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Fats, Salts and Sweets - A Paediatrician's Advice

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

As I have passed Day 60 of treating the Sparky Nutrition Tracker as the Soup Nazi armed with a bayoneted machine gun, I had pause to reflect on the pronounced change in my eating habits since I launched my personal Spark Caravan (now accompanied by over 100 of you poor misguided souls)!

Nothing enters my mouth without being researched, contemplated quantified and tracked. My very next discretionary expenditure (they are few and far between - parent of very expensive teens!) will be a digital food scale. Tracking food, and the discipline it has brought, has vastly improved the quality and quantity of what I eat.

As of now there are 25 fewer pounds of me, blogging about this experience. Mathematically, I remain dead-on my personal statistical glide-path to weigh zero by Thanksgiving 2013. My goal is to turn sideways and vanish into a 2-dimensional line (like Lee Meriwether's character in the original Star Trek "That Which Survives" episode) or in other words, to cast no shadow at all.

Some years ago we were interviewing paediatricians, before "Thing One" graced our lives with her Type A eminence. The prospective pediatrician explained this to us, in response to "How do we protect our kids from the lifelong weight challenges we have faced?" His answer: "Avoid foods containing excessive fats, salts and sweets." Our perverse senses of humor found us riding home making lists of favorite foods that contained all three in excess!

We found that few foods on the planet contain fats, salt and sweets - all in excess. Donuts were the first food to flash in our collective minds, on our way home from that pediatrician interview. Needless to say, donuts sit with most pizza, chicken wings and apple pie a-la-mode on the never-ever-again list for us. Ditto just about ANYTHING at Applebee's, Chili's, Outback, Denny's, Chinese buffets...

What is on your personal never-again food (or restaurant) list? I don't mean in "moderation" - I mean never?!?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    my never again is McDonald's. I watched several documentaries and stories about the way their food is processed and what it does to your body. I have 2 kids and let them watch these as well.
    2202 days ago
  • CALI1156
    I am one of the NEVER say never campers...but a lot of the foods I used to consume frequently are not even appetizing to me anymore. I have learned that when a food is becomes problematic...I must have it now! But if I know that its right there and I can have it whenever I want...then the choice becomes easier for me...but that's me.

    Congrats on your 25 lb loss!!!
    2203 days ago
    I'm going to go with fast food. McD's and BK may have some healthier items on their menus but let's face it. I don't go in there with salad on my mind.
    2205 days ago
  • BOSS61
    Finally SOMEONE has a "never" list. (Thanks Russell!) Was feeling like a pariah out here!
    2205 days ago
  • RUSSELL_40
    NEVER? for me this is bread, potatoes, corn, sweets, rice/pasta.

    I will miss mostaccioli and Italian sausage, but never cared for bread really. I will develop different tastes, which will be easier now that I have no hunger or cravings. I can choose healthier options.
    2206 days ago
  • ADZY86
    I don't think I could live without my digital kitchen scale! It's an absolute must!

    Like everyone else, I don't have a never-again list. Sure, there are things I really hope I will never succumb to eating again e.g. Krispy Kremes, strawberry turnovers, but I'm never going to say never. Ah man, now I'm thinking about them LOL
    2206 days ago
    Ramon noodles. Took a short nutrition class and the amount of fat and salt in that product was literally displayed for us to view. Banished them immediately from my house and lives of my offspring. I shudder when I think of how often I served them as a quick, cheap snack or easy lunch for my small army.

    I have raised 5 of those little creatures, further proof that God does have a sense of humor. How can 5 individual be raised under the same roof and have such different personalities???

    My digital scale is my #1 tool in my weight loss success. I highly suggest you get one.( If your kid asks you if it weighs in grams and you find it in his back pack the next day, you are totally wrong in what you are about to accuse him of, or so I have heard!)

    2207 days ago
  • JO74555
    i had read a report that the egg mcmuffins from mcdonald's make our arteries inflamed for about an hour or two. i'm not sure if it's how it's cooked or the ham part... but, i tend think most fast food reacts that way in our bodies. for whatever reasons i can tell you this... fast food never sits well. i can make the same egg muffin sandwich at home and my tummy doesn't suffer the same fate.

    i also do not have a "never" list. that would interfere with my authority issue of being told no. so instead i opt to say, "not now... maybe later". then hopefully, i'll have eaten something better for me before i pass one too many fast food restaurants. i can honestly say that when i skip a meal and let too much time go by before i eat, those cravings for big macs, pizzas... all that; rages in like a tsunami.
    2207 days ago
    I can't say NEVER about any food in quite the same sense as I did with cigarettes - that one was a true NEVER EVER AGAIN habit broken. But I think that I'll never really eat more than a mouthful of wheat, corn, rice, or potatoes at a time again. Ditto for any kind of sugar. I am officially off that particular roller coaster ride of energy and hunger. I really really like not being hungry anymore!
    2207 days ago
    First of all emoticon on kickin' that 25 lbs. to the curb!

    In the almost Always Say Never category on the Fresh Front, I'm an advocate of EWG's (Environmental Working Group -- awesome organization) Dirty Dozen, since they support their choices with info on pesticide levels per item:

    I also stick with fresh, whole, natural as much as possible, and 99% of the time avoid white most anything except perhaps potatoes, men, and cauliflower.

    BTW, the reason I added you as a friend was STRICTLY because you had the foresight to celebrate the beginning of the eighth decade on the planet of a Total Sparky Stranger with your POPULAR blog...and I've been meaning to thank you ever since!
    2207 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/2/2012 9:59:59 PM
  • DALMOM2007
    CONGRATULATIONS on losing 25 lbs....that is fantastic! emoticon emoticon

    I'm with the majority here in regard to the off-limits food list. I'm more of an in moderation kind of person. Although, I must admit that I have avoided the temptation of a Krispy Kreme Donut when some salesmen drop them off at our work (BAD salesmen...LOL!)

    As far the digital scale goes....I can't live without it! I had purchased this one over two years ago, and it still it!
    2208 days ago
    I'm in the all things in moderation camp. Except for the blooming onion because I thought it was disgusting when I wasn't watching my weight. I can eat anything I want as long as most of the time I am within calorie range. However i don't have your health issues. I have low blood pressure, normal blood sugar. and a low heart beat rate. My only issue is high normal cholesterol which is affected by my hypothyroidism. I can control that with exercise.
    2208 days ago
    There Iare foods I would never eat after hearing how bad they are for you but I have not cut anything totally out of my plan I do try to avoid sugar-- even the fake stuff
    2208 days ago
    You are a hoot! But to answer your question, I don't have a "never" list. I toss around the phrase of "never say never" too often in my life to make a "never" list...well, related to food that is.

    I have a niffy gadget (I love gadgets) that is an egg poacher & toaster all in one. I make an imitation Egg McMuffin, but call I it a McCinny. Below is how my McCinny sandwich is saved as a grouping in my food tracker. Sometimes I use egg whites and no cheese. It's really a neat gadget & I use it 5-6 x weekly.

    Cheddar Cheese, 0.25 oz 29 0 2 2
    Egg, fresh, 1 extra large 81 0 6 7
    Bob Evans, Canadian Bacon, 2 serving 20 0 0 4
    Thomas' Light Multi-Grain English Muffin, 1 serving 100 26 1 5

    TOTALS: 230 calories 26 carbs 9 fat 18 protein

    2209 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/1/2012 1:01:03 AM
  • NEWMOM20121
    I have not found a never again food or restaurant YET, however I research and track everything that I put in my mouth. There are lots of things that once I find out the calorie/fat/carb count I chose not to eat.
    2209 days ago
  • MARYANN2323
    I don't have a Never-again list. I have a don't list, and a someday list, but not a never again list. I am of the mindset that if I could never again have something it would haunt and call me excessively. Kinda like the pink elephant in the room. emoticon I know, not an elephant, but the closest I could get. Maybe we need to get SP to add some new emoticons?
    2209 days ago
  • BOSS61
    Interesting that folks are quick to throw MacDonald's under the wheels of the proverbial Sparky bus. Not long ago I surprised myself to find that an Egg McMuffin (without the hash browns of course) made for a reasonably Spark-compliant breakfast-behind-the-wheel when my business schedule so demanded. And MacDonald's now has free wifi, more reliably than about anyone. Just sayin'
    2209 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/29/2012 6:23:05 PM
  • LPETRO119
    Congrats on your weight loss!

    My never eat list only includes a few things - soda (regular, 'cause I don't like how I feel after and diet, 'cause aspartame gives me migraines), McDonald's - just doesn't taste good and I can rarely afford the calories, and pork rinds (not sure that they have any redeeming nutritional quality, but they sure can taste good!)! Otherwise, I eat most things in moderation.
    2209 days ago
    None ... I just have a very small portion if I indulge ... I love my scale .... couldn't live without it ... Roc
    2209 days ago
    I have lost and gained many times in my life. I think I gained back because of feeling deprivation. So now I do not have off-limit foods. I just don't eat those foods out and make a healthier version at home. That seems to work for me as I no longer y0-y0 up and down.
    2209 days ago
    I love my digital scale (this is the 2nd one I have owned as I melted the 1st one, when I turned on the wrong burner-OOPS!)

    I don't have any completely off-limits foods, but I have a whole list of "Will rarely eat" foods...pastries, pizza, candy bars, fried foods, breaded foods, fast foods, smothered foods. soda pop, ice cream, bread.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2209 days ago
  • SUSAN818127
    Maybe the Bloomin' Onion at Outback and most fast foods, but I'm with the contingent that's loathe to mark anything permanently off limits (or "al- flimitz," as I imagined the words as a kid). If I have to consider any food permanently out of bounds, I think of it as deprivation and I think about the unhealthy prospect of binging (when it inevitably does come to pass through my lips) because I'm eating the "wrong" thing. I'm still about taking the moderation road.
    2209 days ago
    I have to be the person who eats all things in moderation. I like food and I like to enjoy it. Tracking, however, has helped me fine tune that moderation tremendously, and make more inherently healthy choices. That being said, I do have an "avoid as much as possible" list, and that includes processed foods (cooking from scratch just tastes better and its so much better for you), and fast-food restaurants (do I need to explain??).

    Yay! for 25 pounds - that is awesome and by no means insignificant. emoticon
    2209 days ago
    Guess I feel kinda spoiled, because I don't know what I did before I got my digital scale and my digi food scale. Both musts for me. Keep tracking! That's my biggest weapon.

    Expensive teens -- yup! Check! Got two of 'em. DD -- well let's see. To describe her -- teenage princess, primadonna, diva, drama queen, uberboss. That covers it nicely.

    You're doing a wonderful job. Keep it up! Need I say . . . you're the BOSS!
    2209 days ago
    I congratulate you! I'm still working on the never again list. I am getting to the point of not being able to take deep fried food. Right now I'm on the healthy almost always kick and try to do everything questionable in moderation. Sometimes it works, well other times....

    Love star trek - that was a great episode! May your shadow continue to shrink. Have a happy.
    2209 days ago
  • JIML289
    I’m working at eliminating processed foods. It is a daunting endeavor, but I have the rest of my life to turn around years of indiscriminate dietary debauchery.
    2209 days ago
  • ANEWME423
    Great blog! The only items I have currently added a " never- ever - again will that cross my lips" list are: soda and everything made at/in/around/in conjunction/or having used for inspiration, a McDonalds.

    My reasoning, I may go months without ever wanting a bite of pizza because I know that it probably is not the best choice to help meet my goals. The moment I tell myself, I will never-ever again have a bite of pizza, it would be all I could think about. But that is just me.

    The reason the same concept doesn't apply to the liquid poison (soda) and the *aheeem* (probably better if I keep that label to my self) - McDonalds is completely because I have realized how disgusting (nutritionally) they are. The soda is just sugar, caffeine, a load of chemicals that I was tired of being dependent on. I have never let any other drug control my life and I decided I wasn't going to continue to allow that one the luxury. McDonalds, well....have you ever heard of the experiment with the happy meal that didn't rot, mold, etc.? My nutrition class decided to try a (very unscientific) replica this year. In August I purchased a hamburger happy meal. We took everything out of the wrappers and placed it on a plate in my classroom. It has set there on the plate, on the shelf behind my desk for the last six months. No mold. No rot. No odor. No discoloration. It just hardened. If that isn't bad enough, I watched that Jamie Oliver pink slime video and the chicken "patty"(nugget) video. Well let's just say that was the end of that.

    Pardon my rambling. But thanks for another entertaining blog. :).

    2209 days ago
    Right now I don't have a "NOT EVER" food to list. I'm finding there's a long list of foods that cause me pain so I'm working to eliminate those but haven't gotten to the forever never point of it yet. emoticon
    2209 days ago
    Red meats - all kinds. But not for weight loss reasons.

    I applaud the way your OCD has helped you managing your weight loss. This is EXACTLY what I've tried to avoid my whole life.....making food the center of my life: what to eat, how much, what not to eat, DO eat this, DON'T eat that, feeling guilty everytime I put a fork in my mouth ----Food, Food, Food.....!!!!!
    My personal goal is to eat to live and not the other way around - and not obsess over it. This is ME...I don't espouse this attitude for anyone else. Eat good stuff (fruits/veggies/good protein/etc)...and the not so good stuff - only occasionally. Watch portions.

    I've lost a great deal of weight in my lifetime adhering to this personal philosophy. And I kept it off for years. These past 15 years - with all the illnesses & drugs & steroids, I've had to take, screwed around with my appetite, my metabolism, my ability to stay active......well.....these 60+ lbs are the bane of my existance - because my 'old', sensible ways of losing weight aren't working anymore.....and I just can't get into the tracking, weighing, researching etc. mode.

    So.....while I am viscerally unable to attack my weight loss challenges as you do.....I need to find another way. It's a problem I live with every day. Every problem has a solution....right? ....So I'll have to keep searching.
    In the meantime.....KUDOS to you, my friend....for the steady progress you are making. I'm jealous!!!
    2209 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/29/2012 9:43:51 AM
  • DJSHIP46
    I quit McD's before I had a weight issue, but I can't think of any food that has been banned YET. My motto has been all things in moderation. I try to avoid processed food and am becoming a lot more successful at it. I'm afraid if I made a ban on some certain food, I would instantly develop a craving for that very thing!!!
    2209 days ago
  • REDSHOES2011
    Mcdonalds- have not stepped into a shop since 2004.. The grease smell scares me at half block distance lol..
    2209 days ago
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