Sunday, January 23, 2011

Protein: Spinach vs. Meat, and the Spinach wins???

If every food label was showing you what is in the product per 100 kcal, wouldn't that be less confusing than doing it by weight? Here an example. I am looking at a package of chicken sold at the supermarket: Serving size 1/2 a chicken breast, only 142 kcal, loads of protein and not too much fat. Looks healthy! Right? (Even the red meat next to it seems unhealthier as it has more fat).

Now maybe lets get some Spinach along with this. Everyone knows Spinach is healthy, good for you. Serving size is half a cup and there are only 20 kcal in a serving AND Vitamins! Everyone knows those are good for you, but what else really is in Spinach? In our 20 kcal serving it looks like a little touch of everything but not enough of anything to sustain us. Right??? (Same with Asparagus and other Vegetables).

What if we recalculate the whole thing so one does not have to calculate nutrition out every time we are at the supermarket? What if we just decided to label everything in a way were a label would tell you what is in 100 kcal of a product and how much you would need to eat of it to consume those 100 kcal as the "portion" size?

I know I would like this! It would make shopping a faster experience all together. I would grab that 100 kcal pack of Spinach Salad, the 100 kcal Pack of Asparagus and a 100 kcal "portion" of an apple and be out of there, knowing I just bought 300 kcal worth of food that holds plenty of Vitamins and other things that are good for you.

But hold on! Where is the Protein? Don't we all need Protein to feed our Muscles?

Right, nobody can live of some Vitamins, Water and Fiber alone! What else is there in Vegetables right? I can tell you: Good Protein! Good Carbohydrates! Vitamins! Nutrients straight from the Vegetable to your body, unprocessed!
When I tell this to people they do believe me sometimes, but they do not believe the Protein part. Well if we had food that was labeled correctly for us at the Stores we would all know by heart that for example a lean Beef actually has LESS Protein per 100 kcal than for example Spinach! So Spinach, a Vegetable holds more Protein than meat!!! Yup, check it out and please feel free to calculate it yourself. (I threw the original chicken and Asparagus in there as well so you get the whole picture).

So I would propose to just eat loads more Vegetables as they do hold all the good stuff that your body needs in Plenty: 13.5g of protein in Spinach and 13.4g in the lean meat. Thing is: You can eat soooo much more of the first and know that everything in it is good for you. Enjoy!

:0) Frieda Online

Saturday, January 22, 2011

"Whole Grain" Cereal, what a seller!

I have not written in a long time now. For some reason I made excuses to myself that I was too busy while doing things I did not really want to be doing. I think everyone experiences this once in a while. I am back now to focusing on what I love!

Inspired by the General Mills Breakfast Cereal Commercial I saw the other day I can do nothing but write about it. First, watch this:

Whole Grain in Lucky Charms Cereal! Wow, what a seller. It is frightening to me that probably well over 50% of the target audience for this commercial now will actually buy into this. They truly believe that for example Lucky Charms is a nutritious cereal which is good and save to feed to your kids. After all the advertisement says that all these "kids" cereals have at least (and I quote): "8 grams of whole grain and a good source of Calcium". The add further portrays active kids, which obviously are at the top of their game! They have just accomplished a goal (mostly indicated by all the winning metals around their necks) and they are of course happy and smiling.

I went to General Mills official website and checked out the actual ingredients of the most sugary Cereal I personally have ever tasted. Of course their claim is correct and yes, the main ingredient of their cereal is "Whole Grain Oats" which is followed immediately by Marshmallows (made out of sugar and coloring), followed by more Sugar, some Oat flour, Corn Syrup (Sugar), Corn Starch and so on...

One of the ingredients, even I, the foodie and Nutrition geek, was not aware of: "Trisodium Phosphate", what the heck is that???

It is listed as the seventh of the main ingredients. On a Google search the first thing that comes up is that Trisodium Phosphate is a degreaser, cleaning agent, stain remover and, yes, also a food additive. It's other description name is: "E 339", a substance s that by itself should never be consumed (poisonous), will not give a specific taste to the food it is added to and is solely used for technological food making reasons (for example to make appearance better).

General Mills says in a letter:
"TSP is used as a buffer to adjust the acidic nature of the cereal dough. In home cleaning products TSP is used in large quantities. In our food products we use very small amounts. Theoretically, any food grade base could be used: sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, ammonium hydroxide, ammonium phosphate, etc. At General Mills we have found that TSP works best in our particular products, and has been approved as safe for use in food by the Food and Drug Administration."

Lets focus back on the sugar in our "healthy 8 gram of whole grain" Cereal, the oh so Luck Charms. Sugar, the one thing we keep telling our kids to not eat too much of is found in overwhelming amounts in this cereal. So if you would like to give yourself or your kids a little sugar shock high of some processed white sugar, this is the way to go...NOT!

Especially for kids at an early age, who still learn eating patterns for the first time, this is crucial. We all know eating loads of sugar will make us hungry for more.... sugar! Blood sugar rises unnaturally by feeding our body factory produced sugars. Once the sugar high wears off we need more fuel to come back to that sugar high. The cycle will never stop until we feed our body proper nutrition!
What about plain whole grain Oatmeal with a Banana for breakfast? That is truly something that will give you natural Vitamins with sugar inside the fruit that no machine produced!

Here is actually the whole commercial voice over in writing, just because i think it comes across a little better in writing of how vague the statements made in the General Mills Cereal commercial really are:
"To do well, kids need to eat well; and eating well means getting enough whole grains and calcium. At General Mills big G kids cereals can help: Did you know it's the only leading line of kids cereals with at least 8 grams of whole grain and a good source of calcium? Cereals they already love like Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Give your kids more of what they need to be their best. Grow up strong with big G kids cereals!"

Please do not listen to this and think it's good for you or your kids: It's NOT! Feed your kids right and feed yourself right and do not believe the vague non statements that this cereal commercial makes.

:0) Frieda Online