Category Archives: Uncategorized

Understanding Net carbs, by Lisa Johnson, RD

A very popular aim of health food manufacturers is to lower the glycemic load of your food. This means they take a food that would normally have a higher carbohydrate count and they lower the impact of those carbs on your blood sugars by adding protein and fiber to the product. They also may use sugar alcohols to sweeten it instead of cane sugar since sugar alcohols raise your blood sugar only half as much. Sugar alcohols are sweeteners ending in (-ol) such as erythritol (used most often), maltitol, xylitol, or sorbitol.

Personally, I purchase these foods and enjoy them in a weight management plan. Some examples include:

  • Clean protein bars like the ONE bar
  • Low Carbohydrate Tortillas like Ole Extreme Wellness
  • Sukrin’s Fiber Syrup

I like them because they are all-natural foods without artificial sweeteners and the fiber added is often prebiotic which means it is good for your gut flora balance, or it promotes healthy elimination which can be impaired when carbohydrate foods are restricted on a weight loss plan. In addition, the foods are satisfying which support adherence with your lifestyle.

The cautions are that sugar alcohols can cause stomach discomfort for people with IBS, though erythritol usually does not. Likewise, chicory root fiber can cause bloating, or gas for some people. Or, the prebiotic fibers may be derived from corn to which some people are allergic. Be sure to read the ingredient list for chicory root or prebiotic vegetable fiber if these are problematic for you.

Here are labels of normally high carbohydrate foods modified to supply low impact on blood sugars due to the protein and/or fiber contents. Clearly this is important for managing diabetes, but also for weight loss because low blood sugars make it easier for your body to burn fat for fuel rather than store it.

I know this is confusing to people learning to read labels, so I hope this sheds some light on the science behind the net carb craze. For more help, ask your dietitian to help you choose the products most suitable for you.

Total carbs – fiber – sugar alcohols = net carbs (carbs impacting your blood sugar)

It’s Time to Give Bean Pasta a Try! by Cari Culp, RD

Legume pasta is all the rage these days and rightfully so! I have been having so much fun with it in the kitchen. I am frequently asked if veggie (tri-colored) pasta or whole wheat pasta is better than regular pasta. Well the answer is, not really. There is not much difference in the ingredients, total… Continue Reading

What is the best protein bar to choose? by Cari Culp, RD

Despite our best efforts, let’s face it, we all get stuck in a pinch and need grab-and-go nourishment at times. Although whole food is always the best choice, it never hurts to have a good quality protein bar on hand for those times when life gets chaotic. The question is, with so many options, what… Continue Reading

Boundaries That Promote Peace by Lisa Johnson, RD

In my last blog I shared about pursuing peace as the foundation of a healthy lifestyle, peace with yourself being high on the list of priorities. I truly believe apart from that, every other effort to be healthy is in vain. I, like many others, wrestled with eating disorders when I was young(er). Honestly, it… Continue Reading

Better Yogurt Buys by Lisa Johnson, RD

Yogurt has long been one of our most popular cultured foods. Cultured foods were common in the pioneer days because they increase the preservation of the food through healthy bacteria. Preparing foods in this way is extremely beneficial to digestion and it increases absorption of nutrients. On the contrary, many healthy cultured foods contain added… Continue Reading

Nutrition Tips for Beating Colds and Flu This Season by Cari Culp, RD

As a dietitian, I am a huge fan of the famous quote by Hippocrates, “Let food by thy medicine,” and during cold and flu season, that couldn’t be more applicable! This time of year, many of my clients ask about ways they can stay healthy and prevent getting sick. So, I thought I would share… Continue Reading

The Important Vitamin You’re Probably Not Getting Enough Of by Cari Culp, RD

With all the dreary weather we’ve been having and the winter months upon us, I’d be remiss if I didn’t take some time to discuss the importance of vitamin D. Also known as the “sunshine vitamin,”  we get most of our vitamin D from the sun. When we are exposed to sunlight, our skin, liver and… Continue Reading

How Clean is Your Drinking Water? by Cari Culp, RD

Maybe you’ve made some positive health changes recently. Drinking eight glasses of water a day is one that I discuss frequently with my clients. But, how often do you think about whether the water you’re drinking is clean?  I think it’s a pretty important thing to think about. The body is over 60% water and uses it for everything… Continue Reading