"Good foods" vs. "Bad foods"


Pop tarts are a “bad food” and broccoli a “good” one, right? In my opinion, that’s not a good way to look at it. We need to stop labeling foods as good or bad, because there is no such thing as “bad foods” (only bad eating habits), but most importantly because this type of mindset can lead to unhealthy relationships with food. Most “good foods” are high in vitamins and minerals (and sometimes fiber) and low in calories. On the other hand, “bad foods” usually have very little vitamins and minerals, are high in calories, and are easy to over eat because they’re tastier. The only problem with these types of food is if they make up most of your diet. Instead of focusing on excluding these types of food, you should focus on including as much high-micronutrient, low-calorie foods as possible (without going over your calorie target). This means including mostly lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, various kinds of nuts and nut butters, olive oil, etc. Make sure your body is well nourished! Now, you don’t get a gold star for eating only high-micronutrient, low-calorie foods. For people without any clinical condition, if most of your diet comes from these types of food, there’s nothing wrong with having some tastier, high-calorie, low-micronutrient treats (in moderation), assuming you don’t go over your calorie target. It can actually be a good thing, as this will make you adhere to the diet easily, and that’s the most important variable for success. Bottom line, stop thinking about foods as good or bad. Focus on including foods higher in micronutrients and lower in calories, and if you want, have some treats in moderation if your calorie target allows you to, without feeling bad about it! P.S. Make sure not to go over/under your calorie goal, because calories in vs. calories out is by far the main factor that influences weight loss/gain.