Post #4: The Best of the Worst

So let’s be real for a moment. If you’ve ever read any article on weight loss tips or ways to improve your diet you have no doubt come across some terrible article on how easy it is to just snack healthy and watch the fat disintegrate. You and I both know carrot sticks aren’t an alternative to chocolate. That’s like saying Canadian football is a good alternative to American football. So if you need some salt/fat/sugar and honey dew melon just isn’t cutting it for you what, of the many varieties of junk food are the the least damaging to your body. I’ve broken it down into 3 categories based on the most common forms of junk food; Potato chips, chocolate and your generic candies like skittles, gummy bears, etc.

1) Potato Chips

For this entry we’ll focus on lays classic plain salted chips. All the other chips are pretty much just a small deviation of this so it’s a good place to start. So you’re walking through the grocery store when suddenly you notice the oily finger prints dotting every inch of your “i won`t meet anyone attractive here” shirt, and you reminisce of that last bag of millimeter thick, salty potato slices that stained your shirt so.

Not Pictured: Dignity,

Not Pictured: Dignity

So how bad a decision are you about to make? Well according to my sources ( a bag of chips) one serving which is 28.3g has 160 calories. 28.3g is 0.06 pounds, a McDonald’s quarter pound burger which we’ll assume is 0.25 pounds has about 400 calories.  So, if we ate a quarter pound of these lays chips we’re looking at about 640 calories. These potato snacks are significantly more calorie dense than a hunk of cow. Either the cows are getting slimmer (they’re not) or potato chips really are one way ticket to Fat City, USA which I assume is in Ohio? Let’s not even get started on the sodium contents of those things. The only decent trait of chips is that there’s no cholesterol in them. This is a small pro compared to just how many calories there are in chips though

2) Chocolate

Chocolate as an essential item, is pretty much up there with oxygen and water. Whether your shoveling a bar of the stuff into your mouth while you watch big bang theory re-runs or licking it off your mistress’s stomach…while you watch big bang theory re-runs, it makes literally everything better. If anyone tries to give you pancakes without chocolate chips, breaking their femur is probably the most appropriate reaction. So given chocolates presence in our diets, we oughtta know just how good or bad it really is. Well for starters a standard size nestle milk chocolate bar is about 27 grams of chocolate and contains 220 calories and 13g of fat, 8g of which are saturated fats (see post #3). This is actually far denser in calories than the potato chips in the last entry. Milk chocolate is essentially milk fat with very little actual cacao from the original plant. There’s also some cholesterol in there as well. While it could be argued that there’s calcium in the milk, it could also be argued that there’s iron in a double big mac, it’s just not a fair trade off.  For the record a bar of dark chocolate (about 70% cacao), while still a little high in calories and fats, does contain polyphenols which can help reduce stress induced damage, maintain artery walls, and modulate intestinal inflammation (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.qe2a-proxy.mun.ca/pubmed/23150750). Dark chocolate also contains a compound called theobromine, which acts as a vasodilator and has recently been shown to lower blood pressure in the short-term (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.qe2a-proxy.mun.ca/pubmed/22895979). So if you must eat chocolate, opt for the dark stuff if you can. Its a few less calories and 1000x better given the theobromine content and what not.

3) Candy
Ok so it should come as no surprise that things like gummy candy are a great way to get your daily recommended intake of carbohydrates….after about a 1/3 of a bag. It’s pure sugar and imitation flavors. If you plan on eating these things regularly, message me and I`ll tell you 5 ways to get diabetes that are way more fun than skittles. A single 61g bag has 240 calories and 54g of sugar. That’s on par with a can of Coca Cola but you won’t help save any polar bears. How the hell do you justify doing that to your body and NOT save polar bears in the process.

"Look what you've done with your skittles and global warming...but mostly skittles"

“Look what you’ve done with your skittles and global warming…but mostly skittles”

Not many positive can be said for skittles or other similar candies. Skittles have about 35% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C but that’s by far one of the most of abundant and easily absorbed vitamins out there. If you’ve eaten even one fruit today or had some sort of juice you probably already have above 100% of your daily need.

This article isn’t about shaming you out of enjoying some junk food once in a while or offering some lame substitute. In fact, it’s more of a way to justify it and offer a little guidance next time you enter glucose withdrawals. If calories are your concern and you just can’t get into the whole dark chocolate thing then potato chips could be the way to go plus you can always opt for an every so slightly better baked version but if you enjoy dark chocolate its obvious that it’s the clear winner here. So call it a technicality if you want but I`m naming chocolate the best of the worst!

"best of the worst? Yayyy I'm basically Egypt!"

“best of the worst? Yayyy I’m basically Egypt!”

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