Kurt and I have been talking about calories and whether they are a useful tool for a while now. Customers ask me how many calories are in one of our burritos – and of course, I am happy to provide the information – but Kurt would argue that the nutritional value is much more important when choosing what to eat. Here is his latest blog post prompting me to think a bit more about what I choose for lunch.
“Healthy eating is often associated with calorie counting but does this have to be the case? I believe the media has overemphasized the importance of calories and undervalued other key concepts in nutrition. Just because a food is high in calories doesn’t mean it is bad for health and similarly foods low in calories aren’t always the healthiest.
One of the problems with calories is that most of society doesn’t actually know what a calorie is. The definition of one calorie is ‘the energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water through 1 °C’. As can be seen this definition gives no insight into the nutritional content of the food but only outlines the amount of energy a food possesses. So why do we prioritise calorie content over nutritional content?
Here at Street Food Chef we are trying to change the way people view food information. We are not saying that energy balance isn’t important but that all calories are not the same e.g. foods high in nutrition can contain higher amounts of calories.
To demonstrate the flaws of calorie counting look at the images below. All the foods contain 200Kcal but differ greatly in nutritional content.
I’m sure looking at these pictures no-one will say that 496ml of Coke is as healthy as 125g of avocado. One is made up of high amounts sugar and chemicals whereas the other is dense in micronutrients and essential fats that are optimum for your health.
So next time you’re trying to decide what to have for lunch, try asking which choice is higher in nutrients rather than counting those calories.
As always at Street Food Chef we appreciate your feedback. If you have any ideas of suggestions please let us know by commenting on this post or contact us by the usual means on social media.
Next time we will be looking at a weeks’ worth of food I consume during my hectic training schedule. Hopefully this will show you that healthy eating isn’t as complicated as you might think and how easy it is to follow a nutritious diet.”