Friday, June 29, 2012

Helpful information about calories

The link above is to an opinion blog in the New York Times reporting on a recent study that showed that all calories are not created equal. In addition to the idea of "empty" calories, those with little or no nutritional value, there is information about how we use calories differently. The study examined people eating the same number of calories but on three different plans: high-carb/low-fat; Atkins (no carbs to speak of and high fat and protein); and a more rounded diet but with low-glycemic carbs. I think you'll find the discussion interesting. 

At the same time, it's easy to be overwhelmed with all the information out there and I'm particularly drawn to some of the experts who encourage us to try things out and see how we feel in our bodies. It is so tempting to give up our decision-making and just jump on something restrictive (with immediate weight loss) rather than considering if we can actually eat Paleo forever or whether a moderate diet of many kinds of healthy foods might just work well. 

And those of us who have addictions to certain foods and how they make us feel (or help us not feel) have additional things to consider. Two bites of dessert may work for some people. It's not going to work for me. On the other hand, I'm not desperately attached to pasta or bread or crackers so maybe I can have a sandwich once in a while. 

I discussed this with my physician yesterday at my annual physical and she said something that makes good sense to me. "We need to go back," she said, "to seeing sugar and white flour as treats. True treats. Once-in-a-great-while treats. Not as everyday foods." Maybe with some of these things I can do that. Sugar? No. But refined carbs? Maybe.

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