After the fun and games of the Great Edinburgh Run yesterday, we’re investigating the facts and figures behind some of Scotland’s culinary habits.
Everyone knows is that to burn 100 calories you need to run a mile. Everyone is pretty close! It actually depends on your weight and how fast you’re running – the body burns five calories per litre of oxygen consumed, and running demands more oxygen, and a heavier body requires more oxygen to move the extra weight. So the average British man (12st 9) burns 133 calories to run a mile, compared to the average British woman (10st 3) who burns 107. Easy!
Not easy. This is a bit of a misleading statistic, as it doesn’t take into account the calories the body would have burned by just sitting on a bean bag. This knocks us down to 110 for gents and 90 for ladies. Sorry guys. The point is this: eating the Scottish way is gonna cost you. Here’s the breakdown:
Irn Bru: Let’s start off easy. Scotland is among an elite group of nations who do not have Coca Cola as their top-selling soft drink. There is zero difference in the number of calories that delicious syrupy goodness provides your body: 140. For the sake of scientific curiosity we’ll step in and give you the rough equivalent of the running the average human will need to do to break even, which in this case is an easy one: simply run up the Royal Mile from Holyrood to the Castle and watch the calories disappear!
Haggis: The thing most foreigners think of when they think “Scottish food.” Sheep’s heart, liver and lungs minced with onion, oats, suet, a range of not terribly exotic spices, a boatload of salt, and, for the purists, simmered in the animal’s stomach for about three hours. It comes in a range of forms, but we’re going for the old-timey version. Half a haggis clocks in at 575 calories, or the equivalent of running from Edinburgh Castle to Musselburgh High Street, about 6 miles. Lucky you!
Stovies: You’re starting to push it here. Recipes vary, but it’s principally potatoes, mince beef, onions, butter and, if you’re feeling frisky, a chunk of cheese to top it off. Mm-mm! One immediately imagines the auld Scots sheltering from the cruel winter by a simmering cauldron full of stodgy, heart-warming carbs. They wouldn’t have said carbs, but work with me here. Judging how cold my flat is now and extrapolating, I may be partaking in an old and revered tradition. Calories: 700; running distance: from Waverley Bridge along the bus route to the airport, presumably to fly somewhere with better food.
Deep Fried Pizza Supper: You brought this on yourself. You have taken an innocent, unassuming pepperoni pizza, cut in twain and dipped it in boiling fat. You… want chips with that? My god. The humanity. Let me tot that up for you: pizza: 650 calories. Plus deep frying: 220 calories Chips: 540 calories. No I will not call an ambulance. You’ll have to run. To St John’s Hospital in Livingston, a little over 15 miles away. You monster.
Please do not try this at home or anywhere else. You curious about what other Scottish treats are doing to your innards? Let us know!