Skinny on Bad Food, Good Food & Piglets

October 13th, 2011 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Deb wrote in exasperated:

“Since my Dad is actually paying attention to someone by reading your blog…. T & T, could you post about how ice cream is bad for him? ;-) He’s a bit of a piglet.”

Well oink oink Deb, hmmmm your Dad sounds a little like mine; the food lovin’ kind. Who doesn’t have a piglet or two living in their midst? Visit my May 19, 2010 post on “Old Dogs & New Tricks” and take heart. Yes, we will overcome!!!

What’s a bad food anyhow??
I’m an “all foods fit” kind of RD. The minute a food is deemed “bad” people revert back to their childish ways wanting, pining, finding, hiding, binging and more of this seemingly bad food. For many, bad is what they want. Michael Jackson even wrote a song about it!!

In my old chunky days I remember dating Indy and going out for dinner. I would routinely order the large salad while he’d woof down a jumbo burger, fries while washing it down with a super thick milkshake. Trust me I made up for only having that salad at some point those crazy, mixed up, dieting, fat days. Then I came to terms with this “all foods fit” thing and now I eat more balanced. I never feel I am not worthy to eat a certain food, ever.

Defining a bad food is not a straightforward undertaking. I feel the secret lies in your particular nutritional profile and needs AND how often you’re at the proverbial ice cream trough. So Deb, he needs to evaluate his weight, his blood cholesterol, triglyceride levels and overall diet? If his health is off kilter, it might be time for a change.

Years ago when I made lunch to go to school, I’d assemble a standard cheese sandwich, fruit and carrot sticks. Day after day, week after week, month after month – yes a budding dietitian back then, but I digress. At one of my my check ups at the paediatrician, our beloved Dr. Hoare noticed an orange tinge to my skin and realized my Vitamin A levels were through the roof. I had Vitamin A toxicity. Who could have guessed, healthy ole me?? Poll anyone you know and they would say carrots are on the “good” list. But at that time in my life too many of them were not good. It’s all about the frequency and the person. I eat carrots, but not as many as I used to.

How BAD are bad foods??
This past weekend I treated myself to traditional pumpkin pie with whipped cream two days in a row AFTER enjoying the main Thanksgiving fare. Gotta love back-to-back family celebrations. I wasn’t rushed to the hospital, nor were any of the other piglets I dined with either dinner. Because I know my lazy metabolism at age 50 and my food loving ways I laid low all week and upped the ante on my exercise routine to offset my planned indulgences and laid low after. I can now see my feet again. I enjoyed those dinners to the MAX.

Now if I started down a pie-lovin’ path for the next weeks and month and threw in the towel on my other positive eating and activity habits, then I’d be heading down the big bad path. See what I mean??

Defining Moderation
I wrote a series posted June 29, July 18, 20 & 21, 2011 that addressed moderation. Give it a reread because my definition of moderation for ice cream is probably different to your Dad’s and the 19 year old fellow next door. In fact the picture on July 18 is me and Indy having an iced cream treat. Trust me, I walked Mount Knox for that treat and it was worth it.

I worry when we professionals start wagging our fingers with our hand on our hip over foods considered a treat. It can set up a whole negative feedback loop of guilt that’s worse than having 1 innocent iced cream. On the other hand, our hedonistic society tries to make us believe we need a treat a minute and that’s wrong too. We need to act all grown up, take a look in the mirror, put our big pants on get real finding middle ground.

So Deb, I’m not sure if I answered your question. I hope I shed some light on this very popular issue. There’s a lot of grey zone when dealing with these kinds of questions, not black and white (or chocolate and vanilla) like the media often paint it which often brings more confusion into view.

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