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Fizzy drinks & crisps as part of a balanced diet?

richaricha Posts: 2,020
Is it possible to have (diet) fizzy drinks & crisps as part of a balanced / healthy / low calorie diet?

I work in town and get my lunch from a variety of local sandwich shops. With my sarnie, fruit salad & yoghurt, I enjoy having a bag of (diet) crisps (60KCals) and a bottle of (diet) coke/lemonade (no KCals).

So, the diet seems to be going OK, I can spare the 60KCals and I enjoy them. So what is the health cost of consuming these as part of an (otherwise) balanced/healthy diet?

Posts

  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    censored all I reckon...
  • Just eat pretty much what you want and keep yourself happy. If you're riding nearly everyday what does it matter?
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

    PTP Runner Up 2015
  • richaricha Posts: 2,020
    Just eat pretty much what you want and keep yourself happy. If you're riding nearly everyday what does it matter?
    Unfortunately, I still need to another lose 14 kg / 31 lb so my diet is pretty important to the whole training/weight regime...
  • mclarentmclarent Posts: 784
    Sounds to me like you're asking for someone to say it's ok to eat / drink something you feel guilty about consuming!

    Not sure about diet drinks (I hate the taste, so never checked), but saturated fat is the thing in crisps. Personally, I would say try and cut them out - obviously it's not sustainable to just stop eating them if you like them, so one good way of doing it is nominating one day a week when you have them, as a reward for not eating them the other days.

    Alternatively, if you're really interested in keeping "on diet", try keeping a "food log", note everything you eat for 2 or 3 days, then have a look at estimating the % of fat / protein / carbs. There's stuff available online to help you do this - e.g. http://www.fitday.com. If you feel comfortable with the % contribution of fat, then don't stress it!

    BTW, I nominate this thread for "best title of 2009" (so far). :D
    "And the Lord said unto Cain, 'where is Abel thy brother?' And he said, 'I know not: I dropped him on the climb up to the motorway bridge'."
    - eccolafilosofiadelpedale
  • squiredsquired Posts: 1,216
    My view is that if you try to do loads of exercise, then only get your calories from "healthy" foods, you are going to struggle. I tried it in the past and found I was just eating the whole time. Look at the pros. OK, they are cycling for 6 hours in a day, but they eat cakes, drink fizzy drinks, etc. As long as your diet gives you enough nutrients, protein, etc, then you are fine. Topping up your calorific intake with some low quality food makes sense.
  • squired wrote:
    My view is that if you try to do loads of exercise, then only get your calories from "healthy" foods, you are going to struggle. I tried it in the past and found I was just eating the whole time. Look at the pros. OK, they are cycling for 6 hours in a day, but they eat cakes, drink fizzy drinks, etc. As long as your diet gives you enough nutrients, protein, etc, then you are fine. Topping up your calorific intake with some low quality food makes sense.

    +1 on this (and Cougie's post). Just to satisfy my own curiosity, I recently looked into a some of the advice we all get on what constitutes a 'healthy' diet, and was amazed at how little evidence there is for a lot of it. Stuff like the link between saturated fats and heart disease/mortality, diet and arterial cholesterol levels, salt and hypertension, and how you need to be eating five fruit and veg a day; you'd think there would be a welter of evidence from trials backing it up but there just isn't! So if you're getting the right amount of calories and the nutrients you do actually need, exactly where you get them from isn't as important as you might be led to believe.
  • mrushtonmrushton Posts: 5,182
    i can see that no-one here has a career in nutrition! I'll have a large pizza and a diet coke and lo-fat crisps please (as part of a calorie-controlled diet!)
    If you are happy having pop/crisps as part of your diet then do so. However if you believe that they consitute a 'healthy' diet I'm afraid you are deluded. I'm sure someone on here can give you better nutritional advice and why soda drinks/snack foods are not a way to lose weight.
    M.Rushton
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I think we're talking about something like 2% of the guys calorie intake for the day. Thats pretty insignificant really ?

    Sure you can live on salad and mung beans - but is it really living ? ;-)
  • BlondeBlonde Posts: 3,188
    edited February 2009
    If, by "healthy" you mean a well balanced diet, then yes you can eat crisps ocasionally - maybe a 45g bag (you didn't say what size bag you buy) once a week maximum, but certainly not every day. However since crisps are of practically no nutritional value at all and also have no taste (Except for salt and additives) why anyone would actually want to eat them is beyond me. If you must eat crisps, don't buy into the whole "diet" industry by buying them just because they say lower fat on the label; they will still contain a massive amount of salt and no nutritional benefits. Why not try wholegrain rice cakes with hummus instead? Much nicer tasting and much better nutritionally. You can make many kinds of hummus type dip, by using a variety of pulses and beans and use diffrent spices, or add tomoto paste for a different taste. You can buy hummus, but read the lables as ingredients vary widely from one brand to another - again, don't fooled by a "low fat" label- check it doesn't simply have loads of unpleasant and unecessary additives instead. Regarding fizzy drinks; if acid erosion (teeth) and aspartemine content etc don't concern you then have them. There are some much nicer alternatives though. Just add a squeeze of lemon or lime to water, or a few slices of orange. There are also a lot of fruit/herbal infusions which do not contain any calories or artificial additives.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    How can you tell someone to eat this or that because it taste better ?

    Isnt that an individual thing ? If the guy wants a packet of crisps - it wont do him any harm to have a pack.
  • BlondeBlonde Posts: 3,188
    No, It wont do him any harm. It's about balance. As I said in my prevouos post; If, by "healthy" you mean a well balanced diet, then yes you can eat crisps ocasionally. If he is eating a large bag of crisps every day then he could think about alternatives if he is concerned about it. I think he wouldn't have posted on this subject if he wasn't concerned about it.
  • richaricha Posts: 2,020
    This is my sin...

    Smokey Bacon Flavour Potato Snacks
    16g
    Energy 60KCal = 3% GDA
    Protein 0.9g = 2% GDA
    Carbs 12.6g = 5% GDA
    of which sugars 0.5g = >1% GDA
    Fat 0.4g = >1% GDA
    of which saturated 0.0g = >1% GDA
    Fibre 4.5g = 3% GDA
    Sodium 0.18g = 8% GDA
    equiv. as salt 0.45g = 8% GDA

    Consumed at lunch on weekdays
  • On the face of it you would have to eat about 50 packets to gain one pound in fat. Theres 98 working days to go until the Marmotte, so that's 2 lbs of fat.

    Having the snack only reinforces the habitual idea that you need the crisps with lunch at all. At 14g per packet, it's not like you'll be starving to death without them.

    When the training stops, the snacks get bigger and fattier (because your not training for anything, so who cares?) and the weight piles back on.

    Why not give them up for lent as a trial? Come Easter you might not even care for them anymore.

    Then go reward yourself with an easter egg :)
  • richaricha Posts: 2,020
    Why not give them up for lent as a trial? Come Easter you might not even care for them anymore.
    Funny you should say that. I was thinking about giving up the fizzy drinks for lent.

    But I really wanted to understand why I should be avoiding these two 'horrors'?

    Isn't some fat required in a diet?
  • mclarentmclarent Posts: 784
    yes, some fat is required in the diet: Omega-3 and Omega-6 ("essential fatty acids", both types of unsaturated fat), which control things like blood clotting, inflamation and the tone of blood vessel walls, as well as reducing LDL cholesteral. Your crisps should include Omega-6, but not Omega-3 (which comes from, e.g. Oily fish, spinach and sweet potatoes). However, you can also get Omega-6 from vegtable oils and polyunsaturated marg, as well as processed foods made using these (like your sandwiches?).
    "And the Lord said unto Cain, 'where is Abel thy brother?' And he said, 'I know not: I dropped him on the climb up to the motorway bridge'."
    - eccolafilosofiadelpedale
  • pbt150pbt150 Posts: 338
    I'm surprised fewer people have shot this down - beer, crisps, cheese, pizza, burgers etc are not part of a 'healthy' diet and lifestyle. Having 'just a packet' of crisps doesn't do you any harm, but having one every day is not going to do you any good, especially if you're looking to lose some weight. It's very easy for a 'just once...' food to creep in once at mid-morning snack, once with lunch, then once at the pub in the evening.

    As people keep telling me, the secret to weight loss is: 1) Put down the fork. 2) Repeat 1.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I think getting into a routine of pop and crisps each lunch probably isnt a good idea, but faddy eating of anything isnt good either. I know a girl who got addicted to oranges and knackered the enamel on her teeth !
  • sampras38sampras38 Posts: 1,917
    I was once told that cycling does attract a few mentalists and I didn't know what they meant until now..;-)
  • mrushtonmrushton Posts: 5,182
    mclarent wrote:
    yes, some fat is required in the diet: Omega-3 and Omega-6 ("essential fatty acids", both types of unsaturated fat), which control things like blood clotting, inflamation and the tone of blood vessel walls, as well as reducing LDL cholesteral. Your crisps should include Omega-6, but not Omega-3 (which comes from, e.g. Oily fish, spinach and sweet potatoes). However, you can also get Omega-6 from vegtable oils and polyunsaturated marg, as well as processed foods made using these (like your sandwiches?).

    Good discussion on this last week on Radio 4 'The Food Programme' and why we appear to be about to change our thinking on Omega 3/6 Best to listen to the podcast to get the info but v.interesting.

    Back to the OP who still seeks validation for his/her eating. Pop/crisps are not foods so if you want them have them and in the quantities you wish but many fizzy drinks contain Aspartamine/phosphates etc . Just read the lists on the packets and then make your decision.
    M.Rushton
  • dilemnadilemna Posts: 2,277
    richa wrote:
    I enjoy having a bag of (diet) crisps (60KCals) and a bottle of (diet) coke/lemonade (no KCals).

    "Put the crisp bag and Coke bottle down and move away........slowly"
    Life is like a roll of toilet paper; long and useful, but always ends at the wrong moment. Anon.
    Think how stupid the average person is.......
    half of them are even more stupid than you first thought.
  • guineaguinea Posts: 1,177
    I drink far too much diet Coke. But I don't mind.

    Most of my 'hunger' pangs are actually thirst pangs. I get to drink something sweet, get rid of my thirst and don't reach for the chocolate. It's also the only thing I drink with cafeine, so if may just perk me up a little too.
  • Al_38Al_38 Posts: 277
    pbt150 wrote:
    I'm surprised fewer people have shot this down - beer, crisps, cheese, pizza, burgers etc are not part of a 'healthy' diet and lifestyle. Having 'just a packet' of crisps doesn't do you any harm, but having one every day is not going to do you any good, especially if you're looking to lose some weight. It's very easy for a 'just once...' food to creep in once at mid-morning snack, once with lunch, then once at the pub in the evening.

    As people keep telling me, the secret to weight loss is: 1) Put down the fork. 2) Repeat 1.

    What I always thought a well balanced diet entailed having the same weight of food in each hand???? :p

    Junk food probably isn't all that good for you (I wouldn't include cheeses in that) in the the calories are mostly useless - you get very little energy benefit from them, but there is nothing wrong with having foods you like so long as you recognise this. 60Kcals is pretty much nothing in my book, like really nothing, about half a small cereal bar so while you might not want to eat it every day in reality it won't do too much. 3500 Kcals deficit in a week (500Kcals a day) would allow you to lose 0.5kg of fat in the week which is about as much as can be done. So if you ate a bag of crisps every day for 2 months you would potentially be about 0.5kg heavier than if you didnt. However it also depends what your Basal Metabolic Rate is like, if you have a high reading then those 60Kcals will be entirely swallowed in the rest of the food you consume. If you have a lower reading or on a much more strictly controlled diet then it becomes a bigger proportion of your daily intake, but if it keeps you happy then its worth it. No point being on a really strict diet but being miserable with it, eating things you like makes it much easier to stick with it. As a slight aside I have found that with a diet including more fat this year I have been producing better scores and have found a fairly significant increase in recovery. Personally I wouldn't seek to cut out all fat, just make sure intake is moderate.

    P.s. pbt surely the diet is off for you now? No average for BUCS
  • mgcycleguymgcycleguy Posts: 292
    Get your blood pressure checked... if its low... then fine ... if its not... then the salt in the crisps is a problem.... (salt is in everything, check out for instance how much is in a slice of bread... its insane !)
  • pbt150pbt150 Posts: 338
    I wasn't necessarily suggesting that you shouldn't eat crisps, just that they don't tend to be compatible with a healthy lifestyle or weightloss if eaten regularly.

    Al_38 - congratulations on HBR. BUCS only requires a 72.5 kg individual weight which really isn't an issue, so I'm enjoying eating (until next year perhaps). Are you/CUL doing much racing over the summer?
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