The Calories Behind the Curtain

      Not every burger is created equal, despite what we hope for. Most of us know that with each layer of grilled goodness added to the bun, we pack on more calories with each drop of cheese slice and ketchup squeeze. But regardless of our choices in sides and condiments, we can still lose the battle in our weight management and the proof is in the patty.
            If you’ve begun some basic dieting and switching to healthier foods, you’ve already come a long way towards a brighter future. You might even be looking closer at portion sizes like this chart below:


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            But before you pop the bubbly, you might want to gaze into the twilight zone of “HIDDEN CALORIES”. Despite your best efforts with basic portion sizes, even a salad can have more calories than a tasty burger (1). With doing something as simple as switching out a certain dressing with another kind, you may have added more calories, even if portion sizes used are less.


            Let us use the example of sugar. You may be thinking that using something like basic sugar for a sweetener in a recipe could be replaced. You may turn your head to honey, thinking it might be a healthier alternative. Raw honey has been seen as having certain health benefits (2). With a tablespoon of refined sugar, you’re looking at 49 calories. Not too bad. But when taking a look at something like raw honey, you’re looking at around 60+ calories per tablespoon. Now with some foods, for instance the grilled shish kebabs shown above, sugar isn’t usually included into the recipe. If it is, your dieting already has major issues. But you may want to change your recipes once in a while and have one that calls for ¾ Cup of honey for 8 servings. Although it seems harmless, and you may think that the loss of other ingredients from the previous recipe makes up for it, that amount could really tip the scale. With that amount of honey, we’re talking about close to 100 extra calories per serving!


           While it would be a shame to gut entire recipes of honey or anything else we find tasty, it is good to be aware of how many calories are involved with each of our dietary decisions. Have fun with your meals and keep them from being too boring. Just remember that with some foods, less, is sometimes more.


            For some nice recipes on shish kebabs, cooking supplies, as well as calorie counting resources, check out the links below:


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