Go to Taco Bell to lose weight?

You’ve probably seen the ads on TV.  Taco Bell is advertising their new “Drive Thru Diet.”  They name it the Drive Thru Diet while they put small, unreadable disclaimers at the bottom of the commercial that it’s not actually a diet and that you should exercise, count calories and watch your fat intake if you want to lose weight.  I agree with them on two points; people should exercise and what they are advertising is not a diet.  Counting calories and watching fat intake are wrong, but that’s another story.

What people need to get out of their heads is that a calorie is a calorie and that counting calories will keep you healthy.  Too many dieticians, nutritionists and physicians will tell you that as long as what you are eating is low calorie,  you will be healthy.  This couldn’t be further from the truth for one simple reason.  Eating food is a hormonal process and it your body responds to different foods with varying levels of hormone.  One hundred calories of puffed pastry has a totally different response in your system than does 100 calories of high quality protein and vegetables.

Let’s put it this way: you can have 2000 calories today.  Would you rather consume those 2000 calories in cupcakes or in grilled chicken and mixed vegetables (assuming you wanted to be healthy)?

It is not hard to see that a calorie is not a calorie when we look at it that way.  I’ve got news for all the health experts out there – there are a lot of low calorie foods that are not good for you!  Just look around the supermarket in the “diet” isle.  It is filled with low calorie foods filled with synthetic chemicals, preservatives and loaded with processed carbohydrate.  It is unbelievable what people view as healthy sometimes.

“Fast food in and of itself is not at all necessarily a problem or insult for developmentally mature or healthy adults,” said Dr. Peter Pressman, an internist with the Navy Medical Corps in Jacksonville, Fla. “If the caloric input — regardless of composition — is not excessive, there’s no inherent physiologic evil.”

The quote above might be the most ridiculous statement ever made by a health professional.  Did he forget the physiology and biochemistry he was required to take to graduate school?  And I can guarantee he took both multiple times, I had to.  To make such a statement is irresponsible and sends the wrong message to the public, that as long as you eat low calorie food you will be fine.  The quality of the calorie counts as well!

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