What is in it for me?

Calories, the currency of food     January 22, 2019

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Calories are precious. Eat too many calories and the excess gets stored on the body as fat. When considering what to eat I ask: "What is in it for me?"

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 gm/kg body weight for most adults. Vegetarians may need to increase this by 10 percent. Endurance athletes require 1.2-1.4 gm/kg while strength athletes need 1.6-1.7 gm/kg. The elderly require 1.25 gm/kg.

My RDA for protein is 125 grams of protein/day. I typically consume 140 grams of protein/day. A gram of protein contains 4 calories, which means my protein intake is 140 x 4 = 560 calories/day. If I burn a total of 2000 calories/day, 2000 - 560 = 1440 calories/day remain to meet my nutritional needs. If I consume more than 1440 calories/day, I will become overweight and subject to all the risks of being overweight.

Therefore, 1440 calories/day must meet my nutritional needs because poor nutrition leads to undesirable health outcomes. Avoidance of the undesirable health outcomes associated with poor nutrition is the reason my diet consists primarily of super foods. I cannot afford to waste my precious 1440 calories/day on foods with no nutritional value or even worse, foods that are actually bad for me.

So when I ask: "What is in it for me?" If the food under consideration is less nutritional than what I currently eat, I pass.

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© Copyright 2018 by Kenneth Tucker.