It’s going to be a hot one here on Long Island, and I write this to you from my parents’ home. Every Tuesday and Friday, I visit my hometown of Port Washington, and work with my grandmother on rehab from hip replacement surgery last summer, and my dad on improving his strength, tone and overall cardiovascular health. While my Dad is actually away for the next couple of weeks, I’m taking the morning to help out my grandmother, who needs a ride to and from a doctor’s appointment. This is something my Dad would usually help her out with, but with him gone, I’m the point man on these types of ventures 😉
Anyway, let’s get into it, shall we? Earlier this morning, a former client of mine sent me a link to a radio show clip and transcript that reviewed ‘The Least Healthy Chain Restaurant Foods.’ Upon further examination of the article, I agreed with the guest that all the chains and meals listed were, indeed, unhealthy, but for much different reasons than what was reviewed on air.
You see, we’ve been force-fed this notion that calories are the be-all, end-all of nutrition. If you take in more calories than you expend, then you’re in BIG trouble! And that’s all this clip covered: The caloric content of the meals. And while one can argue that these meals did have quite a few ’empty’ calories, this isn’t the item that folks should concern themselves with the most!
Take, for example, the Cheese Curd Bacon Burger with fries at Buffalo Wild Wings. Like with the five other examples given in the segment, the very first thing analyzed for each chain and subsequent meal is the high caloric content. In this particular example, there was a further comparison to this burger being calorically equivalent to eating five bacon double cheeseburgers at Burger King.
Calories, calories, calories…
While I don’t advise my clients to EVER count calories because this method of diet is NOT a sustainable practice, I will admit that short-term calorie counting does work to reduce weight. That being said, there’s a lot more to Permanent Weight Loss and to health than the mere calorie count of a given food. At many of these chain restaurants, there are cheap, processed, filler ingredients that are extremely detrimental to one’s health – Let alone one’s weight loss efforts!
Common examples include cooking with vegetable oils, preservatives, and artificial coloring. When cooking or re-heating foods with vegetable oils, the likelihood of trans fat being created is very high. Trans fat is a man-made, carcinogenic substance that comes to be when vegetable oil is heated at a medium-to-high temperature. The chemical composition of the oil changes during heating, which turns it into this harmful compound.
To give off the illusion of freshness and tastiness, many chain restaurants and fast food joints use preservatives. These give their products (often originally made at a large manufacturingfacility) a longer shelf-life and a better perceived quality, but can do quite a bit of damage to our bodies. This damage includes, but is not limited to: Asthma, behavioral changes (particularly hyperactivity in young children), heart disease and various forms of cancer.
Lastly, food colorings are still legal here in the States, and in some other countries in the ‘industrialized world,’ as well. These can lead to several forms of cancer, as well, such as adrenal, bladder, brain and kidney.
These are just a few of the MANY harmful, hidden ingredients found in the processed foods you can purchase at both chain and fast food restaurants! These same chemicals are found in many processed foods you’ll find at the grocery store, as well, so please, please, PLEASE, buy real, whole, organic foods as often as possible!! If there’s a long chemical name, a vegetable oil, or a color like ‘red-62’ in the Ingredient List, then it’s NOT real food – Don’t eat it!!!
Anyway, I hope this helps you to better grasp the concept that there’s a lot more to good, quality nutrition than the mere caloric content of a food. Until tomorrow!
P.S If you feel you need more help on the nutritional side, then you’re definitely going to want to invest in my Food Guide and Healthy Recipe Book!
The Food Guide lays out the three phases of nutrition I use with my Permanent Weight Loss clients. Phase 1 gets you in the habit of making healthier choices, while Phase 2 really cleans up the frequency with which you eat healthier. Phase 3 is a strict macronutrient breakdown that will help expedite the process of weight loss, all while improving your health and making your body a well-oiled machine!
My Healthy Recipe Book includes 72 recipes spanning breakfast,lunch, dinner, snacks, appetizers and desserts. I’m constantly adding to it, but these recipes are easy to make, simple and enable you to have your cake and eat it, too!
Normally, I sell each of these books for $10 a piece, but because I’m feeling generous today, you can get BOTH for just $13.99! 🙂
To get your copies, please go to www.weightlossbypete.com/foodguiderecipes.