Saturday, May 5, 2018

Nutrition Labels: BMI = 27.9

When my diet was at it’s worst, I dreaded reading nutrition labels. Learning to objectively evaluate the nutrition of my food was a difficult yet necessary step. Today I grabbed three boxes of healthy-looking cereals. Even now, it takes me a while to evaluate the labels. For this reason, I usually just look at the ingredients and avoid anything that has any form of sugar added to it. The problem with the above labels is they give the nutritional values for tiny portions that aren’t nearly enough to fill me up until lunch. The box on the left suggests a 160-calorie breakfast. Give me a break! I eat about 600 calories at breakfast. Even if I chose the box on the right, I would need to either eat two servings or grab a muffin on my way to work. The ingredients are mostly visible for the box in the middle and reveal sugar, corn syrup, honey, molasses, dried cane syrup, malt extract, and monoglycerides. That’s seven sources of sugar. Nope. The worst part is that the middle box is the least sugary. It has 10 grams of sugar in a 210 calories serving. Remember that sugar is 4 calories per gram. That means that 40 of the 210 calories (19%) are derived from sugar.

My Red River cereal has no added sugars, so a 140-calorie serving has a mass of 180 grams – a LOT more than the meager 50-gram portions for the above cereals. That kind of bulkiness sticks to my ribs and helps me avoid snacking. I’ve already posted about all the other things I eat at breakfast in my last entry so I’ll forego rehashing that here and move back onto labels.

I tend to avoid breaded foods like this – even though there are cooking instructions to reheat them in the oven. The problem is that, in most cases, the fat content is as high as for a deep-fried version of the same dish. The 11 grams of fat in the suggested portion constitutes 99 calories (9 calories for each gram of fat). Those 99 calories are almost half the 220 calories in the serving. I’m not trying to go super low on my fat intake but I avoid eating anything that derives more than 30% of it’s calories from fat.

Here’s a meal that doesn’t contain much fat or sugar – but also doesn’t contain much food. At 190 calories, I’m going to need to eat 2 or 3 of these things to get full and by the time I do that I’ll have had 42 to 63 percent of my fat intake for the whole day in just one meal.

Yum! A pound of mac’n’cheese! At 510 calories this is a full meal but, sadly, it is spiked with 55% of a day’s worth of salt. I avoid meals that have more than 30% of daily salt requirement. I’m not very concerned with the 18 grams of fat, but the fact that nearly half of that fat is saturated or trans fat isn’t good. This meal doesn’t claim to be healthy though, only to be a satisfying and delicious meal. I believe that claim but will look for something healthier.

Oh no, here’s the info on the snack mix that I used to wolf-down. They suggest a 50-gram serving and that wouldn’t kill me. What was killing me was that I would plow through a 280-gram bag in about an hour just before bed. That meant 1400 calories, 72 grams of fat, and 2520 mg of sodium as a bed-time snack. Ouch. After trying to starve myself all day, though, I couldn’t resist.

Stouffers calls this a ‘fit bowl’. At 340 calories, I think it is a bit shy of being a full meal. Having 24 grams of protein and yet only 8 grams of fat, I tend to agree that this bowl is fit. It isn’t loaded with sugar and has only 1/3rd of daily salt intake. It isn’t a low sodium meal, but at least it isn’t totally spiked with salt. The rice is whole grain, and there are black beans. I’ll have to stretch this meal out a bit, but I decided to buy it.

I decided to add some hulled barley, low-sodium chicken broth, and about a cup of chopped carrot and broccoli. That will bring the above meal up over 500 calories, double the whole grains, and ensure I’m getting enough veggies.

I cooked my barley in the lower part of my steamer and then put the ‘fit bowl’ in the top to heat it up.

With a little Sambal, this turned into a great and really filling meal.

No comments:

Post a Comment