With the long weekend here this is an appropriate time to address some food/health myths that are said quite frequently at social gatherings. These statements are made to justify food choices, whether we realize we are doing this or not. I’m sure I have been guilty of saying some of these in the past and I’ve certainly nodded, laughed, or smiled when these comments have been made around food. Here they are:
1) “Everything in moderation”. This statement denies that there are items that are bad for us – foods that we should never eat. Trans Fats are an example where “everything in moderation” does not apply.
2) “Better to have too much food than too little”. North American’s tend to eat and waste too much food. Thinking that it’s better to have “too much” food for a social function tends to encourage over-eating and the wasting of food. The goal should be to have “just enough” food and if there isn’t enough that’s OK. It is unlikely that anyone will leave the function with true starvation.
3) “I would rather die early than stop eating foods that I enjoy”. I have heard this statement several times. A counter statement would be, “are you eating to live or living to eat?”
4) “We are on vacation! We’ll eat better next week”. Why does being on vacation = junk food consumption + over-eating? We all know that it can be hard to go back to eating healthy after satisfying our taste buds for sugar + fats. Being on vacation is a perfect time to eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, and to not feel so stuffed that we become sluggish and feel gross. The latter sounds more like a waste of a vacation.
5) “I can eat this ’cause I worked out today”. Sure, a person may not gain weight while eating unhealthy because they burned calories to compensate but what do their insides look like? Has their brain received the nutrients that it needs for optimal functioning? A person can be fit from working out but still be deemed unhealthy and malnourished.
As you enjoy social gatherings and vacation this summer see how many of these food/health myths you hear people say. Be empowered to no longer agree and if daring, challenge some of the food/health lies. Taking it a step further, bring “just enough” or “just under enough” food to your next social function and relish in the reality that everyone will live and have fun regardless.
Happy Canada Day (July 1st)! And to my American friends, Happy July 4th!