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As a Registered Dietitian I can assure you there are no BAD foods…And you are not a bad person for eating a certain way.
The food police seem out in full force these days. Between restrictive fad diets and celebrities hyping their nutrition do’s and don’ts, extreme and unreasonable messaging and rules around food are more prevalent than ever before.
As a registered dietitian, people assume my job is to be part of the food police squad, passing judgment on what people put in their mouths and maybe handing out tickets. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Oftentimes, family and friends play that role for ME — more than once I’ve been called out by friends for enjoying a slice of bread with butter or ordering a pasta dish for dinner (insert eye roll here)
Demonizing certain foods or even whole categories of food (“carbs are bad for you”) is everywhere and I find it upsetting to see so many people buying into this mentality. Why? Because it can have detrimental effects on holistic health, which is about caring for the whole person and meeting your physical, mental, social and emotional needs. This includes taking pleasure in eating and not feeling like you’ve constantly messed up if you ate the wrong thing.
Make no mistake here — as a dietitian I will always encourage you to make nutritious choices to benefit your overall body and holistic health. While there are no “bad” foods, it is of course true that certain foods don’t provide much physiological benefit to the body as others. Some foods have ingredients that aren’t nutritious for the body, like trans fats and artificial additives.
When we label foods as “good” or “bad,” even “sinful” or “forbidden,” we’re giving that food too much control and power, which has the potential to lead to disordered eating. Restricting ourselves from a food can ultimately backfire and lead to a binge-restrict cycle that’s unhealthy for your physical body, mental health and emotional wellbeing. Designating certain foods “bad” can also lead to unnecessary stress and preoccupation with these items.
One important concept I have learned in my career: food freedom and fostering a healthy relationship with food is crucial. Mindset and mentality around your health is everything, and that starts with getting rid of the cringe-worthy labels of good foods and bad foods. This negative, fear-based messaging is abundant in wellness and weight-loss circles.
Food should nourish us and make us happy, not create anxiety. Breaking free from this type of rigid mentality around food is imperative for developing food freedom. A good place to start is by examining your words and internal dialogue surrounding food, and remembering: FOOD IS SIMPLY FUEL
Heike Hilker Physician Assistant and registered dietician at More MD.
Located at : 2403 Stockton Hill Kingman Arizona
for appointments call (928) 255-5050
or online https://www.moremd.net/