November 8


Analyzing the Pros and Cons of What You Eat

By Sue Ingebretson

November 8, 2011

balance, carbs, fruits, preservatives, protein, sugar, thickeners, Veggies, yogurt


For many, nutrition is a nebulous topic. You can’t really “see” the calories you consume, you can’t measure the ratio of carbs to proteins in your meals, and you can’t actually know how much sugar is in a packaged product despite the lengthy nutrition labels.

So … what does it matter?

What you eat DOES matter and here’s how I describe it in concrete terms. It’s like math. Let’s call it your Health Account for simplicity’s sake.

Advertisers love to tell us how wonderfully healthy their products are. I recently saw a commercial for yogurt that bragged about the protein content and the fact that it has “real” fruit. For now, let’s put the “real” qualifications aside, and just look at the benefits as mentioned.

If we looked at this food like a bank account, we could consider the pros and cons as deposits and withdrawals. Deposits are a good thing. We’re very happy to make deposits. Let’s say that the protein is worth a $10 deposit and so is the added fruit. Yay! Your Health Account now has a balance of $20.

But then what?

You read the label further and see dyes (a $10 withdrawal), preservatives (a $10 withdrawal), thickeners (a $10 withdrawal) … and worst of all, mass quantities of sugar (a $50 withdrawal). Yikes! What happened to your Health Account balance? It’s overdrawn, right?

No matter how “good” your deposits are,
they’re still only as valuable as measured by the withdrawals.

I often see clients who say, “It has protein in it!” or “It’s healthy … it has real vegetables or fruit!” When it’s all said and done, having healthy ingredients is great, but the true test is looking at the whole product. Even the best “deposits” can’t withstand the deficit created by negative ingredients.

Of course, these are arbitrary numbers I’ve assigned to make a point, but it does help to look at things as a measurement of balance. Keep your Health Account totals in mind as you plan your meals. Read labels! Better yet, consider eating foods without labels (that means fresh produce).

Tell me about the balance in your Health Account! How’s it going?

  1. Yeah, great when something has fruit in it, but not when there’s 40 grams of sugar to boot! Agree that all the ingredients have to be taken into consideration.

    1. Yep — it’s so common for us to get focused on a minor thing and not notice the major thing looming overhead 😉

  2. When I’m really serious about watching what I eat, I use a calorie counting website. I love how it assigns values to each food. It shows the good and the bad and let’s me know when I’ve consumed too much of the bad. I’ve lost 19 lbs since March and feel better. Still have a ways to go though.

    I lost 5 lbs in one week just by not drinking fruit juice. I used to think–what’s the big deal? It’s fruit juice not soda. Then I realized how much sugar was in it. smh

    1. Great advice! Isn’t it amazing to find that when we learn what’s IN the foods we eat, we’re far more likely to make better choices? You’ve made amazing progress and congrats!

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"True Healing requires a combination of healthy nutrition, healthy body movements, and emotional wellness. This is what I call the Restoration Trio" ~ Sue Ingebretson