Unlock Untapped Potential For Health. Don’t Count Calories.
Too many people have wings and don’t use them to fly. They have not been taught how. It’s like living in a locked cage and never leaving, when you already have the key.
Let’s talk about Myth #1 – Calories need to be controlled to lose weight.
How many people have heard that before? Probably close to 100%. How many people believe that and make nutrition choices based on that belief? I would guess 90% or more.
You may be asking yourself, “Wait a minute, how is that a myth? I thought that’s a true statement. It’s a given, right? Like the sky is blue, correct?”
Actually here is the true reality – Calories are nearly irrelevant. Nutrients matter most. Count nutrients, rather than calories.
Why do I say this?
I’ll explain. Let’s start with an example. Compare what 100 calories of a few different foods look like in size, nutrient quality, health benefits, and analyze what occurs within the body after ingesting each food.
Consider the following:
- 100 calories of chicken breast (primarily protein).
- 100 calories of cooked peas (primarily protein and carbohydrate).
- 100 calorie of butter (100% fat).
- 100 calories of almonds (primarily protein and fat).
- 100 calories of broccoli (primarily carbohydrate & fiber).
- 100 calories of refined white sugar (100% simple sugar carbohydrate).
Each of these 6 food items contain protein, fat, and/or carbohydrate (the three macronutrient categories).
100 Calories of Chicken Breast.
100 calories = 2 oz or ⅓ average piece of cooked chicken breast, which is equal to the size of 2/3 of a deck of cards. 100 calories contains about 16 grams or 64% protein, and about 4 grams or 36% fat.
100 Calories of Peas.
100 calories = about 3/4 cup of cooked peas; Contains 4 grams or 4% fat, 17 grams or 73% carbs, and 5 grams or 23% protein.
100 Calories of Butter.
100 calories of butter is a little less than 1 tablespoon. Contains 11 grams or 100% fat.
100 Calories of Raw Almonds.
100 calories of almonds is equivalent to about 19 almonds; Contains 8 grams or 73% fat, 2.8 grams or 10% carbs, and 4 grams or 17% protein.
100 Calories of Broccoli.
100 calories of broccoli is 3-1/2 cups chopped. It contains 1 gram or .9% fat, 20 grams or 75% carbs, and 7 grams or 24% protein.
100 Calories of Sugar.
100 calories is 4 heaping teaspoons. Contains 25 grams or 100% carbs.
Now ask yourself a few questions.
One. Would eating 100 calories of sugar provide high quality nutrients, improve my health, satisfy my hunger, and make me feel full?
Probably not. Sugar, truly is nothing but empty calories. It contains no vitamins, minerals, fiber, anti-oxidants, or phyto-chemicals. Sugar leads us to crave even more sugar. Scientific study, after scientific study, demonstrate eating a high content processed sugar food creates a craving for more processed sugar. Even more damaging is this fact, because sugar contains no nutrients, the body must draw from stored nutrients within the body, to provide energy to facilitate the process of digestion. Digestion is work and requires energy in the form of nutrients to complete the process. Eating high concentrations of sugar leave the body with fewer nutrients than were within the body before eating the sugar. Because sugar depletes nutrients, it also depletes and diminishes health.
Because nutrients are lacking from sugar, it leaves the body hungry, requiring more food nutrients, and leading to a high likelihood of overeating. The intake of refined simple sugar signals the brain to release insulin into the blood stream. Insulin in turn, doing the job it was designed to do, would push the empty calories into body fat stores, to be stored as excess fat into the already existing body fat storage sites. In other words and to put it bluntly, the body would get fatter.
In fact, excess refined sugar consumption has been shown to be dangerous to our health. It increases inflammation, heart disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes risk; to name a few.
Scoring sugar for health, it receives four red minuses (-,-,-,-); one in nutrition, one in health improvement, one in hunger satisfaction rating, and one for satiety or feeling full.
Two. Would eating 100 calories of butter provide high quality nutrients, improve my health, satisfy my hunger, and make me feel full?
Probably not. Most likely you would still feel hungry and would want to eat more food. One tablespoon is not much in the way of food volume.
Butter is 100% saturated fat, and 1 tablespoon of butter is not going to kill you. However, there are healthier fats which don’t have the same risk of building up plaque in the arteries, as does butter. Polyunsaturated fats, such as Omega III are necessary for health. They make up and maintain the structural integrity of the cellular membrane, and carry fat soluble vitamins, such as A, D, E and K into the cells.
Butter, though it tastes delicious, is not considered an essential fat for health and therefore would not necessarily improve health. Even though 100 calories of butter is not significant in causing plaque build-up to begin in the arteries, it could, if an already built-up plaque problem did exist, lead to further narrowing of the blood flow pathway and result in a stroke or heart attack.
Butter does contain micronutrients vitamin A and calcium, but not nearly the amount of other healthier foods such as peas (17 micronutrients), broccoli (18), almonds (16), and chicken (7). Peas, broccoli, and almonds do not carry the same potential risk of stroke or heart attack, as does butter.
Scoring butter for health, it receives four red minuses (-,-,-,-); one in nutrition, one in health improvement, one in hunger satisfaction rating, and one for high health risk association.
Three. Would eating 100 calories of chicken breast provide quality nutrients, improve my health, satisfy my hunger, and make me feel full?
Probably not in all areas. Most likely it would make you feel a little less hungry, but would leave you unsatisfied. Two ounces of chicken is not much, only the size of 2/3 of a deck of cards. It may take the edge of your hunger for a bit, but would lead you to want more food to feel satisfied volume-wise.
The chicken does contain lean protein, yet has no fiber, and fewer amounts of vitamins & minerals than do peas, almonds or broccoli. Chicken would improve health, yet does carry some risk due to the saturated fat. The same type of saturated fat that butter contains.
Chicken also has very few phytonutrients. If any exist, it is due to the fact that the chicken may have been fed vegetables, such as corn, which do contain phytonutrients.
Scoring chicken for health, it receives three green pluses (+, +, +); one in nutrition, one in health improvement, one in satisfaction rating, and one red minus (-) for high health risk association.
Four. Would eating 100 calories of almonds provide quality nutrients, improve my health, satisfy my hunger, and make me feel full?
Probably so in all areas. Almonds are quite satiating. Most likely your hunger would be gone and you would feel contently satisfied. Almonds are high in healthy fats, protein, fiber, & phytonutrients.
Scoring almonds for health, it receives four green pluses (+, +, +, +); one for nutrition, one in health improvement, one in satisfaction rating, and one for low health risk association.
Five. Would eating 100 calories of peas provide quality nutrients, improve my health, satisfy my hunger, and make me feel full?
Most likely so in all areas. By eating 3/4 cup of peas, your hunger would be gone and you would feel satisfied. Peas are high in protein (more then even almonds), vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytonutrients; and low in fat. The moderate amount of carbs, 17 grams, provides satiety and satisfies hunger.
Scoring peas for health, it receives four green pluses (+, +, +, +); one for nutrition, one in health improvement, one in satisfaction rating, and one for low health risk association.
Six. Would eating 100 calories of broccoli provide quality nutrients, improve my health, satisfy my hunger, and make me feel full?
Most likely so in all areas. It’s doubtful you could even finish eating 3 and 1/2 cups of chopped broccoli. You would probably feel over full and uncomfortable. Broccoli is high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, low in fat; and even contains a moderate amount of protein.
Scoring broccoli for health, it receives four green pluses (+, +, +, +); one for nutrition, one in health improvement, one in satisfaction rating, and one for low health risk association.
100 calories of sugar is not even close to equaling the nutrient density of 100 calories of broccoli, almonds or peas.
Sugar, even though it is equal in terms of calories, is severely lacking in nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytonutrients, and enzymes. Even more damaging, sugar causes insulin levels to rapidly rise in the body, where broccoli, almonds, and peas do not.
Even though all six of these food items contain equal amounts of calories, their nutrient benefits and potential health risks are nowhere near equal. High consumption of sugar is linked with several diseases, while peas, broccoli, and almonds have been shown to prevent disease. I hope you can begin to understand why counting nutrients has a much greater impact on your health outcome than does counting calories. Clearly, calories are irrelevant when it comes to health – nutrients matter and are most important.
Use this key to unlock your cage of misinformation, spread your wings of empowerment and fly.
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