A fellow low-carber who is still mourning the loss of Watch’n Carbs, the low-carb ice cream recently discontinued by Lucerne, sent me a message about his latest discovery. He was excited that he had found a sucalose-sweetened ice cream at a Ben and Jerry’s stand at the airport. With guarded optimism, I checked their website: The first flavor listed on their nutrition info chart was Butter Pecan. It had 17 grams of carbohydrate and zero fiber, so a net of 17 grams. The very last flavor on the chart and the only no-sugar one, was Vanilla Fudge Chip, No Sugar Added. It came in at 20 total grams of carbs minus 3 fiber for a net of, drum roll please, 17 net grams. It was indeed sweetened with sucalose and Ace K so I can only assume that it has more skim milk, and as a result more lactose (milk sugar), than the regular flavors.
So, if there is no difference in the sugar content, perhaps there is something special about the other nutrients? Nope. The Butter Pecan has 260 calories and 20 grams of fat. The No-Sugar-Added Vanilla Fudge Chip has 250 calories and 17 grams of fat, but the serving size is smaller—80 grams rather than 86–so I’d say it is pretty much a wash. What gives? Hey Ben and Jerry, why bother to make a product without sugar when the counts are almost identical?
The Ben and Jerry’s website lets you submit a request for a flavor. I sent them a plea for a really, truly, low-sugar, low-carb ice cream. I asked, “Can’t you provide at least ONE flavor that can be eaten by those with diabetes and metabolic syndrome, which now includes over 2/3 of the population of the US?” Still waiting for a response.
Then today I came across a new study on milk fat. It was reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and it shows that dairy fat reduces the risk of heart attacks. (Read the study here: http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/ajcn.2009.29054v1.) The Conclusion from the study states: “Milk fat biomarkers were associated with a lower risk of developing a first MI, especially in women.” The researchers also found that drinking full-cream milk and eating cheese and other dairy products made from full-cream milk lowered the risk for metabolic syndrome—the collection of symptoms associated with obesity and diabetes.
Most studies such as this rely on questionnaires filled out by the participants to determine how much of a particular nutrient the subjects ate. In this study, they actually tested for blood levels of two fatty acids that are found only in dairy foods, a much more reliable method of determining the actual intake of milk fats.
Also on the subject of milk and its relation to fat, there is this blog from Fred Hahn, over at The Slow Burn http://slowburnfitness.com/swine-fattening-or-people-fattening/. In a post titled, “Swine Fattening or People Fattening,” he quotes from The Farmer’s Cyclopedia of Livestock, 1908, which recommended that the best way to fatten hogs was to feed them a combination of skim milk and corn.
He says: “As we all know, the American food supply is riddled with corn and skim milk, meaning starch and sugar. In fact, the 2010 USDA nutritional guidelines are essentially hog fattening guidelines. Corn and sugar – all part of a nutritious breakfast!” The Slow Burn, July 16, 2010
© 2010, Judy Barnes Baker