For years you may have heard the cliche saying, “You are what you eat.” You may ask, is that true? It’s dependent on various attributes, but the metaphor is generally valid in most cases. For some people who eat healthy but struggle with weight issues may have a metabolic syndrome, which is a bit harder to control.
So how is this metaphor true? First, we must look at a societal issue about diet and look at several factors about nutrition overall. Marketing, gimmicks and media campaigns have wisely brainwashed us to believe that we should or should not eat certain foods or macronutrients because of the intake of calories or daily value of sugar or carbohydrate. For some individuals, it has confused the brain to the point where people are confused on what to eat as “this is bad, that has too many carbs or these are not fat-free.”
And although every individual will have his or her own opinion, the big trend right now is to not eat carbohydrates or fruit because of it’s sugar content. So what happens is that people opt-in to eat the “sugar free” or “calorie free” options such as sugar-free vanilla syrup in our coffee or drinking diet coke. And many people will skip the apple or banana because of it’s sugar. Therefore, we believe eating low to no calories is healthier. In reality, this is not true and goes against what many marketing techniques promote.
Why is this true? Let’s look at several factors.
In overall terms, a calorie is a calorie thermogenically, but not metabolically.
From a physics standpoint, a calorie is the same – whether it comes from an apple or a cheeseburger. It is an unit of energy. However, in terms of metabolism calories are not the same nor equivalent. What we choose to eat can help or harm our metabolism. So in essence, you are doing the body good by eating the apple versus the diet coke. Although the apple has calories and natural sugar, it contains vital nutrients that the body requires for repair and function. On the other hand, diet coke is a calorie-less beverage that contains artificial / chemical ingredients such as phosphoric acid, aspartame and other substances. This beverage is highly acidic in the bloodstream. And the body can not function with an acidic blood PH. So what happens is that vital nutrients such as iodine (functions the thyroid) and calcium (functions for bones and teeth) are leached from their “job” to neutralize the blood PH. And when the body lacks the minerals and nutrients required to function our organs and bone/muscle repair, things such as metabolism do not function properly, or can develop issues long term (i.e. osteoporosis).
It may seem a bit mind-boggling at first, as we have been trained that the less calories we eat, the higher our chances are to lose weight. And this is something that many companies do not want people to know, but in reality using many cheap ingredients such as fructose corn syrup or aspartame is what keeps many products profitable. And at the end of the day, we are the ones who have to continuously pay for those health and medical expenses.
Eating ingredients from nature, such as fruits and vegetables, and clean sources of protein and carbohydrate offer a balanced diet. The human body is amazing and smarter then what we think. The body will crave what it is lacking, so it’s best not to deprive the body. We live in an age where we have no idea what is in our food, and it’s unfortunate but people may need to investigate the ingredients. So if you have 200 calories to spare and thinking about eating a Slim Fast Shake or an apple with some cheddar cheese…you’re better off eating the apple and cheese.
Research has shown that individuals who consume artificial sugared beverages and food still have a higher circumference measure around the waistline versus those who eat natural food, even though the artificial food caloric intake was lower.
For those individuals who have a metabolic condition such as hypothyroidism and diabetes, they will need to follow certain guidelines prescribed by a registered dietitian or their medical doctor.