The Best and Worst Foods You Can Eat
In case you don’t know me by now… “The Best and Worst Foods You Can Eat” is NOT a title I would EVER name anything I wrote. Unless the whole point of the article was to say: The best foods you can eat are the ones you want and desire, and the worst foods you can eat are the ones you feel like you HAVE to eat because you are restricting, controlling, or trying to effect change in your body. Even then, I would be loathe to tell you that’s the WORST thing you could do, because that implies that food is morally good or morally bad, and I’m all about you starting where you are and nurturing your relationship to food and body in a compassionate, down to earth way.
Which is probably why my friend forwarded this email to me that came from her insurance company. Along with the email she said: “Thought of you.”
I asked her what her reaction to the email was, and she said: “initially I was like… woah! So dramatic! Best for someone else may not be best for me! (And same with worst!)”
To which I was like… YES MA’AM!
The health industry HAS to do better. This email is nothing more than diet culture and fear mongering in disguise, so I’ve decided to do a little breakdown on how I read it (and did NOT click on any of the articles), and why these methods of disseminating information are toxic.
The first paragraph, verbatim. You know eating out is generally not the healthiest choice. But you might be surprised how bad the worst chain restaurant dishes are. One breakfast item has more than a day’s worth of calories (2,730!), 2 days of sodium (4,630 mg!), and 3 days of saturated fat (73 grams!) Read on for the least healthy restaurant dishes and strategies to avoid these sugar, salt, and fat bombs. Plus, we’ve got the latest on red meat, coconut oil, and more.
Now I will rewrite what they’re REALLY saying. You know eating out is generally an act that we want you to feel ashamed of (cook at home because you KNOW restaurants use bad ingredients). But you might be surprised how fatphobic we are, especially when it comes to chain restaurants, and we are definitely using inflammatory language and judging you for ordering most of these things. One breakfast item is all the food you should eat in a whole day, too much salt, and three days worth of a macronutrient that the American Heart Association wants you to stay away from. Read more for our opinion on the least thin-making restaurant dishes and the ways to take diet culture into your decision making. Plus, we’ve got the latest on superfoods and food demons!
How I think they could have approached this paragraph in a better way. We all like to go out to eat every once in a while. Whether we’re exhausted and pressed for time (but also hangry) or just want to get out on the town and live life a little more leisurely, we deserve to love the food we eat while living the life we love. Ditching guilt and regret at the same time? Even better. Going out to eat doesn’t have to be an all or nothing mission. By paying attention to what you’re body is asking for (we know it’s tough to learn to listen to the language of your body, but it’s 100% possible with the right info), practicing the mantra of food sanity (I can have as much as I want of whatever I want as long as I’m fully present), and allowing yourself to have anything you want with no restriction, you will actually learn how to trust yourself. You won’t need to count calories or macros. Instead, you will become a partner in your health, and as your health insurance company, we are here to support you AND your health, no matter your shape, size, or form.
But then again… that’s why I’m here to do the work I do, because our health system is broken as it is now. My goal is to empower you to trust yourself, trust your body, and learn the unique dialect of the language your body is speaking.