I know finals week isn’t the greatest time to talk about nutrition, but I’m doing it anyway.
I’ve been trying for a long time to articulate exactly why processed foods are the worst, and that sugar is in everything, and [insert long and exhausting rant about food here]. This article does a good job of summarizing how calories just aren’t equivalent:
Still Believe ‘A Calorie is a Calorie’? (Dr. Lustig was on The Colbert Report if you’re interested in watching his interview!)
I did a presentation on high fructose corn syrup a few weeks ago in my Drug Information class discussing the biochemical differences between HFCS and glucose, and it was quite enlightening. (Summary: fructose doesn’t stimulate the release of insulin and lectin, which are vital hormones for digestion/appetite control–also fructose doesn’t cross into your brain like glucose does to tell it to stop eating, and your brain needs sugar to live!).
Anyway, the best advice you can take away is to eat more fruits and vegetables and less processed foods. As little as possible! If you’re on a budget, frozen food works, canned is better than nothing (just watch the sodium and other ingredients).
Be vigilant of your food labels. Look for things with a lot of saturated fat, sodium, and sugar, and stay away from it. I’ve also mad ea habit of staying away from things with ingredients lists that are paragraphs long (have you seen a Cheez-It box lately?).