Skip to Main Content

What's in it for me?

While eating lunch with a co-worker, I asked if she had ever tasted a jicama.  She replied, “no”.  So I offered her a taste of one from my lunch.  She looked at the slice of jicama, tasted it and then said, “It tastes ok, but what is in it for me?” I explained that as a vegetable, it will have some minerals, vitamins, and fiber.

Later as I thought about this conversation, I wondered if anyone ever asked that question before eating a piece of candy or a dessert.  Usually, the response to a new sweet is, “where did you buy it” or “is it easy to bake” or “where did you find the recipe?”

In nutrition, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, dairy products, beef, poultry, pork, or seafood are called nutrient rich.  This means that for the investment in calories, they have a return on the investment with protein, carbohydrate, healthy fat, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

(Visit the website: to find more information on nutrient rich foods)

Candy, cakes, donuts, cookies, brownies, pies etc. are called nutrient poor and calorie rich.  They are called empty calories and don’t provide much for your calorie investment.

So the thought from this story is: when thinking about eating dessert, ask yourself, “Is it worth the calories”?  Or as my friend said, “What’s in it for me”?


CHI Health Food and Nutrition Services Team
CHI Health Food and Nutrition Services Team

These blogs are written by members of the CHI Health Nutrition Services team.

Related Articles

Know When to Say When: Alcohol and Your Liver

APR 02, 2024

The liver normally breaks down alcohol, but if the amount of alcohol consumed exceeds the liver's ability to break it down, toxins can build up to cause liver damage over time.

Read More

Solve Snoring without the Mask

MAR 01, 2024

An innovative device is helping snorers get a good night’s rest and reducing their risk of health issues – all without the need of a sleep mask or cpap.

Read More

10 Ways to Ease Allergy Symptoms

FEB 15, 2024

Starting as early as February and persisting through October, seasonal allergies can cause a variety of annoying symptoms.

Read More