This is not a post to throw a bunch of foreign, unpronounceable chemical names at you and then mock you for not knowing they were in the diet foods you eat. The truth is that in this day and age the majority of the food we eat is chemically enhanced, low-cal / diet or not. So I’m not going to ramble on (not too much at least) about how diet products destroyed my gut. You can read about that and see my gorgeous hospital photo in this post.
Today I’m going to step away from the medical and scientific reasons why you won’t find me munching on low-calorie alternatives, because most of you already know on some level that diet foods aren’t as healthy as eating the less modified version in moderation. I sure knew it, but I didn’t really care until I was diagnosed with all these crazy things and forced to care. So rather than bore you with statistics, I hope to tempt you with joy. The joy of eating 100+ calorie bread, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream rather than Arctic Zero, Swiss slices instead of 35 calorie laughing cow. That’s not to say you’re an unhealthy person if you enjoy these diet foods once in awhile or that they’re not “real” foods. But if diet foods are the only versions you eat or rather the only you’re comfortable choosing, I encourage you to keep reading.
Why You’ll Never Find me Eating 45 Calorie Bread
I still remember the looks my sorority sister gave me two and a half years ago. We were grocery shopping at target and I grabbed two loafs of Sara Lee 45 Calorie bread and placed them carefully in my shopping cart next to the bottles of Walden Farms 0 Calorie syrup.
“Why are you buying bread when the sorority house has bread stocked 24/7?”
“Um…this way I have some on weekends you know if we run out or something”
I lied, ashamed and unable to tell her the real reason. That I was afraid of the 110 calorie slices covered in seeds and boasting a soft, wheat center. I knew she wouldn’t understand if I tried to explain that by eating this bread I could have two pieces (read: anorexia would let me have two pieces) instead of one of the other (read: instead of feeling guilty about having two of the other). Later that evening I passed by the meal our sorority house’s chef had made for dinner: Grilled chicken in mushroom sauce with buttered vegetables and roasted potatoes. I proceeded to microwave some egg whites, spread a 35 calorie cheese wedge on a piece of 45 calorie bread, and sandwich it with another. Up in my room I bit into my sandwich and genuinely wondered, “Why would anybody choose 110 calorie bread when they could have one that tastes nearly as good for half the calories?!”
I found myself thinking the same thing this morning. Just for a split second as I reached for my Rudi’s gluten free, multigrain bread. Then I remembered exactly why someone would choose regular bread over low-calorie.
– for taste
I would take it one step further and say those extra 50 – 100 calories in the bread, cheese, cookie, etc. that you’re allowing yourself to enjoy rather than the diet alternative – that’s also your spontaneity, your freedom, your love.
That’s not to say I won’t order a Skinny Caramel Machiatto once in awhile or buy a pint of Halo Top ice cream. But if I do it’s because I like it! Not because I’m afraid of branching out from them or afraid of the higher calorie option.
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