Good or Bad Food?

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  • try2again
    try2again Posts: 3,562 Member
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    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    NovusDies wrote: »
    I do understand what you are asking. I quit logging a while back because cake was less calories than walnuts and I thought that was ridiculous. I wish there were a way to determine the health factors of each food.

    Calories are a unit of energy measurement. You need a certain amount of calories to maintain your present physical form and any and all activity you perform each day. If you eat that amount your weight will stay the same. If you eat more your body will store some of it. If you eat less your body will use stored energy to make up the difference.

    The amount of calories found in a walnut is the amount of energy it can provide you. It is not an indication of quality. Understanding that walnuts carry a big calorie price tag is very helpful in weight management. Many people make the mistake of thinking "healthy" food will provide healthy results. It does not work that way. Everything needs to be portion controlled. The funny thing is that a person who doesn't log and is trying to lose weight may be safer with cake because it is generally understood you need a very small portion. That same person may be snacking on way too many walnuts and failing to lose weight or possibly even gaining.

    I get you. Calories aside, I just don't think cake should be considered same as walnuts. Maybe I'm wrong. Ok. It's my opinion. Idk about you but I have a hard time eating a small portion of cake. I don't eat a whole bag of walnuts either. I never thought in a million years I'd have these many disagrees over my opinion of cake

    I didn't click "disagree" on your post, partly because I womanned up and explained why I disagree, in an "essay". :lol: I did that because this thread was originated by someone who wondered why MFP didn't have some kind of good foods/bad foods categorization, and in that sense (per the terms of service) we're supposed to keep focus on the point of the question, ideally not get sidetracked into branches off from that point.

    Cake is not the same as walnuts. It has dramatically different nutritional properties, and different calories. In your initial post on this thread, you said:
    I do understand what you are asking. I quit logging a while back because cake was less calories than walnuts and I thought that was ridiculous. I wish there were a way to determine the health factors of each food.

    I do disagree with that (for reasons I said), but I also find it very odd that you "wish there were a way to determine the health factors of each food" but "quit logging . . . because cake was less calories than walnuts".

    Logging is exactly the thing that helps many of us understand the "health factors of each food", specifically:

    1. Which foods are good sources of particular nutrients (because foods vary widely, even among (heh) "good" ones),

    2. How those nutrients fit into reasonable nutritional goals (because we have macronutrient and micronutrients goals in the logging process, and we can even customize those goals if we want to, though the default goals are pretty good for most people), not to mention

    3. How many calories it will "cost" us to get those nutrients from particular foods in reasonable, satisfying portions.

    Think of calories as your budget, and nutrients as things like rent, utilities, going out to a movie, etc. The question is how to arrange your calorie budget to get good nutrition, and - ideally - enjoy life at the same time. Cake is usually a "discretionary income" kind of food: We can buy some with our leftover calories, after the rent (macronutrients) and utilities (micronutrients) are paid for . . . unless we'd prefer some walnuts to cake.

    To put it more briefly, it sounds like you quit the very process that is designed to answer your questions about health and food, because it was somehow distressing to you to learn that "cake was less calories than walnuts".

    Obviously, it's fine for you to do whatever you like for any reason, but that seems odd to me.

    And my "essay" was trying - quite imperfectly, it appears - to speak to the originator of the thread about how logging is a useful tool that can help us understand the relationships among food choice, nutrition, and calories, and better balance them to meet our personal goals, gustatory as well as nutritional.

    I don't feel any animosity toward you, or your opinions. On the contrary, I wish you success in both weight management & health. :flowerforyou:

    Beautiful post (essay, if you will ;) ).

  • bseagle6043
    bseagle6043 Posts: 9 Member
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    Damn! I don't want any cake or walnuts or cake with walnuts or walnuts with cake. Its too much trouble.
  • J72FIT
    J72FIT Posts: 5,952 Member
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    MikePTY wrote: »
    However for most people who are overweight or obese, the healthiest thing they can do for themselves is lost weight and get to a normal weight. Eating cake at a normal weight is healthier than nuts of you are obese. One of the great things from this app is it frees you of unhelpful moral judgements about food being "good" or "bad".

    ^^^This...
  • BuffaloChixSalad
    BuffaloChixSalad Posts: 98 Member
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    jm_1234 wrote: »
    I think the original post has been answered, but to chime in. I don't believe MFP is geared toward nutrition or health, from what I've seen of the free version it is just about calories and macros - however you use that information is up to you.

    @BuffaloChixSalad, don't take these forums and any seeming push-back seriously. Everyone communicates differently and written communication has it's challenges from both a writer and reader perspective. I'm always impressed with certain user's essays because it just shows they put in a lot of effort to be clear and precise. I am more of a cognitive shortcut and cut to the chase type person so "good" or "bad" works fine for me even if it isn't 100% accurate in every scenario.

    It was only an opinion. How I view food. What's in my mind. I never thought it would have gotten so heated. I never said I had facts. Never said that I am a nutritionist or macro expert. Solely my view.
  • try2again
    try2again Posts: 3,562 Member
    edited January 2020
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    One discovery I recently made (and admittedly, I can be a little slow on the uptake about these things) is that, in the free version under "reports", you can see a graph showing your history of meeting the RDA of a handful of micronutrients. I feel like this is an easy, no stress way of getting a feel for whether you're doing a good job meeting your nutritional needs at a glance and can afford that piece of cake (sorry- in my house, it always comes down to the cake ;) ).
  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,885 Member
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    jm_1234 wrote: »
    I think the original post has been answered, but to chime in. I don't believe MFP is geared toward nutrition or health, from what I've seen of the free version it is just about calories and macros - however you use that information is up to you.

    @BuffaloChixSalad, don't take these forums and any seeming push-back seriously. Everyone communicates differently and written communication has it's challenges from both a writer and reader perspective. I'm always impressed with certain user's essays because it just shows they put in a lot of effort to be clear and precise. I am more of a cognitive shortcut and cut to the chase type person so "good" or "bad" works fine for me even if it isn't 100% accurate in every scenario.

    It was only an opinion. How I view food. What's in my mind. I never thought it would have gotten so heated. I never said I had facts. Never said that I am a nutritionist or macro expert. Solely my view.

    Well, to clarify, you said:
    I do understand what you are asking. I quit logging a while back because cake was less calories than walnuts and I thought that was ridiculous. I wish there were a way to determine the health factors of each food.

    This sounds as if you are saying that you think that it is "ridiculous" that cake (in some amount, for some kind of cake) is fewer cals than walnuts (in some amount). I find this puzzling. Are you actually disputing the number of calories in these items? If not, what is ridiculous about it?

    You also said: "I wish there were a way to determine the health factors of each food." Do you really think you lack knowledge about that? (You seem pretty sure about walnuts vs. cake, and personally I agree that the nutrient content of walnuts are usually more to be desired in my day than cake. That doesn't mean I never eat cake, although I'm not really a big fan of cake so I'm more likely to use my discretionary calories in some other way, but it does mean that I'd be more concerned about adding in walnuts (or some other nut or seed) into my day on a normal day.)

    However, like I said before, caring about calories and caring about nutrition is not mutually exclusive, and, of course, there are numerous ways to learn about the nutrient content of foods, including by using MFP, if that is something of interest to you. You may have thought you should always eat the lowest cal foods (which would include neither cake nor walnuts), but of course that is not something MFP tells you, and is not what I would consider a reasonable approach to logging.
  • try2again
    try2again Posts: 3,562 Member
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    In fact, MFP congratulated me for meeting my fiber goal when I logged m&m’s

    m&ms have fiber? Guess I deserve a little pat on the back, then ;)
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,865 Member
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    NovusDies wrote: »
    I do understand what you are asking. I quit logging a while back because cake was less calories than walnuts and I thought that was ridiculous. I wish there were a way to determine the health factors of each food.

    Calories are a unit of energy measurement. You need a certain amount of calories to maintain your present physical form and any and all activity you perform each day. If you eat that amount your weight will stay the same. If you eat more your body will store some of it. If you eat less your body will use stored energy to make up the difference.

    The amount of calories found in a walnut is the amount of energy it can provide you. It is not an indication of quality. Understanding that walnuts carry a big calorie price tag is very helpful in weight management. Many people make the mistake of thinking "healthy" food will provide healthy results. It does not work that way. Everything needs to be portion controlled. The funny thing is that a person who doesn't log and is trying to lose weight may be safer with cake because it is generally understood you need a very small portion. That same person may be snacking on way too many walnuts and failing to lose weight or possibly even gaining.

    I get you. Calories aside, I just don't think cake should be considered same as walnuts. Maybe I'm wrong. Ok. It's my opinion. Idk about you but I have a hard time eating a small portion of cake. I don't eat a whole bag of walnuts either. I never thought in a million years I'd have these many disagrees over my opinion of cake

    How do you figure cake is being considered the same as walnuts? I doubt many would consider cake the be an optimally nutritious food...but that has zero to do with calories. Your convoluting calories with nutrition...they aren't the same thing. Calories are just a unit of measure like an inch or mile or watt or whatever.