DEAR DR. BLONZ: My elderly mother is convinced that taking daily multivitamins causes weight gain. I have never heard of such a thing, and don't believe it. Is this possible? -- S.T., Oakland, California
DEAR S.T.: No. OK, there could be a weight-gain twist in an exceptional circumstance, such as a nutrient-deprived body that had wasted away a bit. In such a case, a multivitamin could provide the deficient nutrients and help return one to normal health, which could involve regaining the lost body weight.
But outside of a rare, specific case such as that? No.
DEAR DR. BLONZ: In a recent column, you responded to a question about nutrition while on dialysis. Thank you for the link you posted (b.link/3nucqh) regarding how a registered dietitian can help.
The renal nutrition plan is complex, and dietary recommendations can change monthly, based on the most recent lab results. This can be very confusing to individuals who might not understand unless they receive personal nutrition counseling from a dietitian familiar with renal dietetics.
Thank you for this helpful information. Now retired, I worked as a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator. -- J.M., via email
DEAR J.M.: Thank you for these comments. As you know, the blood is what carries nutrients throughout the body. It also serves as the medium through which metabolic wastes produced by the cells get picked up, transported and eventually eliminated from the body.
It is essential to appreciate our kidneys' central role as the blood's cleansing filter; they are also responsible for fine-tuning the concentration of various substances in our bloodstream to desired levels. When they are not working correctly, close attention must be paid to what we put into the body -- which is where dietitians specializing in renal dietetics play their role.
DEAR DR. BLONZ: When using a blender, do you get the same amount of dietary fiber as the unblended food? I am having some work done on my jaw and will be shifting to a liquid diet while things heal. -- S.C., Oakland, California
DEAR S.C.: No problem with using a blender; the fiber value will be the same as long as the whole food gets consumed. The same goes for a juicer, but only one that does not discard the solids, which tend to be the source of insoluble fiber. Blenders and juicers can cause the food to spend slightly less time in your stomach, but the net effect of the fiber should be the same.
As for your particular situation, there are liquid fiber supplements on the market that can be used to fortify foods, but also to help those who can only eat through a straw. In your case, the idea of blending whole foods or using a liquid supplement can make sense.
Keep in mind that your digestive system and its muscles usually do what your blender will be doing; that can translate to some minor upsets until the whole system gets used to your new way of eating. A consult with your physician would be in order, as well as one with an associated dietitian, who can help you select a progression of foods to soothe the adjustment period and help with the healing process.
Send questions to: "On Nutrition," Ed Blonz, c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO, 64106. Send email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.