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Do You Know What’s in a Dorito?

Counting calories is not a healthy long term strategy but it does help you to learn about what you’re eating.

With the possible exception of elite athletes, I would never endorse the obsessive counting of calories for long periods. However, I did use a diet app for several months and it taught me a huge amount about what I was eating.

Take the humble Dorito. In calorie terms, there’s not much difference to a potato chip but still a hefty 498kcal/100g. That may not mean much but if you consider that each chip weighs in at an average of 1.9g that is more or less 10 kcal per chip.

Nutritional info per 100g: Fat 25.5g Carbohydrate 58.1g, Fibre 5.6g, Protein 5.9g, Salt 1.48g

Source: Bag of Cool Doritos (UK)

The bag suggests a serving of 30g which in calorie terms is a decent-sized snack of 149 kcal but how many people open a bag of Doritos and only eat 15 chips when the bag actually contains 75? And I’ve not even mentioned cheese or dips…

The manufacturers certainly don’t want you to stop at 15. They spend huge sums of money perfecting the palatability of these snacks to ensure your hand just keeps dipping back into that bag.

So, apart from an abundance of calories what do they put into these chips to make them so damn tasty?

Ingredients: Corn (Maize), Vegetable Oils (Corn, Sunflower, Rapeseed, in varying proportions), Salt, Glucose Syrup, Sugar, Onion Powder, Potassium Chloride, Cheese Powder (from Milk), Garlic Powder, Tomato Powder, Flavour Enhancers (Monosodium Glutamate, Disodium 5'-ribonucleotides), Acidity Regulators (Malic acid, Sodium acetates, Citric acid), Colour (Annato Bixin), Milk Protein, Spice.

Source: Bag of Cool Doritos (UK)

Unsurprisingly, if you coat a carbohydrate in fat, sugar, salt and a lab-formulated spice mix you’re gonna find that 16th Dorito pretty hard to resist.

The best way to resist that 16th Dorito is to not have the first Dorito.

And this is much easier to do when you are armed with the knowledge that a spell using a diet app can give you. It’s not just the calories that you learn but you also pick up the broad nutritional make-up of a range of foods which enables you to adjust meals and portions accordingly. Knowledge is power and if you’re weight-conscious then this knowledge can give you the power to considerably reduce food-related stress.

I now know that instead of those Doritos I could eat a rye cracker with Organic peanut butter and an apple (about 150kcal) or enjoy the cracker with a generous 75g of tuna (about 135 kcal). Both are far more nutritious and far more likely to fill me up.

Food is not simple anymore. The abundance of processed food in our diets makes it far too easy to overeat. Often the food lacks nutrition and contains ingredients that we have never heard of. If you want to try and maintain a healthy weight you need to learn about what you are eating and using an app can really help with this. Hopefully, you’ll realise that eating fresh, whole foods is best too.

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