One Square Meals
June 3rd 2011 23:30
This week I have question from one of my readers and she said:
I was just wondering about "One Square Meals" made by cookietime. I eat these frequently and love them, especially when I've forgotten lunch for the day, and I find them really filling. Also, when I'm super busy with uni, study, and work, they're really convenient for me.
I know nothing about nutrition, I'm assuming they're good for you with the "1/3 of your daily requirements" marketing they have. I was just wondering, are these a healthy choice for a lunch or breakfast? I heard some people say they should only be eaten by fitness fanatics who do a high level of exercise.
So what is a One Square Meal (OSM)? It’s a meal replacement bar that is nutritionally balanced. It provides a third of the nutrients and energy needed for the average person in each serve. The bars are made from ingredients such as manuka honey, rolled oats, dried apricots and berries. They’re available in two flavours, apricot and manuka honey, and cranberry and blackcurrant.
I’ve checked out the OSM website and I found two helpful inks, Really Long Link and Really Long Link and the OSM appears to be the perfect meal replacement for the average person. One serve of the OSM (two bars) provides one third of the recommended daily intake (RDI) for the average person of energy, fat, carbohydrates, protein and micronutrients such as iron, calcium, and vitamin C. Before I go any further, I will give a definition for RDI. According to the Ministry of Health (MOH) website, RDI “is the average daily intake level of a particular nutrient that is sufficient to meet the requirements of nearly all healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group”. If you have a look at the nutrition guidelines on the MOH website, it shows that there are different RDIs for different age groups and genders. However nutrient levels in the OSM are based on the average of those RDIs. The person that the OSM is designed for is the average weight, average age, average activity levels, and needs approximately 8700kj of energy per day and RDI of macronutrients and micronutrients each day to function properly. The problem is there is no such thing, as far as I am concerned, as the average person. We’re all different therefore we all have different energy, micronutrient and macronutrient needs. This is the only obvious flaw of the OSM – it’s not for everyone. Apart from that, they have done a pretty good job at making a balanced meal that actually tastes good.
Let me illustrate my point. An example of a not so average person is a 25 year, female, vegetarian who is exercises six days a week for least an hour and half each day. If this person is trying to maintain her body weight, her energy needs will exceed 8700kj per day. Since she is a vegetarian and of child bearing age she will need more iron than a meat eater (because plant based iron is harder to absorb) and she need more iron than a male to make up for monthly blood loss. If she ate a OSM for each meal she would also need additional snacks during the day to boost her energy and iron intake.
Another example of a not so average person would be a female, 20 years old, omnivorous, and sedentary. Her energy needs are likely to be less than 8700kj per day. If she ate a OSM for very meal, plus snacks, she would be exceeding her energy and nutrient needs.
Because the OSM is made for the average person, I do not recommend eating them every day because everyone is different. They are a good meal replacement because they are nutritionally balanced in every aspect and not what I would call an unhealthy meal. I would recommend them to athletes who are competing in an endurance event and need something compact, yet energy and nutrient rich, or for busy, active people on the run (but not for every meal).
If you have any questions, then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave your questions here.
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