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Ask an Avera Heart Hospital Dietitian

Personalize your nutrition.  If you have nutrition questions, this site allows you to chat with Registered Dietitian and Certified Wellness Coach from the Avera Heart Hospital, Nikki Ver Steeg about diet and lifestyle modification.

Personalized nutrition means personal success.

New Questions & Answers

Q: I’m interested in substantial weight loss. Are the calorie controlled programs a safe, nutritionally complete option?
Barb,   Orange City, IA

A: When looking at losing a substantial amount of weight, remember it will take time. It is important to work with a Registered Dietitian to ensure that your program for losing weight is safe and nutritionally sound. A concern with the calorie controlled programs is that they focus only on calories. When the focus is on one item, it is easy to miss the bigger picture. There are many very healthy food choices like nuts, peanut butter and whole wheat bread that are an excellent addition to a weight management program however they are higher in calories.

If you have any questions or problems always see your health care provider.


The "Ask the Expert" website is intended to provide its users with general information about nutritional topics through a question and answer format that will enable you to ask a dietitian questions of a general nature pertaining to nutrition issues.  This question and answer forum should not take the place of personal and professional healthcare, and is provided for general informational purposes only. You should only take medical advice from your physician, and if you have health concerns, seek the advice of your primary healthcare professional immediately.  If this is a medical emergency, please dial 911.  The health professional has a right to refuse to answer any question.  Not all questions and responses will be posted for viewing by users of the website, but questions selected for publication will include the questioner's first name and town. If you would not like your name or town included, please enter this information as "withheld."  Please allow up to a week for answers to post.
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