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Quality Calories

Quality Calories

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Quality Calories

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  1. Quality Calories Feed yourself the right stuff!

  2. Choices…. • A McDonald’s Cheeseburger has about 300 calories • A Homemade Chicken and Veggie* wrap has about 300 calories But which one feeds you better? *Contains roasted chicken, asparagus, carrot, spinach, Italian vinaigrette on a whole wheat wrap.

  3. Quality is Everything!! McDonald’s Cheeseburger Chicken Veggie Wrap While the foods have similar caloric content, they have very different nutrient values. The cheeseburger is high in saturated fat. It also has a lot of carbohydrates and little fiber. The burger supplies a small amount of calcium and iron, and the few isolated nutrients added during the enrichment process of the flour in the bun. The wrap supplies a more reasonable amount of fat and a higher quality protein. It also offsets the high amount of carbohydrates by providing 7 grams of fiber. The vegetables in the wrap provide high amounts of beta carotene, vitamins B6, C, and K, as well as folate and potassium.

  4. What’s it got to do with losing weight? We often spend so much time focused on the number of calories we take in, that we don’t consider what those calories are doing for our bodies. If we choose the cheeseburger, we are consuming very simple carbohydrates from the bun that are quickly turned into sugar and stored as fat. The burger also has a processed patty and cheese that are filled with preservatives and saturated fats. The wrap provides whole foods in the vegetables and roasted chicken, as well as the whole wheat. The balance of healthy fats, fiber, and protein helps your body to use the nutrients more efficiently and is less likely than processed foods to increase blood glucose levels. When blood glucose levels rise rapidly, we begin to crave more carbohydrate foods, ultimately sabotaging our plan to avoid overeating.

  5. It’s Complicated Changing your lifestyle to adopt healthier choices is not easy. It is also not self explanatory. We have to wade through the messages sent by media and the misinformation innocently handed over by people trying to help. There are a few things that can help you make the best choices. They are simple guidelines on what to look for. These guidelines can help if you are trying to lose weight or if you are just trying to “clean up” your diet.

  6. Read the label…or skip the label • Read the ingredients of the food you are about to eat • Look at the calories in each serving • Understand the serving size • Look at the number of calories from fat • Compare the carbohydrates to the fiber content • Eat foods that don’t come with labels…like fresh fruits and vegetables

  7. What Questions should we ask? • How close to its original form is the food? • Has it been processed in a factory? • Is it from a box? • Is it from a can? • Is it from a drive-thru? • How many places have handled before you? • How fresh is the food? • Is it from your garden? • Is it from a local farm? • Is it organic and non-GMO? • How was the food prepared? • Did you Prepare the food? • What ingredients were added? • How long was it cooked?

  8. Why does it matter? • Food that has been processed often loses significant nutrient value, compared to its original form. Parts of whole foods are removed to make them last longer, and ultimately making the foods less nutrient dense. They are also filled with preservatives that can impair our bodies’ ability to absorb nutrients or contribute to other health problems. • Fresher foods have higher nutrient content. Berries, for instance, can lose more than 50% of their nutrient value within the 1st 2 days after harvest. • Knowing how your food is prepared allows you to know what ingredients have been added and whether or not the nutrients have been lost to overcooking.

  9. Better Choices • An apple instead of applesauce • A baked sweet potato instead of French fries • Baked chicken instead of chicken nuggets • Whole wheat wrap instead of white bread • Trail mix instead of a candy bar • Guacamole instead of processed chip dip • Herbal tea instead of soda

  10. Things to Remember • All calories are not equal • Micronutrients are important too • The more processed the food the fewer the benefits • Whole fresh foods provide more satiety and reduce cravings • Knowing where your food comes from limits poor quality surprise ingredients • There are many alternatives to heavily marketed unhealthy snack foods