Author Archives: Marilyn Magaram Center, Registered Dietitian

Small Changes Add Up to Big Achievements

By: Nadia Bedrosian, CSUN Dietetic Intern

Image: Brian A Jackson/Shutterstock

You’ve seen it before, friends and family doting themselves to a new routine at the start of the new year, month, or on a Monday. They say, “Tomorrow is a new day, I will start then.” Whether it’s a fitness routine or a nutrition routine most people jump in head first with an all or nothing mindset. If making drastic changes was easy, there wouldn’t be such a market for gimmicky weight loss plans.

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All About Probiotics

By: Brittany York, B.S., CSUN Dietetic Intern

Image: T.L.Furrer/Shutterstock

Probiotics are “good bacteria” that provide health benefits to those who consume them.1,2 Probiotics mainly live in the intestines, and their known health benefits have been traced back as far as 460–370 BC when Hippocrates stated: “All diseases begin in the gut.”1

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Bee A Matador Honey

By: Samy Elcott, CSUN Dietetic Intern

Image: Kosolovskyy/Shutterstock

Every morning, as the glistening sun shines over the marvelous campus, CSUN’s garden called The Orange Grove glows brilliantly to passersby, exhibiting over 60 years of deep rooted history of agriculture, research and recreation.1 The reflection of neighboring plants radiates from the CSUN pond, which is a sanctuary for ducks, turtles, fish and other sociable insects. The orange trees tower from above, proudly displaying its fruits which can be seen growing from mid-Fall to late-spring semesters.

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A Look Inside the Shell

By Eirenel G. Eclevia B.S.

Image: MasAnyanka/Shutterstock

Ever since I was old enough to help my mom cook in the kitchen I was in charge of either cracking eggs in a bowl or separating the egg yolk from the egg whites. Eggs are common in our household and we always have dozens of them stocked in our refrigerator. Stigma regarding egg consumption continues to linger as medical literature has presented conflicting data related to eggs, risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), and high cholesterol. 

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Living Healthy on a Vegetarian Diet

By Caroline Pak, DTR, CSUN Dietetic Intern


Image: Lisovskaya Natalia/Shutterstock

Individuals choose to adopt a vegetarian diet due to environmental interests, animal rights, or health concerns. Whatever the reason, vegetarians should be aware of how to customize their meals to meet their nutrient needs.

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Stevia: The Zero-Calorie Natural Sweetener

By: Mariah Haroon, CSUN Dietetic Intern

Image: TatianaMishina/Shutterstock

Keeping caloric intake balanced and blood sugar levels steady are part of a diabetic individual’s daily routine. Diabetes affects about 30.3 million people in the United States.1 That is 9.4% of the US population.1 As the number of products containing artificial sugar substitutes flood the markets, Stevia enjoys its own niche as a zero-calorie natural sugar substitute. It is extracted and purified from a plant called Stevia rebaudiana.2 This plant is native to South America.2 The leaves of this plant contain a substance called steviol glycoside. According to FDA, the highly purified and safe form of stevia should contain ≥95% of pure steviol glycoside.3 FDA granted stevia the GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status in 2008, as long as it is sold in its highly purified form.4 This form is called rebiana and is sold under brand names such as Truvia®, PureVia® and Enliten®3. It is used as a sugar substitute and as an ingredient in packaged foods.

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The Sweet Facts About Sweet Potatoes

By: Talia Bondelli, DTR

Raw Sweet Potato on a Wooden Table
Image: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

What does it mean to eat the rainbow? Eating the rainbow signifies eating a variety of fruits and vegetables.1 All of the colors of fruits and vegetables have different health benefits that may reduce your risk of diseases.Sweet potatoes have a deep orange color, which is the pigment called beta-carotene.3 They are very nutritious and they are also fat free, which means they also have no saturated fat or trans-fat.4 Furthermore, they are low in calories and sodium, with about 100 calories and 70 milligrams of sodium for one medium sweet potato.4 Sweet potatoes can definitely sweeten up your life, and in a healthy way!

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Apple Cider Vinegar to Keep the Doctor Away

By Talia Bondelli, DTR

Image 9dream studio/shutterstock

I’ve been drinking apple cider vinegar for years and it seems to keep the doctor away! Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is well-known as a home remedy with many health benefits, but what exactly is it? ACV is basically apple juice with yeast in it.1 The yeast goes through fermentation and turns the apple’s sugar into alcohol and then bacteria turns the alcohol into acetic acid.2 Acetic acid gives vinegar the strong smell and bitter taste!It is popular to add ACV to a glass of water, tea, or salad dressing to reap the health benefits. There are some health benefits but there are also some myths about ACV with no scientific evidence. 

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Food Insecurity and the Starving Student at CSUN

By: Jenica Smith, CSUN Dietetic Intern

Food Security

With increased tuition and enrollment, the average college student must balance the cost of higher education and the cost of living.1 As a result, access to affordable and healthy food has become a regular challenge faced by college-aged adults across the United States. The archetype of the “starving student” has become widely accepted, but at what cost? Like the body, an active mind requires enough energy to perform. Lack of adequate food may hinder a student’s ability to learn. Food insecurity has been shown to have a negative impact on academic success as well as students’ health and well-being.2,3
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