Nutrition is an ever evolving field with constantly updated (and sometimes contradictory) studies and news. The subject can be daunting and confusing. But while it’s true that what is known about nutrition and diet is evolving, there are some nutrition basics that can help us be better equipped to sort through the latest research and advice.
Our approach to nutrition is based on the following principles:
- Calorie intake: Calories measure the amount of energy that is supplied by carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in food. The energy supplied by food is needed for vital body functions like growth, movement, and thought. A weight gain results when the number of calories consumed is greater than the number of calories used. When the number of calories consumed is less than the number of calories used, there is weight loss. There is no weight change when calories consumed equals calories used. Each person’s energy balance is directly related to a combination of their behaviors, environment, and genetics.
In an effort to help you guide your individual choices, we designed our menu as follows:
- Breakfast <350 calories
- Shakes and juices <350 calories
- Soups, salads, sandwiches <550 calories
- DG Boxes <850 calories
While there may be some variations to these general calorie categories depending on ingredients and optional add-ons, our goal is to provide full day options within recommended nutritional parameters.
- Balanced nutrition: we have designed our menu to provide balanced nutrition among the 3 key food groups
Protein: Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. The body uses protein to build and repair tissues. In addition, protein is used to make hormones and other chemicals in the body. Protein is also an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
Complex Carbohydrates: The main fuel used by the body during exercise is carbohydrates, which are stored in muscle as glycogen—a form of sugar. There are different kinds of carbohydrates—simple or refined, and unrefined. We focused our menu on complex carbohydrates, a macronutrient the body needs. While simple carbs cause a spike in blood sugar that quickly dissipates, foods rich in complex carbs provide sustained energy, are a good source of macronutrients and fiber.
Fruits and vegetables: The USDA recommends that half our daily food intake be from fruits and vegetables, which provide a good source of vitamins, fibers and phytochemicals (antioxidants, antibacterial) and are generally low in calories, protein and fat.
- Maximum nutrition: we place particular emphasis in our menu design on recipes and ingredients that provide maximum nutrition per calorie consumed; otherwise known as “nutrient-dense” or “nutrient-rich” foods. Examples: lentils, quinoa, berries, omega-rich eggs and tuna, lean protein sources, couscous, whole wheat grains, mung bean.
- Informed nutrition: the more you know the better choices you make. Our menu, website and in-store displays provide easy to follow nutrition information to help you make informed decisions about portion sizes, contents, calories, fat calories, proteins, and carbs. While we are not required under the healthcare law to provide or post this information, we make it available because it constitutes an integral part of our philosophy and business model and because we are proud of the quality of nutrition that we provide.
- Affordable nutrition: quality nutrition does not have to be expensive! With the help of our culinary and nutrition experts, we are able to source quality ingredients, cook them in the healthiest ways and offer them in balanced combinations without charging exorbitant prices. We are proud to offer fresh, wholesome, hormone-free, antibiotic-free and cage-free products. We do not however feel that the “organic” designation is always justified or affordable. We know this will probably unleash the ire of the militant foodies out there…
- Diversified nutrition: our menu provides a wide range of choices for each meal, with eclectic influences from around the world and the choice to custom build your own dish depending on your cravings. We help you with the main food groups and you select your ingredients of choice from each group for an overall balanced meal.
- “Good for you” nutrition: our objective is to provide you with good, balanced nutrition no matter what you choose to eat or drink at Darn Good Food. So, we have carefully selected each ingredient and each menu item to be good for you in terms of nutrition benefits, flavor and value for money. Simply put, we do all the research, all the hard work and all the prepping so that all you have to do is “decide what you are in the mood for” and you never have to decide between what is good and what is bad for you: EVERYTHING on our menu is good for you!
For those “nutrition aficionados”, we provide detailed contents and nutrition profile for each item featured on our menu. This information can be found online next to the specific menu choice or in print at our stores (please refer to our “Health and Nutrition Disclaimer” for nutrition-related information).