FOOD: 'GOOD' VS 'BAD'
If you’re considered a ‘healthy’ person amongst your friends, family, co-workers, you may have heard this question before,
“Is [enter questionable food] good for you?”
Or possibly you find YOURSELF questioning whether a food is 'good' or 'bad' for you?
A typical response from someone with a ‘health’ background might be the infamous…
They may go on to saying that one meal or one food isn’t going to drastically alter your progress, and instead to think of the cumulative amount of ‘bad’ vs ‘good’ foods you have in your diet.
Which is true and an ‘ok’ approach, if you’re an expert on the nutritional value of foods, and know where to build the wall between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods.
However, it doesn’t answer the question for EVERYONE ELSE, and, once again it leaves you in a position where you’re categorizing foods as ‘black or white’.
The next time someone asks you this question or you are confused yourself…
Change Your Perspective
Instead of good vs bad, think of a SPECTRUM from ‘better’ to ‘worse’, where does that food choice lie, and why have you put it there?
Moving towards ‘BETTER’ (adding value and health) would include:
- Unprocessed whole foods
- Knowing most if not all the ingredients in it
- Nourishing (lots of nutritional value)
- Easy to eat slowly and to 80% full with
- Makes you feel good physically when you eat it
Moving towards ‘WORSE’ (subtracting value and health) would include:
- Processed whole foods
- Not knowing all the ingredients in it (most likely artificial / chemical-based)
- Adds little to no nutritional value to your body
- Short burst of energy followed by the energy drain and of course cravings.
- Hard to eat slowly and to 80% full (most likely because of the additives)
The point of the spectrum is to understand WHY you position it where you have, and to make your choices conscious and purposeful rather than random and accidental.
Sometimes you may be stuck between a rock and a hard place to make a healthy decision, don't worry we've all been there!
In these situations ask yourself:
- What would this food need to be just a little bit healthier?
- What’s the alternative?
- Is this the best available choice?
Changing your perspective on food as a continuum rather than categorically ‘good’ or ‘bad’, gives you MORE CONTROL over your decision, and actively engages you with your decision.
It becomes easier, let’s say, to compare two ‘bad’ foods rather than putting them both in the same box and thinking, “to hell with it, they’re both bad”.
So next time, play the FOOD SPECTRUM GAME with yourself and your food choices for the day. Instead of focusing on "good" or "bad" foods, imagine placing it on a continuum, where would it lie for you? And try to make your choices just a LITTLE BIT BETTER.
NEXT UP: HOW TO: EAT OUT HEALTHILY
5 "go-to" tricks when it comes to eating out
Stay Healthy and Happy!