Oh happy day, it’s Friday! It has been quite the week spent away at training for 12 hours each day this week, so this Friday could not come soon enough. I am happily giving my brain a much needed vaca this weekend after receiving a full blow of new info on SOP’s RFP’s, and plenty more acronyms where those came from, thanks to the folks at NFSMI (hey look! another acronym!)
Not to mention the fact that my mind will be doing double duty trying to figure out all of the things I didn’t know I should be doing, and trying to do them. Do it.
Moving right along, I happily arrived home Wednesday night to a package at my doorstep from one of my favorite food companies, Larabar. They are the makers of all-natural fruit & nut bars that are vegan, gluten and dairy free, and free from added sugars.
I will be giving a full recap on one of their new lines call ALT bars which I am probably too excited for my own good about. With flavors like pumpkin pie and peanut butter cookie, how could you not be excited?! I started my morning off with one of the lemon pound cake bars. In the words of Marie Antoinette’s brother’s best friend’s wife’s cousin, “Have your lemon pound cake fruit & nut bar, and eat it for breakfast….too.”
A while back, I had asked a lucky group of randomly, but specifically chosen people to answer some nutrition-related questions in what I officially like to call “The Sinful Nutrition Survey”.
Catchy, right? I know, brilliance is my maiden name. Coming from a nutrition background, I wanted to see the general thought or impression was for my own nutrition geek curiosity. Below are the questions as well as the most popular answer, and my own 2 cents about it. It was interesting to see what most people thought about each question, and also some of the variety in answers. Heregoes…
1.) What do you think of when I say “low-fat”?
Most popular answer(s): Healthier, low-calorie, and yogurt.
I thought it was funny how much “yogurt” came up as an answer to this. I guess the dairy council has done their job to get the low-fat dairy word out there. I was expecting however, that “healthier” would be a popular answer as well. Here’s where the RD butts in.
Now don’t get my wrong, low-fat can in fact be a healthier option, but there’s more to the story. It’s like a salesman saying, “I will give you $500 for FREE”. Hey, that sounds pretty good to me, but I would question what else there is to the deal.
A lot of times, foods that are stated to be ‘low-fat’ replace the fat with sugar. Fat is flavor, so when you take it out, something else has to be added so it doesn’t taste like packing peanuts, and most of the time it is sugar or salt.
It is important to read the label and the ingredients list to see if sugar is added. A lot of times the food isn’t lower in calories, but just lower in fat. It is more important to eat products without trans fat (partially hydrogenated oil), rather than fat itself.
2.) What is more important, diet or exercise?
Most popular answer: Diet.
Nutritionist says… Trick question, it’s both.
While you may think I’d be bias and say diet is way more important than exercise, but I couldn’t disagree more. I think it is a fine balance of the two to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle
. I do think it’s true that in order to benefit from exercise you need to have a good diet first. I’ve heard countless fitness professionals say “Abs are made in the kitchen”, which is to say eating right will give you better results than doing 1,000 crunches each day.
Most people who are trying to lose weight focus a lot on their diet, which is great but that will only get you so far. One day you will reach a “plateau” where no matter how good you eat, the numbers on the scale won’t budge. This is when exercise comes to the rescue!
By adding in exercise or switching up your routine, it will “trick” your body and lead to more fat loss and muscle gain. Bottom line, it is important to start with a healthy diet, but follow-up with exercise for a healthy lifestyle.
3.) How do you keep track of your health?
Most popular answer: I don’t / How I look or feel
I was pleasantly surprised to see how many of you said you track your health by how you look or feel. It’s nice to see less and less people sticking to the numbers on the scale as the ONLY way to tell if you are healthy or not. I think these can be very misleading, and often a discouragement to those trying to adapt a healthier lifestyle or lose weight.
Ditch the scale! While your weight can be a good general indicator for your health, don’t rely on it to dictate how ‘healthy’ you are. It’s more dependent on how you feel such as your energy level, general mood, and how your clothes fit than whether or not the number on the scale went up or down.
The only time I step foot on a scale is at the doctor’s office, but generally care more about how ceiling tiles are in the waiting room than what the numbers on the scale are. You could notice that your pants are getting bigger on you, but the number on the scale has not budged for the past 2 weeks. Why? Muscle’s why.
Muscle tissue is more dense than fat tissue, meaning that it takes a smaller amount of muscle to equal a larger amount of fat. If you are replacing fat with muscle, your weight may not change, but since it takes up less space than fat, your clothes are getting baggier, and you are losing inches around your waist. It’s more important to listen to your body than the scale to tell you if you are on the right track.
4.) Do you read a food label on a product before you buy it?
Most popular answer: No.
Tisk, tisk. How many times do I gotta tell you. READ YOUR LABELS.
If a product is labeled “all natural” or “gluten free”, that means squat about whether or not it is healthy. A gluten free cookie is going to have the same amount of calories and fat of a regular cookie. We all know how big companies target their products to kids with cartoons, cute characters, and free toys, but the same thing happens to adults with the health claims stuck on the front of the box.
The truth lies in the label, specifically the ingredient list. The #1 criminal is trans fat. A product can say it has 0 grams trans fat if a serving has less than 0.5 g. If you have more than one serving of that, you’d be getting more than 0.5 g, right?
Let’s go back to the beloved cookie. If a serving was 1 cookie, and it had 0.5 g of trans fat per cookie, and I had 4, that would be 2 g of trans fat. Know what the daily limit is? 2 g. And that’s just in my cookies! In order to bypass all the mess of keeping track of how much trans fat you had, make it simply by avoiding all products containing partially hydrogenated oils. These are the food devil. Avoid it like the plague.
Sorry to ruin Girl Scout cookies for you.
5.) What’s your favorite food?
Most popular answer: Pizza
I guess no matter the age, pizza rules.
This was just because I’m food obsessed. I’m not here to bash your favorite food and tell you how bad it is for you. There’s room for every food (except trans fat) in the diet. The world is a better place because of pizza. I like to believe it’s the Gandhi or Mother Theresa of the food world. Give pizza a chance.
For those of you who didn’t get a chance to participate, do now! Answer 1, 2, heck, answer ’em all!