Ask the Nutritionist: 10 simple hacks to improve your health


In her weekly column, nutritionist Nonie De Long reveals the benefits of some simple things you can start doing right away

Dear Nonie, I loved the recent soup-making class and will attend another cooking class when you have one, so thank you for that. The recipe book is gorgeous and I learned so much! I’m not interested in dieting and don’t have a lot of health complaints but I wondered if there are some little things I can do to help me be healthier overall. I remember the sweetener you showed us for our tea, for example. Do you have other little ideas like that I can use? Our whole family has benefited from that one idea. — Cara

Dear Cara,

I’m so glad you enjoyed the class. They’re usually a bit more wild when I can have more attendees, but for now, we need to keep it small. It was still a great time. Thank you for coming out. And thank you for the great question.

I’ve decided to share 10 simple hacks I think everyone can use to improve their health and I’ll explain the benefit as I go.

1. Change your oils

Replace vegetable and seed oils with extra virgin olive, coconut oil, quality lard, or tallow for cooking. Olive oil has a lower burn temp so can’t be heated as high without damaging the oil, but it’s okay for sauteing. The others are safe at rather high temps. These oils are all much less inflammatory than the vegetable oils because they are a) natural, and b) have a better fatty acid profile that is less inflammatory.

Coconut oil is by far the best in terms of health benefits and stability. It contains medium-chain triglycerides, which are beneficial on a number of levels and can even help speed up metabolism. I like coconut in baked goods or curries, olive oil for sauteing or roasting, and lard for frying. Quality butter can also be healthful, but some people are sensitive to dairy (even clarified) without recognizing it, so I eschew recommending it for everyone. The quality of fat in our diets determines the quality of the membrane on every cell in our bodies, the quality of our steroid hormones, and the quality of the sheathing of our nerves, so I can’t stress the importance of this one change enough. 

There is a well-established link between vegetable and seed oils and chronic degenerative conditions like heart disease, despite previous thinking on the issue. A simple rule of thumb is natural is always superior to hyper-processed foodstuff. If readers don’t know how processed and unhealthy vegetable oils are they can watch this video by NYT best-selling investigative science journalist, Nina Teicholz.

2. Replace the sugar

If you read my column regularly this comes as no surprise to readers, but they may not understand how exactly to do this with safe products with pleasing taste. I know you have found one, Cara, but I will share the info with readers who may not know. My preferred natural…



Read MoreAsk the Nutritionist: 10 simple hacks to improve your health

Ask the Nutritionist: 10 simple hacks to improve your health


In her weekly column, nutritionist Nonie De Long reveals the benefits of some simple things you can start doing right away

Dear Nonie, I loved the recent soup-making class and will attend another cooking class when you have one, so thank you for that. The recipe book is gorgeous and I learned so much! I’m not interested in dieting and don’t have a lot of health complaints but I wondered if there are some little things I can do to help me be healthier overall. I remember the sweetener you showed us for our tea, for example. Do you have other little ideas like that I can use? Our whole family has benefited from that one idea. — Cara

Dear Cara,

I’m so glad you enjoyed the class. They’re usually a bit more wild when I can have more attendees, but for now, we need to keep it small. It was still a great time. Thank you for coming out. And thank you for the great question.

I’ve decided to share 10 simple hacks I think everyone can use to improve their health and I’ll explain the benefit as I go.

1. Change your oils

Replace vegetable and seed oils with extra virgin olive, coconut oil, quality lard, or tallow for cooking. Olive oil has a lower burn temp so can’t be heated as high without damaging the oil, but it’s okay for sauteing. The others are safe at rather high temps. These oils are all much less inflammatory than the vegetable oils because they are a) natural, and b) have a better fatty acid profile that is less inflammatory.

Coconut oil is by far the best in terms of health benefits and stability. It contains medium-chain triglycerides, which are beneficial on a number of levels and can even help speed up metabolism. I like coconut in baked goods or curries, olive oil for sauteing or roasting, and lard for frying. Quality butter can also be healthful, but some people are sensitive to dairy (even clarified) without recognizing it, so I eschew recommending it for everyone. The quality of fat in our diets determines the quality of the membrane on every cell in our bodies, the quality of our steroid hormones, and the quality of the sheathing of our nerves, so I can’t stress the importance of this one change enough. 

There is a well-established link between vegetable and seed oils and chronic degenerative conditions like heart disease, despite previous thinking on the issue. A simple rule of thumb is natural is always superior to hyper-processed foodstuff. If readers don’t know how processed and unhealthy vegetable oils are they can watch this video by NYT best-selling investigative science journalist, Nina Teicholz.

2. Replace the sugar

If you read my column regularly this comes as no surprise to readers, but they may not understand how exactly to do this with safe products with pleasing taste. I know you have found one, Cara, but I will share the info with readers who may not know. My preferred natural…



Read MoreAsk the Nutritionist: 10 simple hacks to improve your health