The Good, the Bad, and the Truth

It is very upsetting to me to see so many people mentally classify food as good or bad. “Good carbs” and “bad carbs,” “good fat” versus “bad fat.” Why does this bother me so much? Let me tell you: it seems that when you eat a “good carb” (whole wheat crackers), you are a good person. Conversely, when you eat a “bad carb” (a chocolate chip cookies), you are suddenly a bad person. It doesn’t matter what else is going on in your life – how successful you are at parenting; how productive you are at your job, regardless of all these positive aspects of your life – you are what you eat

Why does the person who eats whole grains get to be a better person than the one who eats white bread? Being a registered dietitian, I am not a proponent of hydrogenated peanut butter on white bread, and I have chosen not to eat it, nor do I tend to recommend it to people. But I know lots of intelligent, healthy people who hate natural peanut butter (that oil layer – they just can’t stand it) and love mushy white bread. And you know what? These people are perfectly able to make other healthy food choices, as well as good decisions in the other areas of their lives.

These “good” and “bad” judgments on food choices are a total waste of time and energy. When you eat the delicious and warm chocolate chip cookies that just came out of the over – suddenly you feel like a bad person for doing so, you feel guilty. You doubt your food choices and these misguided judgments spill over into the rest of your life. After all, if you can’t be trusted to make good food choices, how can you possibly trust yourself at all?

Let’s put an end to this crazy mentality! What about thinking of food choices as simply “healthier” or “not as healthy”? “Essential” or “nonessential”? It’s time to stop making personal judgments about ourselves and others when it comes to food choices. It is a fact that it’s healthier to choose whole wheat bread over white bread, since there are more nutrients in the whole grains than in the refined flours. But the type of person you are, whether “good” or “bad” (whatever that means) has absolutely nothing to do with what you’re eating.

 I believe that if we only allow ourselves to relax, we will ultimately create a balance and most of our choices will be ones that fall into the healthy column. More importantly, we will be able to learn about trusting ourselves to make good decisions in the other areas of our lives.

Learning to become “at peace with food” is a journey involving the development of a whole new relationship with food. Rather than being frustrated and disappointed, scared and suspicious of the food you eat, food simply becomes one of the many activities in your life, along with family, friends, working, playing. And, of course, like all these activities, it really should be fun.

In order to be at peace with food, you need to learn about yourself and why you have the relationship you do with the food you eat. Like any relationship, the one you have with food took time to develop and it will take time to change.

And that’s the truth!

Become At Peace with Food: Stop Dieting and Lose Weight

NOTE: Information in this site should not replace any medical advice you have
received from your primary care doctor or other medical professionals.