Are Calories the Most Important Aspect of a Meal?
There’s a national commercial currently playing that features a woman sitting down to breakfast with a bowl of something that looks like nuts and seeds. We don’t get a great shot of it but she is quickly interrupted by a man wearing a sun costume. He inquires what she’s eating and she replies ‘it’s under 300 calories’, not what it is but just its calorie content. He then informs her that the white bread refined muffin, egg, cheese and sausage item he’s just taken out of the microwave is also under 300 calories and he sets it in front of her. He places her bowl on the windowsill where a bird alights and starts to eat it. He then declares: “Now everyone is happy.” What’s the message here?
She was eating ‘bird food’ that was inappropriate for her.
300 calories can be gotten from a more ‘appealing’ source than nuts and seeds – in this case an egg, cheese, sausage and white bread muffin.
It is also implying that all calories are created equal. As long as it’s ‘under 300 calories’ it’s a good breakfast.
Let’s take a look at this more closely. The ‘bird food’ that they were insulting was unprocessed, contained protein, fiber and good oils. At 300 calories, as proclaimed, it would be a not so terrible start to the day. I would prefer some fruits and vegetables along with the nuts and seeds, but it certainly wouldn’t get you into trouble, nutritionally speaking.
What would get you into trouble is what’s contained in the alternative item being promoted by this commercial. The ‘lovely’ egg, cheese, white bread and sausage product (let’s not call it food) exemplifies all that’s wrong with what Americans eat.
The Ingredients of a ‘Frankenfood’
Here are some of the standout ingredients:
Enriched bleached flour –understand that ‘enriched’ means that they remove all the fiber and nutrients from a gluten-containing flour and then add in shabby versions of some B vitamins, leaving a refined product devoid of anything nutritious.
Dough conditioners – azodicarbonamide, datem. Yup, this is a chemistry experiment.
High fructose corn syrup – something that NO ONE should EVER eat. It causes obesity, heart disease, diabetes and inflammation (an initiator of all degenerative diseases). It also contains mercury residues, a known toxin.
Preservatives – potassium sorbate, calcium propionate. Yup, more chemicals. Artificial flavors, distilled spices, sodium phosphates, monosodium glutamate (a potential nervous system toxin), fumaric acid.
I think you get the idea… And all of the above are just the ingredients for the English Muffin!!
The sausage patty has sodium lactate, sugar, sodium phosphates, more monosodium glutamate, sodium diacetate and caramel color.
The grilled egg has ‘ingredients’ too. Do you find that shocking? You should, because the ‘ingredients’ of an egg should be ‘egg’, period. But no, this egg contains soybean oil, nonfat dry milk, modified corn starch, xanthan gum, artificial butter flavor, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil (NEVER consume hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils – these are trans fats and they cause heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer), lipolyzed butter oil (don’t even ask!), artificial flavors. Yup – that’s the ‘ingredient list’ for the egg. And no, we’re not done yet.
The ‘pasteurized process [no that isn’t a typo on my part, they say ‘process’ not ‘processed’] American cheese’ contains artificial color, sodium citrate, sodium phosphate, sorbic acid, lactic acid and artificial color. Wow, are you excited to put that in your body?
Believe me the birds got the best end of the deal in this commercial.
Are Food Companies Telling You the Truth?
I’m sorry if I sound cynical, but the false advertising that we receive as Americans from companies who have been feeding America for generations and are quote-unquote really trying to ‘take care of us’ is making me sick. Not literally because I don’t touch the stuff, but it makes me feel ill and it definitely makes the consumers who are eating it GET ill. But it’s only 300 calories!
Calories are not created equal. If I can get this point across I’ll be happy today. Eating 300 calories of the above is creating disease. Eating 300 calories of a green smoothie with a handful of nuts on the side is creating health.
What is Your Food Choice Telling Your Body
Food is information. Your food tells your body what to do and therefore it creates how you feel. If you wanted to lose weight and you were told that a 300 calorie breakfast was what you should consume, believe me, the above egg and muffin would create no benefit. In fact it would only ensure that you continued to be overweight and ill.
As a clinical nutritionist I’m not a fan of gluten or dairy products because so many people react negatively to them, but let’s just do an exercise and ‘rebuild’ that egg muffin.
We could start with an egg. Ingredients: egg, period. We could add a whole grain such as cooked quinoa or brown rice. Ingredients: quinoa or rice. We could put some daiya cheese on it. Ingredients: Filtered water, tapioca and/or arrowroot flours, non-GMO expeller pressed canola and /or non-GMO expeller pressed safflower oil, coconut oil, pea protein, salt, vegan natural flavors, inactive yeast, vegetable glycerin, xanthan gum, citric acid (for flavor), titanium dioxide (a naturally occurring mineral). A little longer ingredient list than I prefer, but at least nothing scary or artificial. Last, if you want some meat you could use some turkey bacon or chicken sausage. Ingredients for a turkey bacon: organic turkey, water, contains less than 2% of the following: sea salt, celery powder, organic evaporated cane syrup, organic onion powder. Yes, you would need to cook the bacon and egg and put it on a bed of quinoa or rice, adding the daiya.
Yes, it wouldn’t come out of your freezer pre-packaged and ready to microwave, but why would you want it to? Because it’s convenient? So is a candy bar, but are you going to have it for breakfast? Please don’t say yes, please!
Are You What You Eat?
We need to stop, think and read ingredients. We need to put more time into food preparation if we care about how we feel. If you don’t care if your body has a degenerative disease like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disease and you don’t care if you’re obese, then by all means listen to what commercials and ads tell you to eat.
If you would instead prefer to enjoy a healthy, active, energetic life with your healthy friends and family, then I suggest you take a good, hard look at what you’re putting in your mouth. Is it overwhelming? It certainly can be. But that’s why we’re here. We’ll help you to discover what your body needs, what it should avoid, and the best way to reverse the damage that has occurred.
The human body is an amazing machine and it never ceases to amaze me how readily it heals and repairs itself with the correct help. Please don’t ‘fall’ for the calorie trick. All calories are not created equal and just because something is advertised as low calorie is no reason to eat it.
Read those ingredients. And remember, ‘real food’ doesn’t normally have an ingredient list. E.g. carrot, apple, kale, egg. I hope this was helpful. If you need to improve your health we are happy to assist you.
Is Your Health At Its Optimum?
If not, we can help you recleanse and regain your health—contact us for a FREE CONSULTATION. Call (408) 733-0400 to schedule. Our medical center is located in Sunnyvale, CA. If you are not local to us, our DESTINATION CLINIC treats patients from across the country and internationally. We will help you find the underlying root cause!
To your health,
Dr. Vikki Petersen
IFM Certified Practitioner
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Author of “The Gluten Effect”
Author of eBook: “Gluten Intolerance – What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You!”