I am a dietitian, but I do not have a list of foods I won’t eat. Sure, there are foods I don’t like so I prefer not to eat them. Similarly, there are foods that I know to be unhealthy so I won’t eat them often but that’s not to say I won’t ever eat them.
It is all the rage for people to write blog posts or articles about “Top 10 Foods I Won’t Eat” or “10 Foods No Dietitian Will Eat”. These headlines are a gimmick meant to draw you in. The few times I’ve clicked through to read such articles, they didn’t provide insightful information.
I was thinking about this the other day because I opened a can of tuna and I mixed in a few tablespoons of Miracle Whip (GASP!).
When I first became interested in nutrition and began my 35 pound weight loss, I cut some things out of my usual diet. For instance, I LOVE Olive Garden‘s fettuccine alfredo but once I realized it had more calories than I needed in a FULL DAY (1480 calories, 94g fat, 56g saturated fat, 1480mg sodium, 95g carbohydrate, 63g protein), I decided I did not love it that much. Does that mean I’ve never eaten it since? No. But now when I go to Olive Garden (not that often) I choose healthier options or I will save the fettuccine alfredo for after a half marathon or I will only eat part of it and take the rest to go.
Everything in moderation! 🙂
I also love Mellow Mushroom‘s Mighty Meaty pizza. It is a red sauce base with mozzarella, pepperoni, sausage, ground beef, ham and Applewood smoked bacon. Do I eat this on a regular basis? No. (Luckily there are none in MN). Again, I save this splurge item for once or twice a year including after my first full marathon in Portland.
I am not suggesting that anyone add in unhealthy foods to their diet, but if I have a client who comes in to see me for weight loss, or to lean out, or to get healthier, and they tell me they are 100% not willing to cut out their favorite food, drink, etc. I am not going to send them packing and tell them they have no chance at reaching their goal.
There is no one food or food group that is the root cause to obesity, heart disease, etc. Sure, if a client is drinking 6 soft drinks a day, I will try to get them to cut down but if they are not willing to tackle that issue, then I will find something they are willing to change. Maybe add in more fruits and vegetables to their meals or snacks, or start drinking more water throughout the day. Hopefully, after making a few healthy changes, they will see and feel the difference and eventually they will be more willing to tackle their soft drink intake.
I work with clients to make healthy changes but you can’t revamp someone’s bad habits overnight or make 10 dietary lifestyle changes after one session. That is not realistic or maintainable. This is the reason why fad diets come and GO. People don’t want to spend the rest of their lives not eating their favorite food.
So yes, I eat ketchup, Miracle Whip, ice cream, cookies, and I drink alcohol. Do I do these things every day? No.
Do I think adding 2 Tbsp. of Miracle Whip to my tuna salad once or twice a YEAR is going to cause me to gain weight or have a heart attack in the future? No.
Being healthy is about making good choices (food and exercise) the MAJORITY of the time. Not 100% of the time. We are all human. Being healthy is about finding balance to enjoy your favorite foods without going overboard. Any food in excess can be unhealthy. Eating too many bananas can kill you if you are suffering from kidney disease. That is why nutrition and weight loss are very individualized. What works for one person may not work for another.
Do you agree or disagree?
Are there foods you absolutely won’t eat (for health reasons)?