Ever have that moment when you’re ordering food at a restaurant and your heart is DYING for that juicy cheeseburger with fries, but your brain is standing strong with a salad? You know the salad is good for you and the burger is bad for you. Right?? WRONG.
Here’s a little food myth that I would love to attempt to clear up [aka scramble all those thoughts about good vs. bad foods]
Myth: There are “good” foods like raw vegetables, lean meats, fresh fruits, etc.
The are “bad” foods like cookies, macaroni & cheese, and chicken strips, etc.
Truth: All foods fuel your body in some way. Your body doesn’t recognize foods as good or bad fuel, it just breaks them all down to the same things – the most basic forms of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
If I just blew your mind a little, HOORAY FOR YOU! That means that you are already conscious about what types of foods you put into your body and probably try to make smart food choices most of the time. It’s true, mashed potatoes are often loaded with extra calories like fat or cheese, but they provide starch just like if you were eating a plain baked potato. Mashed potatoes aren’t “bad”, they just require more play time to keep your energy balance in check.
Advertising and fad diets have taught us to feel guilty about eating so called BAD foods and while there ARE some foods that need to be limited in the diet, foods should not, I REPEAT, SHOULD NOT!! coincide with feelings of guilt. This is a concept I learned from Mrs. Smarty Pants herself, Amy Culp, RD (University of Texas Sports dietitian).
Instead of thinking of junk foods, or higher fat foods, or yummy baked treats as BAD, let’s think of them as FUN! In the same way that you work hard at your grown-up job most days so that you can afford to play on the weekends or a special vacation, you should make smart food choices most of the time and enjoy your FUN foods without any feelings of regret.
The only foods you should never fit into your diet are those that are rotten or poisonous. We have a taste buds for a reason – one of them is to avoid the aforementioned foods, and the other is to enjoy the flavors of foods. YIPEE!
So the next time you decide to splurge on a triple scoop ice cream cone with hot fudge, slow down! This is a FUN food that you worked hard for and now you get to take your sweet sweet time to savor! Enjoy!