Ramen-it can fit into your diet!

Ooooooh Ramen. We all remember glorious college days living off those 10 cent blocks of noodles. It was cheap, it was food, and it was delicious.

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Now all we see in the media regarding instant noodles are negative things like this.

But let’s remember that there are no bad foods. We should not label or assign a moral value to foods, or the people eating certain foods.

Let’s just look objectively at the nutrition of Ramen. Here is a PDF of Top Ramen nutrition for your reference.

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If you were not aware before, the Ingredients List on a nutrition label is listed in order of greatest to least by weight. Looking at the Top Ramen nutrition label, you can see that Ramen is mostly made from enriched flour, oil, and salt.

These three main ingredients-flour, oil, and salt- signal that Ramen probably is high in carbohydrates, fat, and sodium. The enriched flour means that the noodles are fortified with vitamins and minerals, which explains why you may see 10-15% iron per serving of noodles.

By the way, a “serving” of Ramen is only HALF the block. So remember if you are consuming one entire package, you are getting twice the amount of nutrients on the label.

Eating an entire block of Ramen noodles means you are getting 70-80% of you daily sodium needs (based on the average diet), and about 20-25% daily fat.

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And that is ok! We need sodium to survive. We need fat to survive. We need carbohydrates. We need vitamins and minerals.

Food is nourishment for our bodies, and we should never feel guilty or ashamed of eating something. But we should make the best nutritional choices for our health, and to do so requires knowledge of the nutrient content of foods. We need nutrients, but don’t forget that over-, under-, and mal-nourishment are things too!

With knowledge, we can make  choices to nourish our bodies in the best possible, balanced way. With positivity, we can see the benefits of ALL foods– even Ramen!

Check out this article for how Ramen could be Saving the World.

Now, how do you feel about instant noodles?

Mac and Cheese, Please!

Mmmmmmm Mac and Cheese. Who doesn’t love it?

Taken from http://www.youknowyouloveit.com/
Taken from http://www.youknowyouloveit.com/

The beauty of this dish is that it is such a cinch to put together, and such a crowd-pleaser.

Examine this Kraft Macaroni & Cheese nutrition label to get an idea of the nutrients in this delicious concoction.

But even if you don’t look at a nutrition label, knowing the main ingredients of any recipe can help you estimate nutritional content.

Mac and Cheese is pretty much exactly what is sounds like. Macaroni and, Cheese! However, usually some Milk and Butter are added as well to get just that right consistency.

So let’s look at these four ingredients: Macaroni, Cheese, Milk, and Butter. What nutrients do they offer?

Well…..

1) Macaroni (aka an elbow shaped pasta) is usually made of enriched flour. This means it is made from fortified wheat flour that contains many B vitamins and iron. And since it is made from flour, this means it is a carb! Our body loves and NEEDS carbohydrates.

2) Cheese is a processed dairy product, meaning it contains protein, calcium, fat, and sodium. Oh and since it is an animal food product, it contains the essential vitamin B-12!! Remember, B-12 is mostly only found in animal food products.

3) Milk is ..milk. Usually, the kind we consume comes from cows. And even though milk is used to make cheese, there are some key nutritional differences.

4) Butter. butter butter butter. So yummy, and so nutritious! Check out why it is great to include some butter in our diets. (Hint: Butter is a Fat. And we NEED fats!)

Phew! What a wonderful list of nutrition from our friend, Mac and Cheese. Remember to learn about the proper nutrition for YOUR body, and to maintain a healthy balance of nutrients in your diet. Undernourishment, overnourishment, and malnourishment are no bueno.

Taken from http://www.youknowyouloveit.com/
Taken from http://www.youknowyouloveit.com/

Mac and Cheese can absolutely be part of a healthy diet once we understand the nutrients it offers! Look at the nutrition labels on mac and cheese ingredients to see what you’re consuming. And remember, recipes can be tweaked to fit your diet! That is why learning how to cook is essential in life. Happy Mac’ing!

My favorite food is ___ and no, I’m not lying.

Salad.

Yep, Salad. My favorite food. Ok? I just really like salad. Why does everyone have to get on my back and nag me about being “super healthy”, and why can’t I pick a “real favorite food” like pizza or chips? dinnerplateoffood

Are you on a diet, they ask. But you also must really love donuts, they comment.

What the heck is wrong with me loving salad??? I just like the freshness. I just like the contrast in textures. I just love how the flavors all meld together like the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. I just love how I can make one without having to touch the stove.

Why do I feel this pressure from society to have a more “normal” favorite food? Something more “forbidden”, “guilt-laden”?

Why must I feel like the whole world is labeling me with my choice in food??

Can we please stop categorizing foods into “good” and “bad”? Can we please stop judging people by the food they choose to eat??

Loving salad doesn’t make me more or less concerned about health than if I were to love, say, double cheeseburgers.

We shouldn’t associate food with personality characteristics. We shouldn’t equate a person’s food choice with their views on health.

Who agrees?