Counting calories was the way to control weight for a while, but now most people understand that a calorie is basically a measurement of energy.
The type of calorie you choose makes a big difference in your health.
A blueberry muffin and a serving of oatmeal with berries and nuts offer about the same number of calories, but nutritionist Shellee Dyne said you will want to choose wisely for optimal health.
"Like for like, each has 320 calories approximately," Dyne said.
Dyne said your body will behave differently depending on the type of fuel you give it. Continual consumption of processed carbohydrates lead to a spike in insulin, create inflammatory responses in the body and helps to rise LDL bad cholesterol.
But make better choices, as in the oatmeal.
"It is very beneficial because you are getting a slow digesting carbohydrate that's going to keep your energy level high all day," Dyne said.
The blueberries provide cancer fighting antioxidants and walnuts offer up heart and brain healthy omega-3 fats.
Two lunch items, a sandwich and a salad, are about 300 calories, but the salad will get you more bang for your nutritional buck.
Dyne is not impressed with the sandwich contents.
"White bread, processed cheese, processed turkey," she said.
"Then you have a salad, everything in there is going to keep you full," she said. "It has fiber, organic chicken, avocado, which is healthy fat, with green leaf vegetables, which have iron, fiber, vitamins and minerals."
She said of course you can splurge. Just make it occasionally.
"Ninety percent of the week, eat something healthy in its natural state versus something that has a lot of preservatives, refined flours, and added sugars," Dyne said.
A 20 year study involving 120,000 people found when people ate a whole foods diet with naturally occurring fiber, they weighed on average 17 pounds less than those on an American type diet filled with chips, cookies, cakes, crackers, sweetened drinks and red meat.
Dyne has got a plan for those fun holiday parties.
"It's very important to eat throughout the day. Eat small meals," Dyne said.
Get some activity, stay hydrated, then have a healthy snack about ninety minutes prior to your party to keep from overeating.
Choosing the right calories to eat more beneficial than counting calories, nutritionist says
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