You’ve gotta love when Easter falls in nutrition month! (yes, it’s still nutrition month)
It means I get to write a rant blog about videos that saturated fat-shame our favourite Easter candy!
Just when we thought the nutrition world was getting over singling out and villainizing single nutritional properties of food, we get something like this to throw our collective arms up to. “So saturated fat is bad again then? I thought it was good now, or at least not as bad as it used to be… Does that mean eggs are bad again, too?”
In the spirit of nutrition month, let’s breakdown this video a bit. It takes our favourite easter candies and compares their saturated fat content to that of other taboo foods.
Thinking about eating a Lindt milk chocolate bunny? Why not eat 2 Big Macs instead?!
17 Mini Eggs? If it’s saturated fat you’re after, why not try 2.5 Tim Hortons chocolate dip doughnuts?
Cadbury Creme Egg? You could eat 72 Lays original chips!
10 foil wrapped chocolate eggs? Reach for a Venti Starbucks vanilla bean frappuccino with whole milk and whip cream instead!
13 jelly beans? No saturated fat! Yes, we can eat those! But wait, they have 28g of sugar. You could eat an entire pack of mini Oreos if sugar is what you’re after.
It’s wrong on so many levels.
1) I don’t think anyone is eating Easter candies and writing them off as health food.
2) We choose to eat these particular sources of saturated fat (and sugar, if jelly beans are your thing) because they are Eastery to us (Whether you’re celebrating the resurrection or squabbling about Easter vs Ishtar). 72 Lays Original Chips, satisfying as they might be, just don’t get us in the Easter mood.
3) There are fewer calories in every single example of Easter candy than in the food they are compared to.
100g Lindt bunny: 540 calories…2 Big Macs: 1126 calories
17 Mini Eggs: 200 calories…2.5 Tim Hortons chocolate dip donuts: 505 calories
Cadbury Creme Egg: 170 calories…40 Lays Original Chips: 423 calories.1
10 foil wrapped chocolate eggs: 285 calories…Venti Starbucks vanilla bean Frappuccino with whole milk and whip cream: 490 calories.
13 jelly beans: 140 calories…18 mini Oreos: 298 calories.
So how do we choose? Do we choose more saturated fat or more calories? Mini eggs or doughtnuts? It’s a false dichotomy; we don’t need to choose. Instead, we can recognize that eating any of the foods in the video may or may not support us in maintaining or improving our health. You could even eat mini eggs and doughnuts and be healthy.
Will eating a 100g Lindt bunny give you a heart attack or make you fat or less fit or less healthy than if you ate 2 Big Macs? Or if you ate nothing at all? Maybe. Maybe not. It’s impossible to say. Individual food choices can’t be judged independently. It’s more important to look at them in the context of your nutritional day, or week.
Eating 17 mini eggs here and there is most likely not going to have adverse health effects if the majority of your diet is nutritious and balanced. Even if it wasn’t nutritious and balanced, you wouldn’t be able to say that it’s the mini eggs that caused an adverse health effect. If the big picture looks good, a few pixels of mini eggs won’t spoil it. If the big picture looks bad, a few pixels of mini eggs won’t be noticeable amongst the rest of the crappy picture. In that case, the whole picture would benefit from a change in eating habits, not just the few pixels of mini eggs.
The Bottom Line: if you like to eat Easter themed chocolate and jelly beans, enjoy some! If you’re also interested in improving or maintaining your health, make sure that you eat other things this weekend as well. If you’re not sure what else to eat, we’d be happy to help you learn to make health supporting choices.
1-the video had 72 chips, but the Lays nutrition info I found claimed 4 g of saturated fat per 40 chips.