Hooked on Chocolate

I can imagine worse things than being hooked on chocolate.  Not so for poor Gary. Gary is a giant gourami fish recently inherited by the Sea Life London Aquarium, weighing in at 4kg with a secret little habit.  Upon arrival, his caretakers tried to feed him the usual things that fish eat only to find he wasn’t interested at all.  With some further investigation, they discovered that Gary had been brought up on Kit Kats by his previous owners and as a result turned his fins up at anything else.

Strangely enough, fish food is the first thing that comes to mind when I feed my fish, so how does one even arrive at deciding that a Kit Kat or two would be just the ticket for this creature?  Sure, I do love that so many great findings about chocolate (particularly the dark variety) are now populating our health news but extrapolating these results to the fish world is not my first impulse.

Naturally Gary’s new owners had to resort to stealth and subterfuge just as many parents do when trying to hide vegetables in new and interesting ways every day. In the quest of changing his fishy ways they secretly stuffed pieces of Kit Kat inside grapes to trick the gourmet Gary and so far it seems to be working.

An interesting concept and one that I might just try.  For some conversation on chocolate and 98 other food facts and fairytales, check out truth, lies and chocolate for an entertaining read and something that Dad’s might appreciate for Fathers Day.

Mr Gary Chocolate

One beer bottle…..

What better time than Friday afternoon to celebrate the fact that today it is International Beer Day. Who knew? When beer is discussed in my presence it is usually in reference to whether it is ‘betterer for you’ if there is such a thing, than wine or other alcohol. The thing is, standard servings of beer and wine are very similar in terms of kilojoule content and both can contribute to weight gain indirectly. Beer nutrition: these two words are not usually seen together, so let’s do some math.  If wine and beer are compared on a 100ml basis this is what we find: Wine, red                                         295 kJ White wine, dry                                 283 kJ White wine, sweet                             275 kJ Beer, average                                   149 kJ Fantastic, you think, these figures are reassuring, and beer is looking great.  There is a small problem though.  Most people don’t usually drink just 100ml of beer. Imagine drinking 100ml out of your stubby and then passing it on to your mate to finish off.  No, I didn’t think so. Standard drink servings vary in size depending on the type of alcohol.  A standard serving of beer is 250ml or 2/3 can or stubby while a standard serving of wine is 100ml.  Restaurants are more generous when they pour, it seems.  An average restaurant size serving of wine is 180ml or 1.8 standard drinks, and the average serving size of a full strength beer is 375ml or 1 middy/can/stubby, which is equal to 1.5 standard drinks. If you go out and enjoy 2-3 wines or 2-3 stubbys of beer, you will clock up around 1500 -1600 kJ in both cases. This is equivalent to chomping through 4 slices of multi-grain bread, although not quite as nutritious!   Beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks can weaken one’s resolve and soon have you reaching for high fat snacks.  Combining fatty foods with alcohol is the worst combination of all for weight gain, so it is a good idea to eat a meal before drinking alcohol to lessen the temptation to reach for the chips and peanuts. So, Happy International Beer Day to you and please enjoy your 100ml shots.