- With Mayo Clinic nutritionist
Jennifer K. Nelson, R.D., L.D.read biographyclose window
Jennifer K. Nelson, R.D., L.D.Jennifer K. Nelson, R.D., L.D.
Jennifer Nelson is your link to a better diet. As specialty editor for food and nutrition, she plays a vital role in bringing you healthy recipes and meal planning.
"Nutrition is one way people have direct control over the quality of their lives," she says. "I hope to translate the science of nutrition into ways that people can select and prepare great-tasting foods that help maintain health and treat disease."
Nelson, a St. Paul, Minn., native, is a registered dietitian and has been with Mayo Clinic since 1978. She is director of clinical dietetics and an associate professor of nutrition at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic.
She leads clinical nutrition efforts for a staff of more than 70 clinical dietitians and nine dietetic technicians and oversees staffing, strategic and financial planning, and quality improvement. Nelson was co-editor of the James Beard Foundation Award-winning "The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook" and the New York Times best-seller "The Mayo Clinic Diet."
She's been a contributing author to and reviewer of many other Mayo Clinic books and publications, including "The Mayo Clinic Family Health Book," "The Mayo Clinic/Williams Sonoma Cookbook" and the "Mayo Clinic Health Letter." She contributes to the strategic direction of nutrition, healthy eating and healthy recipes content, including creating recipes and menus, preparing and reviewing nutrition content, contributing to the Nutrition-wise blog, and answering nutrition questions.
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Diet plans (8)
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Mayo Clinic diet (1)
- Weight loss: Better to cut calories or exercise more?
Diet and exercise (4)
- Can I use yoga for weight loss?
- Walking: Is it enough for weight loss?
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Diet pills, supplements and surgery (14)
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HCG diet: Is it safe and effective?
Does the HCG diet work — and is it safe?
from Jennifer K. Nelson, R.D., L.D.
No on both counts. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has advised consumers to steer clear of over-the-counter weight-loss products that contain HCG.
HCG is human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone produced during pregnancy. As a prescription medication, HCG is used mainly to treat fertility issues. HCG is not approved for over-the-counter use, nor has it been proved to work for weight loss. Companies that sell over-the-counter HCG weight-loss products are breaking the law.
So why has there been so much talk about the HCG diet? Perhaps it's because the diet recommends severe calorie restriction — typically just 500 to 800 calories a day. People who follow such a very low calorie diet are likely to lose weight, at least in the short term. However, that level of calorie restriction has risks, such as gallstone formation, irregular heartbeat, and an imbalance of the electrolytes that keep the body's muscles and nerves functioning properly.
If weight loss is your goal, there are safer ways to lose weight. Talk with your doctor or other health care provider about how to make healthy changes that lead to permanent weight loss, such as eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise.Next question
Dieting? Beware of liquid calories
- HCG diet products are illegal. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm281333.htm. Accessed Dec. 6, 2011.
- HCG diet. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed Dec. 6, 2011.
- Nelson JK (expert review). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 6, 2011.