Now that the Halloween candy is beginning to dwindle, it may be time to start thinking about that diet you kind of never really started in the first place.
I, for one, have never been a fan of diets and was thrilled when I learned that eating less of what you want is just as good of an idea.
Still, two Snickers bars instead of four have yet to yield any positive results on my scale, though I’m waiting patiently.
If you are like me and consider orange soda a fruit, get informed. The foods you are eating might be healthier than you thought, and the “healthy” foods you’ve been avoiding might not be that nutritious after all.
Granola Bars: Fat in disguise. Have you ever felt guilty consuming a chocolate bar when the person next to you snacked on granola? Granola has always been advertised as chewy and nutritious, and is a staple in lunch bags and cafeterias everywhere.
However, my latest stop at 7-Eleven here on campus revealed few differences between granola bars and candy bars. A Milky Way bar, weighing in at 2.05oz, has fewer fat grams per ounce than a Nutri-Grain Chewy Granola.
Additionally, when the masses are equaled, the Nutri-Grain tips the calorie scales at almost 300 when the Milky Way rests at 270. Not that the latter is much better for you, but it is cheaper. Next time you want a sweet snack, I say forgo the granola altogether.
Bread: Which is the lesser of two evils?
I hope some of you out there are as thrilled as I am that Atkins is on its way out. Yes, the arguments against too much bread are convincing, but so are the arguments against too much of anything.
What is important here is what kind of bread products you eat, and how not to be tricked by labels.
It is common to believe brown breads are more nutritious than white. Because of this, many bread companies have started to add coloring to their white breads. This is why the label is so important.
The most significant ingredient is whole wheat. If any mention of enriching or bleaching is mentioned, you’re probably holding colored white bread.
According to The New York Times health columnist Jane Brody, 30 percent of the calories in bread are not absorbed by the body. If you eat a slice of bread with 100 calories your body will only absorb 70.
Peanut Butter: Healthy! Remember peanut butter sandwiches? I think those went out of style with the spandex shorts of our childhood.
Logically, anything as thick and heavy as peanut butter has got to be bad news. According to the Food and Drug Administration, diets using one ounce of nuts per day may reduce your risk of heart disease.
Though this has been believed to be true for some time, many people felt that processing peanuts caused the final product to suffer diminished nutritional values. However, recent studies at the University of Georgia have revealed that processing removes no more than five percent of the nuts’ vitamins.
By law, store bought peanut butters are required to contain at least 90 percent peanuts, and that equals more vitamins for you. What are you waiting for? Go slap some peanut butter onto some whole wheat bread and you’ve got yourself a guiltless snack.
Doughnuts: Healthy? OK, I’m not going to go as far as saying doughnuts are healthy, even though that would be a miracle.
Instead, I’m going to stick with the weight issue of peanut butter and offer this basic tip: density is a huge factor in both calorie and fat amounts.
Self magazine compared a muffin to a doughnut and produced surprising results: the lightness and fluffiness of the doughnut allows more room for air and less for the actual doughnut. Hence, it has less fat than the solid muffin.
Additionally, the same approach works for desserts. In comparing an ice cream sundae to a milkshake, the milkshake has more fat and calories.
When a milkshake is made, the blender takes out all the remaining air, which leads to more ice cream and way more calories.
Michelle Nicoletto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.