The average American eats high-calorie meals. This site is about healthy food which also happens to be low-calorie foods. It is very low in fat, salt and sugar compared to the average American diet. Processed foods or refined grain (especially refined carbs like bread, crackers and chips) and oil are a few of the bad guys.
You might think plant based whole food is boring and tasteless. This is not true. When you get used to it, you look forward to eating ‘real’ food with healthy fiber content.
You can add spices and/or a little salt and pepper to your home-cooked meals. Using refined oils like olive and corn, etc. to cook with or drizzle over a salad is not healthy, despite the food industry’s claims.
Oils are extremely low in nutrition. They contain no fiber, no minerals and calories are 100% fat. A few seeds and nuts (sprinkled over a salad) may be OK for those without cardiovascular problems, but eating avocados would have to be severely limited for them.
Refined oil and animal fat allegedly damages the epithelial cell wall in our veins. This is why I avoid eating meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy (high calorie and bad cholesterol.)
Stimulants with caffeine like coffee and tea (also some soft drinks) may also cause damage your cardiovascular system over time. This also goes for sugary drinks with fructose or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) causing potential fatty liver disease. Remember, we don’t want a future heart attack or stroke! We want to ‘prevent’ it from happening in the first place. Eating plant-based food is like ‘health insurance’ you may never have to use.
The ‘standard American diet’ (which has a huge amount of animal protein, animal fat, salt and sugar) has way too many calories. With plant based whole food, you never have to count calories. You eat all you want until full. You can also make healthy snacks between meals if you get hungry.
Here’s a sample of calories in foods I eat…
- Baked potato med. 163 cal.
- Brown rice 219 cal. each cup
- Green salad 15 cal. per 2 cups
- Broccoli 54 cal. per cup
- Pinto beans 250 cal. per cup
- Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) for hummus 295 cal. cup
- Banana 105 cal. med.
- Orange 65 cal. med.
- Apple 95 cal. med.
- Mango 98 cal. per cup
- Hash browns 100 cal. per cup
- Figure that a handful of nuts or seeds equals about 1 oz. which is approx. 200 cal.
Foods high in fat, refined carbs and sugar cause weight gain. What do you see in an obese person’s hands? Usually, a soft drink in one and a bag of chips and/or cookie in the other!
Did you know how easy it is to gain weight? All you have to do to gain 1 pound a week is to eat an additional 500 calories each day. Easy to do on junk food! It’s almost like all you have to do is look at what’s bad to eat and you gain weight.
Search the BMI chart so you know how much you should weigh for your height. Then, go to the USDA My plate and calculate how many calories a day you need to lose weight and keep it off. You can also take a look at exercising while there.
For example, I am 5′ 10″ and weigh 158 lbs. It’s within my ‘healthiest weight zone’. If you require 2000 calories a day like I do, it’s easy to go over your daily calorie limit eating junk and snack foods, take out fast foods and going out to restaurants regularly. Who do you know who’s not overweight? It’s the food.
The only problem I experience is I have to make sure I eat enough calorie rich food each day. To do that, I make sure I eat more ‘volume of the higher calorie foods’ like potatoes, rice and beans. Mangos are my favorite fruit (from Aug. to Nov.) relatively high in calories for a larger one.
A few weight gainers, but not all-inclusive…
- Avocado med. 322 cal.
- Olive oil 119 cal. per tablespoon
- Dried fruit @ 200 cal. per half cup
- Whole milk @ 150 cal. per cup
- Soft drinks 250 cal. per 16 oz.
- Potato chips 8 oz. bag equals 1,270 cal.!
- Bread 81 cal. each slice
- Chocolate chip cookie small 59 cal.
- Chocolate bar 2 oz. 270 cal.
- Oatmeal (steel-cut) 1/4 cup dried oats plus 1/2 cup of skim milk is 150 cal.
- French fries med. serving 365 cal.
- Cheeseburger up to 500 cal. (and beyond) depending upon how much meat and whatever else is on it like bacon, cheese and mayonnaise!
*Note- Always check with your doctor before changing your diet.