Frequently Asked Questions

Here are our answers to some of the most commonly asked questions. If you have additional or specific questions, please email Mark directly: mark@balancednutritiononline.com

Q.
What is plant-based eating?
A.
Plant-based eating includes an abundance of whole plant foods. Plant-based eaters may be vegetarian or vegan, but may also eat animal protein occasionally or in small servings.
Q.
How is a plant-based diet beneficial?
A.
Scientific evidence shows plant-based eating is linked with reduced disease risk and long term health and vitality. Research consistently shows vegetarian, vegan and near-vegan diets reduce risks of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, some types of cancer, digestive disorders, cognitive decline, chronic pain, some auto-immune conditions and many other diseases.
Q.
Can nutrition impact whether or not I get sick? Or is it just my genes?
A.
Genetics are important. But for most diseases, our genes influence only 10% of our risk. Even better, your lifestyle can influence how and whether your genes express your future. That means your lifestyle can actually turn your genes on or off, and that can directly affect your health.
Q.
How will your nutrition education help me if I still want to eat meat and not become a vegetarian?
A.
Plant-based-nutrition is our passion, and our primary goal is to transition you to a healthy, practical plant-based eating pattern, even if that includes small amounts of animal protein.
Q.
Can I still have sweets? Especially chocolate?
A.
Absolutely. For most people and most conditions, intake of small amounts of sugar is not a problem. While sugar can be addictive, and some time may be required to reduce cravings and re-balance your tastes, we will offer helpful strategies to address that. Working together, we can show you how sweets in moderation…
Q.
Isn’t there a big “push” against all added salt, oils and sugar?
A.
This is one of the latest food debates, and while some people like the absolute approach, it’s not necessarily healthier or sustainable over the long term. Our approach is to help you understand the role that salt, oils and sugar play in nutrition. Good nutrition isn’t a fad, but a lifestyle that can easily merge with your preferences, customs and traditions.
Q.
Which supplements should I take?
A.
The best source of balanced nutrition is food, although supplements may have a role in resolving a vitamin deficiency. Our approach selects food choices first, then adds supplements if necessary.
Q.
What is your opinion on processed foods?
A.
The answer depends on the nature of the processing—what did the process add or remove and with what results? More importantly, the occasional use of processed foods may enhance convenience, flavor, and quality of life without sacrificing good health.
Q.
Where do you stand on the perception held by some that dietitians are compromised by food corporations?
A.
Mark is working for change so that dietitians better reflect the core values of prevention, organizational integrity, and proper regard for scientific, social, consumer, and environmental values.
Q.
How are you different from a nutritionist, holistic health counselor, natural health practitioner, Acupuncturist, herbalist or health coach?
A.
In most states, any person providing nutrition advice to treat a disease or condition (except overweight) is required to have a state-issued license. Most of the practitioners described above are not operating within the law if they use food to treat disease on an individual basis. Our approach combines some key ideas of these other professions with evidence-based research and mainstream credentials so you get current, objective information.