Boycotting the ‘bad food’ stigma: Let’s talk about it
Good food, bad mentality
Food should not be something that we inherently think of as being ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Every food no matter what it is categorised as provides some nutrition for our bodies. Our bodies need nutrients such as protein, fibre, sugar and even fat to be able to survive. We should strive to eat a variety of foods in order to get all the nutrients and vitamins that we need.
However, it is important to strive to make more nutritionally beneficial choices. Whilst there are no ‘bad foods’, there are foods that provide more nutrients and more psychological benefits to our body, than others.
Does food have morality?
When food is such an integral part of our day-to-day lives and our survival, labelling certain foods ‘good’ and ‘bad’ gives it too much power over us and our decisions, which can potentially lead to disordered eating habits. Food has no morality and is neither good nor bad. Putting these restrictions on the foods that we ‘can’ and ‘can’t’ eat can become more unhealthy than actually eating these foods, as it can cause a lot of stress and damage to our mental wellbeing, which can then impact general eating habits negatively.
We must break away from this mentality and toxic diet culture, and change the language we use concerning the foods that we eat. If someone decides to have a piece of cake one evening (whether dieting, on a meal plan or intuitive eating) – this does not mean they have eaten ‘bad’ food. It means they have listened to their cravings and eaten something less nutrient-dense, and that’s ok! Food is fuel, so no matter what you are eating, it’s providing nutrients for your body, so enjoy!
How to get away from this behaviour
The key is to eat everything in moderation. People often cut out entire food groups, or deny themselves their favourite foods in order to reach their goals, but this doesn’t need to be the case. If you are struggling to eat a balanced diet, or just want to enjoy food whilst also reaching your goals, try doing it slowly or by following a meal plan to help slowly incorporate all the foods that you love, without feeling like you have ‘cheated’ or eaten ‘badly’ – because that simply does not exist.