Why We Shouldn't Label Foods As "Good" or "Bad"
Updated: Oct 10
What usually happens when you eat a food you label as “bad”?
More often than not, labeling foods as “bad” leads to feeling of GUILT and as a result we can fall into the vicious cycle of emotional eating.As a dietitian, I see how food “rules and restrictions“ can be damaging and cause people feelings of anxiety, fear and guilt.Foods are not simply good or bad.
Yes, certain foods have a higher nutritional value and provide more health benefits, while others may be higher in calories, fat and/or sugar (which we often label as “bad”). At the same time, such foods that we label as “bad” may bring back childhood memories or have a traditional/cultural significance or may simply be foods we truly enjoy & find delicious!
So what to do instead? Practice MINDFUL EATING!
What does that look like? ....Next time you feel like having something like a dessert, practice the following:
✔First ask yourself : “Am I truly hungry?” Sometimes we go towards certain foods for comfort or to satisfy a craving because we haven’t slept well, feel stressed or due to not having balanced meals all day
✔If you feel that the above does not apply to you & your body simply wants & needs that food, go for it! Give yourself “permission” to eat without feeling guilty
✔Be aware of what you are eating and how much, slow down & enjoy the eating experience without distractions
✔Focus on how that food makes you ”feel” instead of thinking about the amount of calories, fat, etc & if it’s going to make you “gain weight”
✔Practice positive affirmations
Being able to eat mindfully takes time, it needs practice but the first step is awareness.
Let’s try to stop labeling foods as “good” or “bad”, prevent passing on this message to our children, and help ourselves & families build a healthier relationship with food!