11/18/11

Right Stuff and Food Porn

Since another issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter just arrived in my mail, I had to immediately flip to the back to read my favorite section "Right Stuff. Food Porn"
Enjoy the following directly from the magazine (back page).

Muesli Marvel
"Originally developed in the late 1800s by a Swiss nutritionist, Muesli is a delightful cereal made from a blend of whole grains, dried fruits, nuts and seeds," explains the label of Bob's Red Mill Old Country Style Muesli.

Delightful is right, whether you microwave or boil it for 3-5 minutes with milk or water to make a hearty hot cereal, or you just stir it into your milk or yogurt cold.

Either ways, you've got a bowl of "whole grain rolled oats, wheat, rye, triticale and barely, along with sweet and chewy dates and raisins, sunflower seeds, almonds and walnuts for a high energy Muesli," according to the label.

Okay. Forget that last part. When a label talks about "energy," it means "calories" and not an energy boost. And speaking of calories, odds are you'll get more than the 110 that are listed on the Nutrition Facts panel. That's for a quarter cup serving that won't even cover the bottom of some bowls.

So let's say you use half a cup and get 220 calories' worth of cereal. Don't worry. They come with 8 grams of fiber, 8 grams of protein and no sodium. And the Muesli's whole grains are intact which means they'll help keep you regular (and help keep a lid on your blood sugar levels) better than whole grains that have been ground into flour. Bonus: There's no sugar beyond what comes naturally from the raisins and dates.
When Bob says "Old Country Style", he means it.

Don't Know Jack
T.G.I. Friday's is big on poultry. You can choose from a BBQ Chicken Wrap, a California Club, a Caribbean Chicken Sandwich and a Jack Daniel's Chicken Sandwich. Is this a health-conscious chain or not?
NOT. Take the Jack Daniel's. "A grilled chicken breast basted in Jack Daniel's glaze and topped with bacon, mixed cheese and Cajun onion straws, not to mention lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and Jack Daniel's mayo," croons the menu.
We didn't notice any crooning over the sandwich's 1,140 calories and day's worth of saturated fat (18 grams) seasoned with close to a two-day supply of sodium (2780 mg). It's like eating a full rack of Friday's Baby Back Ribs. The chains other chicken sandwiches are in the same ballpark (complete with oversized white-flour bun).
Oops. That's without any sides. You've got your choice of seasoned fries (290 calories), side salad (40 calories without dressing), or for another 99 cents, sweet potato fries (390 calories).
To its credit, that chain has a "Right Portion, Right Price" menu. Each item (though still too salty) has less than 750 calories. Some like the delicious Shrimp Key West and Dragonfire Salmon, even come with steamed broccoli.
Hey Friday's! Why not keep your entire menu under 750 calories? Or does your name really stand for Thank Goodness It's Fattening?



*As a dietitian and writer of this blog...I try to keep a positive food vocabulary. Therefore, as I post this article and write the last sentence of the above article, I would like to say that I avoid using words like "fat, skinny, bad food, off-limit" in order to maintain a healthy relationship with food. I believe that there is a time for everything and if we eat well most of the time, we don't have to worry about the rest of the time. Reading the last sense of this article does not make me feel good to write as I would never use those words to describe a food, restaurant, etc. Rather, I focus on the positive, the good and what we CAN do to keep balance in our life. I do not like reading blogs who SCREAM at you about changing your dietary habits by using negative words to make you FEAR food. That is not my intention and I want you to continue working on your journey of developing a healthy relationship with food and appreciating the food that you put into your body.