Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Total Confusion

Recently I've been eating a lot of Total 0% Greek Yoghurt, as do Miss M and Cat. I'd held out on it in favour of my organic, locally produced fat-free variety, but it has more protein and is convenient to grab and measure in London (I know I am eating approx 150g), and I can use the pots for seedlings.

So, I'd entered it into CoM somewhat haphazardly by modifying the entry for "yoghurt, plain, skimmed milk, 13 grams of protein per 8oz", because I wasn't sure of the calcium value of the Total and assumed it would be the same. It didn't occur to me until now to google for the nutritional information.

I noticed, though, that eating 2 pots of it (one for breakfast, one at lunch) was sending my B's rocketing in CoM. Great, I thought! Fantastic. With the amount of mushrooms I eat, and adding in some cereal, I've got the B's covered.

But on the link above there is no mention of vitamin B's at all! Now I know that B1, B2, B3 and B12 are found in milk. And the CoM entry for 150g skimmed milk yoghurt reads 15% DRI for B12 and 20% DRI for B2, and backs that up.

So why not mention it? It is, after all, a good whack of 2 of the B's. Reckon it's reasonable to assume that the B's in Total 0% are roughly equivalent to the B's in generic yoghurt? What about the calcium? Even the Fage site can't work out if 150g has 16% or 10% of the DRI of calcium. And the other trace minerals? My Yeo Valley Organics brand is 26% DRI of calcium per 100g.

And why on earth am I obsessing on this? Well, my numbers had been looking good. Now they might not actually be as good. That is... annoying. It just goes to show that no matter how hard we try, it's possible we have no idea what we are eating at all. And it means I need to decide if I need the protein and the yumminess of Total more than the extra calcium and lower eco-footprint of the Yeo Organics.

It is all very confusing.

Either the rye bread at lunchtime or the caffeinated coffee I had in the deli this afternoon has thrown my day out of whack; I got really, really hungry at around 5pm and instead of making a meal and sitting down and eating it calmly, I ate all the ingredients I'd intended to put into the meal, one by one. Steamed asparagus. Baked butternut squash. Steamed broccoli. Steamed mushrooms and to complete the theme, a pile of steamed spinach. Not entirely satisfying!

So I am hoping my second pot of Total 0% with a teaspoon of cocoa powder in it will make me feel a little more... cared for.

Here's the crunch.

Nutrition Summary for 07 March 2007

General (85%)
Energy | 1095.1 kcal 91%
Protein | 81.4 g 90%
Carbs | 152.1 g 127%
Fiber | 43.0 g 172%
Fat | 28.1 g 70%
Water | 1588.8 g 59%

Vitamins (100%)
Vitamin A | 39596.8 IU 1697%
Folate | 988.1 µg 247%
B1 (Thiamine) | 2.1 mg 193%
B2 (Riboflavin) | 3.9 mg 355%
B3 (Niacin) | 23.3 mg 166%
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)| 9.2 mg 184%
B6 (Pyridoxine) | 2.6 mg 198%
B12 (Cyanocobalamin) | 2.4 µg 98%
Vitamin C | 388.7 mg 518%
Vitamin D | 441.2 IU 221%
Vitamin E | 18.5 mg 123%
Vitamin K | 1393.8 µg 1549%

Minerals (98%)
Calcium | 1187.5 mg 119%
Copper | 3.0 mg 334%
Iron | 25.0 mg 139%
Magnesium | 565.9 mg 177%
Manganese | 4.8 mg 268%
Phosphorus | 1330.1 mg 190%
Potassium | 5150.1 mg 110%
Selenium | 149.3 µg 271%
Sodium | 1172.8 mg 78%
Zinc | 11.7 mg 147%

Lipids (42%)
Saturated | 3.4 g 17%
Omega-3 | 3.3 g 297%
Omega-6 | 5.7 g 48%
Cholesterol | 6.0 mg 2%


Mara said...

I am a new reader of the CRON blogs and yours is great so far!

I also share many of your frustrations about incorrect nutritional labeling. I suppose the upside is it makes one want to eat only natural, "unpackaged" things easily found in COM...although it definitely goes against any sort of convenience!

I wanted to comment that your increased feelings of hunger or "wanting-ness" probably have to do with you not getting enough sleep during the week. I've noticed before that just one or two hours per night can accumulate so that by Friday my discretion is shot and my food choices become quite shoddy!

Amy Wright said...

I am CRACKING up that you ate your dinner as you fixed it! That is just so hunger driven. Have done similar. Or worse, have eaten gak while gooking healthy meal due to extreme hunger overriding good sense. At any rate, at least you ate good stuff - not junk food. Consider yourself ahead of the pack in that!

Sara said...

Hi Mara...
Thanks, yes, that's a good point and I hadn't thought about how sleep might impact on food craving. I am pretty sure that caffeine is very bad for it as well, which is why I usually drink decaff. Caffeine is also bad for sleep so we shall see how today's CRON goes, after a night of insomnia interspersed with dreams about B vitamins!

Amy - yeah, I was like a giant rabbit on speed in the kitchen... :-(

Emily said...

Why not split the difference with the yogurt and have one kind in the morning and another at lunch? Variety is always good :)

Anonymous said...

When it comes to the Total, I go with the "pessimistic" stats. As far as footprint goes, it's important to consider disposal as well as production - the "true cost" of a product includes its entire lifecycle. Being able to reuse a pot rather than having to recycle its constituent parts (very energy intensive) always wins points with me! If delivery footprint is important to you buy the larger, not the individual pots when possible, and keep in mind that Greece is closer to the UK than Colorado is to Florida...

I like Rachel's because the yoghurt *and* the pots are great, but it's as rare as hen's teeth round these parts.

Sara said...

Do you count the existence of B's in it at all, or just assume that there may be some, but the B's in your CoM are garnered from other sources?

I know it's stupid to obsess but I was having troubles with the B's, esp B12, and this seems to help. We all know how I feel about Brewer's Yeast, I think. :-)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I just ignore the Bs that may or may not be in Total. Overall I tend to get them from Quorn, mushrooms and Marmite (I eat a LOT of Marmite and use it in soups and sauces), a cup of skim milk cocoa every night, and tend to eat eggs in the ratio of 1 whole egg:1 egg white. Alternatively, you could look at fortified cereal or protein shakes, or a supplement...

Sara said...

Oh well, back to the drawing board then! :-)

Mushrooms I can do, obviously; I haven't had marmite since I was a toddler but I don't think my tastes will have changed that much as far as that is concerned; quorn - yummy - but will I be able to eat enough? I doubt it. Cereal, yes... I haven't got around to the protein shake investigation yet.

Must find some decent B supplements without gelatin.

Anonymous said...

If you don't like Marmite (!) you could always try working it into a larger recipe. A 4g serving is pretty small and disappears into a soup or gravy, I find (but then people always say that about brewer's yeast too!).

Also do you take milk in your tea and if so are you counting that? Plenty of Bs there.

Sara said...

4g is about a teaspoon? I could probably manage that. I shall check the info on it in CoM (I think it is there now) later on.

I don't actually drink milk at all (or tea). Weird, I love yoghurt and I adore cheese but give me a glass of milk and... urgh. Might be alright with some Green and Blacks though.

Speaking of which, I have tofu chocolate pudding in the fridge today and I am going to make damn sure I have calorie space for it! :-)