Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The infamous French dip! A nutritional quagmire!

As a man who has often found himself on a perennial diet, I have had to make sacrifices especially when it comes to dining out! One of my personal favorite lunch combos has always been a French Dip with a side of fries! (And, yes, while I still order this meal from time to time, I do so while cringing a bit inside). Following are some dietary notes concerning just the sandwich (Note: The fries are a complete nutritional nightmare which I simply ignore).

Very High in Fat
A plain, commercially available French dip sandwich, like you might get from a bar or restaurant, may contain over 481 calories, (with more than half of these calories coming from fat). One popular fast food French dip sandwich has 33 grams of total fat and 25 grams of saturated fat. For a healthy adult following a 2,000-calorie diet, this amount of saturated fat is more than the 15 grams recommended as the daily limit. A French dip sandwich also contains approximately 60 milligrams of cholesterol, or 20 percent of the total cholesterol an adult should have each day.

Rich in Protein
A typical French dip sandwich provides about 18 grams of protein. For a woman between 19 and 70 years old, this amount is 39 percent of her daily protein requirement; for a man of the same age, it is 32 percent. (If you happen to be following some version of the Adkins or Paleo diet plan, protein is a good thing)!

Low in Sugar and Fiber
French dip sandwiches are rich in starch, but not in simple sugars or dietary fiber. A single sandwich may contain 50 grams of total carbohydrates, with only 2 grams contributed by sugars and 1 gram from dietary fiber.(Argh! Taubes and other low-carb enthusiasts say when we eat more carbohydrates than we burn for energy, our body ends up storing them as fat, and that this is the primary cause of weight gain and other related ills. ... Your body then produces extra insulin to bring your blood sugar down).

Dangerously High in Sodium
Commercial French dip sandwiches provide essential minerals such as iron and calcium but also contain a high concentration of sodium, with a single serving supplying more than 1,000 milligrams of sodium. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that healthy adults should not consume more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium each day. The CDC also advises that the elderly, African-Americans and people who suffer from hypertension, kidney disease or diabetes should not consume more than 1,500 milligrams daily.

Good Source of B Vitamins
The roast beef in a French dip sandwich is a good source of a number of B vitamins, including niacin, vitamin B-12, vitamin B-6, riboflavin, Thiamin and pantothenic acid. These nutrients play a vital role in energy metabolism and in the production of red blood cells. French dip sandwiches are also high in vitamin A, which is required for proper cell reproduction, immune system health and the synthesis of the rhodopsin needed for your eyes to absorb light.

So, the bottom line for me becomes a question of frequency... as long as I order this meal very infrequently, I harbor a slim hope of dietary survival....

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