Sunday, July 17, 2005

The Dietitian, Yogurt, and Yoplait Thick & Creamy

To me, good food is a quality of life issue. This also applies to yogurt. My favorite yogurt is Yoplait Thick and Creamy vanilla.

The dietitian had shown me cartons of nonfat yogurt with fruit on the bottom. I told her I eat Yoplait Thick and Creamy. She said these were high in fat, and I have a "fat tooth"! She also told me that I could eat two cartons of nonfat yogurt for one carton of the Thick and Creamy. I happen not to like yogurt with fruit on the bottom. I want to stay with my Yoplait.

As with everything else, I decided to do my own research on nonfat yogurt versus Yoplait Thick and Creamy. It turns out that the Yoplait is low fat yogurt with live or active cultures. Here are the facts for 8 ounce containers:

  • Nonfat yogurt has zero grams of fat. Yoplait yogurt has 3.5 grams of fat. Whole milk yogurts have 7-8 grams of fat. If I were to have a 1200 calorie diet, one carton of Yoplait Thick and Creamy would make up less than ten percent of my daily fat allowance. I wouldn't say Yoplait is high in fat.

  • Nonfat yogurt with fruit on the bottom has about 19 grams of carbohydrate per carton. Yoplait yogurt has 31 grams of carbohydrate. The dietitian told me I could eat two cartons of the nonfat yogurt for one carton of the Yoplait. That isn't exactly true. Even nonfat yogurt without fruit at the bottom has about 18 grams of carbohydrate.
Actually, the best yogurt is nonfat plain yogurt with active cultures. This I like, with my own fresh fruit or wheat germ mixed in. But the dietitian didn't offer me this choice. Her repertoire included mostly processed foods low on quality and flavor. I feel the dietitian mislead me about the fat content of my yogurt, making it seem as though I would be making poor choices going with lowfat yogurt.

I think what irks me the most is the dietitians's condenscencion toward me. It is true that I am more educated than the average patient, capable of doing my own research (after all, I am a social scientist). Why is it, though, that my doctors are not condescending and the dietitian is?

Finally, dietitians should consider the lifestyle and preferences of their patients in helping them plan a diet. For one person, packaged and processed foods (like packaged cheese), or foods low on flavor, are perfectly acceptable. For people like me, however, the thought of that kind of diet depresses me. I consider eating good food a quality of life issue, and I am going to find a way to do it within the limits of my diet.

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