Managing in an Uncertain Time 

March 30, 2020 – As the novel coronavirus COVID-19 affects all our lives, we at the Nutrition Research Institute are taking every measure to flatten the curve of infection by strictly following guidelines set down by the University, our local jurisdictions, and the state. According to University regulations, laboratory research is being scaled back so that it can be maintained with minimal staff, while human studies involving in-person visits are temporarily halted (with limited exceptions). Much research-related work continues however, via dedicated staff who are teleworking.

Our efforts to keep you informed continue, as well. You can expect to find SoundBites in your mailboxes throughout this difficult time bringing you the nutrition-related news you’ve come to expect. We have had to cancel some events, like everyone else, and you can find a list of those here, as well as other information about changes to daily operations at the NRI. Check back often for updates.

We are proud of the contributions our research colleagues at UNC-CH are making to fighting this pandemic and encourage you to stay informed by visiting the coronavirus portal at the Gillings School of Global Public Health and the University’s webpage dedicated to virus information. 


Are All Fats Bad? 

Following up on the popular Appetite for Life presentation by Cecilia Kwan, PhD, RD, in February, we present the first in a series of articles on popular myths about whether certain foods are good or bad to eat.

March 30, 2020 – For a long time in recent decades, dietary fat has been considered to be very bad, especially for people who are trying to control their weight. The popular theory has been that eating fat would make a person fat and, therefore, all fats are bad to eat. The truth is, however, that there are various types of fat, and some are not only good for you but they are essential for your health.

Everyone needs fats. Fats give us energy so we can stay busy with our activities during the day. Fats insulate our body with a layer of adipose tissue, which keeps us warm and protects our organs. Fats are sources of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, and eating fats helps us better absorb these vitamins. Fats also affect production and regulation of hormones that are important for appetite control, body metabolism, and reproduction. For these important functions, our body needs some fats. But not all fats are equal. Read more.


AFL in a New Way

March 30, 2020 – Although we can’t meet in person or record new Appetite for Life programs at this time, the happy news is that all our previous AFL programs are recorded and available for you to view at your convenience so you can refresh your memory of past programs or catch up on the ones you missed. We’ve been proud to present esteemed scientists speaking on a wide range of nutrition topics from how our genes affect our bone health and how nutrition can improve cognition to how our microbiome interacts with our diet and why certain nutrients are always found together in whole foods. The NRI has been hosting free, public Appetite for Life programs since 2012 so that you can learn about the importance of precision nutrition. Access them all here and watch for news of the return of AFL live events later this year.


Avocado Chocolate Mousse Recipe

March 30, 2020 – Here’s a delicious way to put some healthy fat into your diet and call it dessert! More than 75% of the fat in avocados is monounsaturated or “good” fat. One-fifth of a medium avocado has 50 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins, minerals, and beneficial plant compounds to the diet, including 8% of the daily value for fiber and 4% of the daily value for potassium. A serving has less than 1 gram of sugar; avocados have the least amount of sugar per serving than any other fresh fruit. Click here for the recipe by Chef Megan Lambert of Johnson & Wales University-Charlotte.