What do those calories actually provide? Is it really about calories or the nutritional content in those calories?
Society has created a stigma that calories equal the enemy, when in reality calories equal energy.
Being calorie conscious might not be as beneficial as you might think. It is what makes up those calories that are ultimately the most important.
If you’ve visited the dairy section of the grocery store you would encounter a plethora of various brands of yogurts in multiple flavors, colors and containers. Which one would you choose? Do you choose the “light” strawberry low-calorie yogurt or the Greek 2% yogurt?
Let’s break it down:
Light strawberry yogurt
5 grams of protein
16 grams of carbohydrates
Greek 2% Plain yogurt
20 grams of protein
8 grams of carbohydrates
Your first reaction might be 2%? I only eat non-fat yogurt or skim milk. You may not realize it but you are skimming your protein and healthy fat as well, which may result in eating more than the 90 calories you intended.
The difference between both products is only 60 calories, yet the 150-calorie Greek yogurt contains four times the amount of protein, and half the carbs, which can increase satiation and fullness for 3-4 hours. When lunch comes you’ll be hungry but not ravenous.
When deciphering food products look at what the food actually contains rather than just the “healthy” label. More calories might equal increased amounts of protein, and fat, which equals nutrients that provide energy for sustenance.
Although we’d like the zero calorie brownie to exist in our dreams, we realize the one with cocoa, butter and calories will be the one we ultimately want to eat.
It’s the meaningful calories that provide energy, alertness and focus for success.
This blog was co-written by Susan Dopart and RD intern Elizabeth Wluka