Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

Is this good for me?

3 Comments

Good

Oh man, this NYT article: Is Sushi “Heathy”? What About Granola? Where Americans and Nutritionists DisagreeHow many other dietitians wanted to scream when they saw the lovely little scatter plot of food? “Is X or Y or Z good for me or healthy?” has to be one of the top questions I get asked as an RD, and one of my most hated.

Why is this not a good question? Well, because there are very few foods that are entirely “good” or entirely “bad” for you. I mean sure, we all agree that Coke is not a nutritious choice. We also all agree that oranges are. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have a nutritious diet and drink the occasional pop. It also doesn’t mean that you can’t be extremely healthy and never eat oranges.

I’ve blogged before about food having virtue so there’s really no sense in repeating myself. Although even I can’t find the old post to link to so maybe I should (if you can find it, let me know and I’ll link back). For now, suffice to say that the point was that food doesn’t have moral value and labelling foods as “good” or “bad” only promotes unhealthy relationships with food.

Individually appraising foods as either good or bad, healthy or unhealthy is a fruitless exercise. When looking at a diet to determine if it’s healthy/nutritious you need to look at the big picture. What does it matter if you have a cookie while you’re blogging (just for example) if the rest of the day you ate mostly whole, minimally processed, nutrient-dense foods? It doesn’t. Conversely, if you ate a head of kale while you were blogging after eating highly processed, nutrient-light foods all day then you’re still not consuming the most nutritious diet.

We all need to lighten up a little. Stop obsessing over whether quinoa is “healthier” than rice. A healthy diet is a diet that provides nutrients and pleasure from a variety of foods.

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Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people relearn how to have a healthy relationship with food.

3 thoughts on “Is this good for me?

  1. Love this! I came across a new product here here in Australia; it was a small doughnut which was emblazoned with the words “I am a guilt free doughnut”. I was simultaneous dismayed and angry that our society has got to a point where we are being told quite explicitly by a food that you should not feel guilty eating it. Food sustains us! Why on earth should you feel guilt over eating something that gives you life! Eat a doughnut, enjoy it and get on with your life.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Top 16 of 2016 |

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