Barbara Quinn Tribune News Service
I think of my mom, whose birthday is this week. She had a delightfully low-key sense of humor, especially when it came to the food.
A long-standing joke was in response to open bags of food that she would “suddenly” discover when she was unpacking her groceries.
“Do you want to watch this? This store sold me this packet of cookies – and two are missing! “
I learned to play the game. “It’s terrible! I wouldn’t go back to this store if I were you!
I also tend to play the same games. I can convince myself that there is less calorie damage from M & Ms if I slip a few at a time into the candy jar.
I can also tell myself that a particular food is good for me, no matter how much I eat.
Nuts are a good example. I love nuts and preach their nutritional benefits to my clients. They are a good source of energy maintaining protein. They contain heart-healthy unsaturated fats. They are a convenient snack and can keep me from biting my arm when a meal is delayed or never takes place. They even provide the necessary dietary fiber. Not bad at all.
If I’m not careful, however, I could easily munch on a load of calories from this healthy food. This is because nuts are high in nutrients but also high in calories. Just 4 tbsp (1/4 cup) of nuts contain 170 calories. It’s reasonable for a snack. But a whole cup – ingested without thinking – is a whopping 680 calories, enough to qualify for a heavy meal.