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Shut up about “healthy” comfort food. March 1, 2014

Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here. This morning, I was online and read yet another article about how hey, you could enjoy all your favorite comfort foods, they weren’t unhealthy after all! I am SO sick of this stupid lie, it makes me want to scream.

The article said that you could eat popcorn—as long as it was air-popped as opposed to oil-popped and you didn’t put any butter, salt or shredded cheese on it. Which is to say, eat it completely dry. What kind of comfort food is that?

Enjoy coffee, it’s good for you! As long as you drink it bitter and black.

Eggs are also actually good for you! As long as you poach them in water and eat the horrid wet things plain or make that omelette without butter or oil, using eggwhites, and stuff it with veggies, no cheese, no sauteed veggies (of course), just raw. (How do you make a “dry” omelette?!) No toast, of course, much less, God forbid, buttered toast or toast with marmalade or whatever.

Have some peanut butter, as long as it’s all-natural and made from nothing but peanuts, no added salt or sugar to make it taste like, say, peanut butter.

Of course you can enjoy fried chicken, as long as you don’t fry it, make sure you take off the skin, coat it in whole-wheat breadcrumbs and bake it in the oven. Hey, doesn’t that taste just like home-fried?!

How about that ultimate comfort food, mac’n’cheese? Sure you can eat it if you make it with whole-wheat pasta and fat-free soymilk and granulated garlic and nutritional yeast instead of cheese. It will taste just like Mom’s, you’ll love it!

And sure, you can eat red meat, if it’s been stripped of every shred of fat. There was a reason beef marbled with fat was prized: The fat was what gave beef its flavor. But no, now we have turkey substitutes instead, of course fat-free and stripped of skin, but somehow they’re supposed to taste just the same as pork barbecue or burgers. Uh-huh.

Ditto for so-called French fries that are baked, not fried. Bread and pasta and pizza that have been so adulterated they bear absolutely no resemblance to the real thing. Desserts that substitute every single ingredient for something else, yet claim that they’ll satisfy your “sweet tooth” just like real brownies or cookies. Eeewww!!! Please get them away.

Could the health-food people please stop the lies and tell the unadulterated truth? Sure, our genetically programmed food preferences—for fat, salt, sugar, and carbs—may not be the healthiest for our current sedentary lifestyle. But trying to satisfy ourselves with low-fat, low-cal substitutes is the cause of our so-called obesity epidemic. We can’t satisfy ourselves with these “healthy” junk-food alternatives, so we just eat more and more to compensate.

As I see it, we have two options: Eat less of the foods we crave, but when we do eat them, eat the real apple fritter or slice of pizza or Cinnabon or mac’n’cheese or whatever, not some so-called healthy option that strips away every single thing we loved about our food. Or eat something totally different and totally delicious, like Chinese or Thai or Indian food, cuisines that are naturally healthy because they had to be for their populations to survive.

Eating less of the foods we love without giving them up for unsatisfying substitutes and eating luscious healthy food from other cultures strikes me as a great way to avoid the health police. And don’t forget your daily, crunchy salad!

‘Til next time,




1. dlm - March 2, 2014

I am not even sure of the source of your anger. Are you honestly mad that traditional diets which many people are raised on and DO honestly enjoy don’t touch your sweet tooth correctly? I know people worldwide eat many sweets which in America we would not consider a treat at all, but since they were raised that way consider other natural alternatives. I think you should throw away your chicken nuggets and get some real food. If you don’t want to get healthy, head to a corner and get high blood pressure by yourself.

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