Let's Talk Nutrition

For the sake of full disclosure, I’m going to start including nutrition facts for my recipes at the bottom of each post.  I’ve been talking (and ranting a bit) about how many calories and grams of fat are in other people’s recipes lately, and so I feel that it’s only fair that I attach a number to the food that I’m cooking, eating, and sharing with all of you. 

The purpose of this addition isn’t to pick apart each serving of each recipe to the point that we all forget about how the food actually tastes.  Rather, the goal of providing nutrition facts is to provide you with the information necessary to make an informed decision about what you’re cooking for yourself and your family.  I believe that knowledge about food, cooking, and nutrition is power, and so I want to empower you with as many facts about my recipes as I can.    

I’m using this website to figure out the nutrition facts for each recipe.  I recommend visiting the site and figuring out the nutrition facts for some of your own favorite recipes.  Or, on second thought, you might not want to know. 

The truth is that the numbers don’t lie.  We all make excuses about what we eat, what we don’t eat, how often we eat, and how much we eat.  At the end of the day, all of these excuses just leave us deluded about the status of our health.  With that said, I also want to add that labels and numbers have a tendency to be misleading if taken out of context. 

For example, the Muesli recipe I posted has 21 grams of sugar per serving.  That sounds like a heck of a lot!  But let’s break that down:

One medium banana has 14 grams of sugar, and since each serving of muesli includes half of a banana, 1/3 of the sugar content (7 grams) comes from the banana.  There is also a quarter of an apple in each serving.  One medium apple has 19 grams of sugar, and so the muesli gets almost 5 grams of sugar per serving just from the apple.  Lastly, the recipe calls for half a cup of freshly-squeezed orange juice, which contains 10.5 grams of sugar.  That adds about 3 more grams of sugar to each serving.  So to do a quick computation, 15 of the 21 grams of sugar come directly from fresh fruit.  Another 8.5 grams of sugar come from the dried cranberries, which add more than 2 grams of sugar to each serving, and the rest of the sugar is from the almond milk and yogurt. 

Therefore, while on the label, Muesli looks a bit like a bowl of Lucky Charms (a cup of Lucky Charms with ¾ cup of skim milk actually has 22 grams of sugar, just to put it in perspective), there’s a huge difference between sugar from a banana and sugar from high fructose corn syrup.  I’m not a nutritionist, so I can’t explain the difference with any sort or scientific relevance, but I can tell you that it makes me feel very different.  And if you want to cut down on your sugar intake, feel free to cut the dried cranberries or the banana on top.  Having the facts and knowing how many grams of sugar are attached to each ingredient will enable you to modify recipes effectively. 

In addition, the Muesli has 7.8 grams of fiber (31% of the recommended daily value!) and 43% of your Vitamin C for the day.  That bowl of Lucky Charms and skim milk only has 2 grams of fiber and 17% of your Vitamin C. 

We all have to make choices to make about what we eat everyday.  Sometimes you might want those Lucky Charms (I picked those as an example because I have a secret love for those colorful little marshmallows), but do you want to start everyday by eating them?  In the end, it’s up to you.  These are just the facts.     

1 comment:

  1. Girl, I totally get you!! The added sugars are the ones we should look out for -- not so much the ones from fruit. Yes fruit has sugar, but it also comes with so many other nutritional benefits!!!