I always say a calorie isn’t always a calorie. Not all calories are created equal, and some are better for you than others. There is no way that 300 calories of broccoli will compare to 300 calories of fast food. In fact, it might even be difficult to consume 300 calories of broccoli. However, weather you consume 300 calories or 300 calories of broccoli, your body is responding completely different than it would with 300 calories of fast food. You are either feeding a disease or fighting one!
What happens exactly when you consume 300 calories of fast food? I’m sure you’re all very familiar with the “itis”. The effect of eating refined and processed carbohydrates can cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. Because the cells are continually bombarded with the sugar that the food becomes can develop an insulin resistance (the more insulin resistant you become, the greater chance of diabetes), fewer carbohydrates can stored in the cells as energy and more get transported to the liver to be transformed into triglycerides and stored as body fat. Even more so- the excess amount of sodium (even though SOME sodium is good for you) can lead to elevated blood pressure which can increase the risk for heart disease and stroke. A diet high in saturated and trans fat also increased the risk of these diseases as well as many others by clogging the arteries. You become hungry shortly after you eat and simultaneously increase the risk of obesity- which as its own problems. You’re starving your body of nutrients necessary to promote healthy body function. Risks of cancer can therefore increase and small inflammatory (and usually unnoticed) markers will begin occurring in the body.
It’s not about just calories, but how those calories react within the body and what vitamins and minerals they provide the body. Therefore, when consuming 300 calories of broccoli, you are taking in an abundant amount of vitamins A, B1, B6 C, E K and C, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid. Along with that- it contains folate, and important minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, sodium, potassium, selenium, chromium, choline, manganese and phosphorus as well as essential omega-3 fatty acids. It contains a unique and rich source of phytonutrients and flavonoids (stay tuned to learn more about essentials and benefits of vitamins and minerals). Even without knowing the functions of any if not all these nutrients, you can only imagine the benefits it gives to your overall metabolic and body function. Therefore eating broccoli can aid in digestion, prevent chronic diseases, liver health, boost brain function, improve nail skin and hair care, reduce allergies and anti-inflammatory properties, control diabetes, prevent heart disease, treat stomach disorders, improve diabetes and even treat cancer (just to name a few).
When it comes to overall health, nourishment is the more important than calories. Yes- if your goal is to lose weight, caloric content matters- however your body reacts differently when the caloric energy is coming from REAL foods as opposed to processed and refined products! Caloric value of food is not equal with all the water, fiber and nutrient content. If you eat the fast food/ artificial foods, less percent of fat is being burned therefore not maximizing the burning effects of storing fat. Whereas, when we ear whole plant foods that are long chain and slow digesting, we burn about 50% fat, 50% sugar thereby maximizing the opportunity to burn fat. Let alone the intake of nutrients and the benefits of all the properties that come with eating whole food- calories do NOT react equally in the body. Read your ingredient labels and learn to understand that. Stay tuned to learn more!