Bust the Calorie Counting Myth

Written by Sheri Goodman Graham

On June 20, 2024
Bust the Calorie Counting Myth

The “calorie is a calorie” myth is woefully outdated and one of nutrition’s biggest fallacies.

To understand why, let’s compare a Double Gulp from 7-Eleven with 21 cups of broccoli, both of which contain 750 calories.

That supersized soda delivers those calories as 46 teaspoons of sugar.

Hormonal havoc ensues as sugar elevates insulin, blocks the appetite-control hormone leptin, and activates our pleasure-based reward center to consume more sugar and fuel our addiction.

Chronic inflammation, insulin resistance, and weight gain are the inevitable results.

Those 750 calories of broccoli, on the other hand, provide 67 grams of fiber (far more than the average American eats) yet only about one and a half teaspoons of sugar.

If we ate that much broccoli (unlikely!), none of the hormonal chaos would occur.

In fact, we would optimize metabolism, lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation and boost detoxification.

The take home is that quality matters. The most important thing we can do to heal our body is focus on food quality.

Americans spend less than 10 percent of their income on food, while Europeans spend about 20 percent.

When it comes to calories, quality matters more than quantity.

Focusing on calories helps us feel satisfied while naturally avoiding cravings and attraction to food that won’t nourish us.

Here are ways to do that:

  1. Avoid highly processed, factory-manufactured foods. Choose fresh vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds.
  2. Go organic. Pesticides and chemical fertilizers poison our metabolism, thyroid function, sex hormones and our planet. Whenever possible, buy organic.
  3. Stay local. Seasonal, local foods we find at farmers’ markets or community-supported agriculture projects
  4. Eat the right fats. Steer clear of vegetable oils like soybean oil, canola, olive, which now comprises about 10 percent of our calories. Focus instead on omega 3 fats, nuts, seeds, and avocados.
  5. Eat mostly plants. Plants should form 75 percent of our diet and our plate.
  6. Avoid dairy. Dairy is great for growing calves into cows, but not for humans.

Rather than count calories or anything else, we want to be qualitarians in our diet. The rest takes care of itself.

With love,
Sheri ❤️

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