Archive for ‘Get to Know Your Food’

September 20, 2017

Can Food Win a War?

save France“Food Will Win the War” was the slogan of the US Food Administration in 1917; can food win a war? I’ve been cleaning out a storage building and a house. I’ve sorted through bags and bags of mail from 1987 to now, disposed of boxes of paper scraps, broken toys, and canned food so old that the cans are leaking. Hidden amid the mountain of junk, I’ve also rescued two baby books, a 1910 teaching contract, antique maps, and a copy of “Food Saving and Sharing” – the 1918 textbook prepared under the direction of The United States Food Administration.

This 102 page book, which was distributed to teachers in schools across the US, provides basic information about food and its function, interweaves cultural myths, and promotes conserving food, cleaning your plate (that probably sounds familiar), and helping the nation and its allies through personal sacrifice. For me, reading this now at a different point in history provides much food for thought.

Food Administration

Established in 1917, the US Food Administration was the agency responsible for the administration of U.S. Army overseas and Allies’ food reserves. The Food Administration’s goals were to provide food for its own troops and those of its Allies in war-torn Europe as well as to feed the American and Allied populations. Although the name sounds similar, this agency was not related to the Food and Drug Administration which was instituted in 1938 to enforce the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Herbert Hoover was tapped by President Woodrow Wilson to lead the organization. As head of the agency, Hoover was quoted as saying, “Our conception of the problem in the United States is that we should assemble the voluntary effort of the people…We propose to mobilize the spirit of self-denial and self-sacrifice in this country.”

“Food Will Win the War” became the slogan featured on widely disseminated posters, articles, and educational material. Concepts such as “Meatless Mondays” and “Wheatless Wednesdays” were implemented to encourage US citizens to voluntarily conserve food so that more commodities would be available to send to the Allies.

The campaign was successful, resulting in a 15% reduction in domestic food consumption without rationing. In a 12-month period from 1918 to 1919 the US furnished 18,500,000 tons of food to the Allies.

Food Education

About half of the book “Food Saving and Sharing” is food education. I was struck by the accuracy of the information included. With more sophisticated lab technology, years of additional research, and multiple media outlets for disseminating information, it seems that we should have
significantly greater knowledge and be more accurately informed regarding nutrition now than we were 100 years ago. Instead, we have a wealth of confusing, conflicting, misleading information to sort through. It’s tough for most of us to know what to believe.

I recently watched a national TV morning news segment in which an MD stated that yogurt was not a good breakfast food because of all the sugar it contains. She did not qualify that statement in any way and it’s simply not true. Plain yogurt contains no sugar other than lactose from milk. If made at home and processed for 24 hours, even the lactose breaks down.

If milk is a good breakfast food, then yogurt is just as good. Well, actually better for most of us so long as the yogurt contains live bacteria. What’s not so good are yogurts that have sugars, sweeteners, gums, and flavors added. The distinction is important. If that distinction isn’t made, the public is being misinformed. And not just misinformed by misleading advertising (which is constant and bad enough), but misinformed by an authority figure with a national platform presenting the information as fact.

My experience of frequent frustration with current presentation of food and nutrition information, advertising, disinformation, and inaccurately reported research stands in contrast to the simple, clear message delivered a century ago. Reading this book it was interesting to see the food knowledge of 1918.

“Food Saving and Sharing” explains the functions of food and four basic food groups using the imagery of a child shopping for food in an imaginary market. The book explains each food group and why it should be included in the child’s basket. At that time, milk spanned the spectrum of each food group and was considered important for children because of its protein and “lime” (calcium) content.

Here’s what we can learn from the book:

The Functions of Food
1)Fuel to keep us warm and give us energy for work.
2)To build and repair the body.
3)To keep the machinery of the body in good running order.

Food Groups
The first group is fruits and vegetables. (Notice that it was not grains.)
The book states that we need the mineral matter supplied by fruit, vegetables and milk to make teeth and bones. We also need them for vitamins that make us grow. Not much was known about the amount of vitamins needed at that time, but it was known they are important to health.

We also learn that fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water which we also need. Water comprises 60 lbs of every 90 pounds of weight in an adult. (As you can see, this is very close to the 64% water we now estimate the human body to be.) 

While the term fiber is never used in the book, there are repeated references to the “bulk” and “things that are not readily digested” that help move food through the digestive tract.

The second group is proteins.
The word protein means “of the first importance”. Protein is important because it is needed for growth and repair. Children who don’t get enough protein become stunted.

Proteins included in this group are milk, cheese, eggs, nuts, seeds, fish, seafood, legumes, and meat. Meat is not necessary if we use the right foods in its place. According to this text, if we rely on beans and peas we need some milk, eggs, or meat as well.

The book also encourages us to get over our prejudice about fish stating, “It is foolish and narrow-minded to be afraid to try new kinds.” (I don’t know much about the origin of this fish prejudice, but my father had it and my sister still does.)

The third food group is cereals (grains).
Cereals are presented as the cheapest source of energy. All cereal grains are good producers of starch. They are easy to cook, but must be cooked for a long time, so prepared cereals have been put on the market. For instance, rolled oats are oats steamed, then crushed between heavy rollers.

Wisely, we’re informed that if we eat more peas and beans, we will not need so much bread, and when there’s a shortage of grains, we can eat potatoes instead.

Fourth is the group called sugars and sweets. 
The consumption of sugars is not highly encouraged. While it is asserted that sugar provides quick energy for emergency rations, it is also recognized that: “Sugar is so agreeable that we are often inclined to eat it in too large quantities or at the wrong time.” It will spoil your appetite because it makes you feel as if you don’t care for anything more even though your body may be in need of food.

Further noted are the facts that you can get sugar from fruits and vegetables and that potatoes or bread will provide quick energy as well. 

The rest of the book sings the praises of our troops and allies and encourages us to conserve so we can support those who live in war-torn areas. While the reasons for conservation may now differ, it is still a timely message.

Can Food Win a War Now?

In spite of a long growing season and an agricultural history, my state reports a food insecurity rate of over 25%. Somehow that seems unfathomable when according to the Environmental Protection Agency, wasted food is the single biggest occupant in American landfills.

Across the nation, the US throws away 60 million tons (or $160 billion) worth of produce annually. We waste between 30 & 40 percent of our food supply while 12.3% of our households (15.6 million) are uncertain of having, or are unable to acquire, at some time during the year, enough food to meet the needs of all their members because of insufficient money or other resources.

Surely we can find a way to win the war on hunger here at home!

Food propaganda? 

“Food Saving and Sharing” seems to only promote the positive aspects of a particular course of action rather than presenting the pros and cons of multiple options. It uses familiar cultural myths to encourage compliance with the course of action it promotes. That sounds like propaganda to 
me. 

Yet oddly, the presentation of the message feels so much more informative, unifying, and positive than the majority of messages bombarding my screens every day, I find myself longing for this kind of straightforward promotion and the message that the US is us.  

The US is us!

With or without this book’s existence, I choose to believe the general premise that each of us makes a difference. Our choices determine whether that difference pulls our families, friends, communities, and institutions forward or leaves someone else with a greater burden. 

Individually, we can choose to leave our fears, recognize our value, and work each day to learn more about nutrition, waste less, face poverty, practice compassion, and make a positive difference. Collectively, we can choose to meet seemingly insurmountable goals.

Food can win this war! We can decide to feed our food insecure. We just need to again mobilize a spirit of self-denial and self-sacrifice in this country. We need to embrace the truth that the US is us…ALL of us and we can make a difference!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Food,_Drug,_and_Cosmetic_Act

https://www.archives.gov/fort-worth/finding-aids/rg004-food-administration.html

http://exhibits.mannlib.cornell.edu/meatlesswheatless/meatless-wheatless.php?content=two

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Food_Administration

https://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/sow-seeds

https://www.usda.gov/oce/foodwaste/faqs.htm

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/07/american-food-waste/491513/

http://www.foodwastemovie.com/

http://www.cooking2thrive.com/blog/get-know-food/

February 14, 2017

Lunch, Dinner, and Snack Foods that Support a Healthy Lifestyle

Enough generalities, it’s time to talk about lunch, dinner, and snack foods that support a healthy lifestyle. It’s common to view healthy food as scanty, unsatisfying, and tasteless, but there’s no reason it can’t be rich, flavorful, and filling. The key is understanding what your body needs. As far as preparing the food, creativity can reign.

What does my body need from food?

Our bodies need a good balance of nutrients and water. Nutrients include proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins. We also need some minerals like iron, copper, and salts. How much of each is needed will vary from person to person depending on age, height, health condition, and activity level.

Rather than attempt to analyze millions of packaged food items, this post will focus on types of nutrients and how much is needed each day. This information can help you compare labels on packaged food or determine how much fresh food to eat.
cucumber salad
Plan to include the following each day:

Protein
Examples of high protein foods: beef, pork, lamb, bison, chicken, eggs, fish, seafood.
Other foods with protein: milk, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, nuts, beans, tofu, quinoa.

Protein is made up of amino acids that help your body build healthy cells. Without enough protein, you can suffer from fatigue, weakness, or muscle loss and your immune system may suffer.

A 3-ounce serving of meat contains about 21 grams of protein and each gram of protein provides 4 calories of energy. Meat also contains fat. In order to keep fat intake at a tolerable level, choose a variety of lean meat, poultry, and fish.

Minimum Protein Recommendation: 46 (women) – 56 (men & pregnant women) grams of protein per day.

Carbohydrates
Examples of healthy high carbohydrate foods: fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes.

Fruits include apples, peaches, pears, bananas, grapes, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, oranges, lemons, limes, cherries, grapefruit, kiwifruit, avocados, apricots, watermelon, pineapple, honeydew, cantaloupe, tomatoes, mangoes, dates, plums, figs, persimmons, pomegranate, cranberries, coconut, kumquat, tangerines, olives, nectarines, and papaya.
tomatoes
Vegetables include green beans, turnip greens, collard greens, mustard greens, summer squash, zucchini, butternut squash, acorn squash, onion, carrots, beets, broccoli, cabbage, eggplant, cauliflower, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, yams, chard, bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, turnips, celery, cucumber, lettuce, arugula, okra, parsnips, rutabaga, corn, and potatoes.

Grains include those containing gluten that is harmful those with celiac disease or gluten-intolerance: wheat, rye, barley; and those that can be tolerated by those with celiac disease: rice, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, teff, amaranth, sorghum, corn* and oats**.

Legumes include English peas, sugar snap peas, black-eyed peas, purple hull peas, black beans, pinto beans, adzuki beans, lima beans, kidney beans, navy beans, garbanzo beans, soybeans, lentils, mesquite, carob, soybeans, peanuts and tamarind.

Each gram of carbohydrate provides about 4 calories of energy. Carbohydrates can be broken into two categories — simple and complex. Simple carbs from fresh fruits and vegetables are the healthiest form of carbohydrates. They provide many essential vitamins, minerals, water, and fiber. Legumes, which can be either simple or complex, are also a source of protein. It is best for diabetics to limit starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, corn, and some legumes like pinto beans.

If you have a calorie deficit after consuming the amount of protein and fats you need, then adding vegetables, legumes, or fruits for more energy is a healthy choice. Consume 60 – 80 grams of carbohydrates, plus more to meet calorie requirements. Most additional carbs should come from fresh vegetables, legumes, and fruit (240 – 320 calories minimum)

Fats
Examples of foods that contain fat: meat, some fish and seafood, poultry, eggs, bacon, cheese, lard, shortening, nuts, nut butters like peanut butter, avocados, whole milk, butter, cod liver oil, coconut oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, and other vegetable oils.

The body needs to consume the fats that it cannot manufacture. These fats help proteins do their jobs. They help the body stockpile nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, and K, and they begin chemical reactions used in growth, immune function, and reproduction. Naturally occurring fats may be saturated or unsaturated. Saturated fats are typically solid at room temperature while unsaturated are not.

There’s a category of fats called trans fats that is produced in the gut of some animals. Small amounts of trans fats then appear in foods made from these animals. There are other artificial trans fatty acids created by an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. These trans fats will be listed on labels as partially hydrogenated oil which is no longer considered generally safe in human food and should be avoided.

Each gram of fat contains 9 calories or more than twice as many calories as there are in a gram of protein or carbohydrate. Consume 63 – 97 grams of fat per day (567 – 873 calories).

Minerals and Vitamins
There are recommended daily allowances for many vitamins and minerals and upper allowances for some. Minerals and vitamins are contained in most of the foods listed above. 

Vitamins and minerals are important for bone health, electrolyte balance, thyroid function, and many other body functions like blood clotting and heart rhythm.

Examples of vitamins that you need: A, B6, B12, Niacin, Riboflavin, Thiamin, C, E, K, and folate.

Examples of minerals that you need: Calcium, copper, sodium, iron, potassium, magnesium, selenium, zinc, and iodine.

In order to get all of these vitamins and minerals, you will need to consume a wide variety of foods. If you have been advised to limit your salt intake, it is important to recognize that many packaged foods contain a significant amount of sodium even though they don’t taste salty. 

Water
Water needs are affected by weight, age, temperature, electrolyte balance, intake of caffeine, intake of sugar, physical activity, your surrounding environment, health conditions, and pregnancy or breast-feeding, so you may need more water than the amount listed here. You will also get water from fruits and vegetables, liquids like tea and coffee, juice, milk, and flavored drinks.

Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and contributes to the function of every body system. Lack of water can lead to dehydration that can drain your energy, give you a headache, cause weakness, dizziness, palpitations, confusion, fainting, sluggishness, and an inability to sweat. Severe dehydration over a period of time will cause body systems to shut down leading to life-threatening conditions.

Average adequate intake per day for a woman living in a temperate climate is 9 cups. Average adequate intake per day for a man living in a temperate climate is 13 cups. Plan to drink at least 9 – 13 cups water per day (0 calories).
pizza

Okay, but I like chili, mac & cheese, enchiladas, lasagna, pizza, bread, and cookies.

Of course you like these favorite foods. I do too! Chili contains meat, tomatoes, and sometimes beans. That’s some protein, some fat, some carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals all in one pot. The calories will vary depending on the meat you use. The nutrients will vary depending on the tomatoes and whether you add beans. You don’t have to know an exact measurement of each in order to have a healthy eating plan. It’s more about balance and consistency over time.

That means it’s okay to eat the foods you love. If your favorites are high in starch, sugar, or fat, your new plan may include them once a week rather than once a day. If you forget to eat leafy greens, you may want to add spinach to your eggs on the weekend. The specifics of your health plan can be tailored to suit your taste and the everyday demands of life.

If your plan involves weight loss and you feel it’s important to measure the calories of each and every thing you consume, there are many online calorie calculators to help you record your daily intake.

Now that I’ve given you an overwhelming amount of information, let’s get back to keeping things simple. Next time you go to the store, just let FLAVOR be your guide:
F resh food
L imited packaged, processed food and grain-based carbs
A nimal proteins with the least amount of fat and no additives
V egetable and fruit carbs in wide variety
O rganic from local sources when available & affordable
R epeat each day

Then put the following list in your phone so that you always have it available:
Protein 75 – 100 grams per day (300 – 400 calories)
Carbohydrates 60 – 80 grams + per day (240 – 320 calories minimum)
Fats 63 – 97 grams per day (567 – 873 calories)
Water 9 – 13 cups water minimum (0 calories)

I know it sounds complicated to learn what’s in your food and then choose based on what your body needs, but if you let curiosity be your guide you may soon find labels fascinating. And beginning with fresh ingredients can actually make cooking more simple. We’ll show you how this works when we launch the Cooking2Thrive cooking show that’s being shot and edited now.

To help you as you get started, I’ve listed additional resources below, but if you need help with a specific question, feel free to email support@cooking2thrive.com.

Now get out there and love you some healthy food! After all, it’s Valentine’s Day.

*Corn is a grain, fruit, and vegetable. http://articles.extension.org/pages/36971/please-settle-a-dispute-is-sweet-corn-a-vegetable-or-a-grain-what-is-the-difference-how-about-field-

**Oats are gluten-free, but often contaminated with wheat in the US. Those with celiac disease or gluten-intolerance should choose certified gluten free oats.

Want to know more? Check out these links:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/deenashanker/find-out-which-vegetables-are-the-best-for-you?utm_term=.nd0PPDV7DG#.uv2qqyv1ym

http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthy-kitchen-11/how-much-protein

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/dehydration-adults

http://www.doctoroz.com/article/protein-fact-sheet

http://fnic.nal.usda.gov/dietary-guidance

http://www.doctoroz.com/article/good-carbs-vs-bad-carbs?page=1

http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/carbs.html

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/pyramid-full-story/

http://www.drperlmutter.com/learn/faq/how-much-carbohydrate-do-we-absolutely-require-in-the-diet/

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130423102127.htm

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/vitamins-minerals-how-much-should-you-take?page=2

January 24, 2017

Get to Know Breakfast for Kids

Before we leave the subject of breakfast, let’s get to know breakfast for kids. We’ve covered many popular breakfast foods for older children, but what about babies and toddlers? I’m thinking about this because we’re introducing foods to my 6-month-old grandson DJ. He stays with me 2 days per week, which means I am participating in this process.

DJMy daughter-in-law naturally compares notes with friends and co-workers who have babies about the same age. She reports that most of them buy baby food. Some start by introducing rice cereal, others begin with oatmeal. Some mix in bananas immediately. Others feed one food at a time. Most of her friends choose an organic baby food brand. Her family advises that she should add rice cereal to bottles, and begin introducing fruit juice. Sometimes she just stares into space when we talk about it. As a first time mother, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the advice and differing opinions.

DJ’s pediatrician says, “Asking me when it’s okay to start giving him juice is like asking me when it’s okay to start giving him Oreos.” He doesn’t think a baby needs all the sugar in fruit juice. He also says that as DJ gets older, we can use a little prune juice for constipation, but to buy the adult version and dilute it with water rather than pay more for baby juice.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends only breast milk for the first 6 months and continuing to breastfeed until 12 months – even after the addition of solid foods. The AAP owned website Healthychildren.org advises against adding cereal to bottles because it is a choking hazard. (Exceptions are sometimes made for babies with reflux.) Babies need to be able to sit in a feeding chair or seat with good head control before introducing solids.

In the Healthychildren.org site’s guide to starting solid foods, there is no recommendation for introducing any certain food first. It is suggested that you introduce one food at a time for a period of several days before introducing another food. With each new food, watch for signs of an allergic reaction like diarrhea, rash, or vomiting. In a few months, your baby should eat a daily variety of meats, vegetables, fruits, eggs, and fish along with breast milk. A new recommendation is to expose your child to peanuts within the first year.

What about cereals?

It is traditional to introduce cereals before vegetables and fruit. Most baby cereals are made from rice, oats, or barley. There is no reason to begin with cereals and several reasons not to. Amylase, the enzyme need to break down and digest complex grains is not present in babies’ salivary glands until they have molars. Digesting grains takes more energy for an immature digestive systems and food intolerance can result from introducing foods for which the gut isn’t prepared.
There are also concerns about the arsenic levels in rice.

In a family with a history of celiac disease, if a child becomes sick, tired, and grumpy after the introduction of wheat, rye, barley, or oats, it may be best to discontinue those foods. If the child then feels better, remove those foods from his diet. Removing wheat, rye, barley, and oats will allow your child to feel good while you take some time to consult a doctor who has expertise in gluten intolerance and celiac disease. That still leaves rice, quinoa, millet, and certified gluten-free oats as cereal options.

Okay, I’ve introduced my baby to a variety of solid foods, what should she eat for breakfast?

If your baby is less than a year old, one or two simple foods followed by breast milk will suffice. A combination of protein and carbohydrates from fruit will give him a good start for the day. Eggs, applesauce, and bananas are good choices.

Toddlers can also benefit from protein, carbohydrates from fruit and a small amount of carbohydrates from whole grains. They will enjoy eggs, plain whole milk yogurt, fruit, and unsweetened warm cereals made from rice and oats. Once your child is over a year old, you can offer a small glass of whole milk along with breakfast.

What about fruit juice or cold cereal?

As we saw a couple of weeks ago when we compared the nutrition value in store bought orange juice to that of an orange, the orange is superior in providing vitamin C and fiber in fewer calories. As DJ’s pediatrician notes, there’s no need for a child to drink juice. Providing your child fresh fruit is a better option.

If you feel strongly about offering juice, your child will get the most nutritional benefit if you make it yourself from fresh fruits or vegetables just before serving and do not use sweetener. In fact, there’s nothing wrong with feeding your baby fresh fruits and vegetables from the very beginning. With the help of a baby food grinder or processor, you can create your own baby food in a matter of minutes from the options you cook for the rest of your family.

Bananas can be mashed with a fork and diluted with breast milk. Steamed broccoli pureed in a food processor with a little added water is one of DJ’s favorites. He also likes acorn squash, avocado, sweet potato, and applesauce. We’re about to introduce peas followed by butternut squash, then potatoes. So far, we haven’t felt a need to buy baby food. We will avoid preparing spinach, beets, green beans, collard greens, and carrots for him until he’s a little older because of a concern about the nitrate content.

Boxed breakfast cereal is highly processed and high in carbohydrates from grains. Many brands and flavors are also high in carbohydrates from added sugars. None of us has a nutritional need for added sugar. If you are going to choose a boxed cereal, be sure to read the nutrition label. The best choices will contain whole grain, no added sugar, minimal sodium, no gums, minimal starches, and no artificial ingredients.

Can’t I just give the kids some toast & jelly?

Whole grain toast can be a good option as long as it’s not topped with something sugary. Starting the day with a meal high in sugar and carbs and low in protein can lead to sudden fatigue mid-morning.

Other breakfast choices that are high in added sugar include pancake syrup, chocolate hazelnut spread, jelly, doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, toaster pastries or strudel, chocolate milk, and some muffins.

It’s okay to think outside the box.

Although it’s traditional to eat bacon or sausage in the morning, there’s nothing wrong with beef, chicken or fish for breakfast. Your child doesn’t have the same sense of tradition that you do and may like those just fine. Vegetables are another good option.

We all want to give our children the best start on the day that we can, and the best way to know what’s in your child’s food is to prepare it from fresh ingredients. Keep it simple with eggs and fruit or leftover chicken and vegetables and you’ll still be out the door in no time.

For more information regarding gluten intolerance and celiac disease from an allergist, pediatrician and gastroenterologist, visit drrodneyford.com.

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/feeding-nutrition/Pages/Switching-To-Solid-Foods.aspx

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2016/09/11/are-infant-cereals-really-best-first-food-for-babies.html

http://www.babyfoodmakerguide.com/guide/top-10-best-baby-food-grinders-2016-reviews/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/541308-fruits-vegetables-that-are-high-in-nitrates/

January 17, 2017

Get to Know Your Breakfast Sandwich

If you typically get breakfast from a drive-thru, it’s time to get to know your breakfast sandwich. With January swiftly progressing, many of your neighbors and friends have already abandoned their New Year’s resolutions. By taking the time to gain knowledge so that you can create a lifestyle to support the changes you want to make, you’ll be way ahead of them in the long run.

In the past couple of weeks we’ve looked at the calorie and nutrition content of breakfast foods most commonly consumed at home. About 10% of American breakfast eaters grab a drive-thru breakfast sandwich, so let’s examine a few of those.

The typical breakfast sandwich is a combination of bacon, egg, and cheese or sausage, egg, and cheese. It comes served on some kind of bread: an English muffin, toast, waffle, biscuit, or doughnut. It is not normally gluten-free.
breakfast sandwich
The best-known of the breakfast sandwiches is the Egg McMuffin®.

Egg McMuffin
McDonald’s signature breakfast sandwich is made with egg, Canadian bacon, and cheese on an English muffin. This sandwich has 290 calories. It also contains 17 grams of protein, 12 grams of fat, 235 mg cholesterol, 840 mg sodium, 3 g sugars and a total of 29 g carbohydrates in addition to 30% of the Daily Value of calcium, 15% of iron, 10% of vitamin A, and 2% of vitamin C.

While cholesterol may no longer have a recommended limit, the American Heart Association suggests a goal of 300 mg per day. 235 mg is a significant portion of that amount. The 840 mg of sodium provide 30% of the recommended sodium for a day.

Dunkin’ Donuts Belgian Waffle Breakfast Sandwich

For me, the pull of this sandwich is the waffle. I love waffles! Of course, I won’t ever choose to eat this sandwich because I must be gluten-free or be itchy, in pain, and weak. That doesn’t keep it from looking like a delicious choice. Let’s see how it stacks up nutritionally.

Dunkin’ Donuts’ puts egg, cheese, and bacon between two Belgian waffles. The waffle sandwich has 420 calories, 16 grams of protein, 27 grams of fat, 190 mg cholesterol, 800 grams of sodium,
14 grams of sugar, and 38 g total carbs.

It seems the waffle adds a significant amount of sugar and carbs. There are other sandwich carriers at Dunkin’ Donuts – bagels, biscuits, croissants, English muffins, and multigrain flatbread. There are also other fillers like the vegetables and egg whites.

If you choose a Veggie egg white omelet on multigrain flatbread, you’ll get 320 calories, 17 grams of protein, 13 grams of fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 610 mg sodium, 3 sugars and 33 total carbohydrates.

That’s more calories and slightly more fat and carbs than an Egg McMuffin, but with significantly less cholesterol and sodium.

Go big or go home!

Burger King Supreme Breakfast Sandwich

With this Burger King option, you get double egg, double sausage, and double bacon. I guess that’s what makes it supreme. The larger portions mean more calories. It has 880 calories, 41 grams of protein, 59 grams of fat, 375 mg cholesterol, 2170 mg sodium, 7 grams of sugar and a total of 45 grams of carbohydrates. In addition, this sandwich provides 15% of the Daily Value of calcium, 25% of iron, 4% of vitamin A, and 2% of vitamin C.

This is the highest calorie, highest fat, highest carb breakfast food we’ve explored. Not only does it have lots of fat, some of it is trans fat. Trans fats are created using an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. Many doctors believe this is the worst type of fat you can eat.

With this sandwich, you’re getting a full day’s worth of sodium, almost a full day’s worth of protein, and close to half of a day’s needed calories. Most of us won’t work off those extra calories or cut back on salt the rest of the day.

Remember that we’re gathering information in order to put together a health plan that we can sustain throughout our lives. When you review your desired lifestyle, health goals, priorities, and budget, you may decide that one of these sandwiches is a good fit for your plan.

Given this information, I’m going to choose to go home for breakfast!

https://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en-us.html

https://www.dunkindonuts.com/dunkindonuts/en.html

https://www.bk.com/

https://ods.od.nih.gov/Health_Information/Dietary_Reference_Intakes.aspx

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”