Diet Myths Busted
The Diet FItness Diva Newsletter Archives

Entries in carbohydrates (4)


I have been reading that chocolate milk is bad and that the schools are trying to ban it from their cafeterias. I always thought chocolate milk was great for kids, what’s the problem with chocolate milk?

Right now, schools offer a choice of pop, juice, milk and chocolate milk for lunch beverages. For children who are very active, chocolate milk is a great recovery drink. It provides water (all milk is mostly water), carbohydrates, and essential fats and protein which are great for a recovering body after vigorous activity. While chocolate milk contains more sugar than plain milk, the antioxidants found in chocolate help to offset that. Plain white milk provides the same nutrients without as much sugar and is overall the best choice for most children because it provides fats and proteins they may not get otherwise. On the other hand soda pop is loaded with refined sugar and has detrimental effects on children’s teeth among other things. Juices, even 100% juice, is actually a powerful sugar hit to the body. Read the labels – most of the content is sugar! Juice has none of the great fat or protein nutrients like you find in milk or chocolate milk. Juices leave the body quickly leaving a person hungry,  but the sugar calories remain. 

I believe this argument about chocolate milk should be more of an argument about high sugar content in beverages. Chocolate milk isn’t nearly the villain it is being made out to be and generally it’s just fine. Plain milk is typically a better choice since it contains less sugar. We would be further ahead to look at all of our beverage choices and choose the ones with the best mix of nutrients and a lower sugar content.


What is the difference between food intolerance and having a food allergy? I really like tomatoes but if I eat more than a couple of slices, my tongue burns. Am I allergic to tomatoes?

Many of us confuse the terms food allergy and food intolerance. Food intolerance, unlike a food allergy, does not involve the immune system and is not life-threatening.  A common example of food intolerance is lactose intolerance which means we have trouble digesting the milk sugar lactose.  Symptoms of this include abdominal cramps, bloating and diarrhea. Some people who are lactose intolerant are able to consume a small amount of dairy without being bothered.  A food allergy occurs when the immune system reacts to certain food or foods. The most common form of an immune system reaction (allergy) occurs when the body creates immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to that particular food. When these IgE antibodies react with the food, histamine and other chemicals called “mediators” are released, causing hives, asthma, or other symptoms. With food allergies, any amount can trigger a reaction.  As for you and tomatoes, it is more likely a food intolerance condition and not an allergy. Since a small amount of tomatoes doesn’t bother you, try limiting your servings.


I have discovered jicama and absolutely love it chopped up raw as a snack during the day. I want to know the nutritional qualities but am not finding anything. Could you give me the breakdown of what vitamins and minerals are contained in this Mexican Root?

Jicama (pronounced he-kumma) is a sweet, root vegetable that looks like a turnip. Sometimes it’s called the Mexican potato. It can be eaten raw and is often found in salads. One cup of sliced raw jicama has about 40% of the Daily Value (DV) of vitamin C and 16% of the DV for folic acid. Other vitamins and minerals are in trace amounts. Jicama is a carbohydrate that is low in calories and high in fiber.

Yambean (jicama), raw

Major Nutrients from 1 cup = 130g

Water  117g

Calories 50

Protein 1g

Fat  0.12g

Carbohydrate 11.5 g

Fiber 6.4g

Ash 0.4g


Vitamin C 26 mg

Thiamin 0.03 mg

Riboflavin 0.04 mg

Niacin 0.26 mg

Pantothenic acid 0.18 mg

Vitamin B-6 0.06 mg

Folate 15.6 mcg

Vitamin A, 27.3 IU

Vitamin E 0.6 mg


I have type ii diabetes and use insulin shots. When I go out with friends and order, I count up the carbohydrate load that is on my plate and then if the carb load is more than what is allowed, I inject myself with insulin so I can eat the food. My friends say what I am doing is wrong. I’m just balancing out my carbs and insulin so I don’t have a reaction. Who is right?

Your friends are.  You are sabotaging any progress you might achieve.

When you eat more carbohydrates than is recommended, you are taxing an already stressed system that has trouble processing what you eat.

Imagine an elevator rated to hold 2000 lbs. Can it hold 2050 lbs? Probably. Would you be willing to risk it? You are playing the same game with your body and your life. The more carbs you eat then the more insulin you need in order to avoid high blood sugar. Adding more insulin encourages your body to store the sugar with more of what you don’t need, excess fat. The more insulin you use, the more weight you may gain since insulin will promote fat storage, especially if you are inactive.

At some point, just like the elevator, you will be past the limit of what your body can handle. You are perpetuating a vicious circle that will eventually make your condition worse and bring with it more complications, which may be fatal.

Stick to the meal and activity plan provided by your doctor.  If you don’t have a meal/activity plan, ask your doctor to help you make one.