Empty Your Home of Empty Calories

This week, the parents at Gulf Middle School learned about eating a variety of fruits and vegetables and an overview of MyPlate. After going over various food items that we commonly eat and identifying what food group they belong to, they were then asked a “trick question” to determine what food group cake, cookies, and pie belong to. Due to the high levels of sugar and unhealthy fats, these foods aren’t part of any food group. They are empty calorie foods, in which the food provides a lot of calories and very little nutrition. Meanwhile, foods such as fruits, vegetables, and other common MyPlate foods are nutrient-dense, meaning they are lower in calories and provide many nutrients and fiber. For example, one serving of a soft drink can have around 40 grams of sugar, 140 calories, and no nutritional value. On the other hand, a serving of low-fat milk can offer 12 grams of sugar (sugars are found naturally in dairy), around 110 calories, and 30 percent of calcium and 25 percent of Vitamin D needed in a day for those on a 2,000 calorie diet. The soda won’t do much for your body except satisfy a sweet tooth, while a healthier option will fuel your body the right way. Make it a habit to only keep nutrient-dense foods in the house, as unhealthy foods mainly help you in the short-term (satisfies hunger/cravings) and won’t provide the much-needed nourishment your body needs.
S. Bresin

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