Embrace the (Kraft) Single life!

I also wanted to call this post: Kraft Singles–American Legend. Anyways… Oh those delicious orange squares! That satisfying sound of tearing off the rigged seals of the thin plastic to reveal, according to today’s health experts, one of the most taboo foods on earth. You’ve all heard it before–“Don’t eat processed foods!” “That is not real cheese!” “It’s sooo bad for you!” In fact, find it here on this list along with other supposedly bad foods (white bread, pasta, soy sauce, peanuts..you know. all those bad foods)

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Kraft Singles: American Legend

But remember, THERE ARE NO BAD FOODS. Only bad relationships with foods, that stem from society’s need to guilt trip us. Let me tell you though–There is even nutrition in our beloved friend, the Kraft single!

This post was inspired by a reader submitted story, which I will now so eloquently re-tell:

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The Kraft singles cheese sandwich made and eaten by a reader. 20% calcium, 2% vitamin A, AND protein? Awesome!

She was volunteering at a school luncheon, had forgotten to eat breakfast and was starving by afternoon. In effort to get some fuel into her body she slapped together a quick cheese sandwich made from two pieces of white bread and two slices of Kraft singles. Normally she would have kicked herself for caving in to hunger and consuming such fake, horrible, plastic, chemically induced milk-by-product between nutritionally void bread..but this time she chose to think POSITIVELY about the nutrition of the sandwich she just consumed. And here is how:

1. White flour is fortified with many essential micronutrients. We’ve discussed it before in the OREO post.

2. Each Kraft single contains 20%!!! of your daily calcium needs, 2% vitamin A, and 3 g of protein!!! Check out the Kraft single nutritional info!

And she lived happily ever after, did not consume Kraft singles every day, but was not going to feel guilty about the occasional orange square either!

What’s your opinion on Kraft singles and other cheese products like Velveeta, or Easy Cheese?

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Icing on the Cake

I have read many-a-health-blogs that suggested you scrape the icing off a piece of cake before eating it to save calories, save fat, save sugar. And to that I say, save it for what? Save it to ingest in some other form that is not the delicious frosting on top of my cake? Save it for after the party so I can pride myself for snacking on an apple and peanut butter instead?

The icing on top of the cake: Goodness on top of more goodness
The icing on top of the cake: Goodness on top of more goodness

The idiom “Icing on the Cake” came into existence because it is the perfect example of “something good that is added to another good thing”. But our over-obsessed health culture today is rendering this expression meaningless. Icing, or frosting, is becoming synonymous with “bad”, “unhealthy”, “fattening”. And that is true if you choose to look at it that way.

Or you can choose to look at frosting as what it is! A simple mixture of sugar, dairy and butter–all of which are FOODS with nutritional value!! I’ve discussed sugar and dairy in the “Ice cream is good for you” post, so let’s focus on the butter component of icing. Or frosting. Whichever you call it.

BUTTERcream frosting
BUTTERcream frosting

Alright. Let’s get some things straight. Butter facts:

1. Butter is a fat. It is not what makes you fat. It is a TYPE of fat. Fat is essential for survival.

2. Butter is rich rich RICH in Vitamins A, E, D, and K2.

3. Butter has iodine!!

4. Butyric acid. Wonder where it get its name from?;)

5. Linoleic acid. <—read about it. it’s cool stuff!!!

6. THE benefits of BUTTER list goes on and on and on..

So celebrate butter. Celebrate the icing on the cake. Make this buttercream fosting today. Life is too short to rob ourselves of nutritional happiness in times of celebration (isn’t this usually when we eat cake anyway?)

Have your cake, eat it, AND the icing too!!!!!

And now for today’s relevant, yet irrelevant question: What is your ideal cake:frosting ratio?

Oreos. Their BIG nutrition secret

So you ate a few Oreo cookies at your office party, are now on a sugar high and bouncing around the cubicle because of the extra carbohydrates you just consumed. No surprise right? Oreos=Cookies=Sugar=AL:KJ:LKJAD!!!!

Oreos: the chocolate sandwich cookie with some secret nutritional benefits
Oreos: the chocolate sandwich cookie with secret nutritional benefits

Well here is something that probably WILL surprise you about Oreo nutrition:

A serving of Oreos (three cookies) contains about 10% of your daily recommended IRON intake. Huh??

That’s right. Milk’s favorite cookie has iron. How??

If you take a look at the first ingredient list after sugar, you’ll see the words Unbleached Enriched Flour, followed by a whole list of micronutrients.

Americans love Oreos. Click the image for an Oreo cheesecake recipe
Americans love Oreos. Click the image for an Oreo cheesecake recipe

The U.S. is one of many countries that mandates fortification of industrial milled wheat flour with nutrients like folic acid and iron, as a public health initiative to prevent neural tube defects in newborns and conditions such as anemia. Check out the full list here.

Click the image to see the ingredient list and nutritional info for Oreos!
Click the image to see the ingredient list and nutritional info for Oreos!

Cool right? In fact, most of the packaged products you buy (bread, pancake mix, tortillas, cookies, crackers) are made from enriched flour, which means it is fortified with essential nutrients!

That means Oreos not only include iron and folic acid (aka vitamin B9), but vitamins B1 (Thiamine), B2(Riboflavin) and B3(Niacin) as well. Check out the Oreo’s nutrition label! Share this fun fact with all your Oreo-loving friends! Happy snacking!

“Want fries with that?” YES!

The french fry. The poor little guy who at heart, is an innocent potato.

Fries share a name with the cooking method used to create them. Frying foods require some sort of fat–which is essential to life.

An innocent potato cooked in hot oil.

Canola oil is popular for deep frying due to its high smoke point. Click the picture for its nutritional benefits!

Oil is just another way we obtain fat, one of the three macronutrients needed for survival. We need fat to absorb fat soluble nutrients (vitamins D, E, A, K), protect organs and nerves, regulate hormone production, and for energy and growth.

Fat is NOT bad! (<– working title of an upcoming children’s book?) Repeat: Fat is NOT bad!

A bowl of potatoes
A bowl of potatoes. Did you know potatoes contain more potassium than bananas? Crazy!

Now. Let’s. talk. POTATO.

Most people would be surprised to find out that potatoes contain LOTS of VITAMIN C, which we have all come to know as a powerful sidekick to our immune system. In fact, check out McDonald’s nutritional info for the Vitamin C content in their french fries. WOW.  Badabababa–I’m lovin’ that!

These golden arches deliver vitamin C, B6 and potassium!
These golden arches deliver Potassium, Vitamins C + B6!

And the benefits of potatoes do not stop there. The french fry (our potato friend) contains great sources of Vitamin B6 AND Potassium as well!! Vitamin B6 belongs to the family of B-complex vitamins and is important for brain function, heart health and assisting vitamin B12 (found in animals products like ice cream!) in making healthy red blood cells. Potassium is an electrolyte that keeps our heart and muscles pumping strong!

Last but not least, potatoes are a starchy vegetable, which means they contain carbohydrates in the form of starch (read: ENERGY!!!!!)  and the non-digestible complex carb, FIBER (which helps us stay regular, if you know what I mean;)

Who knew french fries were full of all these NUTRIENTS! Have you ever tried to make your own at home?

Ice Cream is Good for You

Why? Because when you break it down, it really just is milk and sugar. Milk and sugar.

The extra serving of calcium I had last weekend.

Milk.

and

sugar.

Cows and plants.  Both provide us with great amounts of nutrients! Let’s take a closer look:

There are MANY benefits of milk. Click the picture to find out more!

Cow’s milk is a dairy product and  an EXCELLENT source of calcium, which is an essential mineral for a strong, healthy skeleton and teeth. Calcium is important for us to maintain bone density, ESPECIALLY for women as we are at a higher risk for osteoporosis. If we do not get enough calcium, our body strips it away from our bones (NOT good!).

Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products (plant foods do not contain Vitamin B12, unless they are fortified), so its no surprise that ice cream can provide a good supply of this micronutrient! It is important for making DNA, healthy red blood cells, and supporting our nervous system. Vitamin B12 deficiency is bad, bad, bad.

Sugar cane

Now I could go on and on about the benefits of milk, but let’s move on to the other main ingredient of ice cream–that delicious, sweet SUGAR!

Sugar cubes
Every wonder why you feel so energized after a sweet snack? Because sugar is a carbohydrate!

The majority of the sugar we eat comes from the sugar cane, a giant bamboo-like plant.

Scientifically, table sugar is known as sucrose, a molecule made up of two simpler sugars, fructose and glucose. Sugars fall into the macronutrient group– carbohydrates.

Why does our body need carbs?

FOR ENERGY!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!

Sugar gets converted into glucose and is readily absorbed by our cells to give us an instant lift. We NEED sugar to survive, and for our brains to function at optimal levels!

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Thanks Ice Cream, for being so good to me!

Next time you have a scoop of ice cream, think about all the STRENGTH and ENERGY you have consumed, and go show the world what you are made of! (strong bones!) 😀

And now I will ask an irrelevant, but relevant question: What’s your favorite flavor??