Using the Grayscale to Determine Food Choices
Most people think of food as bad or good. Black or white. You’re either eating good (healthy) or bad (unhealthy). If you think of bad foods as black and good foods as white, it’s easy to get caught up in the good vs. evil debate.
I think we can all agree that junk food is bad for you. No matter if they gussy up the product with organic ingredients, natural sweeteners or the latest healthy ingredient, it’s still highly processed, high in calories and generally not healthy for you. But, boy do they taste great.
On the other hand, fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry and other “natural” foods are considered healthy. But with all the pesticides, herbicides, growth hormones and the various additives that are used, not to mention the numerous cooking methods that are considered unhealthy, the “healthy” moniker is dubious at best, misleading at worst.
Instead of thinking in terms of black and white, maybe we should think in terms of shades of gray. It would be very difficult to consume all healthy foods, prepared in a healthy manner. Conversely, it’d be difficult to consume all unhealthy, junk foods (although, some people’s diet does approach this extreme).
What if, instead, we eat more towards the middle, in the gray area if you will. If we eat mostly at the white end of the spectrum, while occasionally eating towards the black end of the spectrum, the healthier we eat and then the healthier we become.
Placing the focus on a food spectrum and eating closer to the “gooder” side, and not getting overwhelmed with calorie counts, may be easier to … ahem … swallow (sorry, couldn’t resist!). You’ll still need to pay attention to portion size to avoid overeating. In addition, practicing mindful eating can also help avoid overeating, but will also allow you to enjoy your food by putting your focus on the act of eating.
It might seem a little simplistic to think in shades of gray when it comes to eating. But, isn’t that a good thing? Let me know in the comments.