There are several reasons why national dietary guidelines, the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association recommend that
- red meat be limited(this includes pork no matter what you tell yourself),
- processed meat be avoided or extremely restricted (this includes all lunch meats, bacon, sausage) and
- a plant based diet be chosen (lots of vegetables, fruits and whole grains).
Meats also have more calories per gram than plant based items and limiting them can make it easier to consume fewer calories. However, this is only true when all things are equal- (and they never are - equal). Look at the table below, which I created using Jimmy John's gourmet sandwiches - this is a list of the seven 8" sub sandwiches on their menu. I put them in order from least to most calories per sandwich.
|JJs 8" sub sandwiches|
All food has the potential to be high in calories and nutrients that are harmful in excess (i.e., saturated fat, sugar, sodium). In order to make sure that when you intend to eat a low calorie meal you actually do, read the menu labels, ask the restaurant staff to hold things like mayo, ask if butter is used on the 'steamed' vegetables and consider skipping butters, breading and sauces when preparing food for yourself.
BTW, this post was inspired by a meeting I am going to next week. We were given these 7 options to choose from for our lunch. I replied to the host that I would be bringing my own lunch.
(That's right. It doesn't matter that the lunch is free - it doesn't matter if everyone else is going to order from that menu - what matters it what I need for my body and my health. Surely you feel as interested in your health as I do mine. Be brave and remember not to eat to please others but to fuel your body - while enjoying the choices you make.)