I often hear why or how certain foods fit into the “diet”. And when I say diet, I mean what we eat in general. “How does dessert fit into the diet?”. Because it tastes good. “How do “french fries fit into the diet?”. Because it tastes good. “How does pizza fit into the diet?”. Because it tastes good. “How does food fit into the diet?”. Because it tastes good.
We do not need a reason to enjoy food! Of course, if you are struggling with an eating disorder it is not that easy. I like to pick apart what makes up the “scary” food to make it what it is — energy. One of my favorite examples is pizza! What is pizza made up of? Well, the crust is bread, giving our bodies carbohydrates, the preferred energy source for our body and only energy source for our brain and red blood cells. The sauce is made out of tomatoes, which has lycopene, an important and beneficial antioxidant! Cheese? It has calcium, fat, and protein — all of which our bodies need! Add veggies and you have a complete meal! Not to mention all of the vitamins and minerals that go along! Side note: diet culture loves to talk about the importance of vitamins and minerals; however, without sufficient energy from carbohydrates, protein, and fat, vitamins and minerals do us no favor! If you struggle with understanding why you should eat certain foods that are deemed “unhealthy”, remember because it tastes good. That is reason enough!
Emily Baum, M.S., RDN, LD
LEAD REGISTERED DIETITIAN NUTRITIONIST