Sunday, 16 January 2011

Product review: Weightwatchers® Berry Fruits Layered Fromage Frais

The great thing about "Eat Less, Move More" is that the "Move More" part gets me out of the house and away from the computer at regular intervals. I tend to go for a 10 minute walk to my local Co-op (formerly Somerfield), wander around the store picking up bargains on their sell-by date, chat to the girls on the checkout and then walk home.

Today I picked up the above product for 40p (normally £1.75). It's four 100g pots of fat free vanilla flavour fromage frais with fruits and sugars and sweeteners. The four varieties are Blackberry, Cherry, Forest Fruits and Raspberry. There is 1 WW point per pot.

INGREDIENTS (Blackberry): Fromage Frais, Blackberry (12.5%), Water, Fructose, Fructose-Glucose Syrup, Modified Waxy Maize Starch, Modified Maize Starch, Stabilisers: Pectin, Locust Bean Gum, Xanthan Gum; Flavourings, Acidity Regulators: Citric Acid, Calcium Citrate; Sweeteners: Aspartame, Acesulfame K; Preservative: Potassium Sorbate.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION PER 100g POT (Blackberry): Energy 64kcal (274kJ), Protein 5.3g, Carbohydrate 10.4g of which Sugars 9.0g, Fat 0.2g of which Saturates 0.1g, Fibre 1.0g, Sodium 0.04g, Salt equivalent 0.1g.

WHAT DID IT TASTE LIKE? The Fromage Frais tasted O.K. The fruit compote beneath contained a fair amount of fruit but was oversweetened, so there was no sharpness and there was also a slight artificial taste.

WAS IT FILLING? Sadly, no. My stomach likes some fat to keep it happy and this product didn't contain a significant amount. I ate all four pots one after the other.

WOULD I BUY IT AGAIN? For 40p, definitely. For £1.75, no way José!

Other odd & sods:

Anthony Colpo roasts Robb, and a few other things as well!

Muscletalk's Bodybuilding terms in pictures.

Scientific Expt by Brainiacs(Sky one) exploring whether looking at Breasts for 30 min is like Working Out for 30 min. Note: Brother B's doing it wrong! ;-p

My Blackberry Is Not Working! - The One Ronnie, Preview - BBC One
(thank you Paul Jaminet).


praguestepchild said...

Surely you mean 'no way Jose', or even José ;)

The fouth ingredient is fructose and the fifth is HFCS? I'd stay away from it.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

I do, and don't call me Shirley! :-D

A little fructose & glucose won't hurt (they are 4th & 5th in order of amount). It's all about dose and context.

praguestepchild said...

I totally agree, Nigel, I'm no an ortherexic dogmatist by any stretch of the imagination. But there does seem to be something especially bad about glucose-fructose syrup (HFCS). I give my kid honey-sweetened tea and 88% chocolate, try to avoid anything containing HFCS and try to avoid artificial sweeteners. Not 'cause I'm a granola-chomping hippie, but I try to stick to real foods as much as possible (plus he gets enough crap from his grandparents). So for me, HFCS is an automatic deal-breaker.

I'm not saying it will automatically put you in hospital. Hospital, what is it? It's a big building with patients, but that's not important right now ;)

Nigel Kinbrum said...

As far as I'm concerned, HFCS-55 & glucose-fructose syrup = sucrose. Honey does contain a certain je ne sais quoi, though.

I do have elevated Chol & TGs, but that's more due to excessive inactivity rather than from eating too much fructose. I'm working on it.

praguestepchild said...

Yeah, Chris's article is what convinced me that honey is a much better alternative to sugar.

So you don't agree with Lustig?

Nigel Kinbrum said...

My views on fructose are aligned with Alan Aragon's. See Summary of the Fructose Alarmism Debate.

praguestepchild said...

I wasn't even aware of Aragon, but I'll check it out, thanks. If someone with iconoclastic views is recommended by someone knowledgeable I'm always willing to give it a shot.

lightcan said...

Yuk, so you ate 40 grams of carbs, mainly sugar, that tasted artificial with no fat. I wouldn't even if it was for free. Sorry.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

Hi Lightcan.

Plain yoghurt contains sugar (lactose) so I'm not bothered about the sugar content. The added sugars were well down the list of ingredients and there were also sweeteners.

I just considered it as 400g of yoghurt with fruit compote for much less than I would normally pay for 400g of yoghurt (over £1).

lightcan said...

I checked out Aragon's review of Lustig's video (bitter truth...) and it seems reasonable. I agree with the idea of context and threshold.

lightcan said...

I read Don Matesz review of Lustig too.
However, I have a problem with sugar. It leads to cravings and bingeing. I have put on 4 kgs in the last couple of months and it's not because I ate that many calories (you're better at maths and know how to calculate it)
It's scary.
I used to eat boxes of Aldi chocolate shells, mixed with petits filous or fruit yoghurt to balance the sweetness, their chocolate dessert with cream on top, small chocolate pralines squares, nutella jars with milk, chocolate truffles and I put on 30 kgs in 6 years combined with 2 pregnancies. The truth is I was addicted and I needed it every day, sometimes I would finish a box after everybody went to bed. Now, after 2 years of successful weight loss through low carbing, cutting all the sugars, wheat, potatoes, pasta, rice, I have to be careful not to relapse. Have a bit it's Christmas lead to I want to go to town on my own to eat everything I want twice since. I haven't totally lost it. I'm trying to find a way to lose the weight again. I'm not sure how to do it though. Cutting calories to 1100 and going low fat for two months? Just being sensible and eating paleo, high fat up to 1500?
Anyway, you eat what you want, I wouldn't eat Weightwatchers' processed stuff. (certain snobism, I suppose)

lightcan said...

- I don't think that the fact that it is 4th on the list of ingredients means it's a small amount, quantity per total quantity consumed is a better way to assess in my opinion, and then the fat is supposed to blunt the insulin spike
- I was wondering what my threshold would be, according to the research used by Aragon, not the average, obviously, that he puts at 50 grams fructose, but maybe 30 which means 60 grams of sugar. Well, it may be even less.
- I think, based on my experience, that tolerance to excess sugar goes down with age and consumption

lightcan said...

Hi again,
Are you subscribed to Weightology? What does he say about 3500 kcal for a pound of fat? Is there any advice useful for my fat loss regime? Can you cheat and tell me? I don't have a paypal account.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

Hi lightcan.

As ingredients are listed in order of amount, I would expect there to be little added sugars, especially as there are added sweeteners.

Your threshold depends on your serum TGs. IIRC, yours are quite low. Therefore you have a high threshold for fructose.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

RE Weightology: I'm not subscribed (I refuse to pay for anything that's on the internet!).

RE 3,500kcal/lb: See The Energy Balance Equation. The 3,500kcal/lb figure only applies if 100% of weight lost is bodyfat.

lightcan said...

Thanks a lot, but then I don't understand why I put weight on so quickly. I have to cut the fat, but that goes against 'high fat is good' Damn.
I'm like a little dog that keeps pulling at your trousers. Here I go. In a fruit yoghurt one has about 10-12 grams of sugar minimum per 100 grams. Yours has a similar amount, 9 grams, of which there is overall more fructose. So no good for your insulin sensitivity ;) And you mentioned the taste. I thought you went for high quality real food not any old cheap desert full of additives. Come on! Does that mean that I can pig out on them because they have only 64 kcal each? :p
I made my own desert. Low fat cream cheese (farm made Irish, Glenilen) with gelatin, vanilla, lemon zest and juice. I will add frozen berries and lactulose that I have to take anyway.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

Hi lightcan.

When you put on weight, do you know how much of it is water weight and how much is body fat weight? Women have large water weight fluctuations during the course of a month for hormonal reasons.

Why do you have to cut the fat? Is it to try to reduce your cholesterol level? Who says "high fat is good"? High anything will make you gain weight if you eat too much of it!

RE WW Fromage Frais: I've been told off, haven't I? ;-p I haven't seen it on special offer since that day. I won't buy it again (unless it's virtually free). :-D

All the exercise that I'm getting (a walk after every meal) should improve my chol & TGs, so I won't have to worry about a few grams of fructose in the future. I reckon that sedentariness is far worse for IR than fructose, as inactive muscles won't take in glucose (as they don't burn it).

lightcan said...


I hope that I don't annoy you. I'm just a bit lonely, trying to communicate, to talk to people about what I'm interested in, psychologically a bit of a mess, in a crap relationship and with two months left before I have to hand in my Ph.D that I avoided for the last 5-6 years since I had the kids. I feel that it's impossible to do a good job of it, because I'm not capable of writing it and because it's too late to really turn things around even if I tried. I should have finished a chapter for today but all week-end, Monday and today I've done nothing. I hate myself for it, my husband is fighting with me about it and my poor supervisor is trying to be positive.
So, who cares about your fromage frais really, it's not important.

I know that women's weight fluctuates and that they recommend weighing only once a month in the same period in the cycle. I have some cycle problems too, but nobody wants to normalise my hormones, I'll see the obgyn in a week or so.

I put a lot of weight in a relatively short period and it's not definitely explained by the increase in calories, I haven't eaten that much, binged in total about 5 days, still do IF and low carb overall.
Anyway, let's just focus on the future and take one day at the time. Obviously you see that my appetite control is related to my moods and if I feel bad I need to eat. Chris Kesser says IF is not recommended for people with cortisol problems so I have eaten at about 9.30 am which coincides with my need to eat before I sit down to work but don't have lunch just green tea. I know I should start some resistance exercise program and there is one on the Irish TV every time this year, so it's there, easy to follow, but I haven't had the energy in the morning to get up and do it.
Cutting fat as in total fat calories which might be too much, not eating extra butter with my ham, or extra thick double cream as a dessert, or 85% chocolate melted with cream as a dessert or cheese after dinner. I might eat too much fat since late spring last year and it kind of coincides with my weight loss stalling.
Just trying to change something that doesn't work. If only I could do that with my doctoral thesis, fe efficient and clever now, not next month.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

Hi lightcan.

Don't worry, you're not annoying me. I've had similar mental problems in the past (pituitary dysfunction & hypovitaminosis D-related). Trying to solve complicated technical problems when your brain just won't co-operate is a nightmare.

I had psychotherapy (paid for by my company) a few years ago. It didn't help my pituitary dysfunction or hypovitaminosis D, but it was a great help in terms of confidence and coping.

I eventually solved a tricky technical problem that had been bugging me for ages and I remember proudly telling the therapist "I did what I thought I couldn't do".

So lightcan, do what you think you can't do!

I'm finding that going for walks is a great mood-lifter. I speak to people, get bargains, take photos, scrump fruit (I now know of two Japonica Quince bushes, both with fruit on them) and generally have a whale of a time. I'm even considering doing something tonight that I would normally never do. Watch this space!

Best, Nige.

lightcan said...

Thanks for that advice.
Another thing that I heard is that writers force themselves to sit down and do the work, they don't wait for inspiration and that work comes first and then the motivation not the other way around. I used to say I'm not motivated enough. I avoid it because it's bloody hard work, head splitting hard, but I have to do it even if it's not as good as I think it should be. Maybe it's enough for the examiners. Well that's the hope that should keep me going. You have to lie to yourself until you believe you're good enough. Back to work. Been up all night. I'll do some rewriting until the kids wake up as I can't concentrate enough for writing new stuff at this hour.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

Sometimes, we need a little push to galvanise us into action. Have I pushed you enough? We men call it "nagging" ;-p

Just do the best you can. You may surprise yourself.