Borscht (pronounced "borscht") is a tart, beet-based soup which originated in Eastern Europe and the former ...Read more

Quinn on Nutrition: What about beets?

Health Advice / Nutrition /

It's beet season in our neighbor's garden. (Hint, hint...yes, I love homegrown beets!)

We call them "beets" here in the U.S. and Canada. In Britain, they are more accurately referred to as "beetroot" since a beet is actually the edible taproot that grows under the ground. Beet greens (the part that grows above the ground) are also edible and ...Read more

Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Quinn on Nutrition: Friends nourish friends

Health Advice / Nutrition /

My heart was heavy with fear and disbelief at the news of fires advancing on the California community I called home for 27 years. Text messages and hour-to-hour alerts on Facebook painted a grim picture of friends being evacuated from their homes, scrambling to find safety for their families and livestock.

"I'm trying to decide what to pack up!...Read more


Quinn on Nutrition: Coronavirus and food safety

Health Advice / Nutrition /

Two recent columns prompted these questions from readers:

Dear Barbara, I was grateful that you addressed the farming food safety issue in your column. I'm glad field workers are taking added precautions, but what if one of them DOES have the virus and packs lettuce or strawberries or any other produce? Will the consumer of these items get the ...Read more

Quinn on Nutrition: Garden vegetables

Health Advice / Nutrition /

Some of our very best friends this time of year are neighbors who have gardens. About once a week, I'll get a text messages from Ginny and Bob who live across the street.

"Would you like some vegetables?"

Uh, yes, please!

Last week I brought home fresh zucchini, one big enough to stuff. Yum. And turnips.

"Let me know how you like the taste ...Read more

Quinn on Nutrition: COVID and food safety

Health Advice / Nutrition /

A reader writes: I live in Monterey, California. I'm 77 and my husband is 82. I'm wondering, with the large number of COVID-positive farm workers in our area, how safe it is for us to be eating local produce such as romaine lettuce which could have been picked by an infected ag worker? Also, how safe is pork and chicken? Thank you for your help,...Read more

Quinn on Nutrition: No excuses not to eat veggies

Health Advice / Nutrition /

After watching too much news about everyone who insists their way is right, I needed to write this column. Hopefully I won't get hate mail about the value of fruits and vegetables. In fact, the recommendation for us to eat a diet rich in plant foods is about the only thing experts and food gurus from all sides of the diet spectrum do not argue ...Read more

Quinn on Nutrition: Highs and lows of fiber for diverticular disease

Health Advice / Nutrition /

Must be time to talk about dietary fiber. Last week I received this message: "Hello dear, can you send us some information about a low fiber diet? (My husband) is going in for a colonoscopy and was told to avoid fiber for 3 days before his test."

Then reader G.M. writes: "Hello Barbara, I had a CAT scan done and they said I have colonic ...Read more

Quinn on Nutrition: Put on your best face

Health Advice / Nutrition /

I didn't like being called "freckle face" when I was a kid. So when my mom took me to the pediatrician for a routine check up, I asked him if he could make my freckles go away. He kindly told me he could, "but you will never be able to go out in the sun again or your freckles will come back." So I got used to being "freckle face."

Freckles may ...Read more

Quinn on Nutrition: Evaluating proteins

Health Advice / Nutrition /

I'm seeing more and more plant-based protein ingredients added to food products these days. A product called Harvest Snaps, for example, uses green peas, red lentils and black beans in their chip-like snacks. These pea, lentil and bean-based crisps have more protein and dietary fiber and less fat and sodium than regular potato chips. Not bad.

...Read more



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