Is Eating this Meal Most Days Unhealthy? - Healthy Eating

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Is Eating this Meal Most Days Unhealthy?

BRE1996 profile image
17 Replies

Pretty much every single day I’ll eat chicken wraps and potato croquettes for lunch. I’m wondering how unhealthy this truly is. I’m not bored of the food so the fact it’s a bit dull having it daily isn’t an issue. The ingredients are:

Two white wraps

Four frozen hot & spicy chicken strips

Grated mild cheddar

BBQ Sauce

Mixed salad (can’t really say how much I put on, just a small palm full on each wrap, depending on how much cheese is there)

Four potato croquettes

I’m a complete beginner to nutrition & I’m at the very start of my journey to improve my diet, but looking at that as a meal it doesn’t seem too bad to me? Protein, veg, dairy & carbs. Seems a little high on the carbs with bread & potato in one meal but still overall it seems fairly balanced food group wise.

Can anyone tell me if this is unhealthy & if possible what are the ways I could make it less unhealthy. As well as this, is eating this meal most days of the week or even every single one likely to do much damage?

17 Replies
Activity2004 profile image
Activity2004Administrator

Hi and welcome to the group, BRE1996 . :-) Thank you for introducing yourself to the group.

Has your doctor suggested that you change your diet/exercise routine and/or plan? Do they want you to cut down on the carb. intake?

I personally try to eat more sweet potatoes instead of regular white potatoes because sweet potatoes have less carbs. in them. I also have to count carbs. for each meal and snack since I'm Diabetic and take two types of insulin during the day and once before bedtime. I also use a Continuous Glucose Monitoring system to keep my blood sugars even during the day and evening hours.

I hope this helps.

BRE1996 profile image
BRE1996 in reply to Activity2004

Thanks for the response!

No, I haven't seen a GP in ages. I accidentally tagged my post with 'metabolic conditions' but I don't have one. This is purely a question I'm asking by myself as I'm trying to work on my nutrition.

I'll try sweet potatoes, my diet is very carb-heavy and I've put on weight recently so this would really help me, as potatoes feature in most of my meals.

Activity2004 profile image
Activity2004Administrator in reply to BRE1996

I can help try to get rid of the tag on your posting if you want it to be taken off. :-)

Sweet potatoes have 24 carbs. and regular potatoes have 26 carbs. on their own.

If you have any other questions, please let us know anytime! :-)

BRE1996 profile image
BRE1996 in reply to Activity2004

Yes please.

Well, at the risk of rubbing people up the wrong way; I feel very out of my depth with dieting- always have, and because there generally seems to be very contradictory sources online I've been waiting to find a community where I can talk to people about my specific diet and ideal lifestyle, and work with them to make changes to my diet. Was wondering if I can make a post breaking down my entire lifestyle and seek help with going through my entire diet. I'd then probably log my diet weekly on this community and update how I've been feeling/ how it's helped lose weight etc.

Activity2004 profile image
Activity2004Administrator in reply to BRE1996

You definitely can do all that. We have a topic called Today's Weight. If you want to do a posting and add that for a Topic, please do. Everyone will be happy to help you and answer your questions the best of our abilities. :-) We can also assign you a badge for different goals you plan to achieve with the weight loss and the type you want to do. Please let us know when you would like a badge.

I took care of removing the tag for you.:-)

PandQs profile image
PandQs in reply to BRE1996

When you said you've put on weight recently, my mind went once again to the videos that were pointed out to me when I first joined here. Dr Robert Lustig "The Skinny on Obesity" episodes 3 and 4 in particular. Prior to that, I thought I was doing myself good eating low fat foods, my favourite being a toasted bagel every single lunchtime. It opened my eyes. It may be difficult for you to make the change, I know I really didn't want to give up my daily bagel :) but you may want to have rethink re processed food as a regular part of your daily routine.

Cooper27 profile image
Cooper27Administrator

Welcome to HE!

Although this might tick the boxes on protein, carbs and a portion of salad, I wouldn't consider this a particularly healthy meal, as it consists of entirely processed food ingredients (quite a few of them highly processed).

It's worth looking at the ingredients more closely on your food - it's likely you'll see things like dextrose, sugar or glucose (all sugars), sunflower/rapeseed oils (refined oils), and preservatives, all of which are ingredients you'd want to minimise if possible.

It's also a good idea to try to vary your diet a little bit, as that increases the nutrients you get. Include more vegetables and try to eat a rainbow of colours.

Hope this helps :)

BRE1996 profile image
BRE1996 in reply to Cooper27

Thanks for the welcome and the response, Cooper!

Good point about the processed ingredients, nothing there really needs 'making', just shove in the oven and call it a day so I probably should have considered it wouldn't be great health-wise for that reason.

I know it'll seem like I'm just avoiding doing any leg-work, but I must admit I get overwhelmed when looking at ingredients on foods. I'm very out of my depth with food and dieting, where possible I like to keep things simple enough so that my weekly shop isn't too expensive/ long-winded looking for foods and checking ingredients etc.

Not really sure where to start resource-wise so that I can start making my weekly diet at least 40-50 % better, see how that goes and then improve as I go along. Maybe I could make a post in this community with a very specific breakdown of my diet, and then members (if they don't mind) could do the difficult part of explaining exactly where I'm going wrong and ways I can instantly improve it all without disrupting me too much.

Cooper27 profile image
Cooper27Administrator in reply to BRE1996

No problem :)

There was a point when I was younger and first learning about the food pyramid that I was convinced a McChicken Sandwich was a healthy meal, for most of the reasons you listed here! It ticked the boxes. It happens :)

Real food doesn't always need much effort, I think you could tidy this up quite easily by buying plain chicken fillets, tossing in some spice seasonings and cooking with some diced potatoes drizzled with a bit of olive oil (maybe a sprinkle of rosemary, paprika or chilli flakes for flavour). You could also buy pre-cooked chicken (although that does come with sugar and preservatives too, but it's less processed).

Happy to help with other parts of your diet too, just let us know what you need help with :)

TheAwfulToad profile image
TheAwfulToad in reply to Cooper27

This made me laugh because it highlights the problem with the eternal war between nutritionists over which macronutrient causes ill-health. It's pretty easy to formulate a meal composed of nothing but junk food that ticks the macronutrient boxes that nutritionists insist upon.

When you boil everything down to carbs, protein and fat, you discard a HUGE amount of information - some known, and some unknown. If the debate revolves around a single ratio (C:P:F) then it's pretty much guaranteed to go nowhere.

It's all about food, not macros. Always has been.

Kaz747 profile image
Kaz747Star

I agree with Cooper27 about the main issue with this meal being the amount of processed food. There’s a movement called JERF - just eat real food. It may take a bit more effort but the taste and the health benefits are worthwhile. I try and stick to the 80/20 rule with 80% of my food being fresh fruit, veggies, herbs, nuts, seeds, whole grains, eggs, cheese, yogurt, seafood, and a little chicken and red meat. The other 20% includes some processed food and “treats”.

When shopping, learn to read nutrition labels (although the healthiest foods like fresh fruit and veggies don’t have labels). The fewer and more natural ingredients the better.

I love listening to podcasts which give me great ideas and insights- google The Doctor’s Kitchen and The Food Medic and check them out.

Don’t be afraid to experiment in the kitchen. I save interesting recipes into an app on my phone called Recipe Keeper. I love experimenting with different foods and recipes.

Have fun!

TheAwfulToad profile image
TheAwfulToad

If you're feeling OK and don't crave variety, it's probably fine. I can imagine a lot of worse meals!

When I'm at work I invariably have a couple of wraps stuffed with salad, meat and dressing. More filling than wrap, though, and I tend to eat around 3pm.

If you're putting on weight I would:

a) Drop the croquettes. Don't just substitute potato-carbs for some-other-carbs. This is completely pointless.

b) put a lot more salad (and perhaps a bit more meat) in your wraps. My personal preference is for creamy dressings to make this palatable, but YMMV.

c) Ensure you get adequate fat in your meals to compensate for the "missing" carbs.

I'll also add a +1 to the comments from Cooper and Kaz: try to get out of the habit of putting plastic-wrapped stuff onto a plate, especially processed rubbish like BBQ sauce (which is full of sugar and chemicals). Making your own meals doesn't have to be complicated. For example, roasting a chicken is dead easy and you can pick pieces off it for the next 2-3 days. Try making your own ranch dressing - most people like it, and again you can keep it in the fridge for several days.

Hello BRE1996 Firstly welcome to HE. I think you’ve found something that works for you and you want to now introduce more foods and the more foods that you cook from scratch free of additives the better.

You can’t beat a balanced diet which includes whole foods in my opinion.

So I’d try and be more adventurous and remember we all have to start our healthy eating journey somewhere and you’ve started yours and I try and see this as a new beginning.

The secret with experimenting is to be adventurous and you might be pleasantly surprised.

We cater for all diets and dietary needs on here as you will see by our extensive topics.

Good luck and I hope that you enjoy being a member of our friendly community.

Jerry. 😊

junemc profile image
junemc

A lot depends on what you eat at other meals. The meal you describe is very high in processed foods. If you want to keep things simple I would suggest 2 improvements to your diet: -

1. Eat more fresh food rather than frozen, processed foods. Cook meat/fish etc from scratch.

2. Eat more fresh fruit and veg. We are all told to eat a minimum of 5 a day. It doesn't sound as if you are getting anywhere near this. The suggestion that you swap normal potatoes for sweet potatoes is a good one. Sweet potatoes count as 1 of your 5 a day, normal potatoes don't.

This is basic advice, I would suggest you start by making simple changes to your diet. You can go further as and when you feel ready.

Katkins27 profile image
Katkins27

Its not ideal.. Try swapping white wraps for brown or multigrain or try difderent types, of sandwich. Lots of salt in wraps im guessing

Def a lack if vegetables and fibre.

If the chicken is processed that's not a good start. Seems to be quite a processed meal feom what I can see.

Maybe alternate your protein sources.

Variety is the spice of life so they say!

Whydothis profile image
Whydothis

If you are trying to improve on this without making too much change too quickly, I suggest trying to get more veg into it. I would get rid of the potato croquettes and replace them with vegetables, preferably different colours each day. Although salad is very good for you, you don't actually get many grams of fresh veg in the salad you can get into two wraps.

Slightly longer term, try to move away from pre-packaged processed food and towards fresh real food, as far as you can, and keep increasing the amount of veg and salad you are eating.

Other than that, I agree with the comments you have already had!

Zest profile image
Zest

Hi BRE1996

I'd like to wish you the best with your healthy eating goals, and hope you have an enjoyable week - I see you've got lots of great suggestions there.

Zest :-)

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