Barry and Moe are back to discuss “empty calories” in this minisode of The Barry and Moe Nutrition Show:
When we talk about empty calories, we’re referring to calories that we get from eating food or drinking beverages with little-to-no nutritional value besides immediate energy. Barry and Moe give table sugar and alcohol as examples of empty calories… both provide the body with immediate energy or if energy needs have already been met, subsequently store that energy as fat.
More examples of empty calories include:
- Cakes, cookies, pastries
- Ice cream or frozen yogurt
- Sugar substitutes
Devoid of vitamins and fiber, these examples don’t offer our bodies much more than a sugar rush (though they are delicious). Since these foods are processed by the body for energy so quickly, they rarely keep you full. For someone trying to shed some pounds, these empty calorie foods should be the first to cut out of a regular diet. That being said, empty calorie foods are not inherently evil, they should just be enjoyed in moderation. Enjoying empty calories should be balanced with exercise to offset the extra calorie intake.
Can we make an exception for “cheat meals”?
In his episode of Healthy Chats, Moe endorses the idea of the occasional “cheat meal” for his clients. The cheat meal could include empty calorie foods as a reward for sticking to a nutritional diet for the majority of the time. Delaying gratification with a scheduled indulgence time in mind allows his clients to avoid those foods on a regular basis.
What’s our suggestion? Snack healthy!
Replace the urge to binge empty calories with snacks made with all-natural ingredients. Instead of reaching for a pack of cookies, try snacking on something that will provide your body the nutrients it needs to function at peak performance while keeping your hunger at bay.
Healthy snacks with protein include:
- Nuts and seeds
- Greek Yogurt (surprised?)
Snacks with (healthy) fats include:
- Nuts and seeds (again!)
- Sardines (if you’re into that kind of thing)
- Greek Yogurt
Why do we say healthy fat? Simply put, unsaturated fats found in the foods listed above help lower cholesterol levels and have been shown to reduce the potential for heart disease. Saturated fat and artificial trans fat, that you find largely in “empty calorie” foods increase the risk of heart disease and increase levels of bad cholesterol.
List of Healthy Carb Snacks:
- Fresh and Dried Fruit (high in carbs from glucose, but also vitamins and antioxidants)
- Hummus (healthy fat + B vitamins)
- Whole-wheat or seed crackers
- Greek Yogurt (it makes all three lists!)
- Breakfast Cereal (if it has a toy in the box, it probably doesn’t make the list)
See our menu to get healthy snacks delivered:
This is a good time to point out we’ve added snacks to the menu recently. Fight hunger with our healthy snack options that include chicken salad, guacamole, apples, housemade beef jerky, dried mango, cheese, olives, and more! You won’t miss empty calories when you get healthy snacks delivered directly to your door.