Mistake #3: Categorizing Foods as “Good” and “Bad”

“I can’t have that! That’s bad for me.” We’ve all done it. Classifying foods as good and bad can start turning your thinking more negative than it has to be. True – to meet your personal goals you might need to avoid or limit certain foods like salty potato chips and ice cream. But there is a balance.

Healthy Foods

These are foods that are nutrient dense. Your whole vegetables and fruit, whole grains, lean meats, beans, nuts and seeds. But, there is even a balance with healthy foods. To make sure you are getting enough nutrition throughout your day/week you need a variety of foods from all the different categories. Just because something might be “good” for you, doesn’t mean it’s good for you in mass quantities. Take for example almonds.

Photo by Juan José Valencia Antía on Unsplash

Almonds are a Good Source of:

  • Plant Based Protein
  • Fiber
  • Calcium
  • Iron

Almonds are nutrient dense and healthy for you to have. However, just 1/4 cup of almonds gives you a total of 18 grams of fat. Yes, they are “good” fats. For an average 2,000 calorie a day diet the recommended intake of fat (“good” or “bad” fats) is between 20-35% of your calories. Which equals 44-78 grams of total fat. 1/4 cup almonds would give you 23-41% of your total intake of fat for the day.

Too much of a good thing can be “bad”.

Balance is needed. Yes almonds are good for you. Yes almonds are healthy. Yes almonds are nutrient dense – including healthy “good” unsaturated fats that your body needs and uses other than storing. But that doesn’t mean you can eat them freely because they are “good” for you.

Depending on your goals, always make sure to get a wide variety of healthy foods throughout your day and be aware that just because it might be healthy, doesn’t mean you can indulge in them.

“Some of the Time” Foods
Photo by Ibrahim Rifath on Unsplash

Some of the time foods are your processed foods and added fat and sugars. Like your potato chips and ice cream I spoke of earlier. The reason why you can look at these as “some of the time” and not “avoid at all cost”, is the thinking behind it. Processed foods, added fats (especially unsaturated or hydrogenated fats), and added sugars are not something you want to eat on a regular basis for the fact that they are more calorie dense than they are nutrient dense.

However, when you think of those foods, say your favorite cookie, as “some of the time” instead of “bad”, then when you do have your rich and fattening chocolate chip cookie that you just had to have that has no nutritional value other than feeding your wants, it’s a treat and not some imaginary betrayal of yourself or your body.

Thinking negatively can lead to feelings of useless guilt and worthlessness that no one needs.

It makes people think they’ve lost, or they’ve given up on themselves or their goals, and it’s not that at all. You had your treat, it was delicious, you feel balanced, and now can get back to your normal pattern of healthy eating. No imaginary harm, betrayal, and definitely no reason to have feelings of guilt.

In actuality, if you do watch what you eat, you could have all your nutritional needs met and have a few hundred calories to spare. You could have an “end of the day” treat, like a few squares of chocolate, on the regular. It just depends on your goals and needs.

Balance

When you have a balance perspective of food you’re not restricted. You know if you regularly keep with a healthy routine, you’ll have your “some of the time” foods when you really want it. The trick is to know when and how much. When you can manage having a treat every once and a while, you won’t feel the need to binge and not have control.

People with a balanced way of eating and perspective of foods also have a more balanced and healthy perspective of themselves. The better view of yourself, the more you will stick to healthier habits because you are doing it for none other than yourself.

Keep food in it’s place, even the healthy foods, and never neglect yourself a treat every once in a while. Have a proper perspective of your eating habits and yourself.

 

In a few weeks I’ll be posting about, “Can Comfort Foods Be Beneficial?” Stay tuned!


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