Every so often something happens in our lives causing us to want to rant.
This is a bit of a lengthy post for me but I was inspired. I’m not a nutritionist or dietitian but I am someone who within the last 6 months began to pay attention to the foods I was eating and make changes.
I’m not perfect. I still eat a greasy burger or indulge in a good restaurant meal every so often but I mostly avoid fast food and limit processed foods.
Laying in bed last night watching TV I saw a new Pizza Hut commercial showing their latest and greatest creation, Hot Dog Bites Pizza 😕
My first thought was “That looks disgusting”. Second Thought was “Why?!?” It was one more in a recent string of horrible food choices I’ve come across recently.
Little Caesar’s Bacon wrapped pizza.
Deep fried Big Mac.
Jack in the Box’s Stacked Grilled Cheese Burger.
Now Pizza Hut’s Hot Dog Bites Pizza.
Another in the long line of combining unhealthy foods with other unhealthy foods. Genius.
As recently as last year I would have seen any of these food choices as amazing and been rushing out to try them but now…..unless these become my only food options, say in a desert island scenario, I will not tasting any of these items.
I’ve been the person not paying attention to what I was eating, not checking labels, not worrying about sugars or sodium, not looking at ingredients. I might have looked at calories because I was
usually always dieting but the only important thing in my mind was the amount of calories and later in life, the fat content.
No fat=Good even if it did come with a list of unpronounceable ingredients and high sugar content.
Thankfully I’ve learned some fat is okay and while keeping your calorie count in a normal range is good there’s so much more to food than just the calories. This is the part where I again proclaim I don’t have it all figured out, I still make mistakes, and I’m not an expert but I am learning.
My wake up call was being told I was pre-diabetic. It was basically change or get diabetes. It was an easy choice.
I began to research, read labels, and replace processed foods with whole foods. It was like a revelation and one that I want to share with as many people as possible because it’s changing my life. It’s sad because until people stop eating these foods companies will continue to make them and health problems will continue to rise.
High blood pressure.
Just to name a few of the top ones associated with eating habits.
I love to research so I decided to gather nutritional information on the food items listed above.
Bacon wrapped pizza I actually couldn’t find the information for the pizza on Little Caesar’s website but a serving size of 1/8 pizza for the Deep, Deep dish pepperoni is 390 calories, 4g sugar, 670mg sodium. Adding the bacon probably adds another 70 calories or so and ups the sodium. Calorie count isn’t terrible if you just eat one piece but how many people eat just one piece?
Deep fried Big Mac. It’s not a menu item (yet) but the standard burger is 563 calories so the article linked estimates another 1000 calories added with the batter and deep frying. According to McDonalds nutritional information, 9g sugar, 960mg sodium for just the burger then add in batter and oil. Yikes! 😮
Jack in the Box’s Stacked Grilled Cheese Burger. It’s basically a grilled cheese sandwich stacked on top of a cheese burger. 840 calories, 1970mg sodium, 8g sugar. So much sodium, plus most people will add fries and a soft drink.
Now Hot Dog Bites Pizza (Pretzel Piggie) Calorie-wise it’s not too terrible but this is for just one slice (Again, How many people are eating only one slice?) from a 14″ Large Hand tossed pizza, 300 calories, 720mg sodium, 2g sugar.
I included links to the websites, some you have to scroll down to the bottom and download a PDF to view all the information. If you eat fast food frequently it’s worth it to check out the nutritional information. As mentioned above I never paid attention to sodium or sugar but now I understand why I was pre-diabetic.
According to the American Heart Association the recommended daily sodium intake is 1500mg/day, obviously there are exceptions to the rule but this is just a general guideline. Many fast foods will put you well over that intake with just one meal or even one food item so if you’re eating these foods consistently it’s dangerous for your body.
“Ninety percent of Americans adults are expected to develop high blood pressure in their lifetimes, and eating too much sodium is strongly linked to the development of high blood pressure” (American Heart Association, 2014)
Then there’s sugar. I discovered sugar in foods I never thought would have sugar. It’s scary how even simple things like sauces, drinks, even canned vegetables can have sugars. When I talk to people I’m finding few people pay attention to sugar. Most people are shocked to find out how much sugar they consume vs. how much is recommended.
Some sugar sources are obvious, a 12 oz coke has 39g of sugar (Personal recommendation, if you’re drinking soda you should try to quit). Others are sneaky, some jarred pasta sauces can contain 10 or more grams of sugar in 1/2 cup, which emphasizes why it’s so important to check the labels!
I think I’m done with my rant for now. I genuinely hope people will wake up, realize how terrible food choices affect their bodies, and start to make changes. You don’t have to throw away all your food or start some complicated meal plan or diet or start trying to jog 5 miles everyday.
I’ve found it doesn’t have to be super drastic and even the simplest changes can make a huge difference.
My biggest tip to anyone looking to change their health habits is to find what works for you. You need to find ways to alter your lifestyle so you can go from someone who is focusing on getting healthy to someone who just eats healthy and is active without thinking about it all the time.
I’m nowhere near done with my journey. I continue to make mistakes but I also continue to learn how to live a healthy life without cutting out food groups, without suffering through work outs (because I’ve found exercise I enjoy), basically without over complicating everything. I’ve made simple changes in my life that have made me healthier and happier so I hope I can inspire others to do the same.