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About the Author

Susan Burke March

Susan Burke March, a Cuenca expat, is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian, a Certified Diabetes Educator who specializes in smart solutions for weight loss and diabetes-related weight management. She is the author of Making Weight Control Second Nature: Living Thin Naturally — a fun and informative book intended to liberate serial dieters and make healthy living and weight control both possible and instinctual over the long term. Contact her at SusantheDietitian@gmail.com

Fanesca in Cuenca: Keeping the tradition, making it healthier!

By Susan Burke March |

The days leading up to Easter in Ecuador has a very exciting vibe. We were just in Quito, and throughout that big city and here in Cuenca, all the mercados are stocked with salt cod,  … Read more

Busting sugar myths: Facts, fallacies, and recipes

By Susan Burke March |

Many of my column topics are inspired by statements made by clients and by posts that I see in social media websites.  Recently I’ve heard that “sugar is bad, but fructose is good.”  Also, sugar  … Read more

More fake health and nutrition news: Alkaline water

By Susan Burke March |

There’s no shortage of fake messaging, claims, myths, and propaganda surrounding health and nutrition. As defined by DifferenceBetween.net, the basic difference between fact and myth is … the ability to gather scientific evidence to support  … Read more

The ‘real’ fake health and nutrition news: Everyone should go ‘gluten-free’

By Susan Burke March |

In a sign that consumers are appreciating the research that supports the health benefits of plant foods, the Washington Post says that the biggest food trends for 2017 will be plant proteins, healthy fats, and  … Read more

Chia seeds: Truths and myths

By Susan Burke March |

Why do chia seeds top the Global Food Forums 2017 Food Trends? When I was growing up, “Chia Pets” were all the rage … I think they still sell them! You’d buy a clay figurine,  … Read more

Wonder why you have high blood pressure? The reason may surprise you!

By Susan Burke March |

No doubt you know that high blood pressure is creating a global health crisis. But, until relatively recently, infectious diseases were a bigger annual killer. Today, ‘non-communicable diseases’ have become more deadly, and most are  … Read more

Valentine’s Day: What’s on your aphrodisiac menu for February 14?

By Susan Burke March |

When did Valentine’s Day become all about food?  Isn’t it a celebration of love? Well…not really! The origin of Valentine’s day is attributed to an early Christian martyr named Valentine, who, after Emperor Claudius II  … Read more

When suppressing a cough is a bad idea

By Susan Burke March |

A recent discussion on an expat social media website had me worrying.  One expat asked where they could find a certain cough suppressant for a chronic cough that had lasted a “few weeks.” Another expat  … Read more

Drink to your health? Healthy or hype?

By Susan Burke March |

As a registered dietitian, I occasionally receive unsolicited emails from advertisers, including one recent offer of a free sample of a popular nutritional shake.  I clicked on the offer: Nutrition Made Simple. BOOST® Simply Complete™ 9  … Read more

Traditional and modern medicine — respect for the potency of plants

By Susan Burke March |

The history of modern medicine is grounded in plants. Over thousands of years, medicines have been identified and extracted from botanicals. Some familiar ones include basic aspirin, penicillin, morphine and more. Most of the world’s  … Read more

Traditional and modern medicine: A peaceful coexistence? Part I

By Susan Burke March |

Modern medicine is rooted in plants. Dating back thousands of years examples of important medicines extracted from botanicals include reserpine, morphine, penicillin, and vinca alkaloid anti-cancer drugs. Wikipedia.com defines herbalism (also known as herbology or  … Read more

Did you make a New Year’s resolution? How about ‘eat less sugar!’

By Susan Burke March |

Sugar is a very hot topic of late. Some experts say sugar is singularly responsible for the world obesity crises, but others say it’s only one factor. How much do you know about sugar? Take  … Read more

Misinformed consent? Caveat emptor!

By Susan Burke March |

Why are some people so susceptible to quackery? I was thinking about this recently, when I spied a social media query from a local expat looking for a “natural healer” or “someone in alternative health”  … Read more

¡No se sienten tanto! (Don’t sit so much!)

By Susan Burke March |

You can’t undo the negative health effects from sitting, even if you go to the gym for an hour daily. Some research shows that regardless of how much physical activity someone gets, if they sit  … Read more

What’s normal? Blood pressure, blood glucose, body temperature

By Susan Burke March |

Have you ever wondered how 98.6° Fahrenheit or 37° centigrade became “normal” body temperature? In the 1850’s, a German physician named Carl Wunderlich collected data on 25,000 patients, taking their temperature multiple times. Wunderlich was  … Read more

Do you eat hummus? It could make you healthier!

By Susan Burke March |

Hummus is an ancient Middle Eastern dip rich in important health-promoting nutrients. The backbone of hummus is made from chickpeas, or garbanzo beans — they’re full of fiber, protein, healthy monounsaturated fat, and micronutrients such  … Read more

Oh my aching gut! Is it IBS?

By Susan Burke March |

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is one of those mysterious conditions that can’t be defined by just one symptom. It’s called a “syndrome” because it’s a cluster of symptoms, including diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating and/or cramping.  … Read more

Everything you need to know about garlic

By Susan Burke March |

When looking at healthy habits of longest-lived people, you’re most likely to find that they eat a lot of garlic. Garlic contains some organic compounds thought to help fight infection, increase circulation, and boost immunity.  … Read more

What happened to the turkey? Better Thanksgivings are available in Cuenca

By Susan Burke March |

This Thanksgiving, my husband and I are invited to a potluck celebration with other expat friends. Today I’m thinking of “traditional” foods typically served in the U.S., compared to the local ingredients I will use  … Read more

World Diabetes Day 2016: Take the quiz, then attend the events in Parque del la Madre

By Susan Burke March |

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to diabetes. Complications of diabetes kill more Americans yearly than cancer and AIDs combined. In Ecuador and Latin America, diabetes has increased dramatically over the past three decades.  … Read more