What’s good and what’s bad?
People often want to categorize foods as either “good” or “bad”, and while there are foods that are known to be bad for our health no matter what (sources of trans fats and heavy metals), most foods need to be judged in relation to your goals.
Athletes like marathon runners or swimmers burn tremendous amounts of calories. They may manage to get enough vitamins and minerals in their diet due to the large variety in foods that they consume in high amounts, but may still fall short when it comes to calories. For these people a chocolate bar may be the most convenient option to add calories if vitamin and mineral needs have been met.
Overweight people trying to lose weight will have to limit calories to achieve weight loss. Eating less also increases the risk of consuming too little vitamins and minerals, which is why prioritizing whole foods and vegetables is a great way of getting micronutrients while keeping calories low. A chocolate bar might in this situation add way too many calories, but no micronutrients, increasing risk of vitamin and mineral deficiency in a dieting individual.
A picture summarizing this post.
Orange juice may add unnecessary calories to the average person’s diet, but may for a pregnant woman be an important source of vitamins needed in extra high amounts during pregnancy.
So you see, without context it is very difficult to say that a food is GOOD or BAD, CLEAN or DIRTY. In most cases, being aware of context can allow us to have a “BAD” foods in our diet. There is nothing wrong with having a piece of chocolate while dieting, as long as you are aware of the context in which you do so. One piece of chocolate won’t make you fat, and one sallad won’t make you skinny!