AIBU to think cake is a perfectly good lunch

(71 Posts)
Ephiny Tue 27-Nov-12 12:54:03

I think this might be my first AIBU.

Basically I'm too lazy to make a packed lunch most days, and anyway most options aren't very appealing. The cafe at work has various sandwiches/wraps and salads, but they aren't great unless you get them on the first day (they sit for 2-3 days) and anyway I'm picky about my food - no meat/fish, no mayonnaise or dressings, no onion, various other things. I usually can't find anything I like and end up just getting a coffee and whatever cake I fancy.

I don't think this is too bad. The coffee is usually a latte, which means protein and calcium, and quite filling. If the cake is a flapjack or something, that's oats for fibre, if it's a muffin with fruit in that's 'healthy'...if it's a pastry, well, I don't know, there's sometimes apple or something in it smile AIBU to think this is actually a perfectly fine lunch, and not less proper or healthy than what other people have just because it's sweet?

But I am embarrassed to tell anyone in real life that this is how I eat, and if I have to I pretend the cake is for dessert not my actual lunch. AIBU?

Yes, YABU. Sugar crash in the afternoon must be a killer.

If you want something cake-ish the very least you could do is get something like a cheese and spinach muffin or a ham and mushroom bagel.

saadia Tue 27-Nov-12 12:58:32

yabu sorry I don't think it is healthy but in my younger days when I first started working my lunch would be a KitKat.

FeuDeSnowyRussie Tue 27-Nov-12 12:58:33

I don't think YABU, as long as you have a good breakfast and dinner with plenty of fruit, veg, protein etc. and no other high sugar foods.

N0tinmylife Tue 27-Nov-12 12:58:41

I think YABU if you are trying to persuade yourself that cake is a healthy lunch. However YANBU to have cake for lunch if that's what you want. It won't do you any harm as long as you eat well for your other meals. Why be ashamed, its your body, you can choose to eat whatever you like, from someone who often has chocolate for lunch, with no shame at all smile

AnyFuckingDude Tue 27-Nov-12 12:59:34

yanbu

I sometimes have cake for breakfast too.

The staff canteen at work does brilliant hot puddings. I quite often jam roly poly or apple crumble with lashings of custard for lunch. A ham sandwich pales into insignificance next to that !

Carbohydrates, protein, fat and sugar. Food of the Gods !

Well I'm sat scoffing a yuel log truffle so probably not the best person to ask blush

Vajazzler Tue 27-Nov-12 12:59:49

YABU as it's only acceptable if its really goooood cake. None of this flapjack malarky or muffin nonsense.

Fairylea Tue 27-Nov-12 13:00:06

I just had cake mix for lunch smile

But no it's not healthy. But do whatever you like, life is too short anyway.

Greensleeves Tue 27-Nov-12 13:00:06

If you are feeding it to yourself then what business is it of anyone else's? If you are sending your child off to school every day with a lunchbox full of cake then YABU because it clearly isn't a decent lunch.

I like cake though. Especially for lunch grin

FredFredGeorge Tue 27-Nov-12 13:01:56

HoratiaWinwood Perhaps she's fit and healthy enough that her insulin response is good and she doesn't get a sugar crash?

I also wouldn't say that the GI of the bagel or spinach muffin suggestions are sufficiently different to a blueberry muffin to make a difference, and a large latte would modify it considerably anyway.

DialMforMummy Tue 27-Nov-12 13:06:32

YABVU. psml at the idea that flapjack is "healthy".
Your current diet might have dire consequences later.

Hobbitation Tue 27-Nov-12 13:09:54

No such thing as healthy and unhealthy food.

TunipTheVegedude Tue 27-Nov-12 13:10:14

No a cake isn't a good lunch, but if you're eating healthily at all your other meals you'll probably be all right.

FeuDeSnowyRussie Tue 27-Nov-12 13:10:26

I also don't see why it would give her a sugar crash.

I think it's healthier than eating a big bready sandwich followed by cake. If I fancied cake for lunch I'd have a salad first (a healthy one, not one covered in creamy dressing or cheese) followed by the cake.

Cake is an acceptable part of a balanced diet! As long as you're not eating crap like chocolate or crisps throughout the rest of the day, a piece of cake isn't going to do you any harm.

FeuDeSnowyRussie Tue 27-Nov-12 13:12:07

No such thing as healthy and unhealthy food. <<<<< I agree Hobbitation

Hobbitation Tue 27-Nov-12 13:12:57

Sandwiches are often not a very good lunch, nutritionally speaking.

To clarify, I don't think it is a bad lunch sometimes, I think it is a bad usual lunch.

And spinach or mushrooms at least provide nutrition rather than "just" calories.

Maybe I missed the tone of the OP. Maybe I was supposed to say "Great idea! Mine's a chocolate fudge cake!"

Ephiny Tue 27-Nov-12 13:17:35

No, I wanted genuine opinions, so thank you!

I don't get any sugar crash, and don't really snack during the day (except for fruit when I get home), and my weight is fine.

Obviously don't want any long term bad consequences though...

ivanapoo Tue 27-Nov-12 13:20:10

No fruit or veg in it which to me is a marker of a decent/healthy meal so you are a bit U.

I agree though that it's not really less healthy than a ham and cheese sandwich on white bread, pasty, sausage roll etc which a lot of people would eat at lunch time.

Do you have access to a microwave? Innocent veg pots, fresh soup or similar might be good healthier options... I wouldn't want to eat a 3 day old sandwich either!

TunipTheVegedude Tue 27-Nov-12 13:22:58

Make yourself a sandwich Ephiny smile

DH does this most days now, it only takes a minute. Then you can have cake on the days when you run out of bread or whatever.

PatriciaHolm Tue 27-Nov-12 13:23:02

I don't think as a regular, every day thing, it can possibly be healthy, unless you are eating very well at breakfast and dinner to ensure you get all the elements of a balanced diet. Are you?

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 27-Nov-12 13:23:41

No. This isn't a good lunch. Your Latte will be high in fat and contain caffeine. The cake will be full of carbs, sugar and fat.
It isn't healthy in the same way as contains dairy so has protein and calcium, and ham and pineapple pizza has fibre , calcium and protein, and is one of your five a day!
Your theory is flawed bollocks. Sorry!

YouOldSlag Tue 27-Nov-12 13:24:32

Well I make a fat free reduced sugar fruit cake packed with sultanas and raisins and often have that for breakfast.

However, I think you are scraping the barrel a bit saying latte is your protein and calcium source. I know it's milk, but I wouldn't class it as a "portion" of protein and calcium.

However, a bit of cake for lunch now and then won't hurt, so YANBU.

FeuDeSnowyRussie Tue 27-Nov-12 13:32:29

How long have you been eating just cake & a coffee for lunch Ephiny? If it's been months and months and you haven't noticed any ill effects or weight gain, then you can assume it's fine (can't you? I'm not aware of cake causing long-term health problems except in terms of making you fat.)

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 27-Nov-12 13:36:32

Well I make a fat free reduced sugar fruit cake packed with sultanas and raisins and often have that for breakfast.
Erm... do you have any idea how much sugar is in dried fruit?

FestiveDigestive Tue 27-Nov-12 13:45:10

My DD would definitely agree with you. She is 20 months and whenever I ask would she would like for breakfast or lunch or dinner, she clearly says "more cake please" grin She doesn't have cake very often but she still asks every time.

If you are having a good breakfast and a nutritious evening meal than I can't imagine a bit of cake & coffee will do any harm for lunch. Probably I'm not the right person to ask though as I love cake & I also tell myself that flapjacks are 'healthy'. wink

FredFredGeorge Tue 27-Nov-12 13:49:24

There's a depressing assertion that fruit + veg (which contain mostly vitamins that almost no-one is deficient in - and more is not better, you just need enough) are what makes a good diet.

Half a pint of milk contains something like 20% of the protein needs in 10% (if full fat, less if skimmed) of the calorie needs of an adult woman (depending on weight, activity etc. etc.) so I'd say it was a good source of protein. As well as a good source of a number of fat soluable vitamins and calcium (although again not many adults are deficient, although slightly more common is a deficiency of Vit A but then you'd need full fat milk to be getting it anyway.) And of course there's almost nothing but a few boney fish to beat a portion of milk for calcium. So yes the milk is a source of both protein and calcium.

YouOldSlag Tue 27-Nov-12 13:51:49

*Well I make a fat free reduced sugar fruit cake packed with sultanas and raisins and often have that for breakfast.
Erm... do you have any idea how much sugar is in dried fruit?*

yes, but I still eat it. The reason I reduce the sugar I add to it is BECAUSE the dried fruit is plenty sweet enough. I'm not on a reduced sugar diet, it's a matter of taste. If I make a cake that involves either icing or dried fruit, I cut half the sugar out to avoid it tasting too sweet.

YouOldSlag Tue 27-Nov-12 13:53:05

FredFredGeorge, I stand corrected. Very interesting post. I will be drinking more lattes and will stop feeling indulgent when I do!

imnotmymum Tue 27-Nov-12 13:54:37

You are a grown up eat what you like.

Hobbitation Tue 27-Nov-12 13:56:02

Flapjacks keep you going for ages, find them a really good breakfast from time to time. I don't eat them as a dessert. The worst breakfast is most cereals, really. Sugary (with added cane sugar) and not filling.

Erm... do you have any idea how much sugar is in dried fruit?

Yes - fruit sugar. Unless you are avoiding all sugars for medical reasons or eating enormous amount of dried fruit on a daily basis then it isn't a problem.

Also cake does not make you fat. Chocolate doesn't make you fat. An excess of calories makes you gain weight. Many cakes have fewer calories than a packet of sandwiches. While I wouldn't advise cake for lunch every day for other reasons, it wouldn't necessarily make you fat.

Hobbitation Tue 27-Nov-12 13:59:22

Reminds me of a women in the office asking me "Aaargh, how can you eat that chocolate (a couple of Celebrations which had been offered around the office) and be so slim?"

Because in the general scheme of things it was part of a calorific intake of 2000 calories or less and I'd been to the gym and burned off 500.

FredFredGeorge Tue 27-Nov-12 14:01:38

YouOldSlag Well there may be an argument for not getting your calories in liquid form, as it appears it may well be easier to over-eat in that situation. (which is the main problem in our diet over-consumption of calories, not micro-nutrient deficiencies although they can exist if you have a very poor diet)

Some of the signals don't work as efficiently - or maybe it's just the palatability of your latte is high so outweighs them, either way excess consumption does appear to be linked with high number of liquid calories.

SCOTCHandWRY Tue 27-Nov-12 14:06:32

Yes, milk has protein and calcium, it also has lactose, which spikes blood sugar and naturally occurring grown hormones which are unhealthy.

Latte tastes fantastic because it is sugary (the lactose), and has a lot of calories, a medium latte from a coffee chain has enough calories in it to BE lunch but is usually eaten with lunch iykwim. Look up the calorie contents online (most coffee chains have their nutritional contents available online).

I have weaned myself on to Americano or filter coffee with cream (yes cream!) as a better alternative to drinking that amount of milk.

And cake and latte - no, not a good lunch if it's a regular thing rather than just a rare treat. If you are eating that every day, it suggests a high carbohydrate diet (unless you are eating very few carbs at your other 2 meals), it's not metabolically healthy in the long run, no matter what your scales say, it is not just about weight, it is about your long term health.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 27-Nov-12 14:08:34

Yes - fruit sugar. Unless you are avoiding all sugars for medical reasons or eating enormous amount of dried fruit on a daily basis then it isn't a problem
Sugar is sugar. Doesn't matter where it comes from.

FeuDeSnowyRussie Tue 27-Nov-12 14:12:02

But sugar is not inherently bad for you SaggyOldClothCat confused Too much sugar is bad for you.

Scotch I really wish more coffee places served real cream (pouring not whipped) to have in filter/americano! I would definitely have that instead of latte if they did smile

degutastic Tue 27-Nov-12 14:12:46

Well I've just eaten an entire 150g bag of "Sensations" crisps, so frankly I am not in any position to judge grin

But I don't think it's a healthy lunch. It's an acceptable lunch if it's what you want, and it could be part of a reasonably healthy diet, if you eat well at other meals and don't eat cake / sweet stuff regularly otherwise.

SCOTCHandWRY Tue 27-Nov-12 14:22:09

SnowieRussie
Scotch I really wish more coffee places served real cream (pouring not whipped) to have in filter/americano! I would definitely have that instead of latte if they did

I have been known to take my own cream to the coffee shop!

Hobbitation Tue 27-Nov-12 14:28:25

a medium latte from a coffee chain has enough calories in it to BE lunch

Tall skinny latte = 100 calories

Semi skimmed = 150 calories

Whole milk = 180 calories

I don't know what you're having for lunch but none of those have enough calories to be MY lunch.

Mintyy Tue 27-Nov-12 14:31:10

I don't think its healthy to eat that much cake, no, and I am usually quite laissez-faire about food.

Hobbitation Tue 27-Nov-12 14:31:25

Besides which if I didn't drink a couple of lattes a day, on most days I wouldn't have any other milk or dairy products.

CinnabarRed Tue 27-Nov-12 14:37:29

My granny always said "a little of what you fancy does you good".

Everything in moderation, that's the key.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 27-Nov-12 14:37:36

I know that Feu, I was firstly taking issue with the comment about reduced sugar fruit cake stuffed with raisins and sultanas, and then with the view that fruit sugar is better than any other kind.

There is very little foods that can't be part of a healthy balanced diet. Everything in moderation.

MrsHoarder Tue 27-Nov-12 14:38:47

Well I've just eaten a meal's worth of calories which is around 500 IMO in just biscuits (I know). I'd say as long as its not cream cakes its not too bad. Make sure you are high on the protein/vegetables at dinner time and don't have a sugary cereal for breakfast and it'll be fine overall.

In fact I'm quite jealous that this never occurred to me when I forgot my lunch in the past and had to look at the grim selection of savoury food in the work cafe.

FeuDeSnowyRussie Tue 27-Nov-12 14:40:36

Oh I see Saggy, your posts just sounded anti-sugar full stop.

YouOldSlag Tue 27-Nov-12 14:42:20

I know that Feu, I was firstly taking issue with the comment about reduced sugar fruit cake stuffed with raisins and sultanas, and then with the view that fruit sugar is better than any other kind.

I just like fruit cake and take the sugar out because the fruit is sweet enough! There is sugar in so many things, even a sugar free carb meal spikes your sugar levels.

I'm not remotely anti sugar and do nothing to moderate my intake, but I do use less sugar in a cake if there is icing or fruit involved as it is sweet enough. Just a taste thing. not a health thing. .

YouOldSlag Tue 27-Nov-12 14:42:49

LOL at "stuffed with". Greedy old me!

Hobbitation Tue 27-Nov-12 14:53:27

Fruit sugar is better, if you are eating it in fruit, as it is balanced by the other nutritional items in the fruit. It's meant to have natural sugars in it. It's when you are adding sugar to something or it contains added sugar that your have to be careful.

So adding fruit sugar to something doesn't make it better than adding cane sugar, but dried fruit in small amounts or fresh fruit or anything containing naturally occurring sugars which also have other nutritional value is better than eating sugar out of the packet.

Mominatrix Tue 27-Nov-12 14:53:52

Your latte and flapjack lunch is not ideal, but needs to judged in light of your diet for the day. If you have a very sensible and balanced breakfast and dinner, no harm in that kind of lunch. Moderation and all that. Reminds me of the study which showed that those people who had a piece of cake for breakfast ended up losing more weight during the study period than those who had a more abstemious breakfast. Probably because having a bit of the not ideally healthy prevents us from trying to fill a craving void?

Many of the options available at sandwich places are not much better nutritionally speaking, but just have the thin veneer of being healthier.

To show solidarity, I'll share my lunch - a nice slice of chocolate cake and a large cup of milky tea wink. Am very content.

StuntGirl Tue 27-Nov-12 15:01:05

Eat whatever you like but nutritionally speaking there are many more balanced options than cake and coffee. YANBU to eat cake but YABU to try and convince yourself you're covering all the nutritional bases hmm

MariaMandarin Tue 27-Nov-12 15:02:20

With fruit and veg though, isn't all the roughage or fibre meant to be good for you as well as just the vitamin content? I thought that was why you can't just have a gallon of juice and call it your 5 a day.

The cake for lunch every day just sounds wrong. But I do it too sometimes and I don't worry about it. If you were having that for pudding after something else I don't think many people would say you were doing anything wrong.

SonOfAradia Tue 27-Nov-12 15:05:06

Sounds nice - I'll often have a piece of cake and coffee for lunch, but then I do have a more balanced breakfast and dinner.

filter coffee with cream (yes cream!)

Yum SCOTCHandWRY, I always have full-fat everything as it tastes so much better. In addition, countries that have high-saturated fat diets have less heart disease, so it's pretty protective, too!

SCOTCHandWRY Tue 27-Nov-12 15:20:03

Hobitt... I did say a medium, not a small latte, they are around 250 calories (with no sugar or cream added), I'd say from my extensive coffee shop queuing experience, most people order a medium... and I think generally people don't realise how high the calorie count is (I'm of the opinion that sugary/milky drinks are not a good choice because they don't seen to register on the brain as "food").

FredFredGeorge Tue 27-Nov-12 15:20:34

MariaMandarin certainly you need dietary fiber - A flapjack would likely contain as much or more than a typical white bread sandwich that many people would say is healthy.

Ephiny Tue 27-Nov-12 15:28:24

Hmm, maybe I should try to make the effort to make a packed lunch some days at least smile

I probably do eat a lot of carbs. It's difficult not to if you're vegetarian tbh. I have granola with dried fruit and soya milk for breakfast, and homemade veg. soup with bread and cheese or hummous or something in the evening, and usually have fruit as a snack when I get home from work. I do eat more 'proper' cooked meals at the weekend.

I don't really bother about low-carb, low-fat, counting calories etc as a rule.

SCOTCHandWRY Tue 27-Nov-12 15:40:40

Yum SCOTCHandWRY, I always have full-fat everything as it tastes so much better. In addition, countries that have high-saturated fat diets have less heart disease, so it's pretty protective, too!

Sonof arabia, yes, you are right, but it's more complex than just "eat more fat", the real message is "eat a LOT less carbohydrate, especially grains and added sugar, and replace that carbohydrate with natural fat and protein".

The closer any food is to the natural state it grows in, the healthier it is. Cake may taste fabulous but it is in no way a natural food - doesn't matter if it's organic or free range or home made or whatever, it is a big slice of very processed carbohydrate (all flours are very processed, very high GI), sad but true. As a very occasional treat food - ok, it's not going to kill you, but "treat" should mean just that, a treat, not an every day thing, not even an every week thing!

YouOldSlag Tue 27-Nov-12 15:42:24

Your diet sounds pretty healthy to me OP. Go ahead and enjoy your flapjack!

SonOfAradia Tue 27-Nov-12 15:45:24

eat a LOT less carbohydrate, especially grains and added sugar, and replace that carbohydrate with natural fat and protein^

I'm trying to do just that at the moment.

Just a shame that beer is co carbohydrat-y wink

MrsHoarder Tue 27-Nov-12 15:46:11

SCOTCH do you really think a meal is 250 calories? Maybe a very light lunch between a cooked breakfast and a big dinner, but I'd be ravenous after that.

My food thing is to never try to trick my body that its getting more calories than I actually put in. So always full fat dairy, not lean meats unless its a steak sandwich and eat until I'm full. Aside from biscuit binges which are usually when DS is being difficult and I'm aware are an unhealthy coping mechanism (just the best available option), my diet is fairly good and I'm a healthy weight. The low GI thing is the current fad, I'm yet to be convinced as to its scientific merit.

Note that since man developed agriculture the majority of our food has been carbohydrates, mostly in the form of grains.

GreenEggsAndNichts Tue 27-Nov-12 15:53:14

It's not a great lunch, however, loads of lunches aren't great. It's rare to see someone eating a balanced meal at lunch, imo. A ham sandwich with crisps, someone probably thinks that's a decent lunch. (not judging- I'd eat it for lunch happily!)

On a related note, I think it's better to just get a piece of cake for lunch if all you're wanting is cake, rather than to eat more food beforehand just so you can say "hey, I ate lunch, now I can have the cake."

SonOfAradia Tue 27-Nov-12 15:53:31

I'm also hoping that eating more saturated fats will increase my cholesterol levels, as they're really low. Apparently, though, there's no connection between eating fats and cholesterol, so it may be a faint hope. People with low cholesterol die earlier than those with high, eeep.

ATourchOfInsanity Tue 27-Nov-12 15:55:56

I recently made a cake with dates and figs my DD suddenly refused to eat. Not only will she eat them now, but I felt I was getting a few bits of my 5 a day with my tea smile
I think it is the sugar content people will highlight, but then sarnies usually have a lot of salt, so it's possibly much of a muchness?
I'd say munch away personally, YANBU smile

Ragwort Tue 27-Nov-12 16:00:22

I think its absolutely fine as the rest of your meals are perfectly well balanced; to be honest most people (including me) eat far too much - much better to just have a cake and coffee for lunch rather than a sandwich plus cake and coffee grin.

I enjoyed a doughnut for breakfast this morning.

Marzipanface Tue 27-Nov-12 16:02:40

It depends what else you eat during the day. If you eat a balanced breakfast and dinner then cake for lunch is prob not going to cause you much of an issue.

If you eat bollocks for breakfast and dinner as well then YABU to try and convince us that a large cake full of sugar and fats is healthy.

CleansLate Tue 27-Nov-12 16:06:14

Cake is a perfectly good lunch.

But it's not a nutritious lunch.

So if you are thinking "everything else is ergh, I really like my daily flapjack and coffee", and eating well for the rest of the day, or if you are thinking "fuck it I just like cake" (this is me), then fine.

I ate cake for lunch all October as we have moved near an incredible cake shop and I was working my way through their stock. It was lovely.

Misty9 Tue 27-Nov-12 16:06:37

Hmm. Don't like coffee and can't eat most cakes (wheat intolerant) but if no sugar spikes/crashes then don't see why not. Though caffeine isn't a very friendly substance for our brains...

Was wondering what is a balanced lunch then? A few posters sound quite knowledgable and I'm genuinely interested smile

Bonsoir Tue 27-Nov-12 16:06:58

Cake is a perfectly good lunch providing you don't do this more than once a fortnight! You should be eating protein at lunchtime.

SCOTCHandWRY Tue 27-Nov-12 16:19:44

SonofArabia - Vodka and tequila have no carbs smile

Mrshoarder, of course 250 cals is not a meal but it's a lot of calories to be drinking, along with your lunch, when the body doesn't really get those "full up" signals very well from liquid calories - but 250cals of protein/fat based food would not spike and crash your blood sugar in the same way as 250cals of liquid, fast to digest food such as a latte, the composition of the calories matters IMO.

Note that since man developed agriculture the majority of our food has been carbohydrates, mostly in the form of grains.

YY, and that has been a bad thing for the health of humans, especially as grain foods are now (since WW2) pushed at us as being particularly nutritious when they actually have fewer nutrients than the things they have displaced from our diets (leafy veg, fish/seafood and meat all have more nutrients per calorie than grain foods).

Latara Tue 27-Nov-12 16:22:49

YANBU if it's Carrot Cake - Carrots are healthy veggies after all.

Latara Tue 27-Nov-12 16:23:47

& Apple Pie contains apples. Fruit cake has dried fruit in, cherry cake... etc. There. Cake is healthy.

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