Foogal is a metabolic health app. Through food, we can assist you in maintaining or obtaining your metabolic health. Without changes in dietary habits and physical activity, individuals with prediabetes could eventually develop type 2 diabetes. Strategies promoting healthier eating habits to improve glucose control usually encourage the consumption of more vegetables, fruit, adequate protein, and healthy fats, and the reduction or elimination of sugar and ultra-processed foods.
Our Foogal Food Filters filter out ultra-processed food ingredients, products and recipes with high sugar, and products and recipes with low dietary fiber. In each of our recipes, you’ll see calories, total fat, and the breakdown of types of fat, cholesterol, sodium, and carbohydrates, including net carbohydrates, dietary fiber, sugar, vitamins, and minerals.
Let’s start with calories and go on from there in future articles.
What is a calorie?
A unit of energy equivalent to the heat energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 °C.
A unit of energy, often used to express the nutritional value of foods, equivalent to the heat energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water by 1 °C, and equal to one thousand small calories: a kilocalorie.
Most people look at a food label mainly to track calories, but as our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Robert Lustig explains, “A calorie is not a calorie.” What does he mean?
Dr. Lustig explains:
Fiber. You eat 160 calories in almonds, but only absorb 130—because some fiber calories pass through without metabolizing. Vegetables, greens, beans, and whole grains are all high in fiber.
Protein. It takes twice as much energy to metabolize protein as carbs, so protein spends more calories in processing. And protein makes you feel full longer.
Fat. All fats are 9 calories per gram. But omega-3 fats are heart-healthy and will save your life. Trans-fats will clog your arteries and kill you. Eat more fish, nuts, avocados, olive oil, and eggs. Avoid most processed foods.
Added Sugar. Calories from added sugar are different from other calories and are jeopardizing health worldwide. And yes, that includes honey, syrup, and High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). Excess added sugar leads to, diabetes, heart disease, and fatty liver disease, unrelated to its calories. Avoid processed foods and sodas; they’re loaded with added sugar.
Dr. Lustig and colleagues melded numerous databases worldwide measuring food availability and diabetes prevalence and found that only changes in sugar availability explained changes in diabetes prevalence worldwide; nothing else mattered. They assessed total calories from protein, fat, fiber, natural sugar (from fruit), and added sugar (from sugar crops, sweeteners, and soda) and found that total caloric availability was unrelated to diabetes prevalence; for every extra 150 calories per day, diabetes prevalence rose by only 0.1 percent. But if those 150 calories were from added sugar, diabetes prevalence rose 11-fold, by 1.1 percent.
Bottom line? Check your food label for added sugar, for total sugar, and avoid HFCS, generally in ultra-processed foods. With the Foogal Food Filters, you’ll find delicious recipes that you know are filtered for sugar, fiber, and ultra-processed ingredients.