“Bad” Foods Do Not Exist: Here’s why

There is no such thing as "BAD" food. Yep, I said it. Yep, I mean it.

When I was younger, I had an eating disorder that controlled everything I put into my body. I too used to avoid eating these so-called “BAD” foods and if I did eat them, I felt the need to punish myself for it. I have since recovered from my eating disorder and I am now a Certified Nutritionist. Now, having a healthy relationship with food, I no longer buy into those diet culture traps. I no longer believe in labeling foods as either good or bad.

Here is why the Good/Bad food labels now make me cringe:

This is the root of disordered eating. It’s a very rigid mindset and really takes the focus away from what truly defines a person’s health and well-being, which is your eating pattern overall. By telling yourself that certain foods, you are setting yourself up for an unhealthy approach to food. Using the term good or bad makes you feel as if YOU are either good or bad for eating what you just ate. When you eat that bowl of ice cream, you feel like a 5-year-old kid again that just disobeyed their parents. Why feel guilty for eating ice cream? I am not here for that, and I don’t want to live my life that way. Guilt should have NO place in choosing what you eat. It is true that some foods are more nutritious than others, but this doesn’t mean that you need to avoid or view as “bad” the foods that have a less than ideal nutritional profile. Deciding what to eat is more than just about needing to eat to survive. Food is meant to be enjoyed. We have between 2,000 to 10,000 taste buds. Don’t you think we are meant to enjoy what we eat? Food tastes good. It brings people together. It feeds our soul just as much as it feeds our body. I don’t know about you, but I love sharing a good meal with good friends, laughing, connecting, and making memories. You know what I don’t love? Obsessing over every single morsel of food that I put in my mouth. Sure, there are days I want a fresh salad with grilled chicken. YUM!! There are also times I want pizza and Dorito’s. YUM!! And you know what? Both are absolutely okay, and I refuse to feel guilty for eating the pizza and Dorito’s.

So what is the conclusion? The fact is that we have been convinced that today’s food language is healthy when it isn’t. “Good/Bad foods”, “Carbs are bad”, “Clean eating”… these are all traps that can lead you down a path of an all or nothing approach to your nutrition and could very easily cause some to spiral into disordered eating habits. So, rather than thinking of foods as either good or bad, view everything as a possibility. Evaluate the choices you make overall. I like to live by the 80/20 ratio. 80% of the time I eat foods that have more nutritional value so I can meet my body’s needs. 20% of the time I eat foods that I simply enjoy without worrying about its nutritional benefits. This helps me live a very balanced, healthy, sustainable, and enjoyable life.

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