When Is A Calorie Not Just A Calorie?
When you hear the word ‘calories’ do you immediately think of diets and weight loss?
Would you choose a food or turn down a food based on calories alone?
If so, you might be missing out on some quality options.
Making Every Bite Count
According to the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the top five sources of energy (calories) in young children’s diets are grain desserts, pizza and soda. “Nearly 40% of total calories consumed by 2-18 year olds were in the form of empty calories.”*
Children have such small space in their stomach but such high nutrition needs for growing that every bite they take counts. When they fill up on foods and beverages that don’t give them any nutrients, their growth and development can be compromised.
When adults eat foods that don’t keep them full and satisfied, they feel hungry sooner and often end up consuming two to three times what their bodies need.
Not All Calories Are Created Equally
Instead of comparing only calories in a food, compare what your body gets back from that product.
For example, one glazed donut is about 250 calories. It’s loaded with fat, saturated fat and trans fats. The refined white flour, sugar, water and yeast won’t keep you full for long.
On the other hand, three Green Plate Kitchen banana chocolate chip muffins have about the same calories as the donut BUT you’d get over 10% of your daily fiber and iron recommendations and about 70% less fat. The ingredients include whole wheat flour, real eggs, unsweetened applesauce and butternut squash puree…A list any parent and nutritionist would approve.
It’s time to stop judging food by calories alone and start asking “What am I getting back from this?” If the food label and ingredient list offer nothing but refined flours, sugar and fat, put it back on the shelf and look for something else!
Choosing food with ingredients that nourish and fuel your family is the key to maintaining a healthy weight, feeling energized and more focused throughout the day.
by: Louise Goldberg RD, CSP, LD, CNSC for Green Plate Foods
Learn more about Green Plate Kitchen by visiting our website and our Facebook page.