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A Basic Guide to Diet and Nutrition
An Affiliate Of:

 

The Diet Solution Program

 

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CONSUMERS INFO USA
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Why Can’t I Lose Weight A Basic Guide to Diet & Nutrition

 

As with all information distributed via the internet; the very first thing we must do is give the required disclaimers:

 

What you have received is information. It is intended for informational purposes only. The goal of this eBook guide is simply to educate.

Nationwide the statistics are absolutely clear that many people simply have never been taught the very basics of diet, and nutrition, and the overall roll it plays in your daily food consumption.

It is because of this lack of knowledge that many people fail to achieve their weight goals.

 

That is the purpose of this eBook guide. It is only intended to educate on the basics of diet and nutrition.

 

Please understand that Consumers Info USA is not a Counseling Service, or a Diet Advisory Company.

 

This information is not intended as professional advice. We encourage you to consult with established professionals in your local area if needed.

The opinions and information contained in this guide are based on many years of experience and will apply to many situations. However individual circumstances can vary which may make some of the information contained in this guide inapplicable to your own particular situation.

The information on this subject matter may not fit your own individual circumstances.

 

Consumers Info USA can not be held responsible in any way, and will be held harmless from, any decisions made by the reader based solely on the information on this guide.

 

The bottom line is that everybody’s situation is different, which means the information in this eBook guide may not work for you.

 

However, the most important thing is that you will never know unless you make the effort to educate yourself and then put the information in to practice.

 

Thank You Sincerely
A Basic Guide to Diet and Nutrition
Table of Contents

What is a Diet? What is Nutrition? What is Metabolism? What are Vitamins? What are Minerals? What is a Calorie? What are Carbohydrates? What is Fat? What is Sodium? What is Cholesterol? What is Fiber? Three Basic Changes Best Ways to Change Eating Habits About Us The Diet Solution Program Fast Food Reference Guide

WHAT IS A DIET?

 

00005.jpgLike many words in the English language, the word diet is often used interchangeably when people are referring to completely different things.

In simple terms... your diet is what you eat. What foods you eat and how much of them you eat. By definition, "diet" refers to what a person eats or drinks during the course of a day.

However... the word is also commonly used when referring to a controlled eating plan specifically for the purpose of loosing weight. This is when you commonly hear words like: “I’m on a diet” “I didn’t stick to my diet” “I’m going off my diet” etc.

When it is used in this way, the word diet is viewed almost the same as other four letter words. But the bottom line is that anything you eat is your diet.

 

If you eat in quantities that are too large, you will take in too many calories and will gain weight.

However, if you eat what’s considered “the right amount of calories” for you, but you get them from only one food group, you will lack essential nutrients which may cause health problems.

A diet that limits portions to very small sizes, or that excludes certain foods; entirely to promote weight loss may not be effective over the long term. You are likely to miss certain foods and find it difficult to follow this for a long time.

Instead, it is considered better to gradually change the types and amounts of food you eat and maintain these changes for the rest of your life.

 

The ideal diet is one that takes into account your likes and dislikes and includes a wide variety of foods with enough calories and nutrients for good health.

How much you eat and what you eat play a major role in how much you weigh. A healthy diet is one that helps maintain or improve health. It is important for lowering many chronic health risks, such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, etc.

A healthy diet involves consuming appropriate amounts of all essential nutrients and an adequate amount of water. Nutrients can be obtained from many different foods.

A healthy diet needs to have a balance of macronutrients (fats, proteins, and carbohydrates), calories to support energy needs, and micronutrients to meet the needs for human nutrition without inducing toxicity or excessive weight gain from consuming excessive amounts.

But that is the question that eludes everyone. What is a healthy diet?

 

And even though we hear these terms on a daily basis, what is nutrition? What are calories? What is fat? What are carbohydrates? Etc.

It is these most basic and fundamental things that we all hear about frequently. But few of us truly understand what they are and what role each plays in your overall diet.

Once you learn these basics, it will affect the choices that you make on a daily basis. And that will significantly improve you being able to reach your weight loss goals.

Learning the definitions of these basic fundamental terms is the purpose of this eBook guide.

 

WHAT IS NUTRITION?

 

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Nutrition, nourishment, or aliment, is the supply of materials - food - required by organisms and cells to stay alive. In science and human medicine, nutrition is the science or practice of consuming and utilizing foods.

In hospitals, nutrition may refer to the food requirements of patients, including nutritional solutions delivered via an IV (intravenous) or IG (intragastric) tube.

Nutritional science studies how the body breaks food down (catabolism) and repairs and creates cells and tissue (anabolism) - catabolism and anabolism = metabolism. Nutritional science also examines how the body responds to food. In other words, "nutritional science investigates the metabolic and physiological responses of the body to diet".

As molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics advance, nutrition has become more focused on the steps of biochemical sequences through which substances inside us and other living organisms are transformed from one form to another metabolism and metabolic pathways.

Nutrition also focuses on how diseases, conditions and problems can be prevented or lessened with a healthy diet.

Nutrition also involves identifying how certain diseases, conditions or problems may be caused by dietary factors, such as poor diet (malnutrition), food allergies, metabolic diseases, etc.

What is Metabolism?

 

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Many people claim that they cannot lose weight because they have a slow metabolism and are constantly looking for ways to boost their metabolism. A lot of these people do not truly understand the term metabolism. According to Wikipedia:

“Metabolism is a set of chemical reactions that occur in living organisms in order to maintain life”

Metabolism allows our bodies to utilize the food and some other resources that are needed to maintain the functions of the body, to repair damage, get rid of toxins, and heal injury. It is really an essential process in living organisms, particularly in humans. Without this process, we would die.

In humans the food we eat fuels these chemical reactions. So when people refer to a fast or slow metabolism they are generally referring to the average amount of calories their body burns in a day.

Food is the most important instrument that will help you either lose/gain weight, considering that metabolism needs the energy from what you eat. Chemical reactions take place within the body's cells that convert fuel from the consumed food, ultimately into energy to do everyday functions like thinking, growth, household/work activities and so on. Without metabolism, cells wouldn't be kept healthy and functioning.

Enzymes break down proteins from food present in the digestive system. These are then converted into amino acids, fatty acids, carbohydrates and sugar. These are then absorbed into the blood, namely amino and fatty acids, making their way into the cells. Other enzymes then actively control the chemical reactions thus metabolizing the compounds that are the result of the process.

Metabolism Kinds

 

There are two kinds of metabolism, namely catabolism and anabolism.

Catabolism
Also known as destructive metabolism, catabolism produces energy to make the cells active. Carbohydrates and fats are broken down to produce energy. This energy is then released to provide fuel for anabolism (read below). This in turn increases temperature within the body, making muscles contract in being able make body parts move. Complex chemical units are converted into simple matter
- like waste through the skin, lungs and kidneys.

Anabolism
Also known as constructive metabolism, anabolism caters to storing and building. New cells are then formed and energy is stored for later use. This is then converted to large molecules of protein, carbohydrates and fats.

Now you must have understood what is metabolism and why is it important. There are many reasons that stunt one's ability to lose weight like genetics, problems like hyperthyroidism, type 1 and 2 diabetes and so on. Make a point to check your family history, to gage whether you have problems that hinder the way your body functions. Consult a doctor now if you're unsure of why multiple diet plans and workouts fail to bear fruit for you.

Foods/Habits That Rev Up Metabolism

As a kid you may have been pestered day in and day out to drink lots of water. Dietitians say that drinking at least 6 - 8 glasses of water a day can improve not only health, but repair other problems like bad skin (oily/dry/acne prone), hair, increase metabolism, regular bowel movements, cleansing of bodily toxins and so on. Follow this regime, and see a considerable change in body mass and structure.

Eat fruits and vegetables (because of high fiber content), as these are foods that boost metabolism.

 

Walk long distances for at least a total of 30 minutes in a day (jog every now and then to boost metabolism, stick to walking if too tiresome).

 

Drink green tea (known to contain a considerable amount of calorie burning properties).

 

Increase protein intake like fish, white meat (chicken), cereal (fat free).

 

Occasionally eat spicy food (throw in some hot spices to boost your metabolic rate).

Substitute regular coffee with black coffee (avoid using cream, sugar or milk).
Constantly munch on something healthy like nuts (small helpings of peanuts, almonds, groundnuts and cashews - switch to pine nuts, salt free pistachios if you'd like; strictly avoiding wafers/biscuits).

Make it a habit to opt for the stairs instead of the elevator.

Avoid starch and sugar carbohydrates like white bread, sugary items, candy, aerated drinks, potatoes (fried/boiled), pasta and so on (try eating these items during the weekends instead of everyday).

Eat a good breakfast and lunch; go easy on dinner (make sure you eat two hours before you head to bed, to avoid food from sitting overnight in your belly, causing it to bloat).

Most importantly, avoid starving yourself.

 

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WHAT ARE VITAMINS?

 

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Vitamins are organic compounds which are needed in small quantities to sustain life. We get vitamins from food, because the human body either does not produce enough of them or none at all. An organic compound contains carbon. When an organism (living thing) cannot produce enough of an organic chemical compound that it needs in tiny amounts, and has to get it from food, it is called a vitamin.

Sometimes the compound is a vitamin for a human but not for some other animals. For example, vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a vitamin for humans but not for dogs, because dogs can produce (synthesize) enough for their own needs, while humans cannot.

Put simply, a vitamin is both:

An organic compound (contains carbon).
An essential nutrient the body cannot produce enough of on its own, so it has to get it (tiny a mounts) from food.

There are currently 13 recognized vitamins.

Vitamin A
Chemical names (vitaminer) - retinol, retinal, and four carotenoids (including beta carotene).

Fat soluble.
Deficiency may cause night-blindness and keratomalacia (eye disorder that results in a dry cornea)
Good sources - liver, cod liver oil, carrot, broccoli, sweet potato, butter, kale, spinach, pumpkin, collard greens, some cheeses, egg, apricot, cantaloupe melon, milk.

Vitamin B1.
Chemical name (vitaminer) - thiamine
Water soluble.

Deficiency may cause beriberi, Wernicke-Korsakoffsyndrome Good sources - yeast, pork, cereal grains, sunflower seeds, brown rice, whole grain rye, asparagus, kale, cauliflower, potatoes, oranges, liver, and eggs.

Vitamin B2.
Chemical name (vitaminer) - roboflavin
Water soluble.

Deficiency may cause ariboflavinosis
Good sources - asparagus, bananas, persimmons, okra, chard, cottage cheese, milk, yogurt, meat, eggs, fish, and green beans.

Vitamin B3.
Chemical names (vitaminer) - niacin, niacinamide Water soluble. Deficiency may cause pellagra

Good sources - liver, heart, kidney, chicken, beef, fish (tuna, salmon), milk, eggs, avocados, dates, tomatoes, leafy vegetables, broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, asparagus, nuts, whole grains, legumes, mushrooms, and brewer's yeast.

Vitamin B5.
Chemical name (vitaminer) - pantothenic acid
Water soluble.

Deficiency may cause paresthesia
Good sources - meats, whole grains (milling may remove it), broccoli, avocados, royal jelly, fish ovaries.

Vitamin B6.
Chemical names (vitaminer) - pyridoxine, pyridoxamine, pyridoxal Water soluble.

Deficiency may cause anemia, peripheral neuropathy
Good sources - meats, bananas, whole grains, vegetables, and nuts. When milk is dried it loses about half of its B6. Freezing and canning can also reduce content.

Vitamin B7.
Chemical name (vitaminer) - biotin
Water soluble.

Deficiency may cause dermatitis, enteritis Good sources - egg yolk, liver, some vegetables.

Vitamin B9.
Chemical names (vitaminer) - folic acid, folinic acid Water soluble.

Deficiency may cause pregnancy deficiency linked to birth defects Good sources - leafy vegetables, legumes, liver, baker's yeast, some fortified grain products, sunflower seeds. Several fruits have moderate amounts, as does beer.

Vitamin B12.
Chemical names (vitaminer) - cyanocobalamin, hydroxycobalamin, methylcobalamin

Water soluble.
Deficiency may cause megaloblastic anemia
Good sources - fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and dairy products. Some fortified cereals and soy products, as well as fortified nutritional yeast.

Vitamin C.
Chemical names (vitaminer) - ascorbic acid
Water soluble.

Deficiency may cause megaloblastic anemia
Good sources - fruit and vegetables. The Kakadu plum and the camu camu fruit have the highest vitamin C contents of all foods. Liver also has vitamin C.

Vitamin D.
Chemical names (vitaminer) - ergocalciferol, cholecalciferol Fat soluble.

Deficiency may cause rickets, osteomalacia
Good sources - produced in the skin after exposure to ultraviolet B light from the sun or artificial sources. Found in fatty fish, eggs, beef liver, and mushrooms.

Vitamin E.
Chemical names (vitaminer) - tocopherols, tocotrienols
Fat soluble.

Deficiency is uncommon. May cause mild hemolytic anemia in newborns Good sources - kiwi fruit, almonds, avocado, eggs, milk, nuts, leafy green vegetables, unheated vegetable oils, wheat germ, and wholegrains.

Vitamin K.
Chemical names (vitaminer) - phylloquinone, menaquinones Fat soluble.

Deficiency may cause bleeding diathesis
Good sources - leafy green vegetables, avocado, kiwi fruit. Parsley contains a lot of vitamin K.

Fat soluble and water soluble vitamins

There are fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the fat tissues of our bodies, as well as the liver. Fat-soluble vitamins are easier to store than water-soluble ones, and can stay in the body as reserves for days, some of them for months.

Water-soluble vitamins do not get stored in the body for long - they soon get expelled through urine.

 

Water-soluble vitamins need to be replaced more often than fat-soluble ones.

 

Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble.

 

Vitamins C and all the B vitamins are water-soluble.

 

Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed through the intestinal tract with the help of fats (lipids).

 

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WHAT ARE MINERALS?

 

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As important as vitamins are, they can do nothing for you without minerals. Vitamins cannot be assimilated without the aid of minerals. Although the body can manufacture a few vitamins, it cannot manufacture a single mineral. All tissue and internal fluids contain varying quantities of minerals. Minerals are constituents of the bones, teeth, soft tissue, muscle, blood, and nerve cells. They are vital to overall mental and physical well-being.

HOW THEY WORK: Minerals act as catalysts for many biological reactions within the body, including, muscle response, the transmission of messages through the nervous system, and the utilization of nutrients in food.

Just like vitamins, minerals help your body grow, develop, and stay healthy. The body uses minerals to perform many different functions — from building strong bones to transmitting nerve impulses. Some minerals are even used to make hormones or maintain a normal heartbeat.
Macro and Trace

Whereas vitamins are organic substances (made by plants or animals), minerals are inorganic elements that come from the soil and water and are absorbed by plants or eaten by animals. Your body needs larger amounts of some minerals, such as calcium, to grow and stay healthy. Other minerals like chromium, copper, iodine, iron, selenium, and zinc are called trace minerals because you only need very small amounts of them each day.

The two kinds of minerals are: macrominerals and trace minerals. Macro means "large" in Greek (and your body needs larger amounts of macrominerals than trace minerals). The macromineral group is made up of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, and sulfur.

A trace of something means that there is only a little of it. So even though your body needs trace minerals, it needs just a tiny bit of each one. Scientists aren't even sure how much of these minerals you need each day. Trace minerals includes iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride, and selenium.

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Summary Table

The following table (in alphabetical order within categories) includes basic information about some of the major minerals used by the human body.

Mineral Functions Sources

Signs of Deficiencies

Signs of Excessive Intake

Macro Minerals:
Calcium Key constituent of

 

(Ca)

bones and teeth; Essential for vital metabolic processes such as nerve function, muscle contraction, and blood clotting.

Dairy Produce Deficiency (or

insufficient uptake) may lead to:
Osteomalacia;
Osteoporosis;
Rickets;
Tetany.
Formation of "stones" in the body,
especially the Gall Bladder and the
Kidneys.

Iron (Fe)

Essential for transfer of oxygen between tissues in the body; Blood (e.g. "Black Pudding");
Eggs;
Green (leafy)
vegetables; Fortified foods (e.g. cereals, white flour);
Liver; Meat;
Nuts; Offal;
Peas; Whole grains. Deficiency may lead to:
Anaemia;
Increased
susceptibility to
infections.
Long-term excessive intake of iron can lead to:
Haemochromatosis or Haemosiderosis
(involving organ
damage), and both of which are rare;
Insufficient calcium and magnesium in the body (because these minerals
compete with each other for absorption); Increased
susceptibility to
infectious diseases.

Magnesium Essential for healthy

 

(Mg)

bones;
Functioning of muscle & nervous tissue;
Needed for
functioning of approx. 90 enzymes. Eggs;
Green leafy
vegetables;
Fish (esp. shellfish); Milk (and dairy
products);
Nuts;
Wholemeal flour. Deficiency can occur gradually, leading to: Anxiety; Fatigue; Insomnia; Muscular problems; Nausea; Premenstrual
problems.
The most extreme cases of deficiency may be associated with arrhythmia.
Unusual.

Phosphorous Constituent of bone

 

(P)

tissue;
Forms compounds needed for energy conversion reactions (e.g. adenosine Dairy products;
Fruits (most fruits); Meat;
Pulses;
Vegetables(esp.leafy green ).
Insufficient
phosphorous may lead to:
Anaemia;
Demineralization of bones;

Excess phosphorous can interfere with the body's absorption of: calcium, iron,
magnesium, and zinc.

triphosphate - ATP). Nerve disorders;

Respiratory
problems;
Weakness;
Weight Loss.

Potassium (K)

Main base ion of
intracellular fluid; Necessary to
maintain electrical potentials of the
nervous system and so functioning of muscle and nerve tissues.
Cereals;
Coffee;
Fresh Fruits;
Meat;
Salt-subsitutes; Vegetables;
Whole-grain flour. Insufficient
potassium in the body may lead to: General muscle paralysis;
Metabolic
disturbances.
Excessive amounts in the body (whether due to intake or other causes) may lead to: Arrhythmia, and
ultimately cardiac arrest ("heart
attack").
Metabolic
disturbances.

Sodium (Na)

Controls the volume of extracellular fluid in the body;
Maintains the acidalkali (pH) balance in the body;
Necessary to
maintain electrical potentials of the
nervous system and so functioning of muscle and nerve tissues.

Micro Minerals:

Excessive amounts in the body (whether due to intake or other causes) may lead to: Hypernatraemia;
De-hydration
(especially in babies); Possible long-term effects may include hypertension.
Processed bakery products;
Processed foods generally (incl. tinned and cured products);
Table Salt
Insufficient sodium in the body may lead to:
Low blood pressure; General muscle
weakness/paralysis; Mild Fever;
Respiratory
problems.

Chromium (Cr)

Involved in the functioning of skeletal muscle. Cereals;
Cheese;
Fresh fruit;
Meat;
Nuts;
Wholemeal flour. Deficiency may lead to:
Confusion;
Depression;
Irritability;
Weakness.

00010.jpgCopper (Cu)

Part of the enzyme copper-zince
superoxide
dismutase (CuZn SOD);
Also present in other enzymes, including cytochrome oxidase, ascorbic acid
oxidase, and
tyrosinases;
Found in the red
blood cells, and in blood plasma;
Cocoa; Liver;
Kidney; Oysters; Peas;
Raisins. Insufficient copper has been associated with:
changes in hair
colour & texture, and hair loss;
disturbances to the nervous system;
bone diseases.

Serious deficiency is rare but can lead to: Menke's syndrome.

00010.jpgManganese (Mn)

Antioxidant
properties;
Fertility;
Formation of strong healthy bones,
nerves, and muscles; Forms part of the enzyme copper-zince superoxide
dismutase (CuZn SOD) system;
Avocados;
Nuts;
Pulses;
Tea;
Vegetables;
Whole-grain cereals. Deficiencies are
unusual but may lead to:
Bone deformities; Rashes & skin
conditions;
Reduced hair
growth;
Retarded growth (in children).

Excessive intake has been associated with brain conditions such as symptoms similar to those resulting from Parkinson's
disease.

Selenium (Se)

Excessive intake can lead to selenium
poisoning.
Antioxidant
properties (prevents peroxidation of lipids in the cells);
Essential component of the enzyme
glutathione
peroxidase;
Contributes to
efficiency of the
immune system very wide variety of protective functions within the body.
Egg yolk;
Garlic;
Seafood;
Whole-grain flour. Deficiency may lead to:
Cardiomyopathy; Kaschin-Beck disease (affects the cartilage at joints).

Sulphur (S)

Healing build-up of toxic substances in the body;
Structural health of the body (sulphur is a part of many
amino acids incl. cysteine and
methionine);
Healthy skin, nails & hair.
Beans;
Beef;
Cruciferous
vegetables (e.g. broccoli);
Dairy produce; Meat .
Deficiency of sulphur is unusual.

00010.jpgZinc (Zn)

Needed for:
Functioning of many (over 200) enzymes; Strong immune
system;
Dairy produce; Egg yolk;
Liver;
Red meat;
Seafood;
Whole-grain flour. Deficiency is rare but may lead to:
Lesions on the skin, oesophagus and
cornea;
Retarded growth (of children);
Susceptibility to
infection.
Excessive intake is not a common
problem but
especially if zinc
supplements are
taken over an
extended period of time, can reduce the absorption of Copper (so Copper
supplements may also be appropriate).

Advice Notes: Always research the contraindications & side-effects of supplements. The above revision information is intended for therapists qualified in Diet and Nutrition. Unqualified persons are advised to seek professional guidance in the use of supplements.
Minerals can do more harm than good if taken in excessive amounts and may be useless unless in combination with other minerals.

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What is a Calorie?

 

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Calories are a measurement of energy that the body receives from foods and beverages. This energy is what fuels the body, and enables it to function properly. Most people know that in order to lose weight, calorie intake must be reduced and monitored. Some people find an effective weight management tool to be a calorie controlled diet. So what is a calorie controlled diet anyway?

A calorie controlled diet is, simply put, a diet in which calories are counted. The recommended average calorie intake for women is about two thousand calories per day. The recommended average calorie intake for men is about two thousand five hundred calories per day. These guidelines are basic averages and may vary depending on specific dietary needs, and/or activity level. A good rule of thumb to determine how many calories you should be consuming per day is to use one of the calorie multiplier methods. For a daily maintenance diet, multiply your body weight in pounds by fifteen calories (lbs. x 15). For a fat loss diet, multiply your body weight in pounds by twelve calories (lbs. x 12). This is a very easy, efficient way to get a good idea of your daily caloric requirements. Another helpful tip for fat loss is: for every one pound of fat you wish to lose per week, you must reduce your caloric intake by three thousand five hundred calories per week (or five hundred calories per day).

The calorie controlled diet can help you gain a much more realistic view of how many calories you really consume each day. Recent studies have shown that people underestimate the number of daily calories consumed by as much as one thousand when they do not keep track of their diet. To be as honest as possible on the controlled diet, keep track (or keep a log) of everything you eat in a day. At the end of the day, add up the total number of calories and write it down in a journal. When seven days have elapsed, add the total calories for the week, and divide that number by seven. That is your average daily calorie intake.

Aside from being more aware of how many calories you are consuming each day, there are several other advantages of a calorie controlled diet. This diet does not limit your food, and does not keep you from eating your favorites. All calories are counted, and as long as you do not exceed your daily allotted calories, most foods can be consumed with moderation. Calorie controlled diets are also quite easy to begin and do not interfere with daily life. Finally, a calorie controlled diet helps you maintain a healthy eating program for life. The diet encourages people to make smart food choices which optimizes energy and promotes overall health and well being

How Are Calories Related to Weight Control?

If our energy intake (that is, the calorie-content of the food we eat) exceeds our energy expenditure (that is, the calories we burn while at rest and while moving), our body stores the surplus energy as body fat. Result? We gain weight.

How Many Calories Equals One Pound of Body Fat?

Dietitians usually reckon that 3500 calories is equal to one pound of body fat. Therefore, in order to reduce weight (eg. 1 pound per week), each day we need to consume 500 fewer calories than we burn. During a 7-day period, our calorie deficit will amount to 3500 calories. However, it's not essential to achieve these calorie savings exclusively by eating less. We can also increase our calorie expenditure by exercising more. We might eat 250 fewer calories per day and burn an extra 250 calories in aerobic exercise.

What is a Calorie-Controlled Diet?

A calorie-controlled diet is no more than an eating plan with calculated calorie content. A very-low-calorie diet (or very-low-energy diet, VLED) typically contains about 800 calories per day. It is usually a combination of real food and mealreplacement shakes or bars, and is commonly used under medical supervision by very overweight or obese dieters, with nutritional supplements.

A low-calorie eating plan, generally used as a weight loss diet, usually contains 1200-1600 calories. Low-calorie meal recipes, (eg. Weight Watchers "Smart Ones" or Lean Cuisine) typically average about 400 calories.

High calorie diets, used by athletes and sportspeople who burn very large amounts of energy, may contain up to 10,000 calories.

 

How Many Calories Do We Need To Eat Each Day?

Our daily calorie requirements depend on a number of factors, including our: gender, age, weight, and level of activity. Very approximate ballpark calorie needs for average sized adults, aged 30, with a sedentary lifestyle, would be 2400 calories (men) or 1800 calories (women). Daily calorie needs for children and teenagers range from 1200 to 2000 calories. For more information about energy requirements, see resources at the top of this page.

What Are Sensible Ways To Reduce Calories In Our Diet?

 

As a rough guide, the first step to reducing calories is to avoid calorie-dense foods that are high in fat or sugar.

Why avoid these foods? Because these type foods are overly available. And they are too easily eaten. For example, after a main meal we are not typically hungry, yet it's easy to demolish a large helping of rich ice cream, or a creamy dessert. By comparison, it's much more difficult to eat 4-5 large apples. In addition, fat contains more than twice the calories (9 per gram) than carbs or protein (4 per gram), while too much sugar may raise blood-glucose levels too fast and leave you hungry within a couple of hours. Another way to make healthy calorie savings (and still feel full) is to choose high fiber foods, such as vegetables, fruits, beans and whole grains. Foods rich in fiber (soluble or insoluble) take longer to digest and give us a sense of satiety.

Are All Calories Equal?

Although scientifically speaking all calories are equal in energy terms, most dietitians and nutritionists advise us to make calorie savings by choosing nutrient-dense foods (meaning food with a high nutritional content) in preference to empty calorie foods (meaning food which contains calories but little or no nutrition). Nutritious foods include: lean meat, fish, low-fat dairy foods, eggs, beans, whole grains and of course plenty of fruit and veggies. Empty calorie foods include: regular sodas, candy, sweets, cakes and cookies. Paradoxically, some high-calorie foods (eg. oily fish) should be preferred to lower calorie options, because of their omega-3 fat content, which is believed to assist metabolic function rather than lead to weight gain.

What Exercise is Best For Calorie-Burning

In general, aerobic exercise (sustained exercise of the large muscles) such as brisk walking, swimming, jogging, running, and treadmill workouts tend to burn the most calories. However, resistance training (eg. weight training) is essential to build muscle and raise your basic metabolic rate. This is because muscle requires more calories to sustain than fat. So the more muscle we have, the more food we can eat before we gain weight.

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What are Carbohydrates?

 

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With today’s high protein - low carbohydrate diets, people are often asking questions like, what are carbohydrates. What is the recommended carbohydrate intake per day?

All carbohydrates are made of the same three compounds: carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.

The name “carbohydrate” comes from its chemical makeup. “Carbo-“ means carbon; “hydrate” means water. Carbohydrates can be consumed in the simple (ie. white bread) or the complex form (ie. whole grains) to produce energy.

Simple carbs have a simple design.

Simple carbohydrates are the sugars that occur naturally in foods, along with the sugars that we add to foods. They are called "simple" because they have a very simple chemical structure that is easily broken down by the digestive system. Simple carbs tend to get into your bloodstream very quickly to give you energy.

Here is a list of some simple carbohydrate foods:

* Table sugar * Honey
* Molasses * Syrups
* Soft Drinks * Fruit Juice * Candy

Interesting Fact: Although white flour is technically a "starch," and not a sugar, refinement causes it to become more like a simple sugar, since it is easily broken down into glucose in your body. This means that when you eat white bread and other products made from white flour, it is more like eating sugar than starch.

Complex carbs are more complicated

Complex carbohydrates are the starches and fibers. Starches are stored by the plants that we eat, and so, come almost exclusively from plant foods. Fibers make up the structures of plants and are classified as soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Both types of fiber are essential to a healthy eating lifestyle. Complex carbs have a more complicated chemical structure and are more difficult for your body to digest. Some, such as fibers, are not digested at all.

Here is a list of some foods with complex carbohydrates:

* Vegetables * Whole Fruits * Whole Grains * Beans
* Lentils
* Split peas

Glycemic Index

You may have heard of called the Glycemic Index. This is a way of measuring how fast the sugar from carbohydrates will be aborbed into your bloodstream. This issue may be important with regard to weight loss and control of Type II Diabetes, because of its affect on insulin, the hormone produced by your pancreas that allows the glucose to enter the cells and provide energy. Generally, the simpler the carbohydrate, the more swiftly it is broken down and shows up as glucose in your blood.

Are carbohydrates bad for you?

Carbohydrates have gotten a bad reputation in recent years, but, it is safe to say that without them, you will not feel well. It is important for you to know that you can be healthy (and maintain a desirable weight) eating carbohydrates. In fact, you need them for energy, and they also contain many of the other nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and fiber that your body needs.
Carbohydrate foods are the plant foods that you eat. There are the healthy carbs, such as

Foods from whole grains

* Breads * Rolls
* Pasta * Cereal * Bagels * Rice

Fruits:

* Apples
* Oranges
* Pears
* Bananas
* Grapes
* Berries
* Peaches
* Watermelon * Pineapple * Kiwi
* Grapefruit

Vegetables:

* Lettuce * Broccoli * Carrots * Potatoes * Peas
* Corn
* Onions * Beans
* Spinach * Squash

And there are less healthy (some would say un-healthy) choices, such as

* French fries * Doughnuts * Chips
* Pies
* Cakes
* Cookies
* Things made out of all white flour.

It is important that you choose most of your foods from the first list rather than from the second.

In addition to being poor carb foods, the foods in the second list are generally loaded with fat, particularly saturated fat and trans-fats, which have been implicated as bad actors in the rise of heart disease and cancer.

Starchy vs. Non-starchy Vegetables

 

Within the vegetable group, there is a difference between those with a significant amount of carbohydrates, and those with not much carbs at all.

 

Starchy vegetables: Carrots, Potatoes, Winter Squash, Corn, Peas, and Sweet Potatoes
Less-starchy vegetables: Broccoli, Lettuce, Spinach, Green Beans, Peppers, and Summer Squash

Although both of these groups offer healthy nutrition, if you are trying to lose weight, choose vegetables from the less starchy group more often than from the starchy group.

Protein, too

 

Certain plant foods that are mostly carbohydrate foods, will also supply a significant amount of protein.

Lentils, Split peas, Kidney beans, Pinto beans, Black beans, Soybeans, Garbanzo beans, Navy beans, Peanuts, Peanut Butter, Rice, Wheat, Barley, Oats, Peas

When you eat these foods, you are getting the advantages of both a good source of carbohydrates as well as a significant source of protein. Many of them have the added advantage of being high in fiber.

Animal foods with carbs

Dairy products are the one category of animal products that supply significant carbohydrate. Lactose is milk sugar and is found in milk, yogurt, cheese and ice cream. There also is some carbohydrate found in liver, but it is not considered a significant source.

What is a serving of carbohydrate?

The serving size for carbohydrates varies according to type. For the Bread, Cereal, Rice and Pasta Group, a serving would be 1 slice of bread, ½ cup cooked pasta, rice or cereal, 1 small roll, biscuit or muffin, ½ bagel or bun or 3 small crackers.

For vegetables, a serving would be ½ cup cooked or raw or 1 cup leafy greens and for fruits, a serving would be 1 medium for most fruits, 1 melon slice, ½ grapefruit or ½ c. berries or canned fruit. A serving of vegetable or fruit juice is ¾ cup.

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What is Fat?

 

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Fat is a nutrient. It is crucial for normal body function and without it we could not live. Not only does fat supply us with energy, it also makes it possible for other nutrients to do their jobs.

Fats, which consist of a wide group of compounds, are usually soluble in organic solvents and insoluble in water. Chemically, fats are usually known as triesters of glycerol and fatty acids (triester = one of three ester chemical groups).

At room temperature fats may be present in either liquid or solid form, this depends on their structure and composition. We tend to refer to fats which are liquid at room temperature as oils. Fats which are solid at room temperature are generally referred to as fats. The word lipids refers to both solid and liquid forms of fat. Below is a reminder breakdown of their meanings:

Oils - Any fat which exists in liquid form at room temperature. Oils are also any substances that do not mix with water and have a greasy feel.

 

Fats - All types. However, fats are commonly referred to as those which are solid at room temperature.

 

Lipids - All types of fats, regardless of whether they are liquid or solid.

 

Lipids are an important part of the diet of all humans and many types of animals.

 

Examples of Fats

 

1. Animal fats

 

Butter, lard, cream, fat in (and on) meats.

 

2. Vegetable fats

 

Olive oil, peanut oil, flax seed oil, corn oil.

 

Different categories of fats

1. Saturated fat
Saturated fats are totally saturated, each molecule of fat is covered in hydrogen atoms. Nutritionists say saturated fats increase health risks if you consume too much over a long period of time. A large intake of saturated fats will eventually raise cholesterol levels, which can lead to cardiovascular disease and possibly stroke.

Where is saturated fat found?
The largest amounts of saturated fats can be found in meat (mammals), meat products, the skin of poultry, dairy products, many processed foods such as cakes, biscuits, pastries and crisps, as well as coconut oil.

2. Monounsaturated fat

Monounsaturated fat molecules are not saturated with hydrogen atoms each fat molecule has only the space for one hydrogen atom. Health experts say the impact on health of monounsaturated fats is neutral - they are neither good nor bad for you. Many health professionals, however, do say that they reduce a person's risk of developing heart disease. The Mediterranean diet is full of monounsaturated fats.

Where are monounsaturated fats found? Olives, ground nut oil, and avocados.

3. Polyunsaturated fat
There are a number of spaces around each polyunsaturated fat molecule they are not saturated with hydrogen atoms. Nutritionists say polyunsaturated fat is good for our health, especially those from fish, known as the Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids protect us from heart disease as they lower blood cholesterol levels. Health care professionals say Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may also help reduce the symptoms experienced by people who suffer from arthritis, joint problems in general, and some skin diseases.

4. Where are polyunsaturated fats found?
Oily fish (sardines, mackerel, trout, salmon and herring), safflower oil, grapeseed oil, and sunflower oil.

5. Trans fat
Trans fats are synthetically made, they do not naturally occur. Trans fats are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. They are also known as partially hydrogentated oils.

Trans fats might be monounsaturated or polyunsaturated, they are never saturated. A trans fat is a type of unsaturated fat with trans-isomer fatty acid(s). Therefore, trans fats have fewer hydrogen atoms than saturated fats.

Trans fats are not essential for human life and they most certainly do not promote good health. Consuming trans fats increases your LDL cholesterol level (bad cholesterol) and lowers levels of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), which in turn raises your risk of developing coronary heart disease and stroke.

Experts say that trans fats from partially hydrogenated oils are worse for your health than naturally occurring oils.

Trans fats have become popular because food companies find them easy to use and cheap to produce. They also last a long time and can give food a nice taste. As trans fats can be used many times in commercial friers they are commonly used in fast food outlets and restaurants. Several cities around the world are trying to stop outlets from using trans fats.

Where are trans fats commonly found?
o Fried foods, such as French fries
o Doughnuts
o Pies, pastries, biscuits, pizza dough, cookies, crackers, stick

margarines, shortenings, and many other baked foods

If the nutritional labeling includes partially hydrogenated oils, it means that food has trans fats. The American Heart Association says your consumption of trans fats should not exceed 1% of your total calorie intake.

The Atkins diet says that saturated fat is overrated as a bad fat. The Atkins diet adds that trans fats are much more important in developing vascular disease.

How much fat should I eat?
According to the Dietary Guidelines for American 2005, the following percentages are recommended:

Children aged 2 to 3 - total fat limited to 30%-35% of total calorie intake

 

Children aged 4 to 18 - total fat limited to 25%-35% of total calorie intake

 

Adults aged 19 and older - total fat limited to 20%-35% of total calorie intake

Dr. Barry Sears, who created the Zone Diet, says an average adult should consume 30% fat, 30% protein and 40% carbohydrate - he stresses that the types of fats are important, favoring the omega-3 oils and vegetable oils.

Over the last 50 years the percentage of people in most countries who are overweight has increased significantly. This is due to many factors, but NOT because people's fat intake has increased. Over the last five decades the consumption of carbohydrates as a percentage of total calorie consumption has increased dramatically - not fat consumption. Fat consumption does not make your body produce more insulin; carbohydrates do that. The more insulin your produce the more energy your body will store away as fat. When deciding how much fat to consume, remember that the answer is not simple - there are many types of fats, carbohydrates and proteins.

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WHAT IS SODIUM?

 

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Sodium is a mineral. The main dietary source of sodium is common table salt (sodium chloride), which is 40% sodium and 60 chloride, but regular unprocessed foods contain natural sodium as well. Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk and cheese all contribute sodium.

How Much Sodium Should I Have?

The Dietary Guidelines for healthy American adults recommends limiting dietary intake to less than 2400 milligrams (mg) per day. The human body needs very minute amounts of sodium to function normally. We need about 250 mg of sodium each day, which is easily supplied by natural, unprocessed foods; however, the average American consumes approximately 4000 to 6000 mg per day. In Asian diets, the sodium intake can climb to over 8000 mg per day.

1 teaspoon of salt contains about 2400 mg of sodium

 

What is the Risk of Eating Too Much Sodium?

 

High sodium intake is linked to high blood pressure. For some people, high sodium diets can also cause fluid retention and swelling in the feet and hands.

 

What Foods are High in Sodium?

 

The foods highest in sodium are processed and packaged foods. Salt-based seasonings are also big sodium contributors. For example:

 

How Can I Reduce My Sodium Intake?

* Don't add salt during cooking or at the table.
* Choose fresh, unprocessed foods.
* Choose frozen and canned foods without added salt.
* Look for "Low Sodium" or "Unsalted" on package labels.
* Read the nutrition facts of the food label for the milligrams of sodium. (140

mg or less = low sodium)
* Ask for restaurant meals to be prepared without salt.
* Limit trips to fast food restaurants.

How Can I Season My Food?

* Herbs and spices
* Sea salt
* Fresh or powdered garlic and onions * Fresh lemon or lime juice
* Ginger or fresh ground horseradish * Pepper
* Flavored vinegar
* Salt-free seasoning mixes

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WHAT IS CHOLESTEROL?

 

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Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is made in the body by the liver. Cholesterol forms part of every cell in the body and serves many vital functions. Our bodies need cholesterol to:

Maintain healthy cell walls
Make hormones (the body's chemical messengers)
Make vitamin D
Make bile acids, which aid in fat digestion

Sometimes, however, our bodies make more cholesterol than we really need, and this excess cholesterol circulates in the bloodstream. High levels of cholesterol in the blood can clog blood vessels and increase the risk for heart disease and stroke.

Our bodies can make too much cholesterol when we eat too much saturated fat - the kind of fat found in animal-based foods such as meat and dairy products.
In addition to making cholesterol, we also get a small percentage of our body's cholesterol from the foods we eat. Only animal-based foods such as meat, eggs, and dairy products contain cholesterol. Plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, and grains do not contain cholesterol.

The Different Types Of Cholesterol

 

There are different types of cholesterol - and not all cholesterol is harmful.

Low-density lipoprotein (or LDL) cholesterol is a bad type of cholesterol that is most likely to clog blood vessels, increasing your risk for heart disease.
High-density lipoprotein (or HDL) cholesterol is a good type of cholesterol. HDL cholesterol helps clear the LDL cholesterol out of the blood and reduces your risk for heart disease.

Facts About Cholesterol

 

00016.jpg

More than one-half of American adults have blood cholesterol levels that are too high.
Lowering your cholesterol level has a double payback: For every one percent you lower your blood cholesterol level, you reduce your risk for heart disease by two percent.
Even if you already have heart disease, lowering your cholesterol levels will significantly reduce your risk for death and disability.
As blood cholesterol exceeds 220 ml/dl (milligrams per deciliter, which are the units in which blood cholesterol is measured in the United States), risk for heart disease increases at a more rapid rate.
All adults should have their blood cholesterol level measured at least once every five years.
The liver makes most of the cholesterol in our bodies-only a small percentage comes from food. But the more saturated fat we eat, the more cholesterol our bodies make.
Most people can bring down their blood cholesterol levels without medication by changing the way they eat and by becoming more active.
Only animal foods contain cholesterol; plant foods do not contain cholesterol.
A medium egg contains about 213 milligrams of cholesterol, a three-ounce portion of lean red meat or skinless chicken contains about 90 milligrams of cholesterol, and a three-ounce portion of fish contains about 50 milligrams of cholesterol.

What Is

 

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Dietary fiber is a complex carbohydrate and is the part of the plant material that cannot be digested and absorbed in the bloodstream. Soluble fiber may help with weight loss as it makes you feel full longer, and research has shown it also may help lower blood cholesterol. Good sources of soluble fiber include oatmeal, oat bran, barley, dried beans and legumes, and citrus fruits. Insoluble fiber tends to speed up the passage of material through the digestive tract and reduce the risk of colon cancer. Good sources of insoluble fiber include wheat bran, whole grain cereals, and fruit and vegetable skins.

Definitions of Dietary Fiber

Dietary Fiber refers to nondigestible food plant carbohydrates and lignin.
Added Fiber refers to fiber added to foods during food processing.
Total Fiber is the sum of Dietary Fiber and Added Fiber

What Are the Health Benefits of Fiber?
The health benefits of fiber are well documented in reducing the risk of certain diseases. Fiber is linked to reduced risk of cancer, especially colon and breast cancer, and fiber may help lower LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and total cholesterol levels, which have an impact on the risk reduction of heart disease. Fiber also can help in the management of diabetes by reducing blood sugar.

How Much Is Enough?
Experts recommend healthy adults eat 20 to 35 grams of dietary fiber per day. You can meet this goal by eating a well-balanced diet containing a variety of foods, such as two servings of fruits, three servings of vegetables, and three or more servings of whole grain bread, cereal, pasta or crackers.

Top 10 Ways to Add Fiber to Your Diet

 

1. Start the day off with a bowl of your favorite, delicious high-fiber cereal, such as frosted shredded wheat or whole grain raisin bran.

 

2. Put fruits, such as berries, raisins, or bananas, on your cereal to increase your fiber intake by about 1 to 2 grams.

3. Combine the great taste of both whole grain and enriched grain breads in your family’s diet. For example, introduce whole grain taste to the family by using one slice of white bread and one slice of 100% whole wheat bread when making sandwiches.

4. Next time you are making any type of pasta, instead of using traditional pasta, choose whole wheat pasta. Even macaroni and cheese lovers can use whole wheat macaroni.

5. Substitute wheat bran for one-third of the all-purpose flour when making pancakes, waffles, muffins, or any other flour-based food.

 

6. When you feel the urge to start snacking, reach for a delicious muffin, pretzels, or baked pita chips instead of a candy bar.

7. If rice is what you crave, then steer toward brown rice, which offers increased amounts of dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins. Plus, it tastes exquisite.

8. Believe it or not, popcorn can be a healthy snack for you and your children. Just don’t use too much butter or salt on this whole-grain treat.

9. A great substitute for desserts is a bowl of fruit (especially raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries). Try whole wheat bread pudding with fruit, or perhaps a treat as tasty as a whole grain muffin strikes your fancy.

10.Leave the skins on fruits and vegetables such as pears, apples, peaches, and even potatoes, as opposed to peeling them off. Most of the fiber is in the skin, which will help the digestive tract and may prevent colon cancer.

THE THREE BASIC CHANGES

 

00018.jpg

There are many nutritional changes you need to make. However, we found that these three basic changes to your diet are undoubtedly the most effective and critical to prevent the top three killers in America.

1. Removing the BAD FATS – Replacing them with GOOD or GOD FATS.

Bad fats such as hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, trans fats, and rancid vegetable oils are linked to cellular congestion leading to cancer, chronic fatigue, and neurotoxic syndrome.
Bad fats are also linked to chronic inflammation which is the key to 21st century medicine. Heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes etc. are the leading cause of death in the United States and inflammation is at the root.
Good fats are the most lacking nutrient in the Standard American Diet (SAD), not vitamins and minerals.
Good fats are essential to hormone production, cancer prevention, brain development, weight loss, cellular healing, and anti-inflammation.

2. Change the MEATS that you EAT.

There are hundreds of studies that link commercial meats with cancer and heart disease.
Grain fed to animals created to eat grass changes fatty acid ratios and denatures good fats, leading to modern day disease.
The bioaccumulation of commercial pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, and hormones in meats are far higher than what you receive from commercial vegetables. This leads to many cancers and chronic illness.
Grass fed and free range meats offer many fatty acids missing in the Standard American Diet (SAD) such as: arachidonic acid, congegatedlinoleic acid (CLA), and the proper ratio of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids.

3. Remove ALL Processed grains and Refined SUGARS from your Diet.

YES: This includes white rice, white pasta, and white bread. These are processed grains that are sugar raise glucose and insulin the same as sucrose, fructose

To identify acceptable grains, the word "whole, stone ground or sprouted" must be before the word "wheat" or whatever the grain's name. For example, if it doesn't say the words "whole wheat", it is processed. Wheat flour is not a whole grain and is thus disease causing to your body.

One-third of sugar consumption comes from soft drinks, while two-thirds of our sugar intake comes from hidden sources including: lunch meats, pizza, sauces, breads, soups, crackers, fruit drinks, canned foods, yogurt, ketchup, mayonnaise, etc.

High glycemic or refined sugars cause elevated glucose, which elevates insulin leading to premature aging and degenerative diseases such as type II diabetes, heart disease (inflammation of the arteries), and cancer.

Sugar is an anti-nutrient offering insignificant amounts of vitamins and minerals and robbing your body of precious nutrient stores. This inevitably leads to diseases of the new millennium such as chronic fatigue, ADD, ADHD, heart disease, diabetes, and cancers.

Remember refined sugars unnaturally spiking and elevation of insulin and leptin. Prolonged spiking/elevation of insulin and leptin lead to insulin and leptin resistance. Insulin and leptin resistance cause diabetes and weight loss resistance or the inability to burn fat for energy, respectively.

The Best Way to
Change Bad Eating Habits

 

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The best way to change your bad eating habits is to do it very slowly. If you try to change everything all at once, it will seem too hard to maintain. Try changing one thing at a time.

For example, perhaps you like a morning cappuccino. Decide to stop drinking your morning cappuccino and drink bottled water instead. Don’t change anything else about your eating habits until you feel totally comfortable about that dietary change.

Then move on to something else, like healthy snacks. Instead of that chocolate energy bar, pack a piece of fruit and a small tub of yogurt. Essentially fruit is natures snack food, it’s also cheaper.

Once you’re comfortable with this change, and then move onto something else. You get the picture. When you’ve got your diet sorted out, then you can move on to getting some exercise into your lifestyle.

So it doesn’t have to be an abrupt change you just need to understand more about what you are eating and what the energy value is and the nutrient value of the foods you are consuming, and make slow but sure changes to your lifestyle.

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Fast Food Quick Reference Guide

This is a handy resource to check the calories, fat, and sodium levels for some of the most popular food franchises in the U.S.

This is only intended as a general guide for you to have an ideal of the choices that you are making when you eat out and order things like a Big Mac, Pan Pizza, etc.

It can definitely be subject to change as companies may make changes to their recipes, add new menu items, etc.

 

Most all of these franchises also will have their most current charts posted somewhere near the counter at dining locations.

Fast Food TypeRestaurant
McDonald's
Regular Burger RegularKing

Burger Salt Not King Added Wendy's Regular French Fries (Large) Compared

Serving Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium Size Calories Fat Fat Fat
(g) (g) (g) (g) (g) (mg)
170 570 30 6 8 70 330 160 500 28 6 6 57 820

 

160 500 28 6 6 57 530

Unknown 540 26 4 1 69 550 Arby's Homestyle 213 566 37 7 1 82 1029 Arby's Curly 198 631 37 7 1 73 1476

Hardee's Regular 193 610 28 6 Unknown 78 370
Hardee's Crispy Curls 153 480 23 6 Unknown 60 1190 A&W Regular 156 430 18 4.5 5.5 61 640
A&W Chili 170 370 16 4.5 6 49 780
A&W Cheese 170 380 19 5 4 50 870
A&W Chili Cheese 198 400 19 5 4 51 990

In-N-Out Regular** 125** 400** 18** 5** 0** 54** 245** Burger**

Jack In The Box
Jack In The Box
White
Castle
Sonic
Sonic

Natural Cut 236 640 33 8 10 77 1180

 

Seasoned 170 550 31 6 10 60 1200Curly

 

Regular 244 700 34 6 11 89 560

Regular 98 280 11 2 0 42 135
Cheese 125 380 19 7 0 44 600
French Fries (Large) Compared Serving

Fast Food Type SizeRestaurant(g) Sonic Chili/Cheese 186
Dairy RegularQueen 280

KFC*

 

Potato

 

Wedges*

 

Carl's Jr. Regular

 

102*

198
Popeyes** Regular** 88** Del Taco Regular 198

Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium Calories Fat Fat Fat
(g) (g) (g) (g) (mg)
450 25 9 0.5 48 610 730 33 6 5 100 1530

 

260* 13* 2.5* 0* 33* 740*

620 29 6 Unknown 80 380
310** 17** 7** 1** 35** 660**
490 32 5 Unknown 47 380

* KFC does not have any "french fries." They do have "potato wedges" which is somewhat close, so I included this information above for comparison purposes. However, I did not take it into account when showing the best/worst since they are technically not "french fries."
** In-N-Out Burger and Popeyes had one item listed as just "French Fries." No actual size (large, small, etc.) was given. Therefore, they were also not taken into account when showing the best/worst french fries.

Best: Sonic (regular)
Sonic's basic french fries are my pick for the best of this comparison. It's not hard to see why either. Due to having the smallest serving size of all of the other fast food restaurants, their large fries ended up being the lowest in every single one of the compared nutrition facts. Not to mention, with 0 grams of trans fat, it was one of just two large french fries that contained 0 grams. The other? Another one from Sonic... this time their cheese fries.
Worst: Dairy Queen (regular) & White Castle (regular)

It was hard to pick an official worst choice here, as there was a lot of trans fat being thrown around. In the end, I went with Dairy Queen's basic fries for being the highest in calories (seriously, 730 calorie fries? Yikes.) and sodium. White Castle's basic fries were also picked here not so much for calories (although at 700, it was right up there in second place) but because of it containing more trans fat (11 evil grams) than any of the others. Of all of the items being compared in this entire comparison, french fries are easily one of the worst all around trans fat offenders.

Notes: For this comparison, I tried to use each fast food restaurant's "Large" french fries. In two cases however, there was no "large" version. So, I instead used whatever that restaurant's largest size was. For White Castle it was "Sack," and for Del Taco it was "Medium."

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Fast Food TypeRestaurant
McDonald's
Regular Burger King Regular

 

Jr.

 

Hamburgers Compared

 

Serving Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium

Size Calories Fat Fat Fat
(g) (g) (g) (g) (g) (mg)
100 250 9 3.5 0.5 31 520 121 290 12 4.5 0 30 560

Wendy's HamburgerUnknown 2308 3 0 26 500

310 12 4 Unknown 36 560
470 17 6 Unknown 54 1060
310 15 5 0.5 30 610
140 7 2.5 0.5 14 210
Hardee's Regular 118

Big

 

Carl's Jr Hamburger209

 

Sonic Jr. Burger 117 White Regular 58Castle
Dairy Queen
Homestyle 140Burger

 

Jack in the Regular 118Box
In-N-Out
Regular 243Burger

 

350 14 7 0.5 33 400

 

310 14 6 1 30 600

 

390 19 5 0 39 650

Best: White Castle (regular) & Wendy's (Jr. Hamburger)
This one should come as no surprise to anyone who has ever seen a White Castle hamburger. They are tiny. And, when it comes to making the least-bad fast food choice, tiny = good. Due to the below average serving size, all but one of its nutrition facts were the lowest in this comparison. The one that wasn't? Trans fat. You'd think with a burger that size they would be able to pull off 0 trans fat per serving. Apparently not. Wendy's Jr. Hamburger on the other hand does pull it off, and combined with being the second lowest in nearly all of the other nutrition facts, they certainly end up as one of the better basic fast food hamburgers.
Worst: Carl's Jr (Big Hamburger)

While the nutrition facts of each fast food restaurant's most basic hamburger were somewhat similar in some cases, the "Big Hamburger" from Carl's Jr is my pick for the worst in this comparison simply based on being the highest in calories and sodium.

Notes: For this comparison I used each restaurant's most basic hamburger. If the restaurant did not have anything simply called "Hamburger," I went with their next most similar and comparable product instead. For Wendy's, I used their "Jr. Hamburger." For Carl's Jr, I used their "Big Hamburger." For Sonic I used their "Jr. Burger." And for Dairy Queen, I used their "Homestyle Burger."

Serving Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium Restaurant
McDonald's

Quarter Pounder Quarter

McDonald's Pounder (cheese) Double

McDonald's

Quarter Pounder (cheese)

(g) (g) (g) (g) (g) (mg) 169 410 19 7 1 37 730

 

198 510 26 12 1.5 40 1190

 

279 740 42 19 2.5 40 1380

 

214 540 29 10 1.5 43 1040 McDonald's Big Mac

 

Double

McDonald's Cheeseburger 165 440 23 11 1.5 34 1150 McDonald's Big N' Tasty 206 460 24 8 1.5 37 720 McDonald'sBig N' Tasty 220 510 28 11 1.5 38 960(cheese)

Burger Whopper 290 670 39 11 1.5 51 1020King

 

Burger Whopper 315 760 47 16 1.5 52 1450King (cheese)

 

Burger Double 373 900 57 19 2 51 1090King Whopper

 

BurgerDouble

 

King

 

Whopper 398 990 64 24 2.5 52 1520 (cheese)

 

Burger Triple 456 1130 74 27 3 51 1160King Whopper

 

BurgerTriple

 

King

 

Whopper 480 1230 82 32 3.5 52 1590 (cheese)

 

Burger Whopper Jr. 158 370 21 6 0.5 31 570King
Burger
Whopper Jr.170 410 24 8 1 32 780King (cheese)

 

Burger Double 164 410 21 9 1 30 600King Hamburger

 

Burger Double 190 610 39 16 1.5 32 1100King Stacker

 

Burger Triple Stacker 250 800 54 23 2 33 1450King
Burger
Quad Stacker 311 1000 68 30 3 34 1800

 

Serving Restaurant(g) King
Burger
Double

 

King Cheeseburger 189500

Wendy's Single Unknown 430
Wendy's Double Unknown 700(cheese)

Wendy's Triple (cheese) Unknown 980
Wendy's Baconator Unknown 830 Hardee's Thickburger 349 Hardee's Cheeseburger 254

Mushroom N' Hardee's Swiss 276
Thickburger

Bacon Cheese

 

Hardee's Thickburger 334

 

Low Carb

 

Hardee's Thickburger 245

 

Hardee's Six Dollar 412Burger

Grilled
Hardee's Sourdough 381
Thickburger

Double

 

Hardee's
Hardee's

 

Thickburger 471

Double Bacon
Cheese 463 Thickburger

Monster

 

Hardee's Thickburger 413

 

Double

 

Hardee's Cheeseburger 186

 

Hardee's Double 161Hamburger

 

A&W Papa Burger 288

 

Bacon Double

 

A&W Cheeseburger 303

 

Double

 

A&W Cheeseburger 288

 

Bacon

 

A&W Cheeseburger 223

 

910 680

 

Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium
(g) (g) (g) (g) (mg)

29 14 1.5 31 1030
20 7 1 37 900
40 16 2.5 38 1500

59 25 3.5 38 2090
51 22 2.5 35 1920
64 21 Unknown 53 1560
39 19 Unknown 52 1450

720 42 21 Unknown 48 1570

 

910 64 24 Unknown 50 1550

 

420 32 12 Unknown 5 1010

 

1060 73 28 Unknown 58 1950

 

1030 77 28 Unknown 42 1910

 

1250 90 35 Unknown 54 2160

 

1300

 

1420 97 38 Unknown 50 2200

 

108 43 Unknown 46 2770

 

510 26 5 Unknown 38 1120

420
720
800

720

570 19 5 Unknown 37 670 42 15 4 46 1390 48 17 4 47 1610

42 15 4 46 1370

 

33 10 3.5 41 1200

Serving Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium Restaurant

In-N-Out Burger Jack in the Box

 

Jack in the Box

Jack in the Box
Jack in the Box
Jack in the Box

Jack in the Box

 

Jack in the Box

 

Jack in the Box

 

Jack in the Box

 

Jack in the Box

Jack in the Box
White
Castle
White
Castle
White
Castle

White

 

Castle

(g) (g) (g) (g) (g) (mg) Double330 670 41 18 1 39 1440Double

Bacon
Ultimate 338 1090 77 30 3 53 2040 Cheeseburger
Bacon n'

Cheese 395 1120 76 28 3 66 1670Ciabatta
Burger
Jumbo Jack 261 600 35 12 1.5 51 940

Jumbo Jack 286 690 42 16 1.5 54 1310(cheese)

 

Junior Bacon

 

Cheeseburger 131430 25 9 1 30 820

Single Bacon
n' Cheese 308 870 54 18 1.5 66 1550Ciabatta
Burger

Sirloin

 

Cheeseburger 421 1070 71 25 1.5 61 1850

Sirloin Bacon
n' Cheese 422 1120 73 24 2.5 63 2620 Burger

Sourdough 245 710 51 18 3 36 1230Jack

Sourdough
Ultimate 291 950 73 29 4.5 36 1360 Cheeseburger

Ultimate

 

Cheeseburger 3231010 71 28 3 53 1580

 

Bacon

 

Cheeseburger 71200 11 5 1 15 480
Double White
104 250 13 5 1 22 340Castle

 

Double

 

Cheeseburger 118300 17 8 1.5 23 590

Double
Jalapeno 122 320 19 9 1.5 23 680 Cheeseburger

Serving Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium
Restaurant (g) (g) (g) (g) (g) (mg)
White
Double Bacon

 

Castle Cheeseburger 130370 22 10 1.5 23 880

 

Bacon

 

Sonic Cheeseburger 279 780 48 16 1.5 57 1300

SuperSonic
Sonic Cheeseburger 343 980 64 24 2.5 58 1430
(mayo)

SonicSonic Burger 248 650 37 10 1 55 720(mayo)

Sonic
Sonic Cheeseburger 266 720 42 14 1.5 56 1040
(mayo)
Sonic Dixie Burger 255 660 37 10 1 55 810

Dixie

 

Sonic Cheeseburger 273 720 42 14 1.5 56 1120

 

California

 

Sonic Cheeseburger 266 690 39 13 1.5 57 1060

SuperSonic
Sonic Jalapeno 313 890 53 22 2.5 56 1600
Cheeseburger
Thousand
Sonic Island 266 680 38 13 1.5 58 1130
Cheeseburger

Jalapeno

 

Sonic Cheeseburger 215 610 31 12 1.5 53 930

 

SonicJalapeno 197 550 26 9 1 52 610Burger

 

Green Chili

 

Sonic Cheeseburger 287 630 31 12 1.5 56 1070

 

Chili

 

Sonic Cheeseburger 226 660 35 14 1.5 56 990

 

Hickory

 

Sonic Cheeseburger 236 640 31 12 1.5 61 1170

 

Jr. Double

 

Sonic Cheeseburger 190 570 35 16 1.5 33 1290

 

HomestyleDairy Double 226 640 34 18 1 34 950Queen Cheeseburger

 

Dairy Homestyle 245 730 41 21 1 35 1270 Queen Bacon Double

 

Serving Restaurant(g)

 

Cheeseburger

 

Dairy Ultimate259 780Queen Burger

 

Dairy1/4 lb

 

Queen

 

FlameThrower 245 780 GrillBurger

 

Dairy1/2 lb

 

Queen

 

FlameThrower 344 1030 GrillBurger

 

Dairy Classic 212 470Queen GrillBurger

 

Dairy Classic

 

Queen

 

GrillBurger 231 560 (cheese)

 

Dairy 1/2 lb 297 670Queen GrillBurger

 

Dairy1/2 lb

 

Queen

 

GrillBurger 330 820 (cheese)

 

Dairy Bacon

 

Queen

 

Cheddar 229 650 GrillBurger

 

Dairy Mushroom

 

Queen

 

Swiss 210 630 GrillBurger

 

Carl's Jr. Six Dollar 430 1010Burger

Western
Carl's Jr. Bacon Six 382 1130
Dollar Burger
Bacon Cheese
Carl's Jr. Six Dollar 409 1070
Burger

Double Six

 

Carl's Jr. Dollar Burger 6021520

 

Low Carb Six

 

Carl's Jr. Dollar Burger 267490

 

Carl's Jr. Famous Star 278 660(cheese)

 

Carl's Jr. Super Star 385 930

 

Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium
(g) (g) (g) (g) (mg)

 

48 22 1.5 33 1110

 

54 14 3 41 1490

 

73 23 4 41 2020

 

23 7 2.5 42 1020

 

30 11 2.5 42 1160

 

37 12 3.5 42 1310

 

49 19 3.5 47 1510

 

37 13 2.5 41 1480

 

40 11 3 39 950

 

68 27 Unknown 60 1980

 

66 28 Unknown 83 2540

 

76 30 Unknown 50 1910

 

111 47 Unknown 60 2760

 

37 15 Unknown 6 1290

 

39 12 Unknown 53 1260 59 21 Unknown 54 1600

 

Serving Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium Restaurant
Carl's Jr.
Carl's Jr.

Carl's Jr. (g)
(cheese)
Philly
Cheesesteak 297 830 Burger
Western
Bacon 241 710 Cheeseburger
Double
Western323 970Bacon

Cheeseburger

 

Carl's Jr. Jalapeno 286 720Burger

 

Double Del

 

Del Taco
Del Taco

 

Cheeseburger 202560

Bacon Double
Del 212 610 Cheeseburger

(g) (g) (g) (g) (mg)

 

55 17 Unknown 52 1510

 

33 12 Unknown 70 1480

 

52 21 Unknown 71 1820

 

45 8 Unknown 50 1320

 

35 12 Unknown 35 960

 

39 14 Unknown 35 1130

Best: Burger King (Whopper Jr.) & White Castle (Bacon Cheeseburger) Just like in the "basic" hamburger comparison, White Castle ends up looking like one of the better "advanced" hamburgers due to being relatively small compared to other fast food restaurant's versions. And, this translates into it being the lowest in most of the nutrition facts shown. Burger King's Whopper Jr. on the other hand is my other pick for a couple of reasons, the first obviously being that it contains the least trans fat out of all of the other similar items compared. Also, at just 370 calories, 6 grams of saturated fat, and 570mg of sodium, it also ranks as one of the lowest in many of the other important areas.
Worst: Carl's Jr. (Double Six Dollar Burger) & Too Many Others Are you ready for this one? The Double Six Dollar Burger from Carl's Jr. contains an insane 1520 calories. That's not a typo. One sandwich contains more calories than some smaller females need... PER DAY. The 111 grams of fat isn't a typo either. That's more fat in one sandwich than most average sized men need per day. Carl's Jr. unfortunately does not provide the trans fat content of their foods, as I for one would have loved to have seen that number as well. Too bad. I wanted to make a second "worst" pick, but there was just too many to choose from. Obviously anything with any trans fat could make it, as well as the items with a ton of saturated fat. And calories... ha! For starters, how about anything with over 700 calories? Or 800? Or maybe 900? How about the nearly 20 items with over 1000 calories? Yikes.
Notes: For this comparison I used each fast food restaurant's more "advanced" sandwiches/hamburgers. The previous comparison used only the most basic and simple hamburger (1 patty, nothing fancy). This comparison basically compares all of the other hamburger type items that exist. As you can tell, there were a lot of them.

Chicken (Individual Pieces) Compared Fast Food Restaurant
McDonald's
McDonald's
Burger King Serving

Type Size (g) Chicken
McNuggets 96
(6pc)
Chicken

Selects 221Premium
Strips (5pc)
Chicken
Tenders 92
(6pc)

Chicken

 

Burger KingFries (6pc) 85

 

Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium Calories Fat Fat Fat
(g) (g) (g) (g) (mg)

 

250 15 3 1.5 15 670

 

630 33 6 4.5 46 1550

 

250 15 3.5 2.5 16 720

 

260 15 3.5 3 18 650

Chicken
Wendy's Nuggets Unknown 230 15 3 0 12 520
(5pc)
Chicken
Arby's Tenders 218 630 31 5 0 47 1977
(5pc)
Popcorn
Arby's Chicken 184 531 26 6 1 39 1666
(large)

Chicken

 

Hardee's
Dairy Queen
KFC
Carl's Jr.
White Castle

 

Strips (5pc)241

Chicken
Strip Basket531 (6pc)
Popcorn
Chicken 160 (large)
Chicken
Breast 215 Strips (5pc)

Chicken

 

Rings (6pc)110

 

630 34 6 Unknown 45 2260

 

1270 67 11 12 121 2910

 

550 35 6 0 30 1600

 

710 41 6 Unknown 46 2020

 

340 23 4.5 4 15 670

Best: Wendy's Chicken Nuggets (5pc)
This one was as easy to pick as can be. The 5 piece chicken nuggets from Wendy's are, as far as fast food goes, fantastic! From its 0 grams of trans fat, to its only 230 calories, these chicken nuggets have it all. The significantly less saturated fat and sodium are great, too. Nice job, Wendy's.
Worst: Dairy Queen Chicken Strip Basket (6pc)

And I thought picking the best item in this comparison was easy. HA! The worst was actually ten times easier. Dairy Queen has somehow managed to turn a 6 piece order of chicken strips into a 1270 calorie meal, more than 1000 calories higher than this category's "best" pick. They then top it off with 12 evil grams of trans fat, and 2910mg of sodium. I do realize that their serving size is larger than that of the other items, but it doesn't change the fact that people can walk into a Dairy Queen and walk out with this craziness as their 6 piece order of chicken strips.

Notes: For this comparison I used each fast food restaurant's version of individual pieces of chicken. This includes nuggets, tenders, rings, popcorn, strips and basically any chicken item that wasn't a sandwich or an actual part of the chicken (such as a whole breast). I also wanted to keep the serving sizes as similar as possible, so I limited this to 5-6 piece items, or, when no amount was given, a "large." Some restaurants only had 2-4 piece items. These items were therefore not included in the above comparison.

Chicken Sandwiches Compared Serving Size
(g)

147

 

Fast Food TypeRestaurant
McDonald's
McChicken

 

Premium Grilled

 

McDonald'sChicken Classic 226

 

Premium Crispy

 

McDonald'sChicken Classic 229

 

McDonald'sPremium Grilled260Chicken Club
McDonald's
Premium Crispy263Chicken Club

 

Burger TENDERGRILL258King (with mayo)

 

Burger TENDERCRISP 284King
Burger
OriginalKing 219 Burger Chick'n Crisp

 

King (with mayo)144Wendy's Ultimate

 

Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium Calories Fat Fat Fat
(g) (g) (g) (g) (mg)
360 16 3.5 1 40 790 420 10 2 0 51 1190

 

500 17 3.5 1.5 61 1330

 

570 21 7 0 52 1720

 

660 28 8 1.5 63 1860

 

510 19 3.5 0.5 49 1180

 

790 44 8 4 68 1640

 

660 40 8 2.5 52 1440

480 31 5 2 36 870
Unknown 320 7 1.5 0 36 950
Chicken Grill Wendy's

Spicy Chicken Fillet

 

Wendy's

Homestyle Chicken Fillet Wendy's Chicken Club Wendy's Crispy

Arby's Crispy Fillet Arby's Grilled Fillet Hardee's Charbroiled Club 277 Hardee's Charbroiled242BBQ

Low Carb

 

Hardee's Charbroiled Club250

Hardee's Big Fillet 351
Hardee's Spicy 159
Grilled 213
Crispy 219

Regular 145

 

Serving Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium Restaurant (g)

 

Unknown 440

 

Unknown 430

Unknown 540 Unknown 320 238 233

A&W
A&W
Jack In The Box
Jack In The Box
Jack In The Box
White
Castle
White
Castle
Sonic
Dairy
Queen
Dairy
Queen
KFC

KFC

KFC
KFC
KFC

526
414
560

340 16 2.5 0 48 1140

25 7 0.5 49 1410
14 2.5 0 34 660
30 5 0 50 901
17 3 0 36 913
30 8 Unknown 32 1430

4 1 Unknown 40 1070

 

370

800
470
440
590

400 21 7 Unknown 10 1170

37 6 Unknown 76 1890
25 5 Unknown 46 1220
19 3.5 3 34 860
29 4.5 4.5 54 1170

21 4.5 2.5 38 730

 

Jack's Spicy 270 Sourdough266Grilled

 

Breast (with82cheese)

Supreme 88 Club Toaster 257 Crispy 198

Grilled 177 Snacker 119 Honey BBQ101Snacker

Double Crunch 213
Crispy Twister 252
Oven Roasted 269

620 31 6 3 61 1100

 

530 28 7 2 34 1430

 

200 8 2.5 1.5 21 720

230
740
540

350
290
210

470
550
420

(g) (g) (g) (g) (mg)

 

16 2.5 0 46 1320

10 3.5 1.5 21 860
46 11 0.5 55 1740
29 5 2.5 47 700

16 2.5 0 49 780
13 2.5 0 29 680
3 0.5 0 32 530

23 4.5 0 38 1190
28 6 0 49 1500
17 4 0 40 1250

Serving Restaurant(g)

Twister
KFC Tender Roast 236 380
KFC Honey BBQ 147 280
Subway Oven Roasted 238 310

Carl's Jr. Charbroiled 239 360BBQ
Carl's Jr. Charbroiled Club 264 550 Carl's Jr. Charbroiled 264 610Santa Fe
Carl's Jr. Spicy 213 560

Boston Boston Carver 321 700Market
Boston
Half Boston199 340Market Carver

 

Popeyes Deluxe 265 630 Chick-Fil-AChicken 170 410Sandwich

Chargrilled
Chick-Fil-AChicken 193 270
Sandwich
Chargrilled
Chick-Fil-AChicken Club 221 380
Sandwich

Chick-Fil-AChicken Salad 153 350Sandwich

Best: KFC (Honey BBQ Snacker) Another very easy pick for me. KFC's Honey BBQ Snacker wins this comparison hands down. The 0 grams of trans fat and only 210 calories combined with it being the lowest in most of the other nutrition facts makes it easily the best fast food chicken sandwich around. Great job, KFC.
Worst: Hardee's (Big Fillet) & Burger King (TENDERCRISP) This was actually a harder one to decide on. In the end though, I had to go with Hardee's Big Fillet because, at 800 calories (highest in the comparison) and 1890mg of sodium (highest again) it towers over most of the other items compared by being literally 2-4 times as high. Hardee's did not provide the trans fat content of their food, but something tells me it would be up there as well. Burger King on the other hand did provide trans fat content, and its TENDERCRISP sandwich contains 4 grams of it. Add that to the fact that it's second highest in pretty much all of the other nutrition facts, and you have your second pick for worst chicken sandwich.

Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium
(g) (g) (g) (g) (mg)

13 3 0 29 1180
3.5 1 0 40 780
5 1.5 0 48 830

4.5 1 Unknown 48 1150
25 7 Unknown 43 1410
32 8 Unknown 43 1540
30 6 Unknown 59 1480
29 7 0 68 1560

15 4 0 29 710
31 8 1 53 1480
16 3.5 0 38 1300

3.5 1 0 33 940

 

11 5 0 33 1240

 

15 3 0 32 880

 

Notes: This comparison includes pretty much every single fast food chickenrelated sandwich there is.

 

Onion Rings Compared

 

Fast Food Serving Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium Restaurant
Size Calories Fat Fat Fat
(g) (g) (g) (g) (g) (mg) Burger King (King
150 500 25 5 4.5 62 720Size)

A&W 113 350 16 3.5 4.5 45 710
Jack In The Box 119 500 30 6 10 51 420
White Castle (Sack) 178 410 20 5 7 53 400

White Castle 178 790 44 8 30 91 860(Homestyle, Sack)
Sonic (Large)
227 640 31 5 0.5 80 300 Dairy Queen 142 590 37 7 9 56 930(Large)

Carl's Jr. 128 430 21 4 Unknown 53 550
Best: A&W, Sonic (Large), or really... NONE.
My real pick for best onion rings is none of the above. But, since I am forced to give a pick, I'd have to go with either A&W or Sonic's large order. The nutrition facts of A&W's onion rings look really good until you make your way over to trans fat. 4.5 grams is the opposite of really good. Then you have Sonic's version, which is the lowest in trans fat (0.5 grams) which is great. Not so great though is its 640 calories (second highest). I guess if I really had to make a decision here, the real "best" pick is half an order of Sonic's large onion rings.

Worst: White Castle (Homestyle, Sack)
Hmmm, I wonder which onion rings will be the "worst" pick? Oh, I know. How about the reigning and defending champion of my 88 Fast Food Items Highest In Trans Fat list, White Castle's Homestyle sack of trans-fat-rings. 30 insane grams. Is there really any reason to even mention the 790 calories after that? Nope. We can just end it right here.
Notes: For this comparison, I used each fast food restaurant's largest available size of onion rings.

Breakfast Sandwiches/Biscuits/Croissants/Wraps Compared

 

Fast Food TypeRestaurant
McDonald's

 

Egg

 

McMuffin McDonald's

 

Sausage McMuffin McDonald's Sausage McMuffin

 

Serving Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium Size Calories Fat Fat Fat
(g) (g) (g) (g) (g) (mg)
139 300 12 5 0 30 820

 

114 370 22 8 0 29 850 164 450 27 10 0 30 920

 

Serving Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium Restaurant
McDonald's
McDonald's

McDonald's (g) (g) (g) (g) (g) (mg) (egg)
Bacon, Egg &

Cheese 144 450 25 11 0 36 1360Biscuit

(regular)
Sausage
Biscuit (egg, 159 500 32 12 0 35 1130 regular)
Sausage
Biscuit 113 410 27 10 0 33 1040 (regular)

McDonald'sBiscuit 72 250 11 5 0 32 700(regular)

Bacon, Egg &
McDonald's Cheese 173 460 21 9 0 48 1360
McGriddles
Sausage, Egg
McDonald's & Cheese 202 560 32 12 0 48 1360
McGriddles

Sausage

 

McDonald's McGriddles 141 420 22 8 0 44 1030

 

Croissan'wichBurger Egg & 115 300 17 6 2 26 740King Cheese
Burger
Croissan'wich

 

King

 

Sausage & 106 370 25 9 2 23 810 Cheese

 

Burger Croissan'wich

 

King

 

Sausage, Egg 159 470 32 11 2.5 26 1060 & Cheese

 

Burger Croissan'wich

 

King

 

Ham, Egg & 149 340 18 6 2 26 1230 Cheese

 

Burger Croissan'wich

 

King

Bacon, Egg & 122 340 20 7 2 26 890 Cheese
Double

Burger Croissan'wich215 680 51 18 3 26 1590King Sausage, Egg

 

& Cheese

 

Burger Double 142 430 27 10 2 27 1250

 

Serving Restaurant(g)

Croissan'wich
King Bacon, Egg &
Cheese
Double
Burger Croissan'wich196 420King Ham, Egg &

Cheese

 

Double

 

Burger Croissan'wich

 

King

Sausage, 179 550 Bacon, Egg &
Cheese
Double

Burger Croissan'wich

 

King

Ham, Bacon, 169 420 Egg &
Cheese
Double

Burger Croissan'wich

 

King

Ham, 206 550 Sausage, Egg
& Cheese

Burger Enormous

 

King

 

Omelet 266 730 Sandwich

 

Burger Ham Omelet139 330King Sandwich

 

Burger Sausage118 390King Biscuit
Burger
Ham, Egg &

 

King

 

Cheese 156 390 Biscuit

 

Burger Sausage, Egg

 

King

 

& Cheese 183 530 Biscuit

 

Burger Bacon, Egg &

 

King

Cheese 146 410
Biscuit
Hardee's Egg Biscuit 152 450
Hardee's Bacon Biscuit 120 430
Hardee's Sausage 142 530

Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium
(g) (g) (g) (g) (mg)

 

23 9 2 27 2210

 

39 14 2.5 27 1420

 

24 9 2 27 1600

 

37 14 2.5 27 2040

 

45 16 1 44 1940

 

14 5 0 35 1130

 

26 8 5 28 1020

 

22 7 5 31 1410

 

37 12 6 31 1490

 

25 8 5 31 1320

51 20 Unknown 35 940
28 7 Unknown 35 1110
38 10 Unknown 36 1240

Serving Restaurant(g) Biscuit

Hardee's Country Ham 144 440Biscuit

Breaded
Hardee's Chicken Fillet 226 600
Biscuit
Breaded
Hardee's Country Steak180 620
Biscuit

Breaded Pork

 

Hardee's Chop Biscuit 222690

 

Sausage &

 

Hardee's Egg Biscuit 185610

 

Country Steak

 

Hardee's
Hardee's
Hardee's
Hardee's

 

& Egg Biscuit223690

Bacon, Egg &
Cheese 174 560 Biscuit
Ham, Egg &
Cheese 220 560 Biscuit
Loaded
Omelet 198 640 Biscuit

Hardee's Monster 212 710Biscuit

Sunrise
Hardee's Croissant 164 430
(Ham)
Sunrise
Hardee's Croissant 138 450
(Bacon)
Sunrise
Hardee's Croissant 161 550
(Sausage)
Frisco
Hardee's Breakfast 185 420
Sandwich
Loaded
Hardee's Breakfast 258 780
Burrito

Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium
(g) (g) (g) (g) (mg)

 

26 6 Unknown 36 1710

 

34 7 Unknown 50 1680

 

41 11 Unknown 44 1360

 

42 8 Unknown 48 1330

 

44 11 Unknown 36 1290

 

47 11 Unknown 44 1800

 

38 11 Unknown 37 1360

 

35 10 Unknown 37 1800

 

44 14 Unknown 37 1510

 

51 17 Unknown 37 2250

 

26 10 Unknown 28 1050

 

29 12 Unknown 28 900

 

38 15 Unknown 29 1030

 

20 7 Unknown 37 1340

 

51 20 Unknown 38 1620

 

Serving Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium

Restaurant (g) (g) (g) (g) (g) (mg) Arby'sBacon & Egg 120 337 22 10 0 23 651Croissant

Arby's Bacon Biscuit 95 340 21 6 0 29 1028
Bacon, Egg &
Arby's Cheese 158 461 28 8 0 30 1446
Biscuit
Bacon, Egg &
Arby's Cheese 133 378 22 10 0 23 850 Croissant
Bacon, Egg &
Arby's Cheese 173 437 16 5 0 40 1220
Sourdough

Bacon, Egg &

 

Arby's Cheese Wrap 193 515 29 8 0.5 50 1367

Egg &
Arby's Cheese 164 392 12 3 0 40 1058
Sourdough
Sausage, Egg
Arby's & Cheese 185 557 38 11 0 30 1579
Biscuit
Sausage, Egg
Arby's & Cheese 191 514 27 8 0 40 1232
Sourdough
Ham &
Arby's Cheese 113 274 12 7 0 22 842
Croissant
Arby's Ham Biscuit 125 316 17 4 0 29 1240
Ham, Egg &
Arby's Cheese 188 437 23 6 0 31 1658
Biscuit
Ham, Egg &
Arby's Cheese 213 434 24 10 0 25 1282
Croissant
Ham, Egg &
Arby's Cheese 296 679 35 11 0 42 2104
Sourdough

Ham, Egg &

 

Arby's Cheese Wrap 242 568 31 10 1 51 1929

 

Sausage &

 

Arby's Egg Croissant147 433 32 13 0 23 784

 

Restaurant
Arby's
Arby's
Arby's
Arby's
Jack In The Box
Jack In The Box

Jack In The Box
Jack In The Box

Jack In The Box

 

Jack In The Box

 

Jack In The Box

 

Jack In The Box

 

Jack In The Box

 

Jack In The Box

 

Jack In The Box

 

Jack In The Box

 

(g) (g) (g) (g) (g) (mg) 122 436 31 9 0 28 1160 Sausage Biscuit

 

Sausage

 

Gravy Biscuit238 961 68 14 0 107 3755

Sausage, Egg 160 475 32 13 0 23 982 & Cheese
Croissant
Sausage, Egg 239 689 45 15 1 50 1849 & Cheese
Wrap
Bacon, Egg &149 430 25 8 5 34 1100 Cheese
Biscuit
Bacon
Breakfast 113 300 14 5 0.5 29 730 Jack

Breakfast 125 290 12 4.5 0 29 760Jack

 

Chicken 154 450 24 6 6 42 980Biscuit

Ciabatta
Breakfast 278 710 36 10 1 63 1730 Sandwich
Extreme
Sausage 213 670 48 17 1.5 31 1300 Sandwich
Meaty
Breakfast 183 480 29 10 1 29 1210 Burrito

Sausage 131 440 29 8 5 32 870Biscuit

Sausage
Breakfast 154 450 28 10 1 29 840 Jack

Sausage 174 580 39 13 4 37 770Croissant

Sausage, Egg
& Cheese 234 740 55 17 6 35 1430 Biscuit
Sirloin Steak 289 790 48 15 3.5 52 1320 & Egg

Serving Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium Serving Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium Restaurant
Jack In The Box
Jack In The Box
Jack In The Box
Sonic
Sonic
Sonic
Sonic
Sonic
Sonic
Sonic
Sonic
Sonic

Sonic (g) (g) (g) (g) (g) (mg) Burrito
Spicy
Chicken 169 460 22 5 7 44 1020 Biscuit

Supreme 151 450 25 9 3.5 36 860Croissant

Ultimate
Breakfast 249 570 27 10 1 49 1700 Sandwich

Bacon, Egg &

 

Cheese Bistro162 510 30 10 0.5 37 1060

 

Ham, Egg &

 

Cheese Bistro181460 24 7 0.5 36 1320

Sausage, Egg
& Cheese 189 590 40 13 1 37 1000 Bistro
Sausage, Egg
& Cheese 194 620 42 13 1 40 1380 Toaster
Bacon, Egg &
Cheese 167 530 32 10 0.5 40 1440 Toaster
Ham, Egg &
Cheese 186 490 26 8 0.5 40 1700 Toaster
Sausage, Egg
& Cheese 167 470 30 11 1 38 1140 Burrito
Bacon, Egg &
Cheese 157 450 26 10 0.5 38 1240 Burrito
Ham, Egg &
Cheese 183 440 23 9 0.5 37 1630 Burrito
SuperSonic
Breakfast 216 550 34 12 1.5 47 1340 Burrito

Subway Cheese 167 400 17 7 0 43 940Sandwich

 

Subway Chipotle 259 580 31 11 0.5 48 1400 Steak &

Serving Restaurant(g)

Cheese
Sandwich
Double Bacon

Subway & Cheese 185 500 Sandwich
Honey

SubwayMustard Ham 216 460& Cheese

 

Sandwich

 

Western

Subway Sandwich 207 440
(cheese)
Subway Cheese Wrap 159 390
Chipotle
Subway Steak & 251 570
Cheese Wrap
Double Bacon
Subway & Cheese 177 480
Wrap
Honey

SubwayMustard Ham 208 450& Cheese

 

Wrap

 

Western

 

Subway Wrap 199 420 (cheese)

 

Carl's Jr. Breakfast 309 830Burger

Sourdough
Carl's Jr. Breakfast 193 460
Sandwich

Carl's Jr. Sunrise 172 560Croissant

 

Carl's Jr. Bacon & Egg 208 570Burrito

Loaded
Carl's Jr. Breakfast 328 820
Burrito

Carl's Jr. Steak & Egg 322 660Burrito

 

Chick-Fil-A Chicken 191 410

 

Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium
(g) (g) (g) (g) (mg)

 

25 11 0.5 44 1310

 

19 8 0 51 1430

 

18 8 0 45 1320

 

19 8 0 37 1050

 

33 11 0.5 41 1510

 

27 11 0 38 1420

 

21 8 0 45 1540

 

20 8 0 39 1430

 

47 15 Unknown 65 1580

 

21 9 Unknown 39 1050

 

41 15 Unknown 27 970

 

33 11 Unknown 37 990

 

51 16 Unknown 52 1530

 

36 13 Unknown 44 1690 16 7 0 42 940

 

Serving Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium
Restaurant (g) (g) (g) (g) (g) (mg)
Burrito

 

Chick-Fil-ASausage 191 450 23 9 0 39 860Burrito

 

Chicken, Egg

 

& Cheese

Chick-Fil-A (sunflower 215 500 20 7 0 49 1260 multi-grain
bagel)

Chick-Fil-AHot Buttered 79 270 12 3 3 38 660Biscuit

 

Chick-Fil-AChicken 145 420 19 4.5 3 44 1270Biscuit

Bacon, Egg &
Chick-Fil-A Cheese 163 470 26 9 3 39 1190
Biscuit

Sausage &

 

Chick-Fil-A Egg Biscuit 198 570 37 11 3 39 1130

 

Chick-Fil-ABiscuit (with 192 330 15 4 4 43 950gravy)

Best: McDonald's Biscuit (regular)
This was a tough one, as there were a few good choices. In the end though I have to go with the regular Biscuit from McDonald's based on it being the lowest in calories and among the lowest in all of the other nutrition facts (including 0 grams of trans fat). Really though, any of the breakfast items with 350 or less calories and 0 grams of trans fat could be tied for second best.
Worst: Arby's Sausage Gravy Biscuit & Jack In The Box Spicy Chicken Biscuit

Arby's Sausage Gravy Biscuit ends up as one of the worst breakfast items based mostly on two of its nutrition facts. First up is its 961 calories which are 250 calories higher than the item that is second highest in calories, and 700 more than this category's "best" pick. As if that wasn't enough, take a look at its 3755mg of sodium... literally 3000mg more than many of the other similar breakfast items. Jack In The Box's Spicy Chicken Biscuit also makes the cut due to its 7 grams of trans fat (highest in the comparison).

Notes: For this comparison I went with pretty much every single sandwich-type breakfast item there was, and there were a TON of them.
Mozzarella Sticks Compared

ServingFast Food Type SizeRestaurant(g)

 

4 pc

 

Arby's (Regular) 137

 

Arby's

 

8 pc (Large) Jack In The3 pcBox
Jack In The
6 pcBox

White Castle 3 pc White Castle 5 pc White Castle 10 pc

273

 

Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium Calories Fat Fat Fat
(g) (g) (g) (g) (mg)
426 28 13 1 38 1370

 

849 56 26 2 75 2730

 

71 240 12 5 2 21 420

 

138

79.2
132
264 Sonic Unknown 140
Best: Sonic
This was pretty tough, but in the end I had to go with lack of trans fat over lack of calories. Sonic's mozzarella sticks contain 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving and in this comparison, that's as good as it's going to get.
Worst: Arby's 8 pc (Large) & White Castle 10 pc
A large (8 piece) order of mozzarella sticks from Arby's packs a pretty insane 849 calories, 26 grams of saturated fat and 2730mg of sodium. Let's also not forget the 2 grams of trans fat. Pretty crazy for just an appetizer. White Castle's 10 piece version is a close second in all of those nutrition facts except one, trans fat, where it ranks the highest with 6 grams.
Notes: For this comparison, since there were so few fast food restaurants offering mozzarella sticks, I decided to compare all of the available sizes from the restaurants that did sell them rather than just one specific size.
483 27 11 4 39 1018

250 14 6 2 22 750
420 23 10 3 37 1240
820 46 20 6 73 2490
440 22 9 0.5 40 1050

Breadsticks, Cheesy Bread, Cheese Breadsticks Compared Fast Food
Serving Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium
Type Size CaloriesFat Fat FatRestaurant (g) (g) (g) (g) (mg)
Pizza Hut
Breadsticks 1 pc 150 6 1 0 20 230 Pizza Hut Cheese 1 pc 200 10 3 0 21 370Breadsticks

 

Domino's Breadsticks 1 pc 130 7 1.5 0 14 90Pizza
Domino's
Cheesy Bread 1 pc 140 7 2.3 0 14 140Pizza
Little
Crazy Bread 1 pc 100 3 0.5 0 15 150Caesars
Little
Italian Cheese 1 pc 130 7 2.5 0 13 230 Breadsticks, Cheesy Bread, Cheese Breadsticks Compared

 

Fast Food TypeRestaurant
Caesars
Bread

 

Little Pepperoni

 

Serving Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium
Size Calories
Fat Fat Fat
(g) (g) (g) (g) (mg)
Caesars
Cheese Bread 1 pc150 8 3 0 13 280

Papa John's Breadsticks 1 pc 140 2 0 0 26 260
Papa John's Cheesesticks 2 pc 370 16 4.5 0 42 830
Best: Little Caesars (Crazy Bread)
This was another hard one to pick a "best" for because the nutrition facts do not differ that much among the foods. In a case like this, I'd have to go with the food lowest in calories. In this comparison that title goes to Little Caesars Crazy Bread with 100 calories per piece. However, with all of the items compared above containing 0 grams of trans fat, no real significant amount of saturated fat (at least by fast food standards) and being somewhat close in calories, they pretty much all qualify as being this comparison's "best."
Worst: Papa John's (Cheesesticks)
This one is kind of silly. I have no idea why Papa John's Cheesesticks are the only item with a serving size of 2 pieces (the others were all 1 piece) but since I'm making my best/worst picks based on the nutrition facts per serving, I guess I kind of have to go with these. The obvious reason why is that with double the serving, you're eating double the calories, fat, sodium, and other nutrients. Like I said, silly.
Notes: For this comparison I used each fast food restaurant's version a bread stick, with and/or without cheese. Papa John's "Cheesesticks" were the only item whose serving size wasn't 1 piece (it was 2 pieces) and while that kind of throws things off a bit in this comparison, I included it anyway. Another thing to keep in mind about the serving sizes is that all of these items come in orders ranging from 7-10 pieces. So, if you're eating the whole order, you're eating the above nutrition facts multiplied by 7-10.

"14 Inch Large Cheese Pizza" Compared (1 slice, no toppings)

 

Fast Food TypeRestaurant

 

14" LargePizza Hut Pan Pizza

 

Domino's 14" Classic

 

Serving Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium Size Calories Fat Fat Fat
(g) (g) (g) (g) (g) (mg)
146 390 19 7 0 38 800

 

Pizza Hand-Tossed121290 9 3.5 0 42 470

 

14" Original

 

Papa John's Crust Pizza 132 300 11 3.5 0 39 750 Little 14" Round 94 200 7 3.5 0 25 340 Caesars HOT-N

 

READY

 

"14 Inch Large Cheese Pizza" Compared (1 slice, no toppings) Fast Food
Serving Total Saturated Trans Carbs Sodium Type Size Calories Fat Fat FatRestaurant (g) (g) (g) (g) (g) (mg)

Pizza
Best: Little Caesars (14" Round HOT-N-READY Pizza)
Little Caesars looks like the winner of this one based mostly on its smaller serving size and therefore lower nutrition facts. Honorable mentions to all of the fast food pizza restaurants compared for containing 0 grams of trans fat.

Worst: Pizza Hut (14" Large Pan Pizza)
With the largest serving size of them all, Pizza Hut appears to be the worst in this comparison, as it is the highest in all of the most important nutrition facts (calories, saturated fat, sodium). However I will add that when you compare any of these items with any of the other items already compared above, pizza really isn't even in the same league.
Notes: For this comparison I used each pizza restaurant's most basic 14 inch cheese pizza.

THANK YOU FOR READING

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