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This or That? - Medically Speaking, Volume Two, Number Four, 10/9/14

Each day we all make multiple decisions about what to eat. Do we want cereal or eggs for breakfast? What kind of cereal? What kind of milk are we going to put on that cereal? The seemingly insignificant food choices we make several times a day can profoundly influence our health, and thus, our lives. It's the little decisions of white bread or wheat bread, soda pop or water that either give our bodies the fuel they need or provide us with nutrients that keep our bodies running subpar.

So what is the healthier choice?

PB&J or Ham and Cheese Sandwich - Peanut Butter has 8 grams of protein per serving (2 Tsbp). The fat found in peanut butter is also a healthier monounsaturated fat. For these reasons I would pick PB&J. Ham is high in sodium and nitrates, and cheese is a source of saturated fat. Add that into the mayo and it's not the healthiest of combinations.

Raison Bran or Puffed Rice Cereal - Puffed rice cereal is not a bad option. As far as cold breakfast cereals go, it is low in sugar. However, despite the higher sugar content of raison bran, It would be my pick. This is because one serving has approximately 7 grams of fiber. Almost 1/3 of womens' and 1/5 of mens' daily requirements. If you want to be even healthier, try bran flakes and add your own raisons to decrease the amount of added sugar.

Frozen Bean and Cheese Burrito or Frozen Pizza - Burrito! While you're not going to find either of these foods on any top ten lists for healthy foods, a burrito has at least some fiber and less saturated fat.

Canned Green Beans or Corn - Corn is a starch vegetable and has 66 calories and 15 gms of carbohydrates per 1/2 cup serving. Green Beans, on the other hand, have only 20 calories and 4 gms of carbohydrates. Most things green will always win!

Hamburger or Chicken Sandwich - While you may think a chicken sandwich is the easy answer here, that's no necessarily the case. It may depend on the type of chicken used and whether the burger is loaded with extras. A sandwich with breaded chicken can have 510 calories and 22 grams of fat. A Big Mac has 530 calories and 27 grams of fat. Close enough. I'd say have whichever one sounds appetizing. However, a plain hamburger has only 240 calories and 8 grams of fat, or you could get a grilled chicken sandwich for 350 calories and 9 grams of fat.

When faced with your next food choice, I challenge you to make the healthy choice. The more we make the healthy choice just once or twice, the healthier we will be.

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