The king size Reese's Peanut Butter Cup that you swore you were going to share with your kids, but ended shoveling down while they were doing cannonballs off the high dive...
- 420 calories
- that is about 1/4 of the typical female recommended daily caloric intake
- 26g of fat, 9g of saturated fat
- or 46% of your recommended daily max amount of saturated fat
- 42g of sugar
- A sugar crash is in your near future
Let's move on to lunch time...the hamburger. Now all hamburgers are different, but let's just assume you go with the typical 75/25 (lean/fat) beef served in most restaurants, with standard fixings on it, including cheese:
- 720 calories
- and that isn't including fries...if you want those, your caloric total jumps to 1200 calories
- 36g of fat, 14g of saturated fat
- That's 70% of your saturated fat intake
- 1800 mg sodium
- That is over half of your allowance for daily sodium intake...hello bloating.
Let's take a look at one of my personal favorites, but one that I consume only once a year on my birthday...hot wings. Oh, I wish, I wish this wasn't the truth but...an order of 10 typical hot wings is:
- 1630 calories
- for a female, that is an entire day's caloric consumption
- 138g of fat, 32g saturated fat
- So, now we have 1 1/2 days worth of saturated fat in one order
- 1600 mg of sodium
- but hey on the good side, it is only 5g of carbs
OK, now that we get a small snapshot of a couple of horrendous food items, realize that there are other viable, healthier options. Items like a grilled chicken sandwich (500 calories), 2 grilled fish tacos (420 calories), and a bbq pork sandwich (550 calories) are all much less calorically loaded and often readily available on the same menu. And instead of those fries, try having a piece of fruit or heck, even a small bag of chips is less damaging although far from optimal. Also remember that if you are dining out, most chain or multi-location restaurants list their nutritional information online. Do a little research before you chow down!
So now that we have a grasp on some foods, let's look at beverages. Since summertime beverages are generally a combination of water, a flavoring, and some sort of sugar (maltose is a sugar in beer...), let's take a look at just the caloric values of some typical drinks:
- Sweet Tea (20 oz) - 200-250 calories
- Lemonade (20 oz) - 260 calories
- Miller Lite (12 oz) - 96 calories
- High Gravity Beer (12 oz at 7.5% ABV) - 225 calories
- Margarita - (6.5 oz) - 305 calories
- Coca-Cola (12 oz can) - 140 calories
- White Wine (5 oz to 6 oz) - 125 calories to 150 calories
Now obviously I can't list every single option out there, but this at least gives you a snapshot of just how calorically dense some of our comfort foods are. So this summer, when you hit the pool, the park, the festival, the beach, or just your backyard take minute to think not just what you are about to eat, but also how much of it you will consume. I am not saying that you should eat spinach and drink water all summer; by all means enjoy the warm weather. But as one of my former professors at Georgia State once said...
"There are no bad foods, there are only bad diets. A piece of cheesecake once in a while isn't going to kill you...A piece of cheesecake every day? Now that will kill you." (Thanks to Dr. Dan Benardot)
Enjoy your summer; just enjoy it in moderation.