The Truth About Carbs, Plus Powdered vs. Liquid Creamer!

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Hi HG,

There's so much conflicting info about low-carb diets -- I'm totally confused. Do carbs cause weight gain? Is a low-carb or no-carb diet the way to go?

Carb Curious

Hi Carb Curious,

You're not alone in your confusion. This topic has been getting a lot of buzz for years now. And although I personally choose to limit refined carbs like white bread and regular pasta (I find they often leave me hungrier than other foods), I'm not a nutrition expert. That's why I asked my pal Robert J. Davis, PhD to help me out here. His latest book, Coffee Is Good for You: From Vitamin C and Organic Foods to Low-Carb and Detox Diets, The Truth About Diet and Nutrition Claims, cuts through the clutter to get to the bottom of what's fact and what's fiction. In it he specifically addresses the claim that carbs make you gain weight. Although some studies show that low-carb dieters lose more weight than other dieters during the first six months, people following any type of calorie-restricted diet lose about the same amount of weight over a couple of years. The bottom line, he says, is this: Research shows that weight loss, for the most part, can be boiled down to calories in versus calories out. So pay attention to overall calorie intake when it comes to your diet and weight-management goals. Want more info? Definitely grab a copy of Robert's book! It's FANTASTIC and addresses questions you likely have about other health claims, like whether high-fructose corn syrup is worse for you than sugar, if multigrain foods are good for you, and if organic food is more healthful than regular. REALLY GREAT STUFF! BTW, if you're like me and find that certain carbs don't satisfy your hunger, they could be trigger foods for you, meaning that once you start eating 'em, it's hard to stop. Click here to read more about trigger foods. And look for high-fiber versions of the carby foods you love -- those ought to leave you feeling fuller. Click here for some high-fiber favorites!

Hey Hungry Girl,

When it comes to sugar-free flavored creamer, why do your recipes call for the powdered kind instead of liquid? I checked the nutrition labels and found that the powder has 15 more calories and an additional 1.5g fat per tablespoon than the liquid version.

Perplexed by Powdered Creamer

Hi Perplexed,

Great Q! While you're right about the nutrition info on the containers, there are reasons for choosing powdered over liquid when it comes to creamer. First of all, even though liquid creamer typically has fewer calories per serving, you DEFINITELY need more of it to "cream up" your foods and beverages. Powdered creamer goes WAY further -- it often only takes a teaspoon or two to make something taste amazing. The liquid stuff is also way too easy to over-pour (which is how the calories really rack up). And powdered creamer has a much longer shelf life, so you'll most likely save money and avoid waste. Plain (unflavored) liquid creamer, though, does have its time and place -- it's perfect for adding rich creaminess to recipes like mashed potatoes and dessert fillings. Just get the fat-free kind. P.S. Sugar-free French vanilla powdered creamer is an HG favorite. There's so much you can do with it! Click here for tons of recipes that call for this super-versatile ingredient. Oh, and Coffee-mate makes the best creamers -- they're AWESOME!

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