Why I don’t post nutrition facts for my recipes.

Trust your gut.  Not numbers on the side of a food product or on a recipe post.

More than ever, our culture is obsessed with food rules. And in my opinion, we are heading down the wrong path!

Hey, don’t get me wrong…I love food and kinda obsess over what yummy goodness I will place in my mouth at my next meal. I love nourishing food. I love eating with friends and family. I love the dining out experience.

I respect the fact that what’s on my plate is my choice and what’s on your plate is yours.

I have learned via trial and error, after my emergency surgery resulting in a major small intestinal resection, what works for me and my sensitive gut… and what doesn’t. And this hasn’t required the need to read the nutrition facts panel.

I trust my body to be my guide.

I love chocolate. I eat it every. single. day. I don’t exclude any foods from my diet that I enjoy and that my body enjoys back. I really don’t angst over food decisions…and really, I hope the same for you!

There is so much pseudo-science on the Internet geared toward individuals that suffer with SIBO and IBS, that most of my clients come to my office entrenched in so many food fears and RULES.  It is not unusual that some clients are eating just 6 foods. No grains. No nightshades. No dairy. No gluten. Low FODMAPs. No lectins. Is this healthy? Not one bit.

The reality is there is NO EVIDENCED BASED DIET for SIBO.  And likely, the approach to SIBO needs to be individualized as the cause of SIBO IS individual. And addressing the underlying cause, when possible, should be part of the treatment algorithm.

Because the majority of SIBO patients fulfill the criteria for IBS, it makes the most sense to me to trial the diet with the most evidence for IBS, the low FODMAP diet, as a starting point. Working with a dietitian that specializes in GI nutrition is worth the investment in my opinion (if you can), as maintaining a well balanced nutrient dense diet is essential for overall gut health.

A GI dietitian can help guide you in intuitive and mindful eating.

I don’t like the use of terms like ‘safe’ or ‘unsafe’ foods or ‘legal’ vs. ‘illegal’ as these terms can instill food fear but I realize there are times when the term safe may be essential, such as when it means gluten free to an individual with celiac disease or food allergen free for someone with food allergies or low FODMAP food for those with IBS.

I often get asked why I do not post nutrition facts for my recipes. I don’t post nutrient information for my recipes, as I firmly believe you should allow your body to be your guide and minimize decisions based on the number on a box or on a recipe. I appreciate that some of my followers are diabetic and follow certain carbohydrate limitations, but the vast majority do not need carbohydrate details and for this reason, and those mentioned previously in this post, I have opted to not provide nutrition facts.

My colleague, Kara Lydon, RD, LDN, RYT, Intuitive Eating Counselor and Blogger at The Foodie Dietitian,  doesn’t post nutrition facts for recipes on her blog either. Kara says, “I don’t provide nutrition information for my recipes because I don’t believe that food should be reduced to numbers. Food is so much more than calories and grams of carbohydrates and protein, food is pleasure, food is joy, and food is celebration. I don’t talk about numbers in sessions with clients because trying to stick to a certain amount of calories or grams of something will not result in weight loss or health, it will only make you preoccupied with food. And if I’m not talking numbers with my clients, I’m definitely not talking about them on the blog either.” 

For me, I choose what I eat based on what I am craving and how the food makes me feel. I include a variety of colorful produce, protein, healthy fats and whole grains at most every meal. My motto: Balanced Plate=Balanced Body. No food labels needed.

21 replies on “Why I don’t post nutrition facts for my recipes.

  • Casey

    What a wonderful post, Kate! I completely agree and support you! You are without a doubt, the best Low-FODMAP resource out there and have helped me so much–especially dealing with this mentally.

    Thank you for you!

  • Beth Rosen, MS, RD, CDN

    AMEN SISTA!!! Happy RD/N Day! I am a Health At Every Size/ Non-Diet Dietitian and I share this with my clients with digestive disorders. The research plainly shows that restriction can trigger IBS, so why would we prescribe restriction to alleviate symptoms? I am so pleased with this post and thankful that you are leading the way in the field. Thanks for sharing this!

    • katescarlata

      Thanks for your comment, Beth! Yes, OVER-restriction can make IBS symptoms worse…especially when malnutrition ensues. Fortunately, with the guidance of an RD and a client willing to listen…this does not need to ever happen!

  • Lori Gardiner

    I seriously LOVE this article! Great points about intuitive eating. Thanks Kate! How perfect for National RDN Day! Lori Gardiner, MS, RDN

  • Esther

    Fabulous post Kate !
    Your words linger in my head .. “Listen to your body!”
    Wonderful post and as always spot on advice !
    Thank you !

  • Karen

    I so appreciate this approach. I get so tired of food police, or people who feel the need to tell me what they can and cannot eat. I have all kinds of issues and have slowly learned what works for me – not that I still can’t rile my symptoms up at times. I try not to make my rules obvious to the people who eat with me. Luckily, I can generally do so, even at most restaurants.

  • pam robison, MS RD

    I have experienced IBS for over 50 years. Learned more from you Kate than any other source. I gave a talk on IBS and Fodmaps at an RV park we go to each winter. It was entirely based on your info and of course I credited you for everything. I advised people to stick to ONE information source first until they were totally familiar with it before trying anything else. And I highly recommended to make you that one source.
    Thank you for so much excellent info.,

  • Kellie Hallaron RDN

    As an ED Nutrition Specialist, absolutely appreciate your post! Not only reflects the desired outcome for our ED and Gut affected clients, but also for everyone affected by applications of faulty or misunderstood “Food Rules.”
    Food and eating experiences are to be enjoyed vs stressful. As RDNs, we can help return that joyful and thankful experience by posts such as this one. Thank you!

    • katescarlata

      Thanks Kelsey! I know everyone might not agree…but I do feel that for most IBS sufferers especially…eating mindfully vs. based on numbers is the way to go!

  • Rachel

    I love this post!! Do you happen to have a good recommendation for an intuitive eating book for RDs? Thanks so much!! Always love learning from you 🙂

  • Jonathan Wieder

    Hi Kate,

    I like this approach a lot, and I like that it implies a certain amount of respect for and thoughtfulness about the ingredients in our food. Having just been diagnosed with SIBO, I’ll be putting this approach to work in a couple of months. Are you aware of any RDs with SIBO experience in the San Francisco area?

  • Ashley

    Bless you Kate! I am so grateful for this! As a woman recovering from an eating disorder due to IBS and SIBO, this really hits home and helps me with my recovery journey!

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