Calories - How Many in A Typical American Meal
The typical American meal has way too many calories because of all the little additions we usually pay little attention to. These additions can easily double the caloric content of a meal. Watch this presentation given by Dr Winston Craig on how a reasonable, balanced, 600 calorie meal can become a caloric disaster worth 1,450 calories.
Transcript of "Calories - How Many in A Typical American Meal"
Now let's take a look at the typical American meal. And I'm going to show you something that we could perhaps have served here.
First of all we start with a salad. Not a lot of calories, lots of water and fiber - 10 calories. A slice of whole wheat bread baked in the oven - 60 calories. Half a cup of peas - 60 calories. An entree casserole - 150 calories. One half baked potato - 110 calories. Once cup of soy milk - 120 calories. For desert, we're going to go healthy and have a baked apple - 60 calories.
Does this look like something most of you could handle in a meal? It's not too much, isn't it.
How many calories is that? 600 calories. And that represents about 25% of the daily calorie for a man and 30% of the daily calorie needs for a woman. It's not too unreasonable.
But is that how Americans eat? No, they don't eat that way, do they. We'll take a look at what we do to each one of these foods.
What do we put on the salad? Mayonnaise. And that turned the 60 calories into 90. What about the bread? We've got to put some butter or margarine or something like that on it, and that doubles the calories. Peas - we've got to spice them up a little bit with margarine, and that doubles the calories. The entree - we put some gravy on and that adds another 60 calories. The baked potato - we put some sour cream or yogurt or margarine or whatever your preference is and that bumps it up another 60 calories. And plain old milk is not good enough we have to use chocolate deluxe, and that adds another 50 to 60 calories. And of course, who eats the baked apple? Mom makes such delicious apple pie, we've got to have that. And who eats apple pie without ice cream? So you add that for the desert, and it changes from 60 calories to 500.
It is the same meal, but we just smoothed it over a little bit, so things can slide down. It's not really the same meal, because now we are up to 1,450 calories. The 600 calories in the basic meal is now more than double by all the little additions that we do. And that calculates to 60% of what the man needs in a day, and 75% of what the woman needs in a day.
This is a transcript of a presentation given by Dr. Winston Craig, RD, PhD, MPH
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