KFOX morning air personality Annalisa, has lost over 30 pounds on our program! We sat down with her to learn more about her experience in her own words. Congratulations to Annalisa on her success! Be sure to listen to her every weekday on KFOX.
Seth Resler is the Communications Specialist for JumpstartMD. He also participates in the program.
Annalisa seems to concentrate on having low fat cheese and low fat yogurt. Both are higher in carbs. This seems contrary to the low carb theory. Please explain.
I have two things to say…seems to really help and the radio station is KFOG not KFOX.
It was KFOG – but now Annalisa is with KFOX. Thanks Ron!
Great query as it raises a number of important issues.
The first is one that Im assuming you are alluding to: namely, the tendency of the food industry to disguise higher carb products in a low fat façade. That trend is illustrative of what happened to our nation in the early 1980s when we reduced our fat intake (from roughly 40% of calories to about 30% of calories) and reciprocally increased our intake of carbohydrates with disastrous consequences to our health.
Why was that disastrous? Because since the early 1980s weve learned that obesity combined with high intake of carbohydrates, particularly processed grains, sugars, and starches, drives individuals to Pattern B (for bad), small, dense disease forming LDL cholesterol sub-types. Dr. Ronald Krauss, a worlds expert in cholesterol research, suggested in a recent conversation that when people consume 50-60% of their calories from carbohydrates (as is common in America today), 90% of individuals would convert to Pattern B type LDL cholesterol. Similarly, high levels of carbohydrate intake increase cardiovascular disease risk by raising triglyceride levels and lowering heart healthy HDL cholesterol levels.
Consider this the SnackWell effect, an idea modeled after Nabiscos low and non fat line of snacks introduced in 1992. The SnackWell Oreo, as an example, was marketed at the time as lower fat and healthier as a result. But lower fat really meant higher carb. Caveat emptor as heres the example: for the SnackWell Oreo marketed as a low fat diet food, fat per serving was reduced 2 grams while carbohydrates per serving increased 13 grams (a 34 calorie difference for anyone counting).
And you dont need to travel down Oreo Way to hear that song sung by marketers eager to exploit peoples fear of fats. The same marketing message abounds in low and non-fat yogurts.
An easy way around these pitfalls is education namely, learning to read nutrition labels so as to avoid hidden sugars and to restrict carbohydrate intake to levels conducive to each individuals health.
Regarding the original question as to whether low fat yogurts or cheeses are higher in carbs, let me address each food separately.
Cheeses, whether low or high fat, are still low-carb because during the cheese making process bacteria digest the milk sugar lactose into lactic acid during the fermentation process. A quick glance at the carbohydrate content per serving will confirm that thats the case.
Regarding yogurt and similar to the SnackWell Oreo example above, companies will frequently bolster the flavor and richness of reduced fat yogurt by augmenting it with carbohydrates in the form of added milk powders or sugar. Again, peruse the nutrition label to discern the details.
At JumpstartMD (and I am confident Annalisa is following this strategy), we recommend that patients consume plain Greek style yogurt (with various delicious and healthy toppings) specifically because Greek yogurt is naturally low in carbohydrates. How can that be? Because many of the carbohydrates in Greek yogurt have been physically removed while leaving the remaining nutrients untouched. (Note in the case of flavored Greek yogurts, thats another story as those yogurts have added sugars).
To summarize, all cheeses are naturally low carbohydrate and some but not all yogurts are low carbohydrate. By being selective, you can choose cheese and yogurts that are to your liking and, in this case, low-carb and low fat.
By following our simple guidelines around the reading of nutrition labels, you can empower yourself to sail past marketing messages and choose foods that are not only delicious but healthy.
Read Debi DiCello’s successful weight loss story. See how she learned to eat right, exercise right and even stick to the program when traveling.
*Results may vary