I totally forgot to mention this in my post. I had heard about the book Eat This Not That some time ago and judged the book by it's cover and thought it was just a bunch of crap and would be a waste of money. I kept hearing about it in fitness magazines and whatnot and would think that maybe someday I'd check it out. Well the Saturday after Thanksgiving I was at a book store and they had a special where you buy one book and get the second half off. Well, I already had the one book and was looking for my half off book. I saw the book, but immediately decided against it. Looked around considered a few other books and finally I said what the hell and went back and picked up Eat This Not That.
Let me tell you, this book is a lot better that I gave it credit for. First of all it starts out by explaining what different terms mean on package labels. For example, the difference between "whole grain" and "multi grain". Both sound healthy, right? Well check this out. "Whole grain" means the entire kernel of wheat, corn, whatever has been used to make the bread or whatever product you're looking at, which is good because when those items are refined they're stripped of a large number of their nutrients so by the grains being kept "whole" you're getting much all of the nutrients available in that grain. However, "multi grain" just means that more than one type of grain was used. As long as there's more than one type of grain they can be refined and stripped of all of their nutritional value. Talk about giving me some good information.
Then there are the pages and pages with pictures of Eat This Not That examples. Let's stick with the bread example. So there's two full pages with different loafs of bread and they have pictures and nutritional info for each loaf of bread which makes it easy to compare. One side is all of the Eat This or the healthier choices and the other side is the Not That or the less healthy choices. Let me give you a specific example. Two slices of Martin's 100% Whole Grain Potato Bread has 140 calories, 2g fat (0g saturated) and 8g of fiber. However, two slices of Arnold Whole Grains Health Nut has 240 calories, 4g fat (0g saturated) and 4g of fiber. So just by choosing a different brand of bread you save yourself 100 calories, 2g of fat and get an extra 4g of fiber.
This book includes all types of things such as oatmeal, rice, cereal, frozen meals, juices, etc. But even better, it's realistic and it includes ice cream, breakfast sandwiches, breakfast pastries, pizzas, chips, etc. It doesn't exclude these items because you shouldn't eat them, rather it includes them to give you your best option while noting that these items should only be enjoyed in moderation. Let's take ice cream. You can have 1/2 a cup of Edy's Slow Churned Rocky Road for 120 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated) and 12g sugars. Or you can have 1/2 a cup of Haagen Dazs Chocolate Peanut Butter for 360 calories, 24g fat (11g saturated) and 24g sugars. Picking the Edy's saves you 240 calories, 20g fat (9g saturated) and 12g sugars. That's huge! You get the same amount of ice cream for far fewer calories, fat and sugar.
Overall the main thing I love about this book is it's not saying you need to severely cut the amount of food you eat. It's showing you that by choosing this brand over that one you can eat the same amount of food and save yourself hundreds of calories. I haven't used this book yet, but I intend to take it with me on my next trip to the grocery store so I can pick out the healthier choices for the foods that I'd be eating anyway.