People often say, “Calories do not count on Shabbat.” The reality is that our caloric intake on Shabbat is not just high…it’s astronomical. Prepare to be shocked as I present to you the average amount of calories consumed on any given Sabbath.
Before we can start the caloric calculation there are some essential nutritional facts you need to know. Firstly, most adults need to consume anywhere between 2000 and 3000 calories a day. Woman and smaller less active people need fewer calories. Men and bigger more active people need more calories. If you are eating more than the proper amount calories for your gender, size, and activity level your weight will increase. Being overweight is one of the strongest risk factors for developing heart disease, diabetes and various cancers. The key point here - consuming too many calories on Shabbat may negatively affect your health.
Everyone differs in the amount of food they consume. Some people really binge while others eat more average portions of everything being served. Others won’t eat everything being presented and are far pickier. I decided to calculate the total calories consumed during Shabbat based on what I considered to be an average Shabbat meal plan by an average eater – normal portions of every food offered during each Sabbath meal. The truth of course that caloric intake will varies greatly for each person depending on what you eat and how much; I therefore strongly recommend you calculate your own personal Shabbat caloric intake. You can do this using the following web based tool: http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthtool-food-calorie-counter
Let’s begin the calculation.
Total Caloric Assessment of Shabbat Meals:
Dinner: 1 roasted breast of roasted chicken with skin (276) 2 pieces of Challah (160) 1 serving of brisket (327), 1 portion of Mixed green Salad with Italian dressing (87) 1 portion of gefilte fish (77), 1 cup of wine (83), ½ cup of concord grape juice (70), matzo ball soup (118), 1 portion of rice (111), 1 serving of marinated green bean salad (157), 1 portion of chocolate cake (352), 1 chocolate chip cookie (49)
Dinner Total Calories: 1867
Kiddush: 1 chocolate chip cookie (49), 1 bowl of meat Cholent, (253) 1 serving of potato kugel (299) 1 small cup of soda (coke)(182), 3 pieces of herring, (120) 4 Tam Tam crackers (60) 1 shot of scotch (97), 2 carrot slices and a piece of red pepper (8)
Kiddush Total Calories: 1068
Lunch: 2 pieces of Challah (160), 1 serving of Cholent, (253) 1 chicken leg, (241) 1 servings of strawberry and spinach salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing (250), 1 serving of baked 3oz salmon (150), 1 serving of quinoa salad (222), 1 serving of potato kugel (299) 1 glass of Moscato white wine (123), ½ cup of concord grape juice (70), 1 cup of Tropicana orange juice (110), 1 portion of Toffuti vanilla ice cream (130), 1 portion of chocolate cake (352)
Lunch Total Calories: 2360
Third meal: 1 Challah bun (172), ½ cup serving of tuna salad (191) ½ cup serving of egg salad (222), 3 pieces of herring, (120), 1 serving of coleslaw salad (100), 2 tbsp of Hummus (30)
Third meal Total: 835
Total Caloric Intake on Shabbat without Third Meal: 5295
Total Caloric Intake on Shabbat with Third Meal: 6130
There you have it! On Shabbat the average eater consumes 6000+ calories!! That is about 3X the amount recommended for the average person. Where will all these extra calories go? They will become unwanted fat. Excess weight equals a greater risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and some cancers later in life. We need take control of our Sabbath eating habits if we want to stay healthy. Next time you feel the need to eat everything being served on Shabbat remember, ”Calories Do really count on Shabbat!”
Dr. Anders Nerman, ND.
Information is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or adopting any treatment for a health problem.