I’ve always had a problem of figuring out what foods are better for you than others. Take for example, Toll House crackers. You’d think that the “low fat” ones are better for you, right? While the crackers may be low in fat, they add sugar to it to compensate for taking out the fat. So really, one is no better than the other.
This series of books titled Eat This, Not That by David Zinczenko, focuses on the content of a specific food, compared to a similar food and picks the best choice between them. There are many different books. The one I have is titled Supermarket Survival Guide. I’ve also seen Easy and Awesome 350-calorie meals and The Restaurant Survival Guide. For those of you with little ones at home, he also wrote a book specifically for kids and families! These food swaps can really help you avoid foods that may seem healthy, and maintain a healthy weight. There’s no dieting with this; it’s purely trading this for that!
The book is separated into categories such as “The Choice is Yours”, which goes in-depth to explain why we are the way we are when it comes to food. Portion distortion, more calories in traditional dishes, the role that preservatives play, calorie-packed drinks, and the like.
Here’s some examples of food comparisons:
Krispy Kreme Donut:
- 1 donut
- 190 calories
- 11 grams of fat (4.5 saturated)
- 10 grams of sugar
Krispy Kreme has gotten a whole lot of flack for their products. What! An 800-calorie donut?! Although some of these accusations may be a bit skewed, Zinczenko recommends this as an occasional treat, not a daily breakfast staple.
Oddly enough, let’s compare this to Entenmann’s Frosted Devil’s Food Donuts:
- 310 calories
- serving size 1 donut
- 18 grams of fat (12 grams of saturated fat)
- 24 grams of sugar
- 2 grams of fiber
While these have a touch of fiber to them, the amount of sugar, fat and calories in these heathens totally cancels out any healthy substances. Krispy Kreme wins!
This book has a lot of surprising comparisons. Let’s head to the cereal department. For those of you with little ones, they always ask for cereals like Froot Loops, Apple Jacks, or Cookie Crisp. I’m sure you’re thinking, “well yeah, and they’re terrible for them!” Well, let’s test that out, compared to other kid-approved cereals.
- Serving size: 1 cup
- 110 calories
- 1 gram of fat (.5 grams saturated)
- 12 grams of sugar
- < 1 gram of fiber
Out of the sugary cereals, Zinczenko describes this one as “the surprisingly sober pick”. Now, let’s compare Froot Loops to Cap’n Crunch.
- Serving size: 1 cup
- 147 calories
- 2 grams of fat (1.5 saturated)
- 16 grams of sugar
- 1.5 grams of fiber
Overall, this cereal has twice the fat (including saturated), 37 more calories, and 4 more grams of sugar. Although it contains a touch of fiber, there’s one big problem here: Cap’n Crunch contains a large amount of yellow #5 (a food coloring), which has been linked to hyperactivity and ADHD. Ehh, no bueno!
There are TONS of comparisons that have sparked my interest in this book, but this would be a really long post if I included all of them. If you’re interested in finding more food swap ideas, I highly recommend picking one of these up; they’re on Amazon.com, starting at five dollars…what’s the excuse not to?
So again, there’s no dieting in this place. I don’t believe in diets. This is merely making good choices, swapping this for that.