Why it is so hard to make healthy food choices?

Why it is so hard to make healthy food choices?

No matter where we buy our foods, either we prepare fresh at home or eat out, there is always some fear about the food choice that we make in our daily lives. Believe it or not, it can even happen to a food professional because of the constantly changing guidelines on the food. We also hear a lot about our food on the media that can even bring more fear and confusion. Food should not be fear-mongering. Food should be feeding both our cells and emotions. NPR story last evening about Subway bread really perked me up. Because I always thought I was picking something healthy by purchasing their Veggie Delight Sandwich. This story was about how subway bread is not considered as bread but a cake in an Irish court. Really! No doubt there is some hidden sugar, salt, and fat in most of the fast- foods but how much is added makes a huge difference in the product’s overall healthiness. I became curious about the story and wanted to put my favorite Veggie Delight Subway sandwich into the health test under our Food Coach I could not find the nutrition info on the bread loaf on their website but was able to get to my favorite sandwich nutrition info. It was cool to play with their Nutrition Calculator.

“Veggie Delight” Food Rating:

These were the findings of the Food Coach (based on the nutrition info on the Subway website). This food seems to have these healthy qualities:

  • Moderate in calories per serving
  • A healthy balance of fat, saturated fat, total carbohydrates, protein, and dietary fiber
  • Contain zero trans fats
  • A healthy balance of added sugars
  • Good source of calcium
  • Great source of iron

However, this food is rated as a Red dot Food due to it seems to have the following unhealthy qualities that may have some negative health effects if consumed unconsciously! 

  • High in sodium
  • More than five added ingredients, artificial flavors (*assumed since I could not find any information on this on their website).

Dietitian Nutritionist Recommendation: High sodium diets believed to increase blood pressure which is a known risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Food Coach recommends no more than 115 mg sodium per 100-125 calories on a generally healthy diet. You can cut on sodium by reducing the dressing on the sandwich or cutting down on chips on the side. Similarly, 6-gram total sugar was noted on this sandwich according to the Subway website. Chronic consumption of high sugar diet can lead to health problems such as weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. The food coach recommends no more than 2.5 grams of added sugar (5% of daily value) per 100-125 calories on a generally healthy diet. This particular sandwich was under the recommendation though. The bottom line is that added sugar, sodium, and fat in your food can be unhealthy if consumed more than recommended on regular basis. So know your food and be mindful of purchasing and consumption. However, I personally don’t see any ticking time bomb on the sugar content of the bread here. I always enjoy their fresh selection of veggies, on the whole bread. It is good to know the healthy and unhealthy qualities of this sandwich. Maybe next time you can say no to their meal combo and slash some empty calories from the chips, cookie, soda, and also can cut on some added sugar and sodium this way.

While searching on the subway bread, I came across another interesting story about their bread that you might be interested in reading.

Disclaimer: Please note that this food rating is not medical advice. This can be only used as general guidance to a healthy and balanced diet to your health and wellness. Please consult your health care provider prior to following any diet plan to ensure your personal medical nutritional needs. You can also check out our Medical Nutrition Therapy Service for the nutrition plan that is right for you! Thank you!

Eat with Intention, Responsibility, and Confidence!

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