When you pay close attention to your eating habits, you’ll tend to look at the nutritional information behind the package, and with good reason. However, where people often get it wrong is when they focus solely on calories……
Calorie information is not enough
Whether you are on a diet, or just trying to follow good eating habits, calories are often the main concern. But the number of calories is not enough information to know if you are making the right food choices.
Here is an example:
Let’s compare whole wheat pasta and a chocolate ice cream. If the healthiest choice seems obvious at first, in terms of calories, it’s less clear. Indeed, whole pasta contains on average 330kcal per 100g, compared with about 200kcal for chocolate ice cream.
However, if you decide to stop eating whole wheat pasta and replace it with ice cream instead, every day, you may have a big surprises on the scale. So, what else can help you make the right choices?
Calories are our friends…
First of all, no need to be afraid of calories. It is often said that a woman should consume between 1800 and 2000kcal per day, and a man between 2100 and 2700kcal. In reality, there are many factors that will determine the number of calories you should consume:
– Your age
– Your gender
– Your height
– Your lifestyle and the intensity of your physical activity
– Your current morphology
– Your genetics, meaning your basic metabolism.
These factors need to be taken into account and calculated to determine your ideal calorie intake. The ideal is to let a professional guide you, but you can also use some online calculators for this:
Not consuming enough calories is just like consuming too many. Indeed, if exceeding your needs will push your body to store additional energy in the form of fat, the lack in turn will undoubtedly lead you to sugar and fat cravings, and possibly to nutritional deficiencies and low energy in both cases.
Having a balance is essential. You have to understand that the human body is a wonderful machine designed for survival. If your body feels a lack, it will act vigorously to obtain what it wants. Hence the yoyo effect that often occurs in low-calorie diets.
Consume the right calories
A need for food will be expressed either when our mind is frustrated by a drop in pleasure, or when our body is not filled in quantity or in quality. More specifically, the contributing factors are the following:
– Sensory: Sight, taste, texture will influence the brain in the release of neurotransmitters which will give a feeling of satisfaction;
– Digestive: Mechanically, chewing and filling the stomach also sends information to the brain on the material that is being ingested;
– Hormonal: Hormones will be transmitted such as leptin, insulin and cholecystokinin to send a message of satiety;
– Mechanical: In the small intestine, the presence of nutrients will help prolong the effect of satiety.
The real challenge is therefore to consume the right amount of calories, of course, but also the right sources of calories so as not to experience cravings, what we call the satiety effect, or even suffer from nutritional deficiencies.
Let’s take the example of ice cream once again. The distribution of energy sources is not appropriate, the majority of the calories are derived from sugars and lipids. You will get a strong satisfaction of pleasure, but a low satisfaction of satiety because of a low nutritional intake, a texture too easily assimilated, a low chew time and an intense energy intake, but also too quickly assimilated and stored (refer to article on sugars).
Therefore, for a lower caloric value than whole pasta, for example, you will be hungry again, very soon, which will create a frustration and push you to eat again and again, risking ingesting more calories than necessary. Finally, beyond this aspect, you will have a low-nourishing diet, which will quickly be stored as fat in your body.
We take this into account at Fourmi Bionique
We often receive comments on the amount of calories and carbohydrates present in our granolas. We have provided an answer for carbohydrates in this article. Regarding calories, our products meet this strategy which is described above.
Indeed, the Grand Granola, for example, is a blend of quality whole grains (see article on grain free) which offer an excellent satiety effect and a good distribution of energy over time. The digestion of these cereals is slower than that of a classic oatmeal, for example, which makes it a perfect ally during breakfast in order to stay satisfied until lunch, while avoiding mid-morning snacking. In addition, the nutritional density of these products means that you have to consume a smaller amount than other comparable products to feel satisfied. Finally, they are high-performance products both in terms of pleasure and satiety.
Both in the Grand Granola range and in the NUTBROWN range, cereals and nuts are good complex carbohydrates, proteins, fibers and good fats that are rich in Omega 3 and 6 which guarantee you a good nutritional contribution and, let’s not forget, a good source of pleasure 😊.