Candy Bar or GINORMOUS Salad? Hmmm! (Some Fun Comparisons.)


A lot of people who I work with seem to know a lot about nutrition already. Those are by far my easiest clients – because they just GET IT!  So currently I’m working with a gentleman who is trying to lose about 80 pounds and get off of his diabetes medications. The other day he confessed to me that when he gets hungry in the middle of the day, he will run down (to the lobby shop in his office building) and grab a Hershey’s candy bar. “Wait. You’re telling me that when you feel hungry, a candy bar is your go-to answer?”  Of course I said this as unemotionally as possible, but when I heard a very intelligent, well-educated man say he does something that I just assumed everyone KNOWS is a no-no, a light went off in my head.  I hope he couldn’t read the cartoon over my head, but it read “THANKS DUDE!  GREAT BLOG TOPIC!”

With that, here are some very interesting food comparisons, just for fun!  Ready?  Kay, here goes:


The milk chocolate Hershey’s bar (picture in the heading of this post) has 360 calories, 21 grams of fat.  The first ingredient is sugar (inflammation anyone?).  Then we have artificial flavors and PGPR which is fancy for Polyglycerol polyricinoleate,  a cheap and harmful replacement for cocoa butter, which is an ingredient that WOULD be good for you if it were actually IN the candy bar.

So we have our lovely candy bar!  Now let’s look at alternatives that are not only MUCH more filling (like FULL MEALS!), but are lower in calories and fat, not to mention the nutritional benefits (HEALTH!) that you will enjoy.

A full MEAL by Kashi in the frozen section of your grocery store: Black Bean MangoYUM!  Have you tried it?  I spice it up with sriracha sauce!  It has 340 calories, 8 grams of fat.  Calories are similar (not the fat tho!) but it also packs fiber, vitamins A & C and iron.  And the Hershey’s bar?  Uh, not so much.  Not to mention that you will feel full ten times longer!  With that candy bar however, you’ll be going to the cabinet 20 minutes later once you recover from the sugar hit,  What?  You don’t experience a sugar crash?  That may mean that your body is used to the dangerous blood-sugar cycle, so don’t get too excited.  😯

How about eating HALF of an Amy’s Pizza (I LOVE the Roasted Veggie, No Cheese on Rice Crust)  for 215 calories and 10 grams of fat, AND you get healthy protein and fiber and crazy-good nutrients from all the veggies!

OR you can eat half the can (AND IT’S FILLING!) of 365 brand of Organic Vegetarian Chili (it’s spicy) for 240 calories and 5 grams of fat and also enjoy lots of fiber and good-for-you protein!  You won’t have a problem pronouncing any ingredients on their can either.  I’d venture to say that this is LOTS more filling than a candy bar.

Enjoy GINORMOUS salads?  **Read at bottom for a break down of an enormous and nutritious salad for about 300 calories and 6 grams of fat – with tons of antioxidants, phyto-nutrients and goodness 😉

I know people grab ‘healthy bars’ as a snack, but even a Kind Bar (Maple Glazed Pecan and Sea Salt) has 210 calories and 16 grams of fat.  For a meal it’s not TOTALLY horrible (the fat is high), but for a SNACK?  I’d say these should be occasional indulgences at best.  If it fills you up to the tune of 4-5 hours and can be a meal-replacement from time to time, then go for it.  Personally for me though, a ‘healthy’ bar doesn’t fill me up for long enough to warrant the calories and fat.

Looking for a smaller thing to pack in the briefcase that comes closer to resembling a snack?  Have you tried the tahini-free hummus from Trader Joe’s?  OR YOU CAN EASILY MAKE YOUR OWN HUMMUS!  Just leave out the oil and tahini (blend a can of garbanzo beans with lemon juice and tamari – and add flavors you like.  I like to add barbecue sauce).  For 200 calories and 12 grams of fat, you can have a half cup (of the Trader Joe’s hummus mentioned above) with all the raw veggies you like!  It’s filling, full of fiber and protein and will sustain your energy and alertness for HOURS!

So I realize that many of the options I mentioned above are more like meals, but that’s my point!  Look at how much food you can enjoy ……or ….just a candy bar!  Look at the opportunity you have to NOURISH your body and all of it’s cells….or overload it with an insulin spike that leads to inflammation (if done on a regular basis).  You have three to five opportunities a day to foster great health.  Don’t blow it.  Once in a while, absolutely go balls to the wall with an indulgence!  But go to work PREPARED!  SO WHAT if you have to make an Amy’s Pizza the night before and package a few pieces in ziplocs!  SO WHAT if you have to throw some chili in a thermos and warm it up at work (or eat it cold – YUM!).

For anything you prepare the night before, THERE’S A CONTAINER FOR THAT!  It is SO worth your extra energy to plan for that crazy hunger that drives you down to the coffee shop for a candy bar!  I always use this example, so don’t roll your eyes at me!  🙄 But you can be in your 70’s/80’s… walking up flights of stairs and taking care of yourself in your own house, playing rounds of tennis and golf, enjoying sunny Florida (cuz that’s where we’ll all end up, right?) ORRRRRR….. you can be suffering from Alzheimer’s (G-d forbid) or diabetes, high blood pressure, unable to completely enjoy your grandchildren (again, G-d forbid!).  We are laying the foundation NOW for how we enjoy our later years.  Choose wisely!

xo! 😎

*** As a side note, I like to eat VOLUME!  Not too much though because even if you overeat veggies, overeating in general causes a blood sugar spike!  Here’s what I enjoy, and it’s still less calories and fat then a candy bar, but is obviously PACKED with nutrition and CRAZY satiety!
* 1 cup each of broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, mixed colored peppers, cauliflower and mushrooms.
* about 4 ounces of (Nasoya – light firm) tofu
* 1/2 cup onions – sautéed in organic cooking spray
* I steam everything except the tofu and kale. (and the onions which I sauté)
* I massage the kale in fresh-squeezed lemon juice and tamari
* I either put the tofu on top of the salad of steamed veggies and massaged kale OR
*OR – I blend (in vitamix or blender) the tofu with cilantro or basil and a little rice vinegar and maple syrup as a dressing!
——-This salad has both raw and cooked (steamed) veggies so your getting major health benefits nutritionally.  It’s packed with fiber and protein, low in fat and calories – and is INCREDIBLY FILLING – OH, and you’ll poop 😯   Go compare THAT with a candy bar! 😉

:Other sources are linked in the body of this blog post



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