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Thursday, April 14, 2011

oh geez, here we go "50 Best Low Calorie Snacks"...

"50 Best Low Calorie Snacks" as Good Housekeeping sees it...Taken directly from their article:
How we tested: The Good Housekeeping Research Institute Nutrition Department checked out 235 products — tossing anything with trans fats or too much saturated fat or sodium. Our focus: healthy, nutritious nibbles with filling protein and fiber. (We also green-lighted treats like chips and chocolate). Then, dozens of hungry volunteers sampled them and commented.

Read more: Best Low Calorie Snacks - Healthy Snack Food Ideas - Good Housekeeping 

Ok so they threw out anything with trans fats and too much saturated fat..nice first step.  Aiming for things with protein and fiber, I TOTALLY agree with that. "Green-lighting" chips and chocolate...hmmmm...why???? I thought they said 'healthy, nutritious nibbles'.  I guess they have a different definition of other reason to include those in any 'approved list' as far as I'm concerned.  ..And fed them to hungry people..yeah, that is a GREEEEEAT measure of a good snack.  I bet people will be touting how great these snacks are by the end of the day..telling all of their friends, family and probably their personal trainers as well.  

Good Housekeeping reader: "100 calorie snack pack of fudge petites and an iced coffee is a great low calorie snack!  I have it every day"
Me: "Really, why is it a great snack?"
GH reader: "well, it only has 100 calories"
Me: "ok, well if I made a 100 calorie snack pack of dog poop, would it be a good snack?"
GH reader: "No"
Me: "why not? it only has 100 calories."
GH reader: "well because it is dog poop."
Me: "riiiiight.  so you are saying that even if it is 100 calories, if it is dog poop then it isn't a good snack?"
GH reader: "yes"
Me: "ok, so tell me again why the 100 calorie pack of fudge petites is a good snack???"

Get it??? Just because it is 100 calories DOES NOT MEAN IT IS GOOD FOR YOU!!!!!!!
I have had enough of this marketing of 100 calorie packs ..of all kinds.  Who came up with this, and why does everyone love them??? Maybe I'll go one step further..I'm going to come up with the 50 calorie snack pack! Yep, just 50 calories, so OBVIOUSLY mine will be better.  Doesn't mater what I put in there as long as it is 50 calories.  I'll be rich, it'll be great.

Nah, I think I'd rather just get the word out that 100 calorie snack packs are NOT going to save the world, and will NOT solve your nutrition woes.  One hundred calories of processed crap is NEVER a good idea for a snack.  
Ok a hard boiled egg, but listed at #29 and with a V8. Ohh a pear at #49... and Number pretzel M&M's?????? WTF...REALLY???? I thought they were looking for protein and fiber?? Ohhh, maybe they forgot.  

Let's look at this did this list come into being...riiight, it was 'approved by a nutritionist and has 115-125 calories'.  First of all, I'd looove to meet this nutritionist and see what they eat everyday **wince**.  Second, if I make the serving size small enough I could put ANYTHING on this list.  What about dog poop? Yep, I can put that on there.  What about crack or cocaine? I don't even think they have calories, do they?? Wow, that would be the top of the list.  
Some of you may think I am being a bit ridiculous about this.  Not intended to be ridiculous...just trying to get your attention... to illustrate a point....But to be completely honest, allowing publication of lists like this including most of the items they did is, in my opinion, just like listing dog poop, crack and cocaine as great snacks.  Things like this only add to the frustration and confusion of those attempting to better their health and nutrition habits.
Way to go Good Housekeeping...

Hold on, on second thought..THANK YOU Good just pointed out 50 things people don't need to eat as that IS a help.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Shopping on a now, pay later

Ok all you budget conscious folks, this one is for you.  Healthy eating does not have to break the let's ditch that common excuse. (Yes, I did say excuse)  Sure, crap food is  But how much will you be paying later? First you'll have to buy bigger clothes.  After packing on those extra pounds you'll still need to get dressed. Then the cost of time off from work for the doctor's visits.  The cost of the prescriptions for high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, depression and possibly even cancer.

Now that we are focused on our health..and the money involved there..let's see what can help us save money in the store and in life. really expensive junk of an isle if you ask me.  Over $4 for a box of CornFlakes at Publix grocery stores...for a box of ummmm...dust, if you ask me.  Once was a 'whole food' (maybe) turned into dust smashed and stamped into a shape..oh wait that was AFTER vitamins were added BACK into it since the processing stripped all of the naturally occurring nutrients from it.  Oatmeal- whole grain oats..$2 and change. Low glycemic carbohydrate source, fiber, and saved you money.

Convenient protein sources- lunch meat, pre cooked chicken, turkey and steak.  Think again, how many carbohydrates do you think a protein source should have?? Hmmmm, I'm going to vote for....pretty much zero.  Ever read the labels of those convenience meats??  Yep, you're'll find some carbohydrates there. Why? Well, reading the ingredients you may find things like high fructose corn syrup, sugar, caramel colorings, fillers (corn, soy etc). Not too different from the cereal isle. What to do, what to do???  How about buying a whole turkey or chicken and cooking it at home.  Slice it up for snacks or salads... save yourself in the long run.  I didn't do the math here..someone else already did..check this out
Healthier AND more cost effective.

Keep eggs in mind as well. Great source of bioavailable protein and can be used in virtually every meal of the day for only pennies.

Fruits and veggies- jackpot of nutrients..just as long as they haven't suffered the same fate as most grocery store items..processed with added sugar!  Fresh fruits/veggies are not always a better choice..depending on how long those items have been aging vital nutrients may already be lost.  Frozen may be a little I said, be sure to read the ingredients-- no added sugar please.

So what do we buy when we head to the store? Of course there are variations, but these are staples in our house:

Whole grain oats
Sweet potatoes
Chicken breast
Ground turkey breast
Egg whites
Black beans
Kidney beans
Crushed tomato (to add to the chicken)
Whole raw almonds
Raw walnuts
Frozen strawberries
Frozen mixed berries
Miscellaneous "salad" veggies

"Saving money" now using coupons to buy processed, boxed pseudo-foods will only cost more in the long run.  Investing in yourself with healthy, nutrient rich foods will save you tons in the future.