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‘Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show’ Episode 358: Flax-Z-Snax Label Controversy, Dr. Norris Chumley Encourages A ‘Satisfied Life’

Low-carb retailers are often criticized by people for carrying products that may or may not be appropriate for people following a controlled-carbohydrate lifestyle change. While I can appreciate this sentiment and certainly want any store claiming to cater to low-carb dieters to be on the up and up, a recent independent lab test of a perennially bestselling low-carb product found it to contain some major discrepancies in the net carb counts as much as TEN TIMES HIGHER than what the nutritional label said it had. Needless to say, this raised more than an eyebrow or two with the owners of two of the leading low-carb retailers in the world today.

Bernie Roddy from Netrition.com and Andrew DiMino from CarbSmart.com have collectively been in business for nearly a quarter century and both of them have long prided themselves in stocking their low-carb stores with quality low-carb products for people on a healthy sugar-free, low-carb lifestyle change. One of those line of products that has been consistently popular for many years is Flax-Z-Snax from Parkside Cafe providing delicious-tasting low-carb granola and hot cereal made from flax, seeds, bits of dried fruit and sugar alternatives. In fact, I’ve given glowing recommendations of these low-carb breakfast and snack items for many years and long held them up as one of the better low-carb products on the market today. Sadly, though, that may be changing based on the results of some recent independent lab tests conducted in late March 2010 on these products paid for by Netrition and CarbSmart.

As you can see from their independent lab results, the difference in the net carb counts was startling. On their latest product Blueberry Flax-Z-Snax Granola, Parkside claimed the product only had 1g net carb per serving. However, after a closer examination breaking down all the ingredients, the lab unveiled that the fiber content was less than half what was being claimed on the label and higher in sugar resulting in a difference of 9g net carbs. Similar results were found in the Cranberry Macadamia Nut Flax-Z-Snax Granola product with variations in the total calories, total carbohydrates and net carbs. Consumers who rely on the accuracy of these nutritional labels deserve to see the results of these lab tests which is why I’m sharing them with you and why I wanted Bernie and Andrew to come on at the beginning of “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show” today for a mini-interview update to talk about why they conducted this test and subsequently removed the Flax-Z-Snax brand from their inventory.

I attempted to interview the owner of Parkside Cafe and distributor of Flax-Z-Snax products Dave Martinez on Tuesday afternoon for his response to these lab results and he refused. However, when I questioned him about the results they found he responded angrily to this “ploy” by saying there is no proof these tests of his products are real since he has not been provided with any of the original lab results. Additionally, he says this is simply a “vendetta” against him by the owners of Netrition and CarbSmart since they are now selling a comparable product under the name Sensato Foods. Martinez cites growing unrest between the business relationship of his company with Netrition and CarbSmart that dates back to 2004. He maintains that his products are what he says they are and that people shouldn’t fall for this attempt to smear him and the Flax-Z-Snax name simply to market a new product line.

What is the truth in this whole nutrition labeling debacle? Who knows? But now you are armed with information to make better purchasing decisions for your healthy low-carb lifestyle. Alright, on to today’s podcast interview…

In Episode 358 of “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show with Jimmy Moore,” we are delighted to welcome Dr. Norris Chumley, a columnist at BeliefNet.com with one million subscribers to his “Satisfied Life” articles. Listen to Norris share about the desperation he felt to get the weight off and be happy, how he tried diet after diet losing and gaining well over 1,000 pounds for twenty years of his life, what changed him to begin eating in a healthy, ordinary way at long last, the unique role God played in helping him shed the pounds, the fortuitous meeting with a cab driver that led him to write his first book The Joy Of Weight Loss, the difference between joy and happiness, the infamous “Dancing Doctor Norris Chumley” YouTube video, how he learned carbohydrates in the form of sugar was a big problem with his weight, the disgusting ingredients food manufacturers are putting into what passes for food these days, why eating healthy isn’t as expensive as most people think, why happiness does not come from consuming old processed high-carb “food” products, his apparent aversion to saturated fat and regular consumption of animal-based products, what his daily diet looks like, and the “forbidden fruit” syndrome and why you shouldn’t ban any food from your diet forever. Norris is a pretty neat fella and I appreciate his cheerful attitude promoting weight loss and healthy living!

There are three ways you can listen to Episode 358:

1. Listen at the new iTunes page for the podcast:

2. Listen and comment about the show at the official web site for the podcast:

3. Download the MP3 file of Episode 358 [44:32m]:

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR FINANCIALLY SUPPORTING THIS PODCAST! If these twice-weekly podcast interviews from the most provocative and thought-provoking diet, fitness, and health experts have helped you in any way over the past few months and years, then help us keep it going by clicking on the DONATE button on the official podcast web site. We love making these exclusive interviews available to you at no charge so that the positive low-carb message can get out there to the people who need to hear it the most. We are so grateful for your generous donations of any amount so we can keep this going all throughout 2010 and well beyond. I have a fantastic group of fresh new expert interview guests lined up for your listening enjoyment and can’t wait for you to hear them! Go to PayPal.com and you can give your gift to the e-mail address livinlowcarbman@charter.net. Your continued financial support and listenership is essential and we THANK YOU so very much for your support!

How’d you like what you heard from Dr. Norris Chumley and his “Satisfied Life” philosophy? Talk about it in the show notes section of Episode 358. Be inspired by his before and after pictures and subscribe to his immensely popular BeliefNet.com column “Satisfied Life.” Coming up next Monday, don’t miss Matt Schoenberger and Jeff Thibitout authors of Speed: The Only Weight Loss Book Worth Reading who provide a fantastic spin on low-carb living that will take you on the race of your life! Then on Thursday we’ll have our next SURPRISE INTERVIEW GUEST with us to talk about a brand new book on diabetes that shows promise but misses one vitally important element which you’ll learn more about! Don’t miss the announcement of this special guest and his new book that will be looked to as a groundbreaking book on the subject. We’ll challenge him on the omissions in his book and do it all in a respectful manner on “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show.”

  • Gretchen

    I think these improperly labeled LC junk food is one reason people regain weight on a LC diet. That’s because eating carbs PLUS all the fat that most low-carbers eat is a recipe for disaster.

    Those GG crackers that Bernstein recommended were for a long time claiming 0 carbs when in fact they had 3 net, because they were labeled in Europe, where you subtract the fiber before you report “carbohydrate.” (See http://www.healthcentral.com/diabetes/c/5068/62563/honesty) I wrote to the American distributor, pointing out that they could be sued for false advertising, but of course they didn’t change their labeling or their Web site banner ads.

    People with diabetes have one advantage in that they can see how their blood sugar responds to allegedly LC foods. For me, for example, Dreamfield’s pasta made my blood sugar go up about the same as regular pasta. For the others, buyer beware!

    • I think everyone should check their blood sugar whether they’re diabetic or not to see where they stand.

  • Linda

    This sure reminds me of the “fat free” yogurt episode on Seinfeld. They had it tested in a lab and it had a lot of fat!

  • James

    When it comes to ANY manufactured food, I assume the label is wrong. The pinheads in Washington D.C. allow too many shortcuts in the labeling laws for me to trust anyone. If it is not an “original” food, I don’t eat it.

  • Jesse K

    This company has been called on this several times over the years as I recall. Hopefully this will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back so a whole group of new people are not hurt by mislabeled product that results in a failed diet. The bottom line is that people who diet are looking for “safe cheats” to still saisfy what they love in food. Companies like Flax Z Snax take advantage of this.