Home ยป RD Q&A vol. 25

RD Q&A vol. 25

Lizzie: I’ve got a question and I think you’re the perfect person to answer it! I alternate between purchasing Barilla PLUS pasta products and Dreamfields pasta products. Barilla PLUS is typically cheaper, and I like it slightly better. Based on the marketing, I am lead to believe Dreamfields is better for me. But, not being an expert, I really don’t know. There are slight differences in the nutrition facts, and I can’t sort it out. Dreamfields claims to be the “healthiest” option with 5 grams of digestible carbs. Or feel free to suggest another alternative. I think I seem to remember you saying you like Barilla PLUS on your blog, but I could be confusing you with somebody else!

Prevention RD: You did read that I buy the Barilla Plus — I love it!! I think it’s the best-tasting whole wheat pasta out there. I am, however, VERY confused by the “digestible” carbohydrate that Dreamfields boasts about…never in my life have I heard of “protected carbohydrates”. I think they’re marketing to the low-carb followers out there. But in reality, the same portion of Barilla Plus is actually lower in carbohydrate (by 3 grams) and higher in protein. I have a hunch that the “digestible” carbohydrate is referring to the high fiber content and thus the glycemic index, but I don’t see any mention of that (plus, this has been proven to be way over-rated and isn’t used any longer). I vote Barilla PLUS. I hope that helps! 🙂


Anele of Success Along the Weigh: I have upped my water intake this week (about 100 oz day) and I’m SO bloated! My sodium is in check (I watch it like a hawk) and the only other thing I can think of is I’ve been doing some pretty hard workouts this week. My muscles are sore every day this week. Is the bloating likely due to the muscles retaining water? Am I getting too much water and the 70ish ounces I was getting before is adequate?

Prevention RD: I just want to say, you’re not alone! I’ll admit, I’m terrible about drinking enough water…mostly because it’s never convenient to break away from my work every 30 minutes to pee! But, drinking more water should get easier with time, plus it sounds like you need it! I use the equation of 1/2 ounce per pound of body weight as a ballpark range for fluid needs (150 lbs –> 75 ounces). With your workout regimen, it’s important to rehydrate in addition to your fluid needs for the day. I’m going to guess 100 ounces is probably closer to your needs…maybe more. Hope that helps!


Katrina: Thanks so much for your informative Q&A on the RD career track. I am currently launching myself into this as a career change, and am trying to draw up a list of schools I will apply to (I already have a BA and a graduate degree so I will be going back for a combined MS/RD degree). I hope you do not mind my asking you this question – I can’t seem to figure this out! I see that you have linked the CADE web sites that list the accredited schools. This list is what is confusing me. There seem to be other schools that claim they offer an MS in Nutrition combined with an RD certification, but that are not listed as accredited by CADE. For example, I have an acquaintance who received an RD certification and MS in nutrition from New York University, but that school is not listed as accredited. Also, Florida International University says on their web site that they offer the MS along with the RD, but they’re not listed as accredited in the graduate school category. Do you have any idea what is going on here?

Prevention RD: Hey Katrina! I looked into those 2 schools specifically. I don’t see anything on New York University’s website about a nutrition program of any sorts, but Florida International clearly states that they are CADE accredited. While it takes time, I would narrow your search based on location and look for colleges and universities within x number of miles from where you want to be. From there, I would visit each of their sites and/or call their program director and ask specifically. It amazes me the number of people who are lead to believe that attending programs that are NOT accredited can eventually lead to the RD track when that is very false. I think the issue is probably that the ADA (I mean, the AND — Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) doesn’t update their site on a regular-enough basis to reflect changes in programming and accreditation. That’s probably not the answer you’re looking for, but I not-s0-fondly remember putting all of the information I was most interested in (length, cost, location, emphasis, etc.) onto a spreadsheet and going from there. I hope that helps a bit, but I can tell you…it’ll be worth it. Also, I’d be happy to look into some of these programs with you — just let me know and get in touch! Best of luck!!


Kristi: So, I’m up at about 4:50am each morning. But because of that early hour rise time I really cannot eat 35-40 minutes before a training run or power yoga or bodypump class. A 4:10am rise time is just not going to happen! Yet I suspect since I try to eat dinner before 6pm or 7pm at the latest (I try to get to bed by 9:30 if at all possible given the early rise time) I should not be hitting the pavement on a completely empty stomach. What do you recommend for refueling ~10 minutes before exercise? Or given that there is so little time ahead of the workout should I just skip doing more than drinking some water on my way out the door?

Prevention RD: As for the early mornings, I would try to get down a piece of toast or a handful of granola on your ride over to the gym. Having NOTHING to go on isn’t ideal, and yet, you don’t have time for too much substantial. I would split the difference and do something light and mostly carbohydrate. I hope that helps some. The important part is that you’re doing it at all, much less at that time of day. Makes me sleepy just reading your regimen — kudos to you!


Biz of My Bizzy Kitchen: My coworker had lap band surgery.  She’s lost 60 pounds, however, she’s not changed a single thing about her diet – not kidding, last week she had jalapeno bacon wrapped poppers, all beef hot dogs and leftover Chinese food – all for breakfast.  She eats the same, obviously in smaller amounts. Anywho, last week I made peanut butter ice cream sandwiches for my work lunch – I bought no sugar added vanilla bean ice cream, and I was tasting it to see if it tasted “diety”  (not a word, but I am sticking with it).  She said “oh this isn’t bad because it only has 6 grams of sugar.”  I told her that it didn’t matter how many grams of sugar it had, because the number she should be looking at is the total carbs, as 100% of carbs  turns into sugar.  She is borderline diabetic.  She kept arguing with me that its the grams of sugar that matter, not the carbs.  So who is right?

Prevention RD: Of course you’re right, Biz! As someone with type 1 diabetes that has PERFECT HbA1c’s, you know your stuff! One of the #1 myths I bust when educating on diabetes is the fact that we need to be looking at the total grams of carbohydrate to reveal the true effect on blood sugar — not sugar. Sugar grams are accounted for in the total carbohydrate when looking at a food label. Rather than focusing on the grams of sugar, I like to emphasize fiber content. Not that Americans don’t eat too much sugar, but we eat too much of everything and I think that’s the real problem. It’s not rocket science to know that the “nutrition” (or carbohydrate grams) in a Snickers is much different than the carbohydrate in a banana, even though they may have similar carbohydrate counts. I often find myself walking away from situations like that with your coworker — it gets me too fired up and people have very strong (and wrong!) opinions on nutrition. P.S. Having worked in bariatrics and specifically with the Lap Band procedure, I can tell you with 100% confidence that if she doesn’t change her lifestyle she will 1) be able to eat the same volumes as before her band placement and 2) she will regain the weight. The Lap Band is a tool, not a cure all. Wishing her the best and keep at’em, Biz. Educating people, one person at a time…! 🙂

Have a question YOU would love answered? Send it along to me at preventionrd at gmail dot com! I’ve been trying to get up one of these posts a week and so long as you send questions, I’ll post answers! 🙂

Have a great day!

Be well,

Share With Your Friends!


  1. Erica {EricaDHouse.com}
    August 30, 2012 / 6:42 am

    What a great question about the dreamfields! I used to buy that stuff because of the ‘protected carb’ claim but my bf prefers Barilla. He’ll be happy when I tell him your response ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Gina (The Candid RD)
    August 30, 2012 / 7:29 am

    I love these posts Nicole!
    So, I always recommend Dreamfields to my clients. They actually only contain 5 net carbs, but like you said, I’m not 100% sure about the “protected carbs”, but I’ve had some clients test the product for me and let me know how their blood sugar is two hours later, and it’s always normal, which is good. I think it tastes great too. The only issue is no whole grains and very little protein. I also really like the Barilla Plus. Very tasty and great profile.
    As for the water and bloating, I wonder if she’s using a straw? I used to use a straw with my water and I KNOW it caused me lots of bloating. Ugh.

    • Nicole, RD
      August 30, 2012 / 10:51 am

      When I calculate “net carbs” I subtract the fiber grams from the total carbohydrate, so in the case of Dreamfields the “net carbs” would be 36 grams. How do you calculate net carbs??

  3. Biz
    August 30, 2012 / 8:15 am

    Thanks Nicole for answering my question!! Woop – I love being right! Have a great day! ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Anele @ Success Along the Weigh
    August 30, 2012 / 8:48 am

    Thanks so much for answering my question! I was afraid you were going to say that. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I am going to have to make sure I chug my first 36 oz container in the morning because if I’m still drinking around 9pm then I am up 4-5x a night and that doesn’t make for a well rested lady. :-\

  5. Biz
    August 30, 2012 / 10:24 am

    Winning! Thanks Nicole for answering my question – I appreciate it! I am making your Mom’s pork satay for dinner tonight – can’t wait!

  6. Biz
    August 30, 2012 / 10:25 am

    Winning! Thanks Nicole for answering my question – I appreciate it! I am making your Mom’s pork satay for dinner – can’t wait!

  7. Jessica @ Sunny Side Up
    August 30, 2012 / 10:57 am

    I need to be better about drinking water! The previous comment about bloating and straws was really interesting! I’ve noticed that the squirt type water bottles leave my stomach feeling full of air.

  8. Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life
    August 30, 2012 / 11:08 am

    Awesome post! I really enjoyed reading about the pasta – I’ve also been buying Barilla Plus and have been loving it!

    • steph
      August 30, 2012 / 1:38 pm

      My mom was just diagnosed with type 2 and her RD seems to only be focused on sugar grams. What amount of cabs should she be looking for?

      • Nicole, RD
        August 30, 2012 / 1:49 pm

        Yikes. Maybe she should see another RD unless she’s talking about carbohydrate AND sugar. Focusing solely on sugar is not going to yield good glycemic control. A rough guideline for women is 45 grams of carbohydrate per meal with a 15-30 gram carbohydrate + protein snack before bed.

        • Steph
          August 30, 2012 / 2:47 pm

          Thank you so much. I will pass this info along to my mom. I appreciate your feedback.

  9. Nicole Olson
    August 30, 2012 / 3:08 pm

    When we did our practicums in the local high schools ( for diet tech ), they had just started using whole wheat pasta. The kids didn’t seem to like it too much. they said it was too grainy. I remember speaking to my preceptor about it and she said that Barilla Plus was the best. They used it to start with, but once they had to adhere to all of the other federal changes for school lunches, they couldn’t afford it anymore…leaving them with grainy pasta. Seems to me that Barilla knows what they are doing!

  10. Kristen @ Swanky Dietitian
    August 30, 2012 / 4:13 pm

    The sugar thing is one I get a lot!!!
    I love your Q and A sessions! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Biz
    August 30, 2012 / 4:23 pm

    Thanks for answering my question Nicole!!

  12. Kate
    August 30, 2012 / 11:07 pm

    I’m feeling really good about my barilla plus spaghetti in the cupboard right now!

  13. Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner
    September 3, 2012 / 2:36 pm

    You always do so well at answering our questions! Thanks for taking the time to do it! It really means a lot! ๐Ÿ™‚

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