Friday’s Food for Thought

I just realized I often wrap up the work week writing about something related to food or drink. Maybe that’s because one of my favorite ways to unwind after a crazy week is to join family or friends for dinner and drinks. On this Friday, however, I thought I’d address one of the foods many of us struggle with treating ourselves to on any day of the week: candy.

As my fabulous friend Amy recently pointed out, there’s been lots of advertising lately about the low-cal candies made by Skinny Cow™. However, there isn’t a lot of information about how much “better” these yummy options are for our diets. So, thanks to Amy, this blog post was born!

First of all, let me say I am a huge Skinny Cow fan! You’ll always find a box of Skinny Cow Fudge Bars in my freezer. At 100 calories and one gram of fat, they’re the perfect no-guilt dessert, especially after a good workout! (The fact that they blend nicely for a low-cal mudslide option is an added bonus). The other reason I like them so much is that a single bar truly satisfies my ice-cream craving. That makes the box of fudge bars a safer dessert option than a gallon of reduced-fat or “light” ice cream. In all honesty, I could easily eat that whole gallon in one sitting.

That brings me to the crux of the problem with the Skinny Cow candies and most of the lower-calorie options out there: if you’re like me, and you know one serving isn’t going to satisfy your sweet tooth, then you may be sabotaging your diet by bringing boxes of these treats into your home. Again, as someone in complete awe of those who can eat one piece of candy on Halloween and call it a day, I would definitely be at risk of eating the entire box of Skinny Cow “Dreamy Clusters.” Here’s what the damage would look like: while one pouch contains 120 calories and six grams of fat, the whole box – six pouches total – brings you to 720 calories and 36 grams of fat. Yikes!

So, for me, the better option is to “give in” to my chocolate craving and go for a full-size “3 Musketeers” bar. It weighs in at 260 calories and 8 grams of fat, but I know I’ll have only one. This is the reason I stopped buying Weight Watchers® snack cakes years ago. I could easily polish off an entire box of brownies, cookies or chocolate creme cakes during one re-run of “The Golden Girls.” Instead, if I want to “splurge,” I will have a real cupcake from Crumbs and plan out the rest of my menu for the day accordingly. At the end of the day, the key to remember is that lo-cal options may not always be the best option for you and your eating habits.

Finally, as a relentless promoter of the everything-in-moderation lifestyle, if you do go overboard today and find you’ve devoured the whole box of Skinny Cow candies or half the chocolate cake in the break room, brush off the crumbs and remember this: tomorrow brings new opportunities to make better choices so you can have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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About LauraLovesFitness

After spending more than 10 years in the communications industry, this lifetime fitness lover and newly certified fitness professional wants to share my passion for health and well-being with others.

Posted on May 18, 2012, in Health, Nutrition and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. great article! its funny because i am a huge sugar addict and have joined up recently with several others to commit to a sugar free diet(or only natural sugar such as fruit and agave etc..) the journaling and commitment is a definate help. everything you said is true about not being able to stop at one even if its lowfat! the “pros” cant stress enough about how processed food manufacturers make these foods with the intention of having us eat more and more. the same foods that are suppose to help us lose weight, actually make us crave foods more hence…..a fatter wallet for them(while the rest of us just get fat)! all those addatives and sugar substitutes are soooooo bad for us and really screw with our metabolism! if your gonna have it, yes, i agree, HAVE IT! everything in moderation! those last three words are my new mantra!! lol! have a great weekend. xo

    • Thanks so much, Amy! Glad you enjoyed the post and found a new mantra, too! GOOD LUCK with your natural-sugar focused diet and keep me posted. I think you always look FABULOUS, so if this makes you feel better on the inside, kudos to you! Wishing you a wonderful weekend, too!

  2. Thanks for brining this to light, Laura! And one more note on these Skinny Cow chocolate candies is that they are high in saturated fat…you know, the BAD fat that leads to high cholesterol and heart disease. Anything over 3 grams is troublesome, and I know the wafer chocolate bar has 3.5 grams (and that doesn’t include the total fat for the candy bar, btw). Anyway, just food for thought. Yep, like how I said that?

    • Hello Amy, Thanks again for the great idea for a blog post and for chiming in with yet another reason to be wary of the lo-cal options. Saturated fat is something we definitely need to keep in check! Now I think it’s time we go get a 3 Musketeers or Peppermint Pattie! 🙂

  3. Great post!! I do love the Skinny Cow “candies” but you have an excellent point here that if you can’t stop at one package, you’re in trouble. Often, low cal versions of foods like this aren’t satisfying at all, and if you actually allow yourself a “real” candy or cupcake like you describe here, your body often wont crave more because it is satisfied by the real thing! Great post, and happy Friday!

    • Thanks for taking the time to check in, Stephanie! I’m glad you found the post to be timely. I feel so many people waste their time with the lo-cal or “imitation” foods and end up doing more harm then good. Of course, writing this post made me crave that real cupcake even more..which I may have to treat myself to over the weekend. 🙂 Have a great one!

  4. Just add me to your sugar addicts list. I don’t know about the Skinny Cow brand, but I’ve found that most low-calorie candies contain sugar alcohols that upset my digestion…so I’ve had to go cold turkey off them. My best bet is to make my own low-calorie dessert that’s available to have when I want chocolate or sugar.

    • Thanks for checking in! It seems we all have our “weaknesses” when it comes to food and finding what works for you and your lifestyle is what makes the most sense in my book. I’m not surprised you had some stomach issues with the lo-cal candies. Many of the processed ingredients that make up for the real “stuff,” whether it’s sweet or salty items can make tummy troubles for many people. So, good for you for finding a way to enjoy a treat now and then – and more kudos for making them yourself! Hope you had a great weekend!

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