Saturday, January 28, 2006

Carbs aren't sugar?

Man, does WebMD tick me off!!!!!

I got an email from WebMD about an article spouting what to do when "snack attack" hits.

Now....I see nothing wrong with having a between meal snack, but feel they should be planned. And they should be nutritious and satisfying, and should not stimulate a blood sugar spike.

At the end of the article they do give some fairly decent advice on (somewhat) non-commercial snacks, like
3. 10 cashew nuts
4. 10 almonds
5. 2 ounces of lean roast beef
6. Half a small avocado
11. 1/4 cup fat-free ranch dressing with mixed raw veggies (make it regular ranch, less sugar)
18. 4-6 ounces of no-fat or low-fat yogurt (whole fat is better)
19. A 5-ounce tossed salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and 1/4 cup fat-free dressing (again, regular, not fat-free!)
(italics is mine)

But! At the beginning of the article....and we all know most people don't read the whole thing, especially if it's split over 2 pages.....they talk about the "Kraft/Nabisco... "100-Calorie Packs" of things like Oreos, Chips Ahoy, Wheat Thins and Cheese Bits"

THEN the article says:
Each grab-and-go package of 15-20 "bites" has 7-9 grams of sugar (except the Cheese Nips, which have 0), less than 3 grams of fat, and no trans fat.
HUH???? OK....go to the cal snKraft web-site for these 100 calorie snacks: and click on the nutrition info for each of them.

Ritz: 16 carbs (c), 1 fiber (f), 2 sugars (s)
Honey Maid: 19 c, 1 f, 7 s
Planters PNB: 17 c, 1 f, 7 s
Wheat thins: 16 s, 1 f, 3 s
Cheese nips: 15 c, 1 f, 0 s
Chips Ahoy: 18 c, 1 f, 7s
Oreo: 20 c, 1 f, 9 s since when did carbs turn out to not be sugar? In fact, the amount of CARBOHYDRATE for these snacks are 14 - 19 grams!!!!!

As Dr Eades says in his blog:
...the trap of thinking that somehow all this carbohydrate won’t be converted to sugar because it is “complex.” Complex carbohydrates are not absorbed. Enzymes in the GI tract break them down into simple sugars that are absorbed, so any carbohydrate that makes its way to the small intestine is going to be absorbed as a sugar. One cup of complex carbohydrate goes into the blood as one cup of sugar...
But these aren't even complex carbohydrates!!!! The first ingredient is "ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE {VITAMIN B1}. Their words, not mine!!!! That means these snacks are made from refined flour, not "complex" at all!

Additionally, which I will admit Web MD touches on, these snacks all contain High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), which is much more dangerous than "regular" sugar:

New York nutritionist Samantha Heller, MS, RD, says she is concerned because some of these treats contain high-fructose corn syrup. A few studies have indicated a possible link between high-fructose corn syrup and obesity that goes beyond calorie counts.

"More and more studies are starting to look at what high-fructose corn syrup does. It seems to metabolize a little differently than glucose ... so it may have greater consequences than regular table sugar. We just don't know yet," says Heller, a nutritionist at NYU Medical Center.

Oh yea.....HFCS is definitly more dangerous as it is more lipogenic than sucrose. As shown in this study: Consuming Fructose-sweetened Beverages Increases Body Adiposity in Mice. Even tho the mice drinking the high fructose water ate less, the "fructose produced a hepatic lipid accumulation with a characteristic pericentral pattern."

This means that not only does fructose cause more fat production, it is likely to deposit the fat around the waist, which many say is a high indicator of impendind insulin resistance and diabetes!

Now for the kicker!!!!! NO MENTION in the WebMD article about the fact that every one of these 100 calorie snacks contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, aka Trans-fats!!!!! Granted, there is less than 0.49gms per serving, but they are still there!!!! The ingredient list for all except the Oreo snacks list "PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED...OIL" (type varies: soybean, cottonseed, etc) in their ingredient label!!!! They company even has a disclaimer that reads:

Trans fat content currently is not listed on the label for many of our products.... We are rolling out trans fat labeling, so that all packages will be labeled by the FDA's deadline of January 1, 2006. In the meantime, we are providing this information for many of our products on our website. Where a product contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving, the FDA requires that the content be listed in the package’s Nutrition Facts box as "0g". We use that same definition of "0g" on this website. When a label shows 0 grams trans fat per serving and lists a “partially hydrogenated” vegetable oil (such as soybean or cottonseed, among others) in the ingredients, the product may contain up to 0.49 grams of trans fat per serving. Keep in mind that ingredients and formulations change. The information shown here may vary from the content and label information of products currently in stores.

(Bold/italics is mine)

So that means if you eat one of these snacks a day for a week, and many people eat 2 or 3 a day, you can potentially get a total of 3.43g of Trans-fats in a week! Have 2 a day? 6.86g a week! There is no "safe" level of trans-fats....the only "safe" intake of trans-fats is NONE!!!!

I will again say that WebMD does state that these "aren't a particularly nutritious choice", it also says "Some say that having such pre-portioned foods at hand could help dieters get over the rough spots" and "Having these 100-calorie snacks can really help some people get through a bad time and still not totally derail, calorie-wise".

And they say that Low Carb is unhealthy?

When I have a snack between meals, it's celery with cream cheese or natural peanut butter....or an ounce of nuts.....or a small salad...or a few berries with fresh cream. Maybe these add up to more than 100 calories, but they are much more nutritious!

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