I was really excited to see this article posted on Huffington Post. I thought I was going to learn a bunch of new information but in the first [paragraph I saw “we partnered with our friends at Panera” and was immediately turned off. Whenever a company partners for something that doesn’t seem like an ad…it’s an ad and they’re trying to get something out of it.
So hopefully you learn something from this. If not, enjoy the sarcasm…
“Avocados specifically are another great way to get the blood flowing. According to research conducted at Penn State, the good fats in avocados have been linked to reduced levels of LDL, aka ‘bad cholesterol.”
Good thing they’re trending among the hipsters! I kid! I kid! Avocados are a great for you!
“They even found that incorporating good avocado fats might be even more beneficial than simply cutting fats out altogether”
SMDH (Shaking my damn head)…Seriously? MIGHT be even more beneficial. Might? How about IS?! Our bodies need fat. The problem is that we’ve been getting an over abundance of BAD fats, like those found in milk, creamers, cheeses, meat, sugar, etc., hence the ‘low-fat’/’no-fat’ products. So people just automatically think that fat=bad, which is so not the case. “Low/no-fat” is just another term for “chemical shit-storm”. There is nothing natural about what is being used to replace the fat. Good fats come in the forms of avocados, coconuts, olive oil, nuts/seeds, etc. These fill you up and give your body the nutrients it needs while also not leaving you feeling heavy, sickly-full, or leaving the residue behind to clog up your arteries.
This info has been out for a while now…I learned this in my high school psychology class and from my recent post about turning 30, we know that was 14 years ago so thanks for that ‘new’ information.
These next two facts I did find interesting:
Broccoli is another great brain food due to its high levels of choline, a chemical found in the brain shown in laboratory studies to be essential in early brain development, as well as positive effects for older individuals who might be at risk for general memory loss and Alzheimer’s.
Hurray for broccoli!
As for foods best taken in moderation, be wary of salty snacks and sauces, which have been shown to increase hypertension which restricts blood flow to the brain. Soy sauce, for instance, contains up to forty percent of your recommended daily sodium intake in a single tablespoon. Some sodium in the diet is totally fine, but eating too many sodium-packed foods can impair focus, organizational skills, and memory. When available go for the low-sodium option to keep your mind sharp.
Obviously we know too much salt is bad, especially over processed table salt, and that it’s insanely easy to over eat because of packaged foods (even sauces, broths, ice creams…) but I was surprised that it can impact your focus, organization, and memory. Do you think that the reason there is so much sodium in foods is done purposefully to affect people’s brains? Am I asking a rhetorical question?
I noticed through the majority of this article that they’re toting non-animal product food as being the best for your brain (side note…why aren’t walnuts mentioned?). The only animal product they mention is tuna and how that should only be in moderation…what about other kinds of meat? Can’t mention that because Panara makes a ton of money off oh ‘healthy’ meats?
Doing more research I decided to go to Panara’s website and holy shit you guys! So I clicked on their soups and they’re shown with a really nice picture and the amount of calories next to it (because that’s all that people are concerned about). I decided to check out a pretty neutral one which the Low-fat Vegetarian Garden Vegetable Soup with Pesto seemed like a good choice. The ingredients look ok minus ‘natural flavorings’, canola oil, and animal products…oh and the fact that they’re not organic but anyway. The amount of sodium in one bowl of this soup? 750 mg! One cup of the soup is 500 mg. Screw the calories, THAT is a problem! Why am I concerned about the sodium? Because the called out how bad salt is for you in the f-ing article!
In fact out of their 316 menu items 167 items are 500 mg of sodium or more and 51 of them are over 1000 mg of sodium.
That 316 menu items includes drinks, salad dressings, and cream cheese spreads so if you take those out (78 drink options, 18 dressings, and 12 cream cheeses) that equals a total of 208 menu items that are ‘food’ items which include sandwiches, salads, pastries, soups, etc. In doing those calculations using the 208 menu items, 80.3% of them contain 500 mg of sodium per item. 24.5% are over 1000 mg.
It varies but it looks like the general consensus is 2300 mg of sodium is recommended per day (1500 mg for people over 51, have high blood pressure, diabetes, or a chronic disease). That means that if you get their large bowl of mac and cheese at 2450 mgs of sodium you’re over your daily limit.
No where on their website does Panara mention that they’re a healthy alternative to traditional fast food. Which is probably good because they’d totally get sued. However, they know what they’re doing and they know what people think of them. Many people, my past-self included, thought this was a ‘healthy’ option to Culver’s.
Please be wary of restaurants making themselves seem like a good alternative over another (looking at you too Subway) and do some research for yourself before just assuming they’re a healthier option (ahem McDonald’s salads or yogurt parfaits ahem).
In closing, staying close to nature, knowing what’s in your food, and staying away from animal products will make your brain and body function at its highest potential. And you don’t need a restaurant-funded study to prove it to you.