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“But That Lady on TV Said It!”

3716_GoodMorningAmerica_logoLast weekend, Good Morning America did a segment titled “What To Eat When.” For it, they booked Kimberly Snyder, a self-proclaimed nutrition expert who, in this particular instance, spouted off a variety of inaccurate facts and misleading information.

Even more disturbingly, several magazines have recently turned to Miss Snyder for nutrition tips.  SOS!!

Watch the video (linked above) first, and then read my detailed response below.

Protein bars are unhealthy because they contain soy protein isolate, a heavily processed ingredient than can impair thyroid function.

Yes, soy protein isolate is processed, but the main reason to limit protein bar consumption is because they are high in added sugars, generally low in fiber, and do not offer the same amount of nutrition real foods do.  While soy can exacerbate already-existing thyroid problems, it does not cause them.

100% fruit snacks are not the best choice for children because they are too dense.

I agree that 100% fruit snacks are not as healthy as they sound (they are basically pure sugar), but what on Earth does her critique of “it’s too much density” mean?  The problem isn’t that fruit snacks are calorically dense, it’s that they offer very little nutrition.

“Peanut butter has a lot of sugar.”

WRONG. You can find plenty of peanut butter brands that do not add sugar.  Additionally, even the ones that do add sugar do not add a lot (two grams, or half a teaspoon, per serving is the average).

Almonds are better than peanuts because they have vitamin E and protein.

Absolutely misleading.  Peanuts have just as much protein and vitamin E.  Besides, both almonds and peanuts contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and plenty of mineral and phytonutrients.

Artificial sweeteners score high on the glycemic index.

Wow.  Absolutely incorrect.

Besides, if this ‘expert’ is so worried about the glycemic index of foods, why does she then recommend watermelon, which has a very high glycemic index?

“An acidic body tends to hold on to more weight.”

Oh, no — not that school of thought!

No fruit after dinner — it sits in your stomach on top of what you ate and bloats you.

Pardon me while I repeatedly smack my head on my desk.  This is absolutely false.  The human digestive system can handle a piece of fruit at any time of day.

Good Morning America producers, you’ve got some ‘splaining to do!

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11 Comments

  1. Corey said on August 16th, 2009

    Could be worse. Could be “THE WARRIOR DIET”

    http://www.warriordiet.com/

    The premise? Eat one big meal a day, at night. And really that’s it.
    Okay….?

  2. Vincci said on August 16th, 2009

    I was reading her blog (http://kimberlysnyder.net/) and it seems like this isn’t the first time she’s been on Good Morning America, and she has a pretty huge following. Based on what I heard on the segment and what she writes on her blog, it seems like she gives out the same sound bites over and over in terms of her food beliefs (the avocado, almond butter > peanut butter, etc. etc.) I’m trying to be open-minded about her, but all I keep wondering is “Where does she get this information? How does she vet it?” All I can say is – Yikes!

  3. Lexi said on August 16th, 2009

    I had some grapes after dinner. Uh oh, they must be sitting in my stomach as we speak!

  4. Andy Bellatti said on August 16th, 2009

    It’s frightening. The producers of Good Morning America need to STOP giving her a platform. Just because someone is camera-friendly and has white teeth does not mean they deserve airtime or know what they are talking about.

  5. Brandon said on August 17th, 2009

    I think Reduced Fat Peanut Butter has a lot of added sugar, and by that I mean that the reduced fat and regular versions offer pretty much the same Calories per serving, which I think is lame.

  6. Brandon said on August 17th, 2009

    The lamest thing I have heard recently was the whole “must eat fruit on an empty stomach” thing, because otherwise it rots in your stomach or something wierd like that.

    Then I glanced at that woman’s blog and saw her say to eat watermelon, but it doesn’t “combine well with other foods” … so eat it “in the morning, or on its own- on an empty stomach.”

    Awesome.

    Not.

  7. Andy Bellatti said on August 17th, 2009

    It doesn’t, really. Same amount. Both have same amount of calories because of the carbohydrate-based fat replacers in “reduced-fat peanut butter.

  8. Andy Bellatti said on August 17th, 2009

    Absolutely disconcerting that someone with such inane — and useless — advice gets to be on television and share it with millions.

  9. Carrie said on August 17th, 2009

    Andy, they should put you on instead! Seriously!

  10. Andy Bellatti said on August 17th, 2009

    Able, willing, and ready!

  11. Amanda said on August 18th, 2009

    Awesome post, Andy. I’m quite surprised that this is the best that a show could do? No wonder why so many people are confused about nutrition! Thanks for this!

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