Thursday, April 22, 2010

More 'Healthy' Snack and Diet Food Misinformation?

Hello, guys.  How are you?  Well, I hope.  I'm doing better now that most of my dental work has been done.  I got a temporary crown yesterday.  One more visit and I'm finished for a while.  Yea!
I wrote in a previous blog about some snack suggestions coming from what I know are well meaning folks, but well meaning folks I just don't happen to agree with completely.  I know that not everyone is a diabetic and so some of the suggestions aren't particularly for diabetics, but with the whole new push to help Americans eat healthier, you'd think they'd look at how much sugar we ingest, not just fat.  Most lists of 'healthy' snacks and diet foods I've seen lately just don't make sense to me, low carber or not.  I'll give you some examples from the latest list I read.

Calorie-Controlled Snacks. 100-calorie snack packs come in everything from chips to cupcakes, but how much sugar to they contain?  Carolyn O'Neil, RD, author of The Dish on Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous, says, "Foods packaged in 100-calorie packs do the work and calorie math for you so you can enjoy snacking on foods that need to be enjoyed in limited amounts."  Here-in lies one of my problems with this kind of thinking.  It's mindless, it doesn't take into consideration sugar or anything other than calories, and I know several people that don't stop at one pack.  And, while they may satisfy a sweet tooth, they don't fill you up for long, and have little or no nutritional value.  The article went on to suggest that snacks should contain 15 grams of carbs or less.  15 grams is a lot for a snack.

Low-Fat and Fat-Free Dairy Products. I keep reading about cheese, milk, yogurt, sour cream, and cream cheese only being good if it is low fat.  Here again, they say it's okay if it's low fat and then they say mix it with things like cereal and crackers.  So, add more carbs? 

Diet-Friendly Desserts. I saw the following in an article about desserts on a diet.  "Lower-calorie and portion-controlled sweets mean that desserts can be part of any weight loss diet."  They went on to suggest low calorie ice cream, fudgsicles, cookies (Fig Newtons and Vanilla Wafers?), and hard candy.  Lower calorie foods usually lower the calories but add more sugar.  Just be sure to always look at the Nutrition Facts label and check for yourself.

Graham Crackers.  This was suggested on a site for Diabetic friendly snacks.  They suggested 3 or 4 crackers.  Graham crackers contain anywhere from 5 to 7 grams of carbs.  Thats 15 to 28 grams!  And they also suggested a snack of 15 to 20 between every meal or 2 to 3 times a day.  Add up just the snacks and you've taken in 45 to 60 carbs or more.  Thats almost twice the amount I take in in one day, total!

I'm going to make this a series, so be sure to check back.  Well, I have to go do a little drywall repair work at my church.  See ya!

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