Brenda Viens

Registered Dietitian

Brenda Viens is a Community Life Skills Dietitian for Backus Hospital and Thames Valley Council for Community Action. ...More ...Less

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Recent Articles


Your Nutrition: When Juicing, What Nutrients Are In Pulp?

Q: “I am an avid juicer but have heard conflicting reports: Is it healthy? If so, does adding the pulp contain more nutrients?” Marie, Newington A: Juicing fruits and vegetables at home is a healthier and often more economical option than buying bottled juices. But fiber, antioxidants and other nutrients are left...


Your Nutrition: How Much Protein For Athletes Of All Levels?

Q: My husband is a big protein advocate and says I don’t get enough. There are a lot of things like protein shakes and pre-workout supplements floating around the market. I’d love to know: How much is “enough”? N.S., Newington A: Adequate protein intake is associated with improvements in lean...


Your Nutrition: Will Eating Certain Foods Increase Fat-Burning?

  Q: I’ve heard that there are some foods you should not mix in order to avoid fat storage. For instance: Don’t consume a fat with a carb or a carb with a protein. I may have the combinations wrong but is there any truth to this and if so,...


Your Nutrition: Butter Vs. Light Spreadable Margarine

Q: I am wondering which is healthier to use: Butter  or light spreadable margarine, like light I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter? The latter contains palm kernel and palm oil, which I thought aren’t too healthy, but I thought that butter has more saturated fat and calories. Joyce A: Yes,...


Your Nutrition: Food Sensitivity Vs. Food Allergy

Q: Does it make sense to get tested after you have already excluded a possible food allergen? If yes, would we have to ingest the things we are allergic to for the testing to provide a result? Background:  My wife is fortunate.  She can eat anything she wants.  At this point,...


Your Nutrition: I Eat 50 Egg Whites A Week. Is That OK?

  Q: I eat 10 cooked egg whites five days a week.  Is that too much protein and can that cause digestive or other medical issues? T.V., Wethersfield A: Cooked egg whites are a nutritious, economical source of high quality protein. One egg white provides more than 3 grams of protein and...


Your Nutrition: Should Everyone Follow A Gluten-Free Diet?

  “Gluten-free” is appearing on everything from food and drink labels to toothpaste. Why? An ever-increasing number of Americans are being diagnosed with celiac disease. More than 2 million Americans, 1 in 133 people, now need to follow a gluten-free diet. People who have not been diagnosed with celiac disease,...


Little Chefs: Kitchen Activities For Preschoolers

Children are more likely to accept foods they select and help prepare, so encourage them to do as much as possible for themselves. Preschoolers quickly develop new skills and you may be surprised by how much your little chef can help in the kitchen. At 2 years old, children are...


The Underrated Berry (And A Recipe For Fresh Blueberry Sauce)

Berries have four times more antioxidant activity than most other fruits, and 10 times more than most vegetables. Antioxidants reduce oxidative stress and chronic disease risk by scavenging potentially harmful free oxygen radicals. Berries are also packed with vitamin C, fiber, magnesium and potassium. One cup of raspberries is only...


Need A Smart-Food Guide Through The Supermarket Aisles? Just Ask

The path toward a more healthful diet starts in the supermarket aisle. Need a guide? Backus Hospital, with ShopRite Supermarket of Norwich, is offering shoppers aisle-to-aisle tours of the store that include tips on how to save money by comparing fresh, frozen, and canned food prices, selecting and storing perishable food...


Summer Grilling Makeover: Building A Healthy Plate

For those grilling this summer, a juicy steak with a side of potatoes might sound like the perfect meal but before taking a bite, you might want to look at the numbers. One-half pound of New York Strip steak garnished with roasted potatoes and a pat of butter contains one...


Kale For Kids? Here’s How To Make It More Appealing

Kale is a nutrient-dense, leafy green vegetable that is a good source of calcium, magnesium and vitamins A, C, E and K. Even with its stellar nutrient profile, kale does not seem to rank high on the average person’s food preference scale and it is often avoided. Two major reasons...