What’s Happening: Good and Evil

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Eating disorder

How many times have you seen foods divided into “good” and “bad,” with nothing in between? Nobody agrees on which foods go in which category (ask a vegan and a Paleo dieter to classify a slice of bread and a fried egg, and you’ll get opposite responses), but everyone seems very invested in the idea that some foods are “good” and other foods are “bad.”

But that’s silly. Different foods can be right or wrong for different people; there’s no one “good” or “bad.” This week, take a look at some intEresting perspectives on the way that the “good and evil” categories aren’t doing us any favor. Food isn’t a religion!

  • A new study found that seeing negative and judgmental messages about “bad” food made dieters more likely to eat more of that food later on. Such a mystery why black-and-white “good”/”bad” messages don’t work…(Science Daily)
  • It might sound like a nit-picky semantic distinction to say that “food is not healthy.” Technically, the food is nutritious, or maybe healthful (that is, it contributes to you being healthy). But Michael Ruhlman makes the case for the distinction – not all foods are right for everyone.

Individual variation also means that all of the other recent news won’t be relevant to your interests, but at least some of it should be interesting!

  • Earlier this year, food policy researcher Marion Nestle published a “simple” set of recommendations for eating well…but are they

    Superfood for everyone? Maybe not. But most people could probably do with more of them.

    really simple, or even useful at all? Adele Hite is a little unfair about Nestle’s advice to “eat more plants” (it’s pretty obvious in context that “plants” means vegetables, not Pop-Tarts), but this piece is a good reminder that not everyone can “just” spend the time to shop for raw ingredients and then laboriously cook them into homemade meals, especially when their job (or jobs) are scheduled around the assumption that chicken nuggets exist. (Eathropology)

  • In the spirit of today’s post, it’s true that vegetables might not be “good” or healthy for absolutely everyone, but many people do better with a lot of vegetables in their diet. Here are 5 suggestions for getting more of them. (Well Fed)
  • A new study found a negative association between saturated fat from dairy sources and heart disease: the more dairy fat people ate, the lower their rate of heart disease. But before you get too excited: correlation doesn’t prove causation, not even when it agrees with what you already want to believe. Also, this found benefits primarily for dairy fat, so it doesn’t prove much about beef or bacon. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition)

What’s your favorite example of a food that could be right for some people but isn’t right for you (or right for you, but not for someone else)? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

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