Our graduate and undergraduate students are rockin’ it! Congratulations, ladies!
Sharon Thompson, a predoctoral fellow in the laboratory, was awarded a predoctoral fellowship from the USDA AFRI NIFA Fellowship Program. The two-year, $120,000 fellowship was awarded for a study entitled “Impact of avocado consumption on the gut-microbiota-liver axis among adults with overweight and obesity.” In addition, Sharon was a finalist and the grand prize winner in the American Society for Nutrition’s Clinical Emerging Leaders Competition.
Claire Cheng, an undergraduate researcher in the laboratory, was selected as a 2019 Emerging Leader in Nutrition by the American Society for Nutrition. Claire was also recently recognized by the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition for her outstanding undergraduate research contributions. She was awarded BOTH the Nishida Research Award and the Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Award. Lastly, Claire was recently accepted into the M.S., R.D. program at Tufts.
Dr. Holscher is quoted in an article in the Washington Post about inulin, a common prebiotic.
June 12 at 7:00 AM
Fiber is “the new protein,” according to market research firms. But it could also be the new pain in your stomach.
If you’re like most Americans, you’re trying to add more fiber to your diet. That’s a good thing, because the average American gets only half the recommended amount of fiber each day. Manufacturers are responding to consumers’ wishes by adding fiber to a plethora of foods and beverages, including cereals, energy bars, protein supplements, “healthier” cookies, diet ice cream and even bottled water.
One of the most prevalent fiber-boosting ingredients is inulin. Like any fiber, it can cause gas, bloating and abdominal pain if consumed too quickly or in large quantities. Many of my clients who have complained about digestive discomfort don’t realize how much inulin they’re consuming each day. Most of them have never even heard of it.
Here’s what you should know about inulin, including how much you need and how to determine how much you are getting.
Interested in learning more about prebiotics? Check out this article in the U.S. News & World Report. Dr. Holscher gives a tip on how to remember the difference between probiotics and prebiotics and provides information about some of the health benefits of prebiotic consumption.
Chances are, you’ve heard about probiotics. You know, those good gut bacteria that may provide a boost to gut health and offer a variety of other health benefits. Probiotics are also present in yogurt and other fermented foods like kimchi and kombucha, as well as supplements.
But what are prebiotics? They’re essentially compounds that feed the friendly bacteria in the gut. They are largely fermentable carbohydrates — meaning us humans cannot digest them. Prebiotics help nourish gut bacteria so they can better thrive.
To remember the difference between probiotics and prebiotics, take this advice from Hannah D. Holscher, assistant professor of nutrition at the University of Illinois: “When I think about prebiotics, I remember the ‘e’ for the energy they provide for gut bacteria. And for probiotics, I think of the ‘o’ for organism in the gut microbiome.”
So how can we eat more? Every researcher I spoke to suggested eating a diversity of whole foods, instead of relying only on supplements or fiber-enriched processed foods, especially the sugary bars and brownies now being marketed as fiber-delivery tools.
Today, the array of options for fibrous foods are way more delicious than Metamucil. On a list of foods according to their fiber content, from the USDA, these were among the top (yes, popcorn and avocados are right up there):