Day after day I see new clients or discuss food topics with people and I constantly hear the coined terms, “good” food versus “bad” food. Ultimately, when I think of the difference between good food versus bad food, I’m thinking about tasty food versus not-so-tasty food. However, my clients, friends, and family are generally referring to food that has either been coined as healthy or unhealthy.

Food has become demonized by our society.

How did certain foods became known as these bad-for-you dishes? Why is it that when a person thinks of a hamburger, he/she instantly thinks of bad-for-you food? Why is it that when people think of a scrumptious piece of chocolate lava cake, another “bad” idea flashes into their heads? Since when has the demonization of food become so popular and so prevalent?

To the concept of “good” versus “bad” food, I say, “Rubbish!” I love so many foods that have that evil presence lurking over them. Hamburgers, cupcakes, french fries, pizza, and more. These foods are fun and good and tasty in my opinion. I do respect the fact that I cannot eat them from a restaurant on a daily basis due to the amount of calories and grams of fat. Nevertheless, I refrain from making them evil or unforgiving. The fear our society has placed on food items needs to be changed and we need to embrace our love of food once again.

Especially if we are cooking these foods in our home, we can modify the ingredients and make healthier versions. For example, make a mouth-watering hamburger at home using 97% fat free ground beef (a very lean meat) and you can enjoy a healthy and tasty version of this demonized American past-time food. Or enjoy a home-made pizza snack with an English muffin, tomato paste, and reduced-fat slice of cheese. Simple, fun, tasty, and best of all, “Good.” (Check out our recipe website for pizza recipes)

By embracing and loving our food in moderation, we can truly learn how to Eat Free. The food terms “good” versus “bad” will resort to the definitions that they should be regarding good taste versus bad tasting food and not the demonization that we’ve resorted to. Love your food choices and enjoy Eating Free.

Sarah Koszyk, MA, RD, is a nutrition coach at Eating Free who cooks with love and loves to eat.

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