I recently heard an exchange between a mother and her child that highlighted how difficult it can be to make sense of all the nutrition “advice” we hear.

“You’re not going to just get French fries and ice cream tonight,” the mother said.

“No, I’m getting a corn dog too!”

“Good. You need some protein.”

With so much conflicting nutrition information available to us, it’s hard to know what a healthy diet looks like. Recommendations for wheat-free, high-protein, and low-fat diets make it difficult to tell the sound advice from the fads. Add a situation like working 18-hour days to get your new company off the ground—well, we’ve all seen the pizza boxes in startup offices.

And how many times have you justified pizza by telling yourself the tomato sauce and veggie toppings are enough for balance? Or maybe that, yes, you had two slices of pizza, but at least you didn’t have three?

Here are two quick reality checks that may help you to clarify if a food choice is part of a balanced diet or is a rationalization for eating without thinking.

First, a food can’t be considered healthy in one way if it’s going to make you sick in another.

For example, you need calcium, and ice cream has calcium. But it can also have a lot of sugar and saturated fat, making it a poor source for your calcium needs. Same goes for drinking a whole bottle of wine for cardiac benefits while ignoring alcohol’s toll on the liver—or eating a corn dog to get protein. If something is toxic in one way, it doesn’t really matter if it’s healthy in another.

Second, remember that you don’t get credit for what you don’t eat. This gets right at the heart of the term “potato-chip vegetarian.” That’s someone who thinks that simply not eating meat makes them healthy, regardless of what they do eat. The truth is that not eating a certain food doesn’t impact you in any way; your body doesn’t even know you were being virtuous or choosy. It’s only the foods you actually consume that either make you sick or keep you healthy.

Eating well can be hard. Keeping these two ideas in mind can make things a whole lot easier.

About the author

Ann Garvin

Ann Garvin

Ann is an author, speaker and educator. As professor of health, stress management, research methods and media literacy at University of Wisconsin Whitewater, she has worked extensively in psychometrics, statistics and psychology. Ann is the author of On Maggie’s Watch & The Dog Year (Berkley Penguin, 2014).

  • Jeremy Demos

    One of the biggest hurdles to clear is forcing yourself to make time to eat healthy. Sure, McDonalds drive through takes five minutes and making a healthy meal may take twenty minutes. With our fast paced lives and on the go attitudes, preplanning is essential to changing your eating habits. Take some fruit or vegetables with your for a snack at work instead of hitting the vending machines. Or, prepare most of your dinner the night before so all you need to do is cook it when you get home. Of course there are so many different ways to change your behavior, but the key is making small changes one at a time. You’ll find yourself eating much healthier as a habit rather than a side trip.

  • Tyler Pierce

    Ann, I really like your two points of, not eating something even if it is healthy but can also make you sick and not getting credit for food you don’t eat. I have never thought of food this way. I found myself as the mother in your article about making sure to hit all of the food groups regardless of the side effects of the food. Following these two points will really change my diet. However a question I would like to ask is, with the American diets, how often can you find foods that do not have bad side effects to them now a days?

  • Ann Wertz Garvin

    Yup, that’s the way to do it. It does take time but you get time too. Less time sick more time in the game.

  • hensella

    When reading this article it really hits home with eating habits while coaching. You used the example of pizza boxes all over the floor at a startup company. So many times a coaching staff does the same thing. While working late it’s so easy to just order a pizza instead of bringing something in that is a healthy choice. You also bring up a good point on how many different views there are on what people think is a healthy diet. Would you feel that most people will eat something thinking they are eating something they are supposed to, but forget about the negatives of eating it? For example, eating ice cream to get calcium.

  • Nathan Gillette

    While reading this article I can see myself making some of the same choices. I also find myself and our coaching staff “grabbing something quick” because we are stuck watching film until late hours. Instead of being proactive and making a healthy meal to bring in knowing that we will be eating junk seems to be a habit. My fiancé and I have dedicaded sundays as a preparation day. So on sundays, we will take the time to prepare and cook meals for the weak, therefore it takes the excuse of eating out, out of the picture. Do you think a majority of the people are just uneducated on the different types of healthy foods to substitute? I think a lot of people are aware but just have blockers on that prevent them from stepping outside the “Drive Thru.”

  • kkachel

    Sometimes a person will restrict Calorie consumption for a few weeks without balancing meals in other ways. In the short term, the body tends to respond to Calorie restriction by storing less body fat. However, if this person lacks fruit and vegetables during this time, the body’s digestive system will begin to rebel by slowing passage of food through the digestive tract. Although Calorie restriction by someone with a higher than average body mass index may sound like a good idea, if essential foods like fruits and vegetables are left out, than this is not a healthy situation for the body systems to function properly.

  • katrina brown

    This article is somewhat of a reality check for me. I am guilty of not following the first idea, that “a food can’t be considered healthy in one way if it’s going to make you sick in another.” I have been working on trying to be aware of the foods I am eating and their impact on my health. I am guilty of having a major sweet tooth, which honestly doesn’t even have benefits to your health at all. How do I fight my cravings for sour gummy worms, sour patch kids, and my weakness for chocolate?

  • Kyle moore

    I couldn’t agree more with the high protein diet. I myself am a body builder whose intake of protein is higher than others but the fad of ultimate protein for beginners seizes to amaze me. When I first started, I as well thought it was all about protein. Now it’s about fat burns in the flame of carbohydrates! This saying may go overseen for some but it’s reality. A healthy diet and not eating junk food consistently will make huge changes for everyone and anyone.

  • Reece Raethke

    Eating healthy is simple! Its all the advertisements, fad diets and media that confuse people. Everyone knows how to eat healthy (no one thinks eating an entire large pizza is actually good for you) they just choose an easier option when it is presented to them because eating healthy can be difficult. How can we compete to give correct nutritional advice when there is so much bad information and so many diet crazes out there?

  • Aaron Ackerman

    The late nights in the office or staying at hotel with a group of people without a kitchen readily available what other choices do we have? We have Subways/Jimmy Johns but those still are not the same sort of convenient as just ordering two or three large pizzas and a liter of soda. The pizza industry that has mastered feeding large quantities of people delivered hot and ready in around thirty minutes at almost all times night or day. So I don’t know if that is market for new healthy alternative to come in or rather if the US population will always go and order a pizza disregarding the nutritional facts. My fear is that it is the latter of the two and something that is contributing to America’s obesity problems.

  • Robert Murdock

    I have see first had the justification of “eating healthy” this past weekend while away at a waterski tournament. From people eating cheese curds for calcium or double bacon cheesebugers or the “DeFib” sandwich for all the meat and protein in it was overwhelming on the senses. The information from this stopped me from rationalizing my choices in a similar manner. Did I have a couple cheese curds? yes. Did I have a cheeseburger? Yes. Yet not once did I even think of eating the “DeFib”. People that I knew would give me shit as they know I try and eat healthy about how amazing the food was as the could see I was turned off by much of it. The biggest question I have really is how do you go about changing an entire culture that rationalizing food choices is no different than rationalizing other potentially risky behavior?

  • Travis Ricci

    I am constantly seeing this at my family reunions were the family will have strawberry’s and other fruit out for everyone and in huge bowls while everyone is devouring cups and cups of fruit thinking this is all fine and i can have this strawberry shortcake because it has fruit on it is helps balance it out from the huge slice of cake and whip cream you just put with it. Also when it comes time to eat dinner and we grill out our 16 ounce steaks they are thinking this is great the protein is high this will help with what we did wrong today. When in all reality your eating well past what you need to eat on your red meat level and your saturated fats are off the chart when all said and done. The whole fad with high protein in my opinion is fine but there is a point were you need to realize that high protein doesn’t mean a 20 ounce steak with a gigantic bowl of mashed potatoes.

  • Justin Shelton

    Everyone is guilty of eating something that they believe to
    be ‘healthy’ when in reality it isn’t. For instance, the dialog above between the mother and child about the corndog, yes, there may be protein in a corndog but it is also considered to be an unhealthy food. The same goes for pizza, it is full of protein however, it is also very full of fats. I believe that the biggest problem with people eating these foods and believing that they are healthy is that they want to think that they are making a healthy choice so that they do not get a
    feeling of guilt. Also convenience, which has been mentioned in previous comments, has a huge effect on the choice of foods by many people.

  • Sharmaine A.

    I never thought about it like that. I am one who loves ice-cream. It never makes me sick but it may have lots of sugar as well. It is definitely hard to eat better because you have to read the labels to see what’s in it. Personally, I would need to do research on foods and different brands. But that is definitely something I need to know in this transition of healthy eating and lifestyle. Transitions in anything is difficult but once you’ve really made the decision and has dedicated yourself, it gets easier. I would think so. I can’t wait to actually get to that point.

  • Eric H

    This is exactly how my family thinks. They think that if you eat five hamburgers, you get your protein and can build muscle. However, they do not realize they are getting loads and loads of saturated fats. Then they will go and get a salad and put tons of ranch dressing on it. They assume they are getting the nutrition they need, but they do not understand they are putting more harm into their body than a good, balanced diet. Also, I have had classmates that proclaimed themselves as vegetarians, but eat chips and fruit snacks for lunch. They think they are healthy, but they are extremely unhealthy. I try and convince my family they are being unhealthy, but they do not get the point. What is a better approach to help them change?

  • Kevin Semler

    I believe that this is how the majority of Americans live their daily lives. They are all “potato-chip vegetarians” in one way or another with all the food they consume. Even someone who isn’t a vegetarian or on a diet thinks the same way. If I look in the fridge at 9pm on a Monday night and see that there’s chocolate cake with strawberries on top I will most likely think, “Oh, there’s chocolate in it and it’s cake so it’s bad for me, but the strawberries on top are healthy and the milk i drink with it will help me fall asleep better”.

  • Ronny

    This is a very helpful article. Being a wrestler I have seen a lot of things that wrestlers do to try and lose weight for competitions by trying to eat healthy. I remember one kid on my team said he was only going to eat salads to maintain his weight. The next day I saw him eating a pizza and his excuse was the exact same thing that is was a veggie pizza!

  • Sydney Sipos

    I’ve seen SO MANY articles online focusing on the vegetarian/vegan fad. Unsurprisingly, it’s all very contradictory information – sometimes it’s the healthy, other times it’s harmful. Is it really that bad of a diet to follow if someone is educated on the nutrients they’ll need to get?

  • Brooke Gregory

    I’ve heard so many facts about what to eat and what not to eat and they all seem to say different things. I usually just eat what I want to and not worry about it, but I’m starting to realize that if I keep doing that I’m going to be obese. These two reality checks will help me to realize that what I am eating does matter and I should think about it more. Is it really bad to mostly eat healthy but sometimes eat bad at family gatherings or special occasions?

  • Brady Sexton

    I think many Americans use comparisons and the potato-chip vegetarian approach. I think people will eat a food they know they shouldn’t and will follow it up with “but at least I didn’t eat….” A big thing to eating healthy is allowing yourself to enjoy food and cheat once in awhile. But, I think sometimes people start to cheat more and more because they believe they are eating healthy foods. They forget that everything you eat or don’t eat adds up.

  • Kent Miehe

    I run cross country and track at Uw-Whitewater, and I don’t really “watch my weight,” but when I’m buying food, I do skip over the frozen food section and make sure to get fresh, healthy food. Being an athlete in college take a toll on your body, and if you’re not eating right, it can break you down in a hurry. I really have to be conscious of what I’m eating to make sure it will benefit my running in the biggest way possible.

  • Alyssa Schragen

    I don’t always eat healthy pursue, but I do feel that as an athlete what you eat can determine how you feel. On game day especially it is crucial to not only have energy but to also feel energized. “Load up on carbs, it’ll give you all the energy you need” is something I have heard all my life as an athlete. However, when you do so you see no benefit other than a full stomach the night before the big game. Using your 2 rules in which you described is just brilliant. People (including myself sometimes) don’t always think critically before they decide what to put in their body. If your going to eat a peanut butter cookie for protein then you might as well sit down and be ready for the kids next door to start calling you Santa.

  • Aarynn Bosshart

    I completely agree. I hear so many comparing what they ate to other people’s diets or to other unhealthier foods that they could have been eating. The truth is, that those “justifications” to not make what they ate any better for them. Who are we fooling? It’s unfortunate that unhealthy foods are commonly part of social events. One does not often hear about a vegetable party, but pizza parties, on the other hand, are quite popular. Because of the commonality of junk food, bad eating habits and misconceptions are easily formed. I generally go with two philosophies when it comes to my own personal diet: 1) “Everything in moderation” and 2) “The less ingredients the better.” The more processed, engineered, and hormone-stuffed the food is, the more likely it will probably cause issues later on. When I chose healthier foods on a regular basis, unhealthy foods tend to lose their appeal.

  • ReneeKirch19

    These are two very interesting points that make a whole lot of sense. It’s amazing to think about the horrible things that we humans put into our body. This summer I worked at a summer camp/ daycare for kids and I couldn’t believe some of the things the kids were eating. Of course kids are kids and they usually don’t decide to go right for the carrots when they open their lunchbox. But isn’t it amazing how as parents we give our kids full control over what they eat for lunch, even if the parents are the ones to pack their lunch for them. While observing the lunch habits of the kids, I noticed three things; one, most kids began their lunch not with a sandwich or fruit, but instead with the chips or sweet treat inside. After eating those things they would most often say they were then “too full” to eat the sandwich or carrots. The second thing I noticed was that some kids didn’t even have any type of healthy choices in their lunchbox, as if they’re parents decided it would be a waste of time to put food in there that their child wouldn’t eat. And lastly, I noticed that there were a few kids who had nothing but healthy choices in their lunchbox, but many times those kids would snack on what their friends were eating! Just seeing this made me think about how there has got to be something we can do to fix this issue. But if some parents can’t even control what their kids are eating, then who can?

  • Carly Konkol

    I particularly liked the part about vegetarians. A friend of mine is vegan and I always am really curious as to how healthy a meatless and animal free diet really is. Also, as mentioned about the “potato chip vegetarian”, I immediately thought of this friend and how much alcohol she consumes in a week. This is similar to the potato chip concept, although she doesn’t eat animal products, she drinks a lot of alcohol which we all know isn’t healthy for our bodies and liver. I try to eat as healthy as possible, although it can be challenging with my busy college schedule. I always try to avoid buying unhealthy things, so then I won’t have a craving or urge to eat them because they aren’t accessable. It’s kind of an “out of sight out of mind” approach. It works well most of the time, but keeping these rules in mind will definitely help even more. As a kid, my parents always stressed healthy eating and I think that’s why I am in a good place as a young adult today.

  • Caleb Franklin

    With all the not-so-reliable health information out there and fad diets, it’s really easy for society to get wrapped up in thinking they are living a healthy lifestyle when in reality they are not, they are just following a societal trend. For many college students(including myself) we try to live a healthy lifestyle for a bit but it becomes all too easy to fall back on the cheap potato chips and ramen noodle lifestyle because after all, we are poor college kids right? Well don’t fall back on that lifestyle this semester, it’s worth the extra few bucks a month to eat and live a happier life.

  • Jessica White

    My family is the same way. They have dressing soaked salad, call it healthy, and then use that small side salad to justify that they made a healthy choice so they can have that giant steak for dinner. As Ann stated, “food can’t be considered being healthy in one way if it is going to make you sick in another.” She used ice cream as an example but what came into my head is vegetables drenched in butter or cheese sauce. Granted, cheese can be delicious but when it smothers your vegetables to the point where you can’t taste them anymore, are you really getting any nutritional benefit from it? No. And this, by far, should not give you the justification to make unhealthy choices for the rest of the meal. A treat occasionally is fine, especially in moderation but it shouldn’t be made as a meal or a means to hide the “green stuff” on the plate.

  • Amanda Wood

    The part about vegetarians stood out to me. Although they may not eat
    meat, doesn’t mean that they are eating fruits and vegetables either. My
    little sister has life threatening food allergies and practically all
    she can eat is meat and vegetables. While this may seem like a good
    thing I also wonder if it will hurt her in the long run.There is so much
    protein in the food she eats, but is a lot of protein to much for your
    body to handle? Just like if you have to much sugar, etc.
    In my
    case, I know I eat horribly. I binge eat and have a hard time picking
    good food to eat because that is just more money I have to spend. In the
    end I know I have to start thinking about the future and explaining to
    myself that my body should be my main priority, but this world has
    created boundaries in my opinion to people of low income. With low
    income comes less opportunities and with less opportunities comes doubt
    in many areas.

  • knapprl17

    I am also an athlete here. I agree with you that being a student-athlete takes a big toll on your body. Unfortunately, I find myself not having the time and energy to make foods that may be healthier for me. I tend to binge eat after practices and eat what ever is in sight. What kinds of food do you find easy for you to make after practices that are healthier than cookies and chips?

  • Brittney Glende

    All of our media is filled with incorrect information on what is a “healthy diet, or healthy food.” No one knows whats right anymore or even what to believe. Many people out there think that these fad diets that the media is providing will help you loose weight or even to become healthy. When in reality you are only harming yourself and different parts of your body. Ann this is a great article for everyone to read, this article almost serves as another reminder to not always believe what you see. And if you are curious and want to change your lifestyle make sure you do your research before you start harming yourself. Thanks Ann for sharing this with us!

  • thomas kearney

    I really like the fact that you pointed out the double standard in foods. A lot of people think they can get away with eating certain things because of the labels that companies put on their products. One that always sticks out to the me is when companies put 100 percent juice on their products. They don’t tell people the amount of sugar and preservatives that actually go into these products. i feel like people need to be more educated on the proper food etiquette a lot of people are misinformed by many products that are in today’s market.

  • Hannah Leggett-Hintz

    I feel this topic speaks complete, underlying truth. I’ve had personal experience in a few of these areas, but one in particular. Back when I was a freshman/sophomore high school, about three to four years ago, I remained a vegetarian for a year and a half. People are easy to be critically judgmental about the things they don’t know or understand, such as vegetarianism. I had my own personal beliefs and reasons behind my choice to not eat meat that weren’t the world’s business. However, one thing people hardly understand is how truly difficult it is to live a life without consuming meat. I unfortunately fell into the category you had considered the ‘potato chip vegetarian.’ While being in high school and beyond crazy involved, I had no time or even willingness to prep food. Between running around endlessly, I’d be grabbing small unhealthy snacks here and there. Although I do still feel healthier as a vegetarian, I know now just how difficult it is, and that time is a huge aspect of it. Through this, I had a definite connection with your post about my healthy eating habits, or lack there of.

  • Charles Fischer

    I will have to admit that I am guilty of eating quick on the go meals, besides being a student I also am currently working three part time jobs and will be adding a fourth starting in Nov. When I am home I will make good and healthy home cooked meal, and have left overs for lunches. As for the “potato-chip vegetarian” that is my youngest daughter, she had seen a PETA movie on how animals are raised and processed to make your chops, or wings. After that she would not eat meat and would eat junk food. She is now a Senior at UW Platteville and still is a Vegetarian and is eating better but I would say she is still a strong Junk Food Vegetarian.

  • Mattbrowne22

    I can understand that people are quick to turn to junk food not only because it is quick and easy, but because it is also less expensive. I know many of my friends that I live with, make frozen pizzas and microwaveable foods because they don’t have the time to prepare them, however I believe that by taking the extra 5 minutes to make something that is healthier can not only make you feel better, but also can help you focus better on your schoolwork. I don’t believe that eating healthy means that you can never go out to a restaurant or go to wing night with the guys; thats okay once in a while as long as its balanced with healthy foods.

  • Jack Delabar

    This little article reminds me of a situation that isn’t related to food, but some of the same principles apply. I have a roommate who has an addiction to spending money. He is constantly on craigslist buying and trading cars, guitars, and a number of other random things. He has $100 to his name, but since he is constantly acquiring new things, he feels that he is “rich”. He is using his trades as a supplement for money, just as saying that the sauce and veggies on a pizza are adequate nutrition. Thanks for the article, Ann, and also thanks for reminding me how mad I am at my roommate.

  • Dena Keizer

    I love reading articles like this! Health and nutrition is such an important topic. I have always been petite and once i came here to UWW i wasn’t worried about the way my eating habits would change or how they would make me feel. In high school i was always very busy and active in sports and i had a job that kept me moving around. I am busier as a college student but yet i still have no excuses for the way i eat. I always tell myself that i’m petite and i won’t change very much but i don’t usually stop and think about how the food i choose to eat affects my body on the inside. Reading articles like these help me get my mind where it needs to be when it comes to eating right.

  • Camillewuensch

    This article is great! It makes us really think about what we are eating and if the things we think are healthy are actually good for us. We need to change the way we think, like if we want pizza then I should be putting more veggies and less cheese on it and only eating two slices. Also with us not eating certain foods or cutting them out completely I feel like hurts us in the end when we are trying to diet. If I know there is a food I’m not eating I crave it more and feel like it makes the temptation of having many cheat days so much more. At the end it comes down to knowledge of health foods and that it’s ok to splurge on some of the bad foods.

  • karinaz10

    I have to say I can relate 100% to what Dena is saying. I myself have always been tiny and thin. The freshman 15 didn’t scare me at all, until I gained it. I have always been health conscious and involved in some kind of sport or other physical activity. I figured nothing would change, much like Dena. But to my surprise it did. I would stress eat, go out with friends, stay up late, etc. And it all took a toll on my body and health. It was so easy to give into temptation. I would tell myself, “oh it’s only one candy bar, you won’t get fat from that.” But after saying that all the time, it added up. Even now, living by myself, I still struggle. And with everyone saying eat this, don’t eat that or try this new diet, it makes the line between sound advice and fad somewhat unclear. Health and nutrition are so important. You definitely have to stop and think what you are eating.

  • Natasha Tynczuk

    These are two very interesting points, and they make perfect sense. With all of the nonsense about healthy eating and nutrition being thrown at us by the media, it’s hard to separate fact from fiction. I have a friend who is constantly trying out new fad diets, and none of them have ever worked. The companies who advertise some of the diet products that she has bought have basically brainwashed her into thinking that adding three drops of a “healthy and natural” mystery liquid to a drink will miraculously make her lose weight and feel good. On top of that, after many people finish these supposedly healthy diets, they revert back to their old eating habits, which is, most of the time, unhealthy. The only way to truly stay healthy is to form good habits that involve a balance of healthy eating and exercise.

  • Ananda Conlon

    I like the point made in the beginning of the article about parents bribing their child with food. This happens much too often here in the United States. I have been to much to many restraints and heard parents using this tactic. This only trains children that eating poorly is a privilege. Food should never be “given” or “taken away” as a means of reward or punishment. Parents need to dig deeper and find a new way to teach their children right an wrong. This tactic will only hinder them in the future when they are making decisions on their own.

  • Skowronssj06

    This article has very good points that I personally can relate too. I am one of those people that thought I would never gain weight, I have always been an active person but once I started college, I had homework, work and I ate out A LOT which resulted in weight gain. I am guilty of eating unhealthy- I tend to just eat whatever and say, “oh ill just work it off tomorrow…” This never happens. Once I started noticing my weight gain I was more conscious about what I ate and I have been trying to eat healthier but it is hard and definitely a lifestyle change. With all these diets and detox’s that everyone does, I am never sure what is truly healthy and what is crap. Eating healthy is something everyone needs to start doing, but starting is the hard part.

  • Alex Prailes

    I definitely found this article very helpful and something that I often struggle with from time to time. Often being on the go, trying to make healthy snacks is very difficult when food labels are misleading. I also have to keep reminding myself of the second rule, you don’t get credit for what you don’t eat. What advice do you have for reading food labels that are often very sneaky with their marketing?
    Thank you for the helpful article!

  • Brad Vogel

    Unfortunately for us I feel that we have no choice but to take the bad with the good because while many foods may contain important nutrients, I have yet to ever find a food that contains the perfect blend of nutrients. Even vegan diets have been found to be dangerous because the lack of heme iron in them over time can cause a person to come down with anemia.

  • CoachDavis24

    This is an article that many people who don’t advocate for healthy behavior should read. Sure, to many people who have studied nutrition and healthy behaviors, the information in this article isn’t new information. So many people out there are either ill-informed or ignorant to what years of unhealthy eating does to the body. I think the word moderation should be ingrained into every single persons mind. People need to get away from thinking that to have a good diet I can never eat pizza again. Moderation……. Moderation

  • Glassborow

    This article was really interesting for me to read, I enjoy healthy eating in my main meals e.g. lunch and dinner, however I struggle most days with finding/choosing healthy snacks to eat, and this has become more apparent since I have been in the US. However, I feel that after reading this article I will be able to be so much more confident in choosing the correct foods using the 2 rules you gave, I’ve actually written these down and stuck them to my desk!. In regards to avoiding ‘bad’ foods, is it okay to every once in a while allow yourself to have a treat, as long as it is done in moderation? Thank you for this insightful article!

  • Sam Kuchenreuther

    Thank you Ann! I will be showing this article to my sister because she definitely qualifies as “potato chip vegetarian.” She refuses to eat meat but eats junk food all the time and goes out every weekend. I do have a question however, drinking alcohol in excessive amounts is obviously bad for you. But I also heard that one beer or a glass of wine every now and then is actually healthy for you. Is this true?

  • warnlofjc20

    This article provides a really nice reality check for people who are trying to loose weight or just be a healthier person in general. I recently started working out and I’ve already fallen victim to trying to justify my eating habits to myself quite a bit. Actually almost verbatim from the article in the sense that I’ll be hungry after I work out and I’ll stop and get something on the way home and think to myself “Well, I just worked out and this sub has lettuce and tomatoes on it so there’s no way that this isn’t 100% healthy”. Thanks for posting the article! I’ll definitely be thinking about it the next time I leave the gym.

  • earose14

    This article shows two ideal ways of thinking about the foods you eat. These examples are a good thing for people to think about before the eat the way they do. So many people think this same way about the nutrional value they take it. This article is very useful because people need a reality check of the nutrional value that they are taking in. To a certain extent though isnt it okay to drink certain wines once in a while? I have heard red wines are good for you. Thanks for sharing this article with us it was very useful.

  • mankobj22

    This article brings a unique and sometimes forgotten viewpoint to light with regards to healthy eating, which is that only the food that we actually put into our bodies primarily affects our health. This way of thinking takes a 180 degree turn from the much more popular ideology in which the food that we don’t put into our bodies primarily affects our health. Most of us have been taught from a young age (whether it was from our parents, friends, or from a media source) that saying “no” to that cookie or “I’ll pass on the pizza tonight” are the best ways to maintain a healthy diet. These decisions often leave us with a sense of pride/strength that clouds our ability to see the benefits and deterrents from the foods that we actually consume. We are so happy to have passed on eating the not so healthy food choice that we don’t give ourselves a pat on the back for actually choosing the healthy one. Not eating a cookie or a slice of pizza may actually be beneficial at times, but the extent of that benefit actually depends on what we decide to eat in place of it. The focus should therefore be placed on what we can/do eat instead of what we can’t/didn’t eat. Thank you for sharing this article Dr. Garvin. It conveys a positive way of thinking about healthy eating that is often forgotten or never taught.

  • d_millyy

    Awesome article, thank you for posting it! I love your two points in this article because they are basically about self-control. I like that because in reality everyone is in charge of their own self! So either they are going to listen to the facts and take action or they aren’t. People are selfish too and they want this to work their way and for them. So that bring up a question I would ask you. It goes off they whole vegetarian thing you said, what is your take on supplements. Like let’s say this person does not eat meat, but they buy whey protein and take the recommended amount of that daily to fill their protein needs. Is that truly a good supplement for meat? Or would you rather someone use the natural way of life and eat the meat?

  • Keenan Sumlin

    Very interesting concepts (reality checks). Never really thought about it like that. I particularly enjoyed the second check. Too many times have I tried to justify eating pizza or a hamburger during a “cheat day” by feeling like I earned it because of a day or more of strict dieting. I always take into account that I am-what-I-eat, but I never thought about how I can’t be what I havent. I wish I would have read this article an hour and 26 french fries ago.

  • Abbey Stibbs

    I really enjoyed reading this article because I have been trying to make the switch to a healthier lifestyle. This article provided me with some good information that I would never consider, like, ” a food can’t be considered healthy in one way if it’s going to make you sick in another”. I thought this was a great point! It makes me so frustrated when people are like, “I’m eating a salad, so it’s healthy!”, but then they put a heaping amount of dressing on it. Putting that dressing on there just destroys the entire thing! Since Ann is my professor, I hope that I can talk to her more about living a healthier lifestyle since I have been struggling with it these past few months.

    Thank you,
    Abbey Stibbs

  • HelpHealth002

    This blog is important for everybody to read because it’s something I believe most people do, even if they are trying to eat healthy. I love the second point about not getting points for what you don’t eat. I believe Vegans and Vegetarians for example, need to look into their diets to make sure they are getting the right substitutes that still give them the nutrition their bodies need. Even if your not eating meat, you still need to look at what’s in your meat substitutes. Tofu is made of soybeans, which almost all their crops in American are genetically modified. That begs the question, is organic meat still less healthy than the GMO Tofu? Not enough research has been done thus far so I guess time will tell. Thanks Professor Garvin for writing this blog!

  • Ebony Wiggins

    I’m so guilty of this!!! There’s soo much advice on what to do and what not to do that I think I kinda created my own ideologies. Living and attending graduate school in NYC has definitely contributed to my mixed understanding of what it means to be healthy. I find it interesting that being healthy here is a “fad”. I wouldn’t dare walk in class with a redbull (anymore).

  • JeremyWahl

    Thanks for the article. i am so guilty of this. I like to think if i have supreme pizza, I will be getting my vegetables for that meal. Being a college student also makes eating healthy tough when it seems like the worst food for you is the least expensive. When you eat unhealthy you talk to yourself to make you feel better. oh, I had a corn dog? thats ok, that is my protein even though its fatty. Thanks for the reality check and I will definitely make better choices and see what I’m eating.

  • Kent Miehe

    Sorry that I haven’t responded to your reply until now! I’ve been really busy with other stuff. But I do agree with you, sometimes it can be hard to find the time to make healthier foods. An easy thing that I like to do is to buy healthier snack foods or healthy stuff that isn’t very hard to make. So instead of chips and cookies, I buy bananas, yogurt, cheese sticks, spinach for a quick salad, and other stuff like that. Occasionally, I will make pasta or make something on the grill, but changing your snack foods for healthier things like that can make a big difference.

  • Alise Brown

    I think this article brought up and excellent point of how just because you are looking at a positive in one for, you don’t realize the negative effect of it. Eating something bad you you can’t be justified, like the ice cream comment or how the veggies on the pizza make it “healthy” its just a way to reassure your mind and ease you away from that guilt trip. Whenever I eat something unhealthy, and lets be honest it happens to all of us, I always feel super guilty like a kid who just got caught with their hand in the cookie jar. I always try to justify my actions, but if you rid yourself the guilt and allow yourself to have a small portion you find that you have more appeal to eat the healthy stuff if you know you get a break every so often.

  • Garrett Nelson

    I think these are two great points that effect everyone, not just a certain population of people. So this should not just be something that extremely healthy people or unhealthy people think about, but it is something we all need to be aware of. Just because one food has a large amount of protein or carbohydrates in it does not mean it is 100% healthy for you. We need a diversity of food in our diets to have a balanced and nutrient efficient diet. Once we start getting into bad eating habits, that is when we consistently start losing a nutritious balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, which can later lead to diseases such as obesity or cardiovascular diseases. Ultimately these two points are relevant to everyone, not just a certain population. One thing I don’t understand is if you were to eat one more of something unhealthy, such as pizza, but then tried offsetting it with something healthy, such as vegetables or fruits, would it make a significant impact on your diet if you kept doing that over and over? Obviously you would be taking in more calories, but would the nutritious fruits or vegetables help counteract the greasy pizza in any way? That is a question I have for the author (Professor Garvin), and would like to know if eating something unhealthy can be helped or “offset” by another healthy food?
    Thank you,
    Garrett Nelson

  • JeremyWahl

    Thanks for the article. i am so guilty of this. I like to think if i have supreme pizza, I will be getting my vegetables for that meal. Being a college student also makes eating healthy tough when it seems like the worst food for you is the least expensive. When you eat unhealthy you talk to yourself to make you feel better. oh, I had a corn dog? thats ok, that is my protein even though its fatty. Thanks for the reality check and I will definitely make better choices and see what I’m eating.

  • danac501

    Thank you for writing this article. I definitely don’t have the best diet in the world so I am going to make it a goal to try to stay away from foods that are not good for me such as pizza. I believe you are right people need to really look at the food they are eating before thinking it is semi-healthy. I think becoming healthy is like baby steps just try to improve your diet a little each day. Why do you think people try to change their diet so rapidly thinking that it is going to change that week?

  • Catey Navarro

    I know to many people who think like the mother in this article. If something is breaded and fried, you probably shouldn’t justify why your eating it because the fact that it is breaded and fried is enough reasoning to never pick it up. I used to think that eating a packet of fruit snacks wasn’t bad because they were only 60 calories but now looking back it was 60 calories of sugar and more sugar. We need to be more careful with what we put in our bodies. If our country all had the same knowledge about food and its importance maybe there wouldn’t be so many fast food restaurants.

  • yencheskcj27

    Great two points in this article. This is something I have come across all too much in school. Seldom do people take a look into the complete nutritional info of all the food they are eating. As you mentioned some people may justify eating ice cream for its calcium, but when all the nutritional facts are taken into account, it is a very poor choice for your calcium intake. I also relate to your second point; there are many people who only focus on what they aren’t eating instead of what they are eating. I think your example of vegetarians or vegans is the best example. They focus on the fact that they don;t eat meat, and they sometimes think this gives them the freedom to eat anything they want. I’ve known people who use it to justify eating as many sweets as they want. People need to be aware of what they put in their bodies, not focus on what they aren’t.

  • Tracy_Werner

    This article is a great read and definitely an eye-opener. I have to admit, at times I am that person who says “well at least I didn’t eat (insert unhealthy food here)”. I never though about it in the way that you put it; your body has no idea what you are not eating, it only knows what you are eating! I think there are plenty of people out there who like to think that because they don’t eat some bad foods, they are being healthy. In reality, in order to be healthy people actually need to add healthy foods to their diet. It’s not all about cutting back on foods, it’s about adding others to enhance your health. And by other foods, that doesn’t mean a corn dog because it has protein… Thanks for the reality checks!

  • Kyree Brooks

    Amazing ways of thinking about food! I was always told that too much of anything is bad for you. So it is hard to interpret what is good or a bad diet. We also have to keep in mind that peoples bodies are different and so is matabolism. I like that Garvin mentions that you can get sick from any food as well as being a vegatarian does not promise healthyness because every food has different ingredients and supplies to the body differently. These are great views. Thank you.

  • SasCas116

    Thank you for writing this blog, it carried a lot of insightful things we tend to wave off. This blog is truth, immediate truth. I like how Ann Garvin, doesn’t beat around the bush and make eating healthy sound fun or attract people. Rather, she tells the truth, and in an effective way might I add, as to how and what really does happen when you follow the true nutrition guidelines. A word about how this blog is helpful would be.. don’t justify how healthy your food is if you know that it’s not. Ann said it and I back her up and agree with her in saying that, if you’re truly willing to change and eat healthier, there is no need for justifying.

  • Mitch Sween

    Thanks Ann for the information. Although very simplistic, people still struggle with meeting necessary dietary requirements. I am a firm believer of eating healthy or at least I try too. I think this article is a great resource for people who don’t eat healthy or don’t know how too.

  • Taylor Schaeffer

    Thank you for writing this article! I will be showing this one to my mom. She does not eat a lot of meat at all, instead she eats just about the same thing at each meal which I think would get boring if you ask me. I want her to realize that she needs other things in her diet and just cutting out one thing that she thinks is “bad” isn’t necessarily going to keep her healthy.

  • hirthjp18

    I really agree on what you have to say in your article. Just because something has fruit or protein does not mean its going to be good for you. I think everyone’s been guilty of this, but sometimes people don’t know the full nutritional facts. Ignoring certain food all together can be dangerous as well. I will definitely keep these points in mind. Thanks for the great article.

  • Kenzi Weidman

    You state “Eating healthy can be hard” and wow is that an understatement sometimes, especially as a college kid. I pride myself on my cooking abilities; those of which my 4 roommates are quite jealous of. I could never imagine eating out all week, as some of my friends do. Sure it is convenient, but just because you had the veggie burger and sweet potato fries doesn’t make it acceptable. One of the tips that I try to follow is “eat clean”. I prefer to count my ingredients rather than count the calories. Foods that are low in calories tend to have LOTS of ingredients aka chemicals so make you think that what you are eating is “healthy”. For example, how many ingredients are in one apple? The answer is “1”. How many ingredients are in a cup of applesauce? The answer is “more than 1”. It’s simple and can be easy, if you aren’t lazy and truly care about your health! Good tips Ann!

  • Kenzi Weidman

    I completely agree! I will admit though, I find myself justifying a few food decisions I make sometimes, but I think we are all guilty of that at some point. The real goal is to accept the fact you had a cheat meal, don’t beat yourself up about it, and focus on what you are really trying to do….EAT HEALTHY!

  • Kenzi Weidman

    Don’t worry, I am with you there on the “only 60 calories” trick that companies play on us. The one I am the guiltiest of believing was the 90 calorie fiber one bars. Sure they are only 90 calories, packed with a whole lots of chemically made ingredients and preservatives. Ann had mentioned in class once that we can go a whole day without thinking about history, yet we are forced to have history classes all throughout K-12. We are unable to go a whole day without thinking about our health because we need to eat! This being said, health classes should be forced and implemented throughout K-12! Such a great point that was and something I passed on to my local high school principle because it is a serious matter and needs to change!

  • Theresa Fitzsimmons

    Thank you for sharing this information. I can really relate to the exchange between the mother and child that you described. I work at a grocery store and it really bothers me to know that there are such terrible mothers that would allow their kids to eat this way. I also agree with you when you say, “you don’t get credit for what you don’t eat.” I also used to work at one of the dining halls here and campus and there were multiple vegetarians that would order food, and there were many that thought they were eating healthy because they weren’t eating meat. They need to understand that they need to make up for this protein by stuffing there sub full of spinach instead of iceberg lettuce, cheese, and a pile of mayo. How can we teach these mothers and students how to eat right? Thanks again for sharing this, I couldn’t agree with you more!

  • Kaylee Raucci

    Thank you for the post! I like your phrase” You don’t get credit for what you don’t eat.” It’s totally true. People or, Americans I should say have this way of thinking when it comes to food. They do say icecream has calcium so it’ good for me. Or Orange juice comes from an orange so that counts for fruit. It’s sad to see this happen and know that it’s all wrong. I’ve stopped eating things that have more than 10g of sugar, even on the weekends when that cookie dough icecream in the fridge is calling my name. Sometimes I break, and will have a bowl. But it is only once a month maybe twice that this happens. Eating healthy is not easy all the time. Espeically when junk food is cheap and very easily accessible. But I’m doing what I can for myself to eat healthy because that’s the least I can do for my body for all it does for me.

  • Nathan

    Thank you! There is so much misinformation and it is great to hear someone speak the truth. I hear all the time people justifying why they are eating something. It is honestly crazy how much people do it! I was wondering how do you convince people to think the right way?

  • LeiderGM20

    This reminds me of when my brother and I were younger and my parents told him he needed to eat something healthy before he had ice cream….so he would eat two carrots. Just two. Because that’s healthy. I think these two rules for eating healthier are very easy to follow and understand! Thank you!

  • Luke Drumel

    I always here my roommates say their getting their healthy dose for the day when they decide to eat something that is apparently healthy in one way and can get you sick another. It’s so true and people think their actually getting a benefit from something that is completely the opposite. Eating right can be difficult no question but,if you keep these clever ideas in mind it makes it just that much to eat right.

  • ReneeBinder

    I really like the two points at the end of this article. I agree completely with them. I think it is important to realize that although a food may be a good source of something healthy a lot of times foods have hidden things that can add up. Juice is a great example of this. Many parents think juice is a healthy option for kids to get their fruits. When juice may be healthy in some ways (vitamin C) it can also be loaded with sugar which isn’t healthy.

  • hmcavey

    This is exactly the problem with most of our diets! I live in a house full of girls, (five, yes five) girls who don’t try to eat a well balanced diet and I see it reflect their health and mood. Eating chicken nuggets will provide you protein, however there are far more negative health effects than just the protein.

  • Steffiheuer

    Thank you for your article. I know I am very guilty of making my food “seem healthy” when if fact it sucks. I love pizza; could eat it everyday. I know that pizza is not great for you but I have said before that I get my veggie intake from it. This kind of mind game has been something I have been trying to work on for a while. I now do not eat pizza as often, but I see myself falling back to this pattern sometimes.

  • sgawinski

    I think to sum it up, Dr. Garvin is saying that we need to be accountable and mindful of what we are putting into our bodies. Instead of justifying all the bad eating habits we have, we need to stop giving ourselves slack and excuses. While certain situations can create an environment where it’s not that easy, we need to just start by becoming conscious about it and build up from there.

  • Chris Williams

    Ann, I really like your two points of, not eating something even if it‘s healthy but can also make you sick and not getting credit for food you don’t eat. I have never thought of food this way. I have been working on trying to be aware of the foods I am eating and their impact on my health. I am guilty of having a major sweet tooth, which honestly doesn’t even have benefits to your health at all. How do I stop the craving of bad foods? I know how to eat healthy and I do mostly but I always find my self eating something that is not healthy every now and then.

  • Sam Kuchenreuther

    This is an excellent point, Brady. And quite frankly, I’m a little freaked out because I say, “but at least I didn’t eat” all the time. I know it’s a terrible philosophy but being a college student it is extremely hard to eat healthy. What are some of your favorite healthy foods?

  • Kobajr18

    Good points christopher. I think we all find ourselves doing exactly what you do in that we eat sweets and snacks when we know we shouldn’t. In regards your point on having an unhealthy snack once in awhile, don’t stress about it. We all eat sweets occasionally and that is completely normal. Just try not to over do it. It’s all about portions. 🙂

  • Kobajr18

    Absolutely agree. I think the idea of getting a base of eating healthy is extremely important. Changing eating habits a little bit at a time is the way to go about it. Extreme changes in life lead to a high chance of failure along with returning to the old habits that you’re accustomed too.

  • Kobajr18

    We’re all guilty of this. Countless times I’ve told myself something isn’t as bad as it is for ridiculous reasons. I think the main point to take out of this is just to be conscious of what you’re really putting into your body and to take time to prepare meals with some nutritional value and as we all know that can be tough as a full time college student.

  • Kobajr18

    I’m very curious on how to convince someone to change their frame of thinking as well. I think a breakdown of ones diet might do the trick. Actually having people get blood work done and see how their diet effects their bodies might be an eye opener to a lot of individuals who think they are healthy as a horse.

  • Cossioj14

    The two points you make are great. It really is hard to know fact from fiction these days if you don’t do the actual research on the products. You hear these types of things all the time from people that one good out ways the bad in nutrition from people who really do not know what they’re talking about.

  • Steven Bichler

    The two points you made were really important, that even I forget sometimes (I consider myself a healthy person. I just wish there was a way outside of word of mouth to get people to understand these simple concepts of eating healthy which can make a huge difference in one’s health.

  • Nicole Myers

    You made some very valid points above. I think that everyone knows what it feels like to be rushed and constantly on the go thinking that the pizza deliver guy is the best way to go. I would have to admit that I am guilty of just grabbing something to go because it is fast and then thinking to myself, “This burrito bowl has all the essentials, but I will just count the sour cream as a treat.” Very good points and thank you for sharing!

  • thompsonjm99

    Great article. I agree that we rush our decisions sometimes and choose the easiest and most simple way. We need to realize the choices we are making and the foods that we are eating because they can have a negative or a positive impact on our daily lives. You made very many interesting points and I enjoyed reading your article. What would be the easiest way to stay away from bad foods that look and taste so good when we are in a rush to eat something?

  • Hillary12

    Well this article just shattered all the healthy thinking I’ve ever done. I do feel that a lot of times people just go for the fastest choice and if that has green peppers on top of it, well then go us! I know that’s not the right way to think and I do think most people realize that too, but it makes us feel better. Time is a valuable commodity and until the pizza place across town starts making a whole wheat crust pizza with spinach and tomatoes I don’t think this thinking is going to change.

  • This is a very interesting concept. I never really thought about the fact that my body does NOT understand that I did not eat something. I have been so used to justifying my unhealthy eating by partial/portion consumption and not thinking about the amount that I DID eat. I can’t count how many times I would make a whole pizza and eat 5 pieces in one sitting and think “well, at least I didn’t eat it all”, only to return later that day and eat the last 3 anyways. I also agree about certain foods being poor choices for nutritional needs. Pizza, for instance, (easily applicable food) tricks most people I know into thinking that it is a good source of calcium, protein and vegetables. After reading this article, that theory is easily debatable.

  • James

    This is very true, my parents always try and make this argument. “At least i didn’t have two or three pieces of pizza”, or my dad’s classic, “do you want to split the next slice”. I tell him every time it doesn’t work like that. You need to have a certain amount of carbohydrates in relation to the vegetables and the protein that you intake. Even with getting the good ratio there are better sources or each. Chicken over a steak for protein and whole grain over white bread. Also you need a variety, tuna one of the best sources of protein can give you mercury poising.

  • B Keng

    This article made me think about how I choose the foods I eat. It is rather interesting that some foods that we label as bad can have some sort of health benefit to them. Once in a while I would eat potato chips because I know that I had eaten healthy all day and potato chips would do nothing to me. It is hard to tell how the body reacts after eating healthy and putting something “unhealthy” in it. I’m probably just stuck in the “once in awhile doesn’t hurt” state of mind. Great article! It got me thinking quite a bit.

  • Taylor Schulz

    I agree one hundred percent with this article. I can’t even begin to count how many times I have heard someone say the things that you stated in your article. Although I am not the healthiest eater and I am far from a nutritionist, but I do have common sense when when it comes to stuff like that and its hard to believe that so many people don’t. Great article, I think that it is great advice and I will be sharing it with my mother who likes to try and justify the potato chip vegetarian theory to me all of the time. thanks for posting!

  • Adam

    This is an awesome article. I cant even begin to count how many of my friends, family members etc. like to try and justify their eating habits in the worst ways. The ” oh I only had 3 pieces of pizza, at least it wasn’t 4.” I see many individuals who think they can get all their calcium from ice cream and don’t think about the other negative factors! I really enjoyed the “You don’t get credit for what you don’t eat” section.

  • Travis Mattice

    I couldn’t agree more with this article. Just because a food is good for you one way doesn’t mean It is totally healthy for you. This article say that perfectly. Sometimes when I listen to my friends talk about their healthy eating I kind of laugh because sure some of what they say is true about a particular food however they don’t look at the negative side of it. I think a lot of people think that way.

  • Andrew Bliefernicht

    I constantly find it hard for me to eat a healthy diet. With work and school and all these other extra curricular activities I am an eat on the go type of person, which makes it even harder to eat healthy. I always look for something that is quick and good for you, but alas I never can. Maybe I’m not looking hard enough. But I do know this for sure, I understand it can be hard to eat healthy and it takes time to find the right stuff and make it properly. Maybe I need to set aside more time to look for stuff (and make stuff) with only benefits and no side effects.

  • Kaylie Mae Kuhnke

    eating healthy is one of the hardest things i do in my day. with class and the excess amount of sleep i get from staying up all night doing homework i find a quick eat like rocky roccos or taco bell. i liked this article because it gave me an idea of what i could do to jump start eating a lot more healthier

  • sauerm29

    I like the concept of thinking about positive vs negative effects of food. And that if your weighing positive vs negative effects, then that food choice is probably not a good one. “A food can’t be considered healthy, if it makes you sick in another way,” is an easy way to analyze food choices. I plan to share this with family and friends.

  • Dannielle Wagner

    Eating healthy has been a constant struggle in my life, growing up in a family that wasn’t exactly health conscious and that surrounded me with “love” by giving me rich German foods, I can honestly say that I had to find my own way of eating the right foods. I love food and I am an eater….No sir, I WILL NOT have one rice cake and be satisfied. I think the most significant thing that I have done to influence my diet is to check labels! I try not to consume things that are super processed or have a ton of additives…if you cant pronounce most of the ingredients on the label, it probably shouldn’t go in your body. I love a lot of breads and carbs are my comfort, but I know that they do not like me and I often feel sluggish after eating pizza or a lot of pasta. An enriched wheat- flour free diet has been helpful for me as well. I’d say watch those quick fix easy processed and packaged foods….it may be easier now, but it’ll cost you your health in the long run.

  • Shaquille Boswell-Downey

    I strive to eat healthy the best i can.I know someone with a real bad heart condition and its because of unhealthy bad habits. This article really shines the light on how to go about eating healthy and i feel its important for people to know that so it can be a first step to changing their ways.

  • Leahrebout

    It is so hard to determine what is healthy and what isn’t these days. The fads are always changing and giving different reasons to avoid this or that and eat this instead. If you believe these fads, as soon as you start following them there is another article out saying that it was completely wrong. Thank you for sharing some ways to make this process easier!

  • Kenzi Weidman

    Very true Kaylie! Something I try, to make it easier when away from home, is packing lunches ahead of time so that you can easily grab them and go. It helps avoid that fast food temptation because you already have food with you!

  • Kenzi Weidman

    Exactly, portions! I never use to eat sweets or anything that was bad for me, and then when I did, I over-ate. It is okay to treat yourself once in awhile, as long as you stay true to the “once in awhile”.

  • sgawinski

    Yeah we definitely need to make small changes at a time. The small changes add up and then turn into big changes later on. Just becoming aware of what we are actually putting into our body is key. So is remembering, you get out of it what you put in

  • Kent Miehe

    I also agree with you. Some people have food choices and say “This is good enough.” However, there are a lot of other better options that they can choose from. Some people are totally blind to the negative effects of what they are eating, and that can eventually hurt their health over time.

  • Kent Miehe

    My answer to your question (in my opinion) would be to “stock up” on healthy snacks. Having healthier options like yogurt, juice boxes, or fruit will help you stay away from other unhealthier options. Then when you are in a rush and need something quick, you’ll have those healthy options ready to go right away.

  • Kent Miehe

    My roommates eat frozen pizza constantly, as they are getting “vegetables and protein from the meat.” Many people try to find something healthy about a food item so that they can actually call is healthy. In reality, if someone really has to look for something healthy in a food item, they need to realize that there are probably better options.

  • Kent Miehe

    I totally agree. If people “think” they’re eating something healthy, they’ll be oblivious to the negative effects of what they are eating. Sometimes, people don’t see the negative effects of their diet until their health starts to decline. Those clever ideas are indeed effective!

  • Schudakp21

    I have tried eating healthy seriously for a couple years now and it is the hardest thing i have ever done. The temptations that lie in the back of the cabinet are hard to turn down. Also some of my extended family has gotten into a health kick. One is a vegetarian. He is always talking to me about how bad meat is for you. Another has gone gluten free. she always talks about how bread and carbs are the reason for obesity in the US. Im ok with listening and trying to understand opinions but they are the most stubborn people i have ever met and will not listen to what i have to say. It is very frustrating when they wont even consider my opinions when i say how portion control i think is the biggest contributor to the obesity problem. But thank you for the few tips to think about.

  • Kaylie Mae Kuhnke

    that’s a great idea thank you i should try that Kenzi!

  • Nicole Myers

    Exactly. So many people sit and try and justify their poor eating when in reality they are just hurting themselves. It is so frustrating yet we all make the same mistakes and we can’t always be perfect. There is room for a treat here and there but when that treat happens every meal then there is an issue!

  • Taylor Schulz

    I agree, I know way too many people who think that what they are eating is okay because its easier than actually learning what is actually good.

  • Taylor Schulz

    I know, I have been trying to help some of my family members out because they are guilty of this as well.

  • Taylor Schulz

    I can totally relate with you on this. My mom and my brother are guilty of this as well. They try to justify their poor eating choices by comparing them with even worse choices.

  • Taylor Schulz

    I agree, sometimes I am guilty of this too. This is why packing lunches and snacks ahead of time is a good go-to method to try and fight the mindset of “this is easier, who cares if its not as healthy”

  • Taylor Schulz

    There are some sweet treats that are also healthy Christopher, just do your research! Eating healthy is not as difficult as it may seem, and its fun too!

  • Taylor Schulz

    Great answer sir Jacob. Portions are a great method for staying on track with healthy eating and not giving into cravings.

  • Taylor Schulz

    I agree. We need to stop making excuses for the bad eating habits that we are all guilty for and just try to make simple, day to day changes.

  • Taylor Schulz

    I am also guilty of this, but then again, who isn’t. Its hard to get in a new mindset but making simple changes to your eating habits can really do wonders and better your health.

  • Taylor Schulz

    Agreed. It is definitely hard to make these healthy eating choices when you have friends such as Christopher Williams who try and get you to come out and have some wings and beer every other day.

  • Taylor Schulz

    I think that the simple way to teach others is to not overwhelm them with health risks and facts that they probably won’t pay as much attention to. I think it is important for mothers and students to know how easy it actually is to eat healthy and that it doesn’t have to be a chore.

  • Alyssa Schragen

    I am guilty for being that person who says I only had 3 pieces, at least it wasn’t 4. As an athlete I am constantly eating and am always hungry. Because I am aware that others notice how much i eat i try to justify it every time to not only make me feel better. but to make me feel better knowing ive justified it in front of other people.

  • Kobajr18

    It can be very difficult to make healthy choices when those around you do not make healthy eating choices. Have you thought about possibly talking to Christopher and asking him to not pressure you into situations that are unhealthy? Maybe instead of wings and beer you could substitute a salad and water?

  • Kobajr18

    I think that portions are the most important part of any diet. Over eating is a huge problem in out country and portion size is a major contributor. When was the last time you went out to eat and told your server you wanted 6 ounces of chicken, a half cup of brown rice, and 2 cups of green vegetables?

  • Kobajr18

    Exactly! The small changes will end up becoming the biggest changes of all. Just getting a solid base will allow every thing else to fall into place. I also agree that it is extremely important to be aware of what is going into your body.

  • Kobajr18

    Well said. It’s not a horrible thing to have sweets once in awhile, but it should be on occasion. Many people fool themselves by thinking they eat healthy and only indulge once in awhile, when in reality it’s a regular thing.

  • Matthew Manley-Browne

    I agree with your comment, its difficult to determine what fads are effective and which ones are not. For instance many people believe that avoiding carbs will help you lose weight, instead of just choosing to eat less food.

  • Leahrebout

    Yes it is so easy to read something and think that it must be true I should start following that tomorrow. Instead we should stick with the basics that have never changed in the nutrition world like: don’t eat a ton of sugar, avoid processed foods, eat lots of fruits and veggies, carbs give you energy. Just following what we know to be true and then modifying our diets differently based off that information is what many people need to do. Going to the extremes of dieting, like your example of cutting out carbs completely, is never a good idea.

  • warnlofjc20

    Eating healthy is definitely an incredibly hard thing to start and keep up with. A lot of time the additives in that bad food are purposely designed to keep you coming back for more which is what makes healthy eating so difficult.

  • warnlofjc20

    This kind of goes back to one of Dr. Garvin’s other articles where she was talking about where information comes from. Way too many people just see something on the internet or TV and take it as irrefutable fact instead of doing actual research on it.

  • Schudakp21

    I honestly think that part of the reason people eat the processed foods more than the natural foods is because there are just so much more processed foods than natural foods. The aisles in food markets are probably upwards of 90% processed foods so basically the only place you can find food that is tampered less with is outside the aisles by the produce section. It is crazy how many more processed options there are compared to the unprocessed foods.

  • Ryano313

    Eating healthy is not an easy thing to do. Money is a big factor, because all the bad and fast food is way cheaper than some of the healthier or organic foods. Myself though I’d rather pay a little more, than to be paying a lot for medical bills in the future for something that I may have been able to prevent

  • Miggz13

    Thank you,

    Making healthy choices can be very expensive and yes eating healthy will save my life, but it can be so hard to eat healthy. I feel it is possible for us as college students to manage our eating habits. Such as eating small portions of meals every 2 hours that way we won’t get hungry as much.

  • Miggz13

    Your right I would rather invest money on food rather spending it on medical bills, because that is what I am doing right now. I should ate the proper food that way it could of fight off illnesses.

  • Miggz13

    I could agree with you when I was younger I would eat a lot of junk food in my family restaurant. But we should take this into account if we love the food today we should limit ourselves and live a little healthy. That way we can enjoy the food we love the most another day.

  • Miggz13

    Oh I agree, if we want to eat what we love the most. Then why not simply change our eating habits every so often. That way we can live another day and have fun. We are to young to not be healthy.

  • Miggz13

    I know what you mean there was one time that I ate pizza for a whole week, I felt super fat after doing that. I wish I could go back and buy a weeks worth of groceries rather than eat junk food.

  • Miggz13

    I agree thats how people make money. They make false advertisements to get people to buy their products. People should do research on what they buy before purchasing the product.

  • warnlofjc20

    It really is. And even a lot of the stuff that claims to be organic or healthy has got some pretty shady ingredients in it if you look at it in detail. You really have to watch out and do the research for yourself.

  • warnlofjc20

    Groceries are so much cheaper too. Eating out might seem cheap in the short run but if you look at it over a week or two it adds up really fast.

  • warnlofjc20

    Yep. There’s just too many people that are only in it for instant gratification and just walk out when they realize that that’s not going to happen.

  • Ryano313

    That’s what I’m saying, and I am guilty for the same thing. Our body is the best thing that we have ever been given for free. So why not take precautions and eat healthier so we can avoid illness and have our body be healthy

  • hicksjd11

    I have the tendency to justify unhealthy food choices. I often look at the benefits that a food is providing me and ignore the unhealthy facts. This article helped me realize that this doesn’t make it okay and that better choices can be made.

  • hicksjd11

    I often do the same thing. I think that it’s ok to treat yourself once in a while. As long as it doesn’t become a regular habit, indulging in the foods that you love (despite the unhealthiness) is part of a balanced diet.

  • shackletka05

    Thank you for sharing! I am very guilty of trying to wiggle around from what actually is healthy and what I like to just call healthy. You made very good points on viewing what is healthy as if it can get you sick then it is probably not healthy. This is something I truly need to start paying attention to!

  • Austin Dorman

    Thanks for sharing Ann! I always hear you saying similar things in your class! There are so many fad diets out there and it is difficult to determine which ones are effective. I just try and focus on eating healthy foods and working out. That tends to work best for me. I just try to think of long term and living a healthy lifestyle, rather than just trying to shed some last minute pounds before a wedding or something like that.

  • Evan Hibbs

    Thank you for the article Ann! This blog is certainly useful when having to figure out what foods to eat and having to balance a diet. I believe with everything moderation is the key, so knowing that you just ate that slice of pizza maybe you can hit the gym and eat some fruit directly after to try and balance yourself. What foods do you eat that are considered healthy, and what’s a guilty pleasure food that you wish you could kick if you do have one? Thank you again for the article.

  • Evan Hibbs

    I agree Austin, exercise and eating healthy outweighs everything. Many diets aren’t good for people long-term because they cause people to eat less carbs, or eat less protein which in reality we need both so it’s unrealistic to never eat any of those.

  • Schudakp21

    That is a really good point that I am glad you mentioned because I forgot to. Even all most of the ‘Healthy’ things you can eat today can have ingredients that are really hard to pronounce so I can’t even imagine what they are doing inside your body. Researching good, credible information is the only way to make sure you are eating the healthiest you can be.

  • warnlofjc20

    Oh for sure. A good rule of thumb with processed foods is to look for the shorter list of ingredients, the more processed a food is the longer its list of ingredients will be.

  • orvisbj27

    I live in a hipster neighborhood where they are always looking for the next better or “healthier” fad. Checking out the menu at a local restaurant they advertise their vegetarian dishes which are supposed to be healthier. The reality is that there is still lots of unhealthy cheese, the beans are re-fried or processed, and the tortilla or pita is often made from enriched grains. Although many of these products are tasty and free of meet, many of the ingredients are still quite unhealthy. Combined with the fact that the entrees are proportioned for 2 or 3 people these vegan or veggie dishes should not justify eating the whole thing.

  • Eric H

    Thank you for the article. I totally agree with this thinking. I have family members that think the way that you are not supposed to. My dad will make a big salad with lots of vegetables and tomatoes, but then load on the ranch dressing. I understand that vegetables are good for you, but ranch dressing is horrendous for your health. He is making himself sicker by thinking he is eating healthier.

  • Eric H

    I agree. It is a struggle because of marketing and advertising. Most people aren’t health experts so they look to the advertisements and fronts of packaged foods and immediately believe them. You can buy a hungry man meal that says you get your daily servings of protein and calcium, but when you take a closer look, you get over 100% of your sodium intake with one meal!

  • Alyssa Schragen

    Eating health is so much to talk about than it is to do it. I grew up in a family that didn’t have a lot of money so we ate a lot of processed canned foods and cheap boxed foods like mac and cheese. It wasn’t always like that but when we actually had money for food we would get a surprise dinner out to eat. Not exactly sure when it came to healthy food which is better, if there really was one over the other. Once I got into high school and my parents got different jobs I can honestly say when our eating habits started to changed and had more nutritional home made meals. Carbs and bread are also my comfort food. I love home made meals. fortunately for me I have always been athletic but I am still not considered at a healthy weight for my height and age. A lot of my eating habits falls back onto what I used to know for so many years. Thankfully now that I am older and out of the house I have changed some of my eating habits. My previous eating habits have coasted me a lot of health issues and in the long run I am hoping by making these changes it will better my health and prolong my life.

  • Alyssa Schragen

    As I continue to change my eating habits it is a lot easier to make the right choice by simply “considering if one will make me sick” Eating the right foods have had such a positive impact on my health and overall mental wellness. My anxiety that I have in school has decreased drastically which has overall decreased the amount of times I am ill. Eating the right foods has such an overall impact of how you feel. I don’t think everyone considers the potential negative impacts of what they are eating. If you could live longer just by eating a half a cup of veggies and fruit more a day. would you? that’s what I ask myself when I am considering what to eat.

  • Kent Miehe

    I totally agree with your opinion. Eating a large portion of these “healthier” foods isn’t always the best option. And a lot of these are also covered in butter and grease to try and make them taste better. If we can go to the store and just eat the right amount of fruits, vegetables, and do the simple steps, we will greatly help our health and not fall into the trap of the “fad diets.”

  • Kent Miehe

    I often fall into that trap of saying that what I’m eating is good when in reality it’s not. It is hard to not follow the fad diets, because at times they can seem easy and effective. However, if we are able to really look at what we’re eating and ask ourselves, “Is this REALLY healthy for me?”, then we’ll be able to avoid those unhealthy options and make better decisions for our health.

  • ReneeKirch19

    I agree, thanks for sharing! Eating healthy and making healthy choices is expensive, but I think that it is so worth it. I would admit that as a college student, I do not have all the money in the world to be spending on healthy or organic food, but when you weigh the positives and the negatives, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. Health is definitely one of the most important things that we should be focusing on, and it should start with food and diets.

  • Austin Dorman

    Exactly! I have learned so much in my Nutrition class so far this semester. Most things that I thought to be healthy or a smart choice, usually isn’t. Marketers are very crafty and smart about how they market certain items. Sure there yogurt might have less calories, but they had to increase the sugar content to do that. That’s why the consumer has a very hard job to read through all of the bullshit that is out there. It’s not an easy job.

  • Kelly Martin

    I love this article and the reality checks at the end. The fact that most vegetarians think they are helping by their body but not eating meat is not always the truth. Not eating meat doesn’t mean that you lose weight automatically because most people fill their meat cravings with carbs that aren’t good for them in the first place. Thank you for writing this article!

  • Lindsay Jakubik

    It’s so true that people think unrealistically about healthy eating! Very good points with how people assume bad foods such as corn dogs as nutrition for protein or calcium isn’t a good source for those nutrients, yet people use that as an excuse to eat them….

  • caroleighp

    Healthy eating is such a struggle for everyone because there is so much conflicting information out there! It is sad how our health seems to be valued less than the money people can make off of our cravings. Your first point is very interesting because in my quest to figure out what I should and shouldn’t eat I started realizing how many foods make me feel sick and how often I would eat them anyway. I have a problem with moderation and portion size. I can’t just have one piece of chocolate-I need to eat it all, then afterwards I feel like my stomach is trying to kill me and I wake up with acne on my face the next day. I have a really hard time understanding why, when I know I will regret it, I eat the unhealthy, stomach hurting, acne causing foods.

  • Garrett Nelson

    Well, since everyone’s body is different, dieting/eating right is different for everyone. I think it takes a while to figure out what works for you. What becomes so difficult is that your body changes over time and adapts to new foods so it takes a bit of experimentation to see what your body will handle or reject. Thinking long-term is important don’t get me wrong, but I feel the more you think about eating “perfectly right” in your present life will almost build up more stress and anxiety, which could lead to more severe issues than gaining a few pounds. I think you make a good point about moderation and portion size, but unfortunately our society tells us to eat more, because it’s good for us. It can be confusing on how to eat in a healthy manner, but finding the right sources and hearing from people who have “experimented” before seems to be beneficial. Thanks for sharing!

  • BastarKm06

    I agree completely that healthy eating is a struggle because of so much conflicting information out there. A lot of people only get their health “facts” from commercials on tv or ads in their favorite magazine, and they don’t realize that those ads and commercials only goals are to sell you their product. They aren’t trying to teach you about health or what is healthy to eat.

  • BastarKm06

    My dad does the exact same thing. Or he will eat some pretzels and then dip them in ranch. People think they are eating heathy by eating certain things, and they may be, but then the toppings they put on them or the way they cook them could completely change if the food is healthy or not.

  • BastarKm06

    I agree that its really hard for college students to eat right. Most healthier options are more expensive, and a lot of college kids don’t have the money to afford them, let alone have the time to prepare healthy meals.

  • Garrett Nelson

    You hit is spot on with saying it is about moderation. Of course, we have heard this quite often that moderation is the key, but so many people find it hard to do that. Breaking out of an eating habit is just as tough as breaking any other sort of habit, maybe even more challenging. Some foods I eat that are healthy include vegetables such as carrots, corn, beans, peas, edamame, etc., and a food I wish I could at least eat less of would be chips or crackers that are high in sodium (such as Chex Mix, corn chips, Lays potato chips). I tend to have a weakness for foods that are very salty high in sodium. Pretzels may be an alternative option for me. What are some things you crave that you wish you could remove from your diet?

  • Sara_Kay0316

    I enjoy this article and I think people do need to be held accountable for their eating habits. I have been eating healthy for one month and working out 5 times a week and have already lost 9 pounds and dropped a huge amount of body fat. My diet didn’t consist of a lot of sugars but last night I splurged on ice cream and it was crazy how crappy I felt afterwards. I was literally putting unwanted toxins into my body and my head was pounding and the room was spinning. I woke up this morning and I felt like I had a hangover from a crazy night of drinking but that ice cream was still getting the best of me. I also think people really need to hold themselves more accountable.

  • FalkinerRR23

    I think people, myself included, need to stop justifying everything we eat. We need to stop having the mind set of telling ourselves that we will workout an extra 20 minutes at the gym to burn off whatever it was we just ate or that it’s just a “cheat” day. After awhile this mindset that we have about justifying everything we eat will just become habit and that’s definitely not what we want or intended to do in the first place.

  • january26throwaway

    i have always struggled with healthy eating and being vegetarian. with the exception of jerky, most snack food is vegetarian, and that makes it even harder to resist. There has also been a march of processed foodstuffs hitting the vegetarian market as well.

  • gaulrappkj17

    I totally agree with this. We are constantly bombarded with different food choices, and not to mention the cheaper prices of the less healthy options. We have to be conscious about our choices, including the choices in eating and what we are drinking. If we are not then its a fast slippery slope.

  • DavidMizelle1

    I think there’s an important distinction to make in regards to your first point. You’re saying, for example, that the healthy benefits that you can get from drinking red wine do actually exist when you drink in MODERATION. It is the over indulgence part that is the issue. However, that’s not necessarily what you’re saying for your corn dog/ice cream examples. I don’t think it’s fair to say that the calcium benefits derived from ice cream don’t actually exist, because they do. It isn’t as if that benefit is negated by the excess sugar in ice cream, but the effect of ice cream as a whole on your overall health is probably negative, which I think is the real point you’re trying to make.

  • Julia

    I know of some people that will eat healthy three times a week and then ate like crap the other days. It’s funny because society doesn’t realize one healthy meal isn’t going to change anything. It has to be continuous. One healthy meal doesn’t make you healthy. I agree that people get the nutrients from bad sources. Some people think juice is healthy, but really it is not. Juice is the worse form of fruit. It is broken down so much that there isn’t fiber in it and the sugar content is insanely high.

  • AndreaOlsen22

    I find this article amusing, especially the mother/child conversation. It’s crazy what we will do and the excuses we make to make ourselves feel like we got some good nutrition when we really did not. Just because a food includes slightly healthy components doesn’t make the overall food a healthy option. This shows how messed up our society is if we think pizza can be healthy. We got ourselves so confused. Sure, pizza and other unhealthy things are okay once in awhile, but no it is not a typical healthy meal and we need to realize that. We need to be consistent with being healthy because being healthy for one day here and there won’t keep us healthy or alive long.

  • Amy Rink

    I completely agree with you! Not a lot of people truly know how to determine what is good and what is not so good for their body. I’m still learning myself and it amazes me knowing what I know now how foolish I was before. This article really helped me understand what it means to truly eat healthy!

  • Kendra Larson

    I thought your article really brought forward a powerful message that the rest of society needs to hear. It’s amazing how many people think that not eating one thing is going to make them healthier, or make them loose weight. Also, just like you said, people think that certain foods are good for them, when in reality they really are not. For example, our society believes that granola bars are a healthy snack to give their kids after sports activities, and/or in general. Advertisements and the food industry market the granola bar as healthy, with fruits and grains that give us all energy. However, if people actually read the food labels on these products they would realize that granola bars are basically all sugar. The food industry tricks people into thinking something is healthy for them, and thats how they get people to buy “unhealthy” food. No wonder the obesity rate is so high. How can we get people to choose healthier choices when the food industry makes it almost impossible to find healthy choices? Thank you for sharing this article.

  • Abby2017

    I like the idea that was mentioned about ice cream being not healthy. It depends on how a person looks at it. There is a lot of sugar in ice cream. There is calcium because there is dairy in it. I like how the outlook on ice cream was worded because if there is a lot of sugar but also calcium they cancel each other out which makes the ice cream not as healthy as we thought it was.

  • milleram97

    Why do we do this to ourselves? Make excuses for unhealthy ways of life.
    There are marketing tactics seen everyday that boost the good, honest things we know about health-such as a gym ad, then the next second we’re seeing an ad for jellybeans that are made with real juice! (Wow, maybe I won’t even need the daily 5?) But wait, isn’t juice loaded up with sugars and ingredients that no one even knows how to pronounce?
    How are kids, who are the future of nutrition and the world, supposed to determine what is good for them, when the people they look up to to give them that information are just in the business to take their money now and down the road?
    Like is said above, if something makes you ill you cannot label it healthy.
    And just because you have a carrot doesn’t mean that the one cup of ranch is a viable dip.
    Many people have “junk” days where they will be good little boys and girls during the week, then on weekends eat whatever they want for a reward.
    Let me tell you why this is a bad effort.
    When you spend the whole week thinking about all the foods you’ve missed out on, and on weekends when most people are out doing things and have quicker access to eating out and making it some huge event, you’re going to splurge. And hard. As in an oh-my-gosh-I-never-want-to-eat-again whine.
    If you’re trying to be so healthy, why bombard it with all that extra saturated fat, crap carbs and boulders of meat when giving yourself little rewards every day that may actually satisfy your cravings may actually improve your outlook and make you not feel like someone who is craving their addiction.

  • Michellelele123

    This was definitely a wake up call for me because the kind of thinking mentioned here is exactly how I think. I know ice cream and corndogs obviously aren’t great for you but I always justified it by saying it had vitamins, minerals, etc in it.

  • Anniep1023

    I have been trying to eat better since the beginning of the new year. And I will admit, it is hard. As the article points out, we all make excuses to ourselves about our diets. This probably is doing more hard then good. I don’t know if there is a clear-cut answer to help fight the obesity crisis in our country, but it is evident that something needs to change. As a future educator, it is my responsibility to my students to help guide them through life and that includes their eating habits. Nutrition can not keep being taught in the same “eat more fruits and vegetables” way it has been. Adults need to start being role models for children and show them that eating healthy is enjoyable and not something that should be dreaded.

  • leeana liska

    This article touched on a point that I think a lot of people struggle with. As a society, many people don’t know what a healthy meal, diet, or even a healthy food is. Most of it streams from a lack of knowledge, bad advertisement, and marketing companies trying to make money selling their products. I have struggled with this myself by believing some articles and food labels that ended up being awful for my health. It is not the persons fault for not knowing a food was unhealthy, especially when we don’t know what is okay to believe and not believe, but as a society we need to stop eating the foods that we know for a fact are bad for us and not make excuses trying to justify.

  • ali Alamri

    nowadays the food is becoming less healthy and rarely finding healthy meal .

  • leeana liska

    Similar to the salad example, I heard someone talking about a veggie pizza the other day. Yes the veggies are healthy, but that doesn’t justify eating the whole thing in one sitting. We need to get out of this mind set that just because one element is healthy that it evens out the unhealthy part.

  • Marcy Glad

    Some excellent, straightforward nutritional advice. We all are guilty of rationalizing food choices sometimes. And, modern life does occasionally give us meal options that are not so healthy and hard to turn away from. Making lifestyle practices of understanding what generally “healthy” and “clean” eating is, accompanied by planning and storage efforts to have tasty food with those qualities readily available will be the key to consistent good nutrition. For those of us accustomed to the convenience factor that often goes with less healthy options, the initial adjustment may take more effort.

  • struckml03

    That is great advice! I like the two ways to look at that. So many times I see people (my roommate being one of them) going on diets where they take out food in their life or where they just go on a juice diet. And although it may sound good to them at the time, in all honestly it really is hurting them more than not. Those are two great points of advice I will carry on to my friends and family members, along with keeping this in mind for myself too. You have to look at the whole picture. You cant just pick the healthy side out of foods that are also bad for you.

  • Samantha Lavenau

    Love this article! Makes you think outside the box with what types of foods you are consuming. I have a good friend who is a Potato-chip vegetarian, and since I eat meat and she doesn’t, she says she is healthier than me. I eat 70% healthy, consuming mostly fruits, vegetables, and lean meats, while my friends snacks on cereal, chips, and other high processed foods. Eating meat in small dosages is not bad for your health, while eating chips is. I love that Ann put this in terms like this so we can understand that it is not about what you aren’t eating but what you are.

  • Sara Fuller

    The second point that Dr. Garvin made is so true in society. I always hear people say things like, “Oh I did really well today, I didn’t eat any carbs!” Good for you Regina George maybe you can get your dress for the spring fling from 135 instead of having to go to Sears. Sorry people it doesn’t work like that. Like Ann says in her lectures, ‘Fat burns in the flame of carbohydrates’! You go Glenn Coco!

  • Caroleigh Perkins

    Everyone is so afraid to eat carbs! I think it is really unfortunate because this means that all carbs get a bad name, even the ones that are giving you energy and burning your fat. There definitely needs to be a bigger emphasis on getting accurate health information to the public. Public schools would be a good place to put this into practice–maybe then Caty wouldn’t have been able to make Regina too big to fit into anything but sweatpants!

  • Caroleigh Perkins

    It is not fair that people have to pay more to eat healthier foods. Every time I think about it I get angry. You don’t want pesticides on your apples? That’s fine, just pay a dollar more per bag. It is so silly, but I guess we have to keep in mind that by spending more now on healthier food choices will save us money in hospital bills later in life.

  • Caroleigh Perkins

    Food has spell over us. People aren’t eating because it is a basic need to survive–instead of eating to live, we live to eat. I think those people who are eating healthy during the week and splurging on the weekend are without a doubt under this spell. It’s unfortunate because eating healthy in itself should be rewarding enough in the way it makes them feel.

  • Caroleigh Perkins

    I agree with your last sentence very strongly. My mom was always on the latest diet trying to lose weight and often times it was not very healthy. She didn’t have a lot of money so she would make seperate meals for herself and for her 5 children. While she was eating a carbless chicken breast, the kids were eating frozen pizza and cottage cheese or mexican lasagna covered in sour cream. I wish that healthy eating was the norm and the people who eat cheeseburgers on a regular basis were the weird ones instead of the oddball vegatarian eating a black bean burrito with fresh veggies.

  • Caroleigh Perkins

    This is very true. Being a healthy eater means you have no choice but to learn how to cook. Quick and convient foods are almost always unhealthy and processed. It is really hard to eat out at restaurants and still feel like you are making good choices.

  • Caroleigh Perkins

    Sure moderation is a good idea in theory, but honestly I don’t think it works for everyone. It definitely does not work for me. I don’t really think about not being able to ever eat pizza again, but I know that eating pizza is not good for me and I don’t want to eat it ever again. Yes it tastes good, but it makes me feel bad. I say moderation doesn’t work for me because if I were to splurge and order a pizza then I would feel guilty before it even arrived. I wouldn’t be able to just have a little. I would eat a bite and think “Oh my god I’m in heaven” and before I even had a chance to breath, half the pizza would be gone. Then I would feel really bad about myself, both mentally and physically (stomach ache). It’s like telling an alcoholic that they are still fine to drink, just in moderation.

  • Caroleigh Perkins

    I feel the same way, where I am more likely to overeat on the days I have worked out. I wonder if it is because my body is sending out more hunger signals because of the lost calories or if it just because in my mind eating more is justified. In my experience though, nutrition trumps exercise when it comes to trying to lose weight. Don’t get me wrong, I still love going to the gym, but I think about my cardiovascular and mental health more than I think about losing weight.

  • Chanaeva

    I was raised eating a whole foods based diet. My mother was always very healthy but she wasn’t crazy about special diets. We just ate a variety of veggies, legumes, fruit, nuts and lean meats.She never bought soda or junky snack foods. As a kid I hated this and would love going to my friends houses to eat hot pockets and drink coke. Now that I’m in older I am very grateful for my mother and her garden. It is easy for me to eat healthy because I was educated about healthy food at a young age.

  • Lindsay Jakubik

    I can relate to the adults being role models. I was raised by my grandparents who have influenced my healthy eating. They only brought in the house what they would eat themselves, and only served at dinner what they expected me to eat. Growing up like that made me create a good habit out of eating without knowing that it was happening.

  • Lindsay Jakubik

    Which is so true! People tell themselves all the time when indulging “at least i’m getting my daily value in xyz” when really it’s just an excuse to eat unhealthy (but hey…. we all do it ;D )

  • Lindsay Jakubik

    I agree with your idea! I think everyone deserves to indulge and have “cheat days” or “cheat meals” every now and then, but sometimes it gets hard to break that routine if you spend a whole day eating crap. I personally feel disgusted with myself and eat well after indulging, but I also get a lot more cravings when I give in more frequently.

  • Lindsay Jakubik

    This was me with pizza on sunday….. A whole pizza by myself (after Saturday being a complete cheat meal day). I just couldn’t fight the cravings for something bad after eating so poorly all weekend! I felt so sick with myself after that because I planned on making better choices

  • McKenzie Foster

    I really agree with all the points that were made in the article. Society does tend to mistake junk food for being healthy. Also, the second point made was so true. I see on social media all the time of these super skinny girls because they think they are being healthy by not getting any protein in them. Um HELLO…. looking like a twig is not attractive and not healthy. When it looks like i can snap your arm with my pinky, you need to make a lifestyle change and reevaluate their eating habits. I do agree that eating healthy and knowing what foods are healthy can be hard. Though, if you take the time to educate yourself and be motivated it can be huge positive lifestyle change.

  • Kendra Larson

    I completely agree, social media portrays the “ideal” woman as some one who is essentially unhealthy. When you look at these women, they are nothing but skin and bone. In my eyes, that is not what I want to look like because I know that not eating enough, or not taking in the good amount of calories I need, is essentially going to hurt me in the long run. I would rather keep a healthy image rather than change myself into a person that social media accepts as the perfect body image. I challenge women of all ages to take more time focusing on their health and less time trying to live up to societies “ideal” image of the perfect woman. When it comes down to it, the time spent focusing on your body in a healthy way, will be worth it in the long run.

  • catec18

    I think the two suggestions in this article make eating healthy a little less gray and a little more black and white. A food cannot be healthy and unhealthy at the same time. This seems logical, but food is comprised of so many things that people (including myself) actually use this logic to justify eating certain foods. It makes sense in the lazy culture we live in. We say something is healthy simply because it is healthier than something else or because we ate a little bit of everything its healthier. I think the second point is also very valid. I have a friend who is a vegetarian and often times eats salads or healthy food for lunch and dinner. But sometimes after a meal she will come back to the table with 3 or 4 cookies, which can sort of cancel out all the good food that she just ate.

  • Jessica Andrew

    Thank you for sharing this article! Eating healthy is very hard in today’s society. People just want to buy something that is easy to make and that won’t take a lot of time. These tips are great and will hopefully get people to change their eating habits! I need to work on mine as well because I usually just grab the easiest thing then leave.

  • Jessica Andrew

    I agree with you. Diets are not always the best thing to do if you are trying to lose weight. If one of my friends is considering doing one, I advise them to do some research on it because it really isn’t the best for them. I think Ann’s advice is great too! Hopefully people will start using her tips!

  • Garrett Nelson

    I agree, well I don’t believe there is a food that is NOT good for you unless it makes you chronically sick, is full of acid, is part of a supplement or drug, or you simply dislike it. As long as it is used in moderation I think all food can be good. As for cancelling out poor foods, well I think it is again all about moderation. If you eat 5 cookies in one sitting, obviously that probably is not healthy and eating a boatload of broccoli or carrots isn’t going to offset that. It will just make your intake of calories and carbs higher. Finding a routine and right balance of foods is important, and being able to say no to simple foods that are quick and easy plays a huge role in the obesity epidemic surrounding us. Thanks for sharing!

  • Garrett Nelson

    I think you make a great point, being taught and “disciplined” from a young age makes a huge difference later on what sort of decisions you make to keep your body healthy. I think the number one rule of thumb in terms of eating right is moderation and balance. You do those two things and you should be successful with your eating habits. It is also important for us as upcoming adults and parents to recognize these rules and share them to our own children when the time comes. Could make a world of a difference in the future. Thanks for sharing!

  • Garrett Nelson

    I agree, it is important to come up with realistic goals for yourself when it comes down to it, whether it is nutrition, exercise, or sleep. Finding a balance of these three things is important and also having a realistic vision for yourself. And yes, I think people contradict themselves by there actions and what they eat. Someone might say or assume that cereal is a good source of fiber and will lower your cholesterol, but then they go and eat Coco Puffs, it doesn’t really make sense. Understanding the specifics of nutrition in foods is something our society should become more aware of.

  • Garrett Nelson

    I agree, having a balance and routine of specific foods is huge when trying to maintain good health. Eating pizza every night is not going to do that (even though it is my favorite food!) Since I love pizza so much, I try to limit myself to eating it once a week, which is not horrible, but still I could do better. I don’t really think there is anything that is a bad food, but knowing how much to eat and being able to control an appetite is something that will help you maintain good health. It is probably one of the hardest things to do, but once you get a routine down and make a habit of eating in moderation then it will typically come natural to eat healthy. Thanks for sharing!

  • Skalahe13

    It is true that it is hard to understand nutrition when one article says one thing and then a different article says another thing. Along with these two suggestions you have to see where the information came from to know if it is something to believe or not. I never really thought about people on diets not getting credit for what they don’t eat. It makes sense though, people should focus more on what they are putting into their body and less on what they are avoiding.

  • Lindsey Kessler

    I really like the last few sentences of your post: “The truth is that not eating a certain food doesn’t impact you in any way; your body doesn’t even know you were bing virtuous or choosy. It’s only the foods you actually consume that either make you sick or keep you healthy.” I never put it into perspective like that before. This also makes me think of how so many people think honey is really good for you…. But one tablespoon of honey has 17 grams of sugar! You are doing more harm to your pancreas than good when consuming honey.

  • Chelsea Haffele

    It is very hard to healthy while eating on campus and living a very busy life. I agree with this article in many ways. If you are truly trying to eat healthy then it’s not okay to make something that’s not healthy, be healthy. Such as your example of ice cream and how it has calcium so it must be healthy. If you’re trying to reason why you should eat something then you probably shouldn’t be eating it.

  • Chelsea Haffele

    I think changing your died is a lifestyle change as well. It isn’t about eating healthy for 3 of the 7 days a week. I also think it’s bad when people try to reason why they can eat a cookie today. If you have to reason it, don’t eat it.

  • Anniep1023

    As a college student, it can be really hard to not only eat healthy, but also eat quality foods. By having a supersize Walmart as your only source of groceries, its really hard to make good quality choices when you can get five boxes of mac and cheese for $4 dollars compared to a bunch of kale for the same price. However, in order to live the most healthy lifestyle, you need to be a smart and savvy consumer. By really reading labels and thinking about how this will affect your overall diet, you can begin to make smarter and healthier options when it comes to buying groceries.

  • Ashley Gardner

    I am defintely guilty of the “Pizza is healthy” comment…Life can get so hectic, and ordering that pizza always sounds so good at the time. Looking at the big picture however, this article shows how silly that is. Feeding our body foods that will fuel us positively will pay off more in the long run. I have witnessed a friend go vegetarian and replace her cravings with junk food instead of essentail food groups. She didn’t last vegatarin for very long.. You never really look at in the sense of your body not even knowing that you chose a specific eating style. I really loved that point, so true!

  • Anthony Davis

    I feel as though this issue is very apparent when you look at how much individuals really know about nutrition and health overall. Because individuals don’t know about nutritional rules and how to lose fat that they have consumed over the years they start throwing up facts that they learn from marketplaces that are trying to make money and scam people.

  • Anthony Davis

    I agree with you Annie, and I feel like healthier options are always better when shopping. Even though there are worse options that are cheaper and less beneficial to your health you have to look at it with a standpoint of what it is doing to our bodies and is our bodies something that is a worthwhile investment. I would say the answer is yes, we should definitely go with the bunch of kale.

  • byrnesbk24

    it amazes me how little people know about the actual facts of nutrition. I hear people preach protein all the time and they have no idea that you actually don’t need THAT much. I will admit I thought I knew about nutrition until I took a nutrition class and I realized how little i knew. I think it should be required at each level to take nutrition (elementary, middle school high school and even college) growing on each unit previously learned. I know other subjects in school are important but how can kids and even adults learn if they are sick or jacked up on sugar? How could a school get this started?

  • Skalahe13

    I agree. A lot of people will believe anything that they see or hear without finding out how sound the information really is and that is where a lot of the bad nutritional habits come from. They should realize that the facts they are believing are from companies that are trying to sell their products. what they should do is consult in someone who is neutral who knows what they are talking about instead of listening to everything they hear.

  • Taysia Justus

    Nothing bothers me more than hearing parents justify “eat you pizza” (or an equivalent of an unhealthy food) before the child can have dessert. I’m no parent, but if the child is going to eat a dessert that is equally unhealthy, then why bother with giving the child 2 unhealthy “meals” in a row. Just give them one or the other.

  • Jessica Peardon

    Everyone I know needs to read this article. People justify what they eat everyday. They also say that this is the last bad thing I’ll eat all week. And then the next day they repeat it all over. People are educated about what is healthy. But, they aren’t motivated enough to eat a carrot instead of a chip.

  • Colin Hickey

    I understand this completely. I also justify eating food by saying that I will work it off later. This mindset doesn’t work and I should just eat healthy from the start. Even if I do work out, it doesn’t mean that it will work off the bad food that I eat. I think that most people justify eating bad food at some point like this and it doesn’t work out.

  • CamilleYip

    I feel like our culture has made people think that it is okay to try and justify eating unhealthy foods by doing things like counting tomato paste on pizza as a vegetable serving.


    Although humorous, this article speaks to the harsh truth that America is extremely uneducated when it comes to nutrition. I find it ridiculous the lengths that people will go to justify their food choices. However, I believe that if somebody feels they need to justify what they put into their bodies, they know deep down that it doesn’t belong there in the first place.

  • Austin Jones

    its crazy how much conflicting nutritional informations Americans are exposed to. People will do and say crazy thing to justify their choices, especially with food.

  • wegener61

    I agree with this idea, with the sheer amounts of terrible nutrition that we can see everywhere, it is so hard not to make a tradeoff in nutrition. We justify our choices of food based on taste, not how healthy something actually is, plus its easier to buy shitty food that will last for weeks or months than to shop for fresh, healthy food on a weekly basis.

  • shelbysterling

    I agree with you on this! But sometimes I really do believe that people don’t know what they are putting into their bodies! Food can be so confusing with the way it is marketed and displayed. Like anything in life I believe that people need to focus on educating themselves and not just making choices because it says that its healthy on the box.

  • CamilleYip

    Especially how much cheaper it is to buy unhealthy junk food vs healthy fresh foods.


    I completely agree with your statement as well, Shelby. It’s very hard to blame people for their lack of real knowledge surrounding nutrition. The media bombards us 24/7 with all kinds of contrasting nutritional information to make money. For the general population that doesn’t know the facts about nutrition, it’s no wonder they buy into all of it- both literally and figuratively!

  • Jon Micsa

    I don’t think nutrition is that complicated of a topic. Eat a healthy amount of fruits and vegetables, take a daily multivitamin, drink lots of water, and have foods high in protein such as fish or chicken. One can also supplement with protein shakes. I think many times ignorance is just an excuse to go grab a burger and fries, when its simply that a healthy diet just isn’t high up on ones priority list.

  • Jessica Mendoza

    I love this post Ann! It was short, and to the point. Nutrition can be a really hard thing for people to understand that do not ever get the chance to learn about it. The media, and different forms of advertising depict “eating healthy” in all the examples that you stated in your post. How are people supposed to know what to believe when they have never really learned about true nutrition before. Like you said, “eating well can be hard. Keeping these two ideas in mind can make things a whole lot easier.” Eating well can be hard for everyone! Even for the people that do learn about it. If more people were to learn about what it is to truly eat healthy, and learn about these two ideas, I think it could help a lot.

  • Jessica Mendoza

    I couldn’t agree more with what you have stated! Everything Ann said in this post was the harsh truth that American is extremely uneducated when it comes to nutrition. To a certain extent, I do think that people go to ridiculous lengths to justify certain food choices, but I also do just think it is because they simply do not know. Some people do not get the change to learn about true nutrition and to learn about when it is to truly eat healthy. They believe everything media is telling them.

  • Jessica Mendoza

    I agree with you here. I think that media is a HUGE part of this. Some people don’t get a chance to take nutrition classes, so they simply never learn the true aspects of it. They just believe what the media and what a lot of the American culture is telling them.

  • Jessica Mendoza

    Exactly! I completely agree with what you have said! Yes, I think it is crazy how much the American culture will justify what they are eating. But I think the even bigger concern here is that it is simply because that have never been educated on the truth about nutrition and how to eat well. They believe what the media is telling them.

  • Jessica Mendoza

    I have to unfortunately agree with you here. I have definitely been guilty of the “pizza is healthy” comment as well. It can be so easy and just sound so good to order a pizza after a long day of school, work, and homework. It is important to realize that if you want pizza, it is okay. You just have to eat it in moderation. Also, realize that is not something you can do every day. It is important for everyone to learn about what nutrition truly is and what the true aspects are of eating healthy.

  • MattDennert

    This is a really good article because it really shows how little people know about what is healthy and what is not. It really shows that fad diets are making people more and more unhealthy because of the lack of information that is given.

  • alexlavine

    Ann’ s nutrition class has helped me to understand what to eat and what not eat. She talks about a balanced diet. Shes helped to understand the myths of food. I’ve eliminated a lot unhealthy items from my diet that I never realized before. I used to think yogurt was a good healthy snack, but now I know that it’s loaded with sugar. I’ve started to drink a lot more skim milk and eat more fruits and veggies. Going into the health field or not I would suggest taking this class because its important so we don’t fall into the lies of food marketers.

  • struckml03

    I hope so too! I always try and write down everything Ann says so I can bring this information back to my roommate and others. I see so many times people thinking they are doing a good diet when in all reality it isnt. Juicing is horrible and I see that far too often. Ann stressed to us so many times it is bad. I am hoping that I can be as good as a public speaker as her some day. I want to be able to say how it is, but then back it up with excellence like she does. I want to help people understand.

  • esiever1

    Eating healthy is definitely a challenge, especially when it comes to making a lifestyle change. I got to the point of eating the correct portions of everything, but then I got bored and went back to my old style of eating. Great post. It was very informative.

  • Austin Jones

    I really like the point of not being able to consider food healthy if it is going to make you sick in another. This article makes me think that I need to try and hit all of the food groups more when I make meals in a healthy way. preparing meals is also something i need to focus on so i can quickly make healthy meals when i am in a time crunch. this will help me stay on track with my health as well.

  • RadebaugVP02

    I like this post because it is straight forward. Many of us like to justify what we eat, guilty on some occasions. We need to start looking more in depth as to what we are putting in our bodies and will it benefit us in the long run. I think this can become less of a problem if we stop trying to justify what we are eating and face it for what it is and make some changes.

  • flaschbm09

    I agree! I find myself eating just to eat or because I’m bored. When this happens, I usually go to the pantry or the freezer for something sweet, chocolaty and usually unhealthy instead of reaching for a piece of fruit or some veggies. I need to start getting into the mindset of reaching for those things instead of the sugary, fatty things I normally go for.

  • Taysia Justus

    I like how you said we justify what we eat. This is so true, I find myself doing it all the time.

  • barema28

    May it be working 18 hours for a start up, or 18 hours of class, work, athletics, ect., this article definitely is spot explaining what I do. I always find myself saying, okay pizza is fine if I only have two pieces and I am eating supreme so it has meats and vegetables. Healthy! I knew it was wrong to do that, but that has never stopped me. After reading this article, these two reality checks will help me make more conscious decisions in the future.

  • Sarah Reynolds

    Nutrition can be really hard for some people to understand. I know I sometimes struggle with what is healthy and what is not. I find myself saying oh if I have a little of this it won’t be bad for me and that one tends to lead to another. I really like the point of not being able to consider food healthy if it is going to make you sick in another. I will think about this the next time I’m making a decision on what to eat.

  • Timothy Joseph Basaldua

    I have always struggled with eating three balanced meals throughout the day. I make poor food choices and I try to justify that what I’m eating is okay, because I could be eating something so much worse. I am working hard to eat three meals a day. Once I can establish an eating routine, I want to incorporate more healthier food choices. I think that everything is okay with in moderation.

  • leeana liska

    This post is true in more ways than just with healthy eating. I think we all, in some ways, make excuses and justifications for things we want to do but know are bad for us. For instance, I know sometimes if I do a really hard workout one day, I don’t feel as guilty taking the next day a little lighter or driving somewhere that I could easily walk or bike to. It is a bad habit that I and probably many others should work on and try to be better motivated.

  • Elaminsj25

    This article reminds me of a discussion I had with a guy recently. I had gone to Planet Fitness for the first time and while I was there I noticed a sign on the wall that said “Join us for pizza night every first Monday of each month.” I was appalled. This is supposed to be a gym and they encourage eating pizza? I took a picture of the flyer and posted it on my Instagram. A guy commented and said “Not all pizza is bad, maybe it’s veggie pizza.” Regardless of what kind of pizza it was, it still is NOT healthy. Pizza is not healthy. A veggie pizza might be healthier than a pepperoni lovers but it still isn’t healthy and definitely should not be promoted at a place that is meant to help people lose weight.

  • Jaglerjn22

    That is very true. Instead of making excuses…we need to start making changes. Even if there is room for justification, there are still some things that should be a little bit harder to justify. But I also agree when you say that we need to start looking at what we are actually putting into our bodies. Not just now, but what will happen if we continue this type of diet in the future. There are so many adverse affects that I’m sure people don’t want when they get older!

  • Jaglerjn22

    Yes! Hearing multiple takes on the same information can be confusing. And especially with what is portrayed on the media…children will see that and relay that information to their parents. A lot of times the parents know that the information that their children are telling them is inaccurate, but will go along with it just go get their kids to stop complaining. Most parents know that the food that is advertised on TV isn’t always good for their children, but if they buy it for their children just to quiet them.

  • Jaglerjn22

    I agree that it is kind of silly to go on diets. By simply taking sugary foods out of your diet can be a simple solution. Ann does have great advice and people should listen to her…because she knows what she’s talking about! Looking at the long run is something that people really need to consider!

  • Erin

    This article kind of makes me laugh because it is almost like this needs to be an obvious thought for everyone but it isn’t. I mean, of course it’s not okay to eat three pieces of pizza because you didn’t have a fourth. It doesn’t matter what you don’t eat it matters what you are eating. Some unhealthy food is okay in moderation but indulging in it everyday is not good. A balancing diet consists of food that gives you energy and makes you feel good. I can guarantee that trying to get protein from a corn dog isn’t going to make you feel good. Now getting protein from a grilled chicken breast is a much better choice.

  • Erin

    I have seen these types of ads as well and it kind of makes me mad. People are going to have cheat meals on their own. Therefore, the gym should not be promoting a day for their clients to come and have a cheat meal there. Maybe instead of a pizza night they should have something beneficial for people who are trying to lose weight and get fit. For example, having a cooking session teaching people how to cook healthy dinners. It doesn’t even have to be a lesson it can just be a veggie party or a fruit party. Everyone loves fresh fruit. I can get pizza anytime I want and I definitely don’t need my gym inviting me to a pizza night.

  • Sarah Kasiurak

    Wow. I can’t believe a gym would provide such an unhealthy meal. I used to workout there and they did not have that unhealthy promotion going on. I agree, pizza is not healthy and if people are trying to lose weight, the gym could be causing them set backs. Who knows how many people may start to only go on Mondays to get the free food. I think Planet Fitness should look into what they are doing, clearly changing a few things couldn’t hurt.

  • Kent Miehe

    Thank you for sharing this! I totally agree that there are so many hidden things behind foods (such as low-fat = higher sugar) that make it hard to eat healthy. We can’t eat low-fat Oreos and justify that as being healthy. There are plenty of healthy foods out there that taste good and that make us feel good. When we eat unhealthy foods, saying “At least I didn’t eat this” will only lead to more unhealthy eating habits that will be bad for our health. Following those 2 hints will hopefully open our eyes to what we need to do when choosing what to eat and hopefully make us healthier in the end.

  • Kent Miehe

    I totally agree. People think it’s OK when they don’t eat that fourth slice of pizza, but that usually leads to them saying it’s OK to eat other kinds of unhealthy foods. This often leads to that indulging behavior that you mentioned. I also agree with your comparison of the corn dog and the grilled chicken breast and that the chicken obviously not only has more protein but many other nutrients that can benefit our health. Instead of trying to justify food that is unhealthy, we need to eat food that has actual benefits and usually tastes better than the “corn dogs” that we consume. Great points!

  • Kent Miehe

    Great observation! I have done the same thing where I reward myself of an easy workout or activity after a hard exercise. People need to realize that if they SHOULD be doing these activities and eating healthy foods. They shouldn’t need to reward themselves for doing what their bodies need to stay healthy. It’s really not as hard to do as people think. But I agree with your point, even I need to work on reminding myself to not “reward” myself for doing something healthy and to just be motivated to choose the healthy option in any situation.

  • Kent Miehe

    I agree with your opinion as well. If we really wanted to, we could look at any food and find something “healthy” about it. I’m guilty of doing this with certain foods, but in the end, it doesn’t benefit me and won’t benefit anyone else who thinks this way. It can be hard to always pick the healthy option, with time and money at a bind for a majority of people. Once we can make the first step of justifying the ACTUAL healthy options, we will see an improvement not only in our health but in other aspects of our lives as well.

  • mindhamrr11

    I like the two points that you made, and I think that more people need to hear them. I see so many people that don’t have any idea what healthy eating is because of the way they were fed by their parents growing up. I’ve seen dads proud of their child for finishing a huge plate of mashed potatoes and steak thinking it is going to be healthy for them and make them strong. Also, I see a lot of people buy something just because it says “low fat” thinking it must be healthy when in reality, it probably just means some fats were replaced by adding more sugar.


    I agree, Kent. I would even take your comments a step further and say that overeating is sometimes praised in certain settings, and I think college is one of them. I know many people that brag about how much and how unhealthy they eat, and especially how much alcohol they drink. Those people may (or may not) be thin on the outside, but I would be very interested to see them in the future when their metabolisms catch up to them and their arteries begin clogging. Balance and moderation is key!

  • alexlavine

    I think the biggest point you make is that we eat what our parents eat. We are told that we need to finish our dinner in order to become healthy people. Usually we eat meat and potatoes and no veggies or fruit. Plus the portion of steak and potatoes is usually much larger then veggies if they are on the plate. I used to eat a lot of granola bars thinking it was a light snack, but really most of them are loaded with sugar. I always would eat chips with a lunch sandwich as well. As I’ve grown older I’ve grown out of some of these habits, but at times its hard to break because those bad habits were how we ate for so long and it was so ingrained in us.

  • alexlavine

    Great point about how we try to justify the foods we eat as being good in one and that overcomes the ways in which they are bad. I think a lot of people do this. They might work out and then say they’ve earned a candy bar, but really that is just ruining the workout. Replenish the body with veggies, fruits, whole breads, a chicken breast, or a glass of skim milk. The greater population too often try to justify our bad eating choices.

  • alexlavine

    I think the sugar mistake is very common. We often drink juices, cereals, granola bars, muffins among other things and we don’t realize all the sugar in them. The sugar is what makes us gain weight. It doesn’t fill us up and we just end up eating more and more of it.

  • Bjackson5

    Moderation must be the key word in this article. Every human is different and since this is true, every person must know the regulations they must make to maintain a balanced diet. The great thing about the human body is that it has been made to constantly regulate itself in order to maintain homeostasis, and since it does, we are able to allow our diet to change as well. It is true that sometimes necessary foods aren’t as acquired as easily, but this should not be an excuse to eat things that do not benefit our health.

  • Kaila Witthun

    This is so true. I justify like this all of the time. I will tell myself I had a rough day I can spoil myself a little. And then I will pick the better of two bad options and well it is still bad regardless. I think it is a great point that many people do not realize, just because it is “good” for you in one way, doesn’t offset the harm it is doing to you in another.

  • mindhamrr11

    Thanks for the response. Granola bars are a great point to bring up because so many parents feed them to their children, and so many people in general eat them thinking that they are good for them when, like you said, they are filled with sugar.

  • mindhamrr11

    You bring up some good points. I see my roommates buy foods that say low fat all the time, and like you said, that means that they just added more sugar most of the time. One of my roommates also eat everything in sight, and I can’t believe he doesn’t gain a lot of weight, but he doesn’t because he runs all of the time.

  • Kent Miehe

    You should talk to your roommate about his eating habits. Even though he is exercising a lot and not gaining weight, the high sugary foods could still be affecting his health. It’s called TOFI – thin on the outside, fat on the inside. Too many times people are mislead by what they think is “healthy”, but really isn’t. If you can talk to your roommate about selecting healthier foods, he will greatly improve his health.

  • Thumbs_up

    haha..So true. The first reality check is great. There is no chance of make something work in both opposite ways. Excuses are a daily aspect of people. It is common to hear: “I worked the whole day today”. “It is raining”. “I will compensate tomorrow”. The ugly true is that you are only lying to yourself.

  • ryanstorto

    It is so hard to eat healthy these days with how busy people are and how time consuming preparing a healthy meal can be. The part where the mother says the corn dog is a good source of protein shows how unhealthy our country is for one and two how uneducated people are where they think that a corn dog is a healthy thing for their kid to eat for dinner with fries and ice cream.

  • RadebaugVP02

    Something that helped me is I found something inspiring, something that made me want to change my diet for myself. That could be a role model, a health issue, a new story, something that hits home.

  • flaschbm09

    I’ll have to try thinking about something that would do that for me. I know often times when I think about eating healthy or dieting, I do it for other people or other reasons such as a special event coming up, a significant other, sibling rivalry. I think I just need to start thinking in terms of it helping me and no one else.

  • purperoar21

    I enjoyed the “potato chip vegetarian” part, being a vegetarian myself I emphasize to people that I’m eating what is nutritionally crucial, minus a food I do not prefer and replacing it with something else. Claiming myself to be smarter when it comes to vegetarian diets, I find the idea of “its not what your not eating it’s what you are eating” to be important. I appreciate this blog because it touches on a couple pet peeves of mine. People often misinterpret food by overestimating tiny healthy aspects, for instance: a salad…that’s drenched in dressing and cheese and topped with friend chicken. It’s ingredients and facts we need to pay attention to not skewed justifications of food that we make up in our head.

  • CPanella1

    It is so hard to be healthy in college, it actually might arguably be one of the hardest times. Due to all the bad habits surrounding us. We are all low on money as it is, and then choose to spend it on fast food and alcohol-which is slowly killing us everyday. I found it hard the first few years to eat healthy because I had 3-5 roommates and I have a hard time saying no if they ask to grab a bite to eat, or share a dinner with them at home. But now what I found works best for me is living alone. I love it and would recommend it to everyone at some point in their life. I buy only the food I know I should be eating, so limited temptations at home and no one to run in and ask to go out to eat every other night.

  • milkienr18

    I think that eating healthy is not very hard at all. You just need to find the things you like. Which means that sometimes you have to try things you never thought you’d like and give up things you know are bad for you. I think too many people also say it’s to expensive to eat healthy. My rebuttal to that is take the 10 dollars you just spent on that fast food meal and you could have just bought 3 apples, a bunch of bananas, a head of lettuce, and a carton of eggs, which can fill you up for more than just one meal.

  • mindhamrr11

    I agree it is hard to eat healthy in today’s society. It is so easy to just say screw it to cooking a meal and waking down the road to a choice between several fast food restaurants. And, I also find it crazy that a mother thinks a corn dog is going to be a good source of protein for their child. It may have more protein than ice cream or fried, but it is also really greasy making it high in fats.

  • mindhamrr11

    I will have to sit him down and have a conversation with him. He probably is fat on the inside even though he looks fine on the outside. I like your saying of TOFI even though I think it should be TOTIFOTO…

  • Will Ettl

    Being in college eating healthy is one of the most difficult things to do because of the fact it is so expensive. I have tried to do this but it is so expensive on a college budget. I was not able to eat healthy for so long.

  • alexlavine

    I agree. I usually end up eating out when I’m with friends. When I’m in the routine of my week I tend to eat more healthy and make healthy choices.

  • Alex Marski

    I see this all the time with people not knowing what a “healthy” meal is. When people try to make a healthy choice by eating a salad but then add so much dressing and other things into the salad it isn’t a healthy option anymore. Being in college does make it difficult to eat healthy all week and through the weekends regardless of the money aspect.

  • flaschbm09

    I have trouble with that as well. Often times I only have two or three meals a day and then have a bunch of little snacks which usually consist of things that are not good for me. I justify eating them by telling myself that I can have them since I didn’t have a meal during the day. I really need to stop doing this and try to incorporate more fruits and veggies into my meals.

  • Nathan Tessar

    Yeah and to be honest, It sucks 100 percent. Thats why I try and get as much sleep as possible and work out 5 days out of the week. I also take daily multi vitamins to help replace the nutritions I am not getting. I like how Dr. Garvin said “a food can’t be considered healthy if its going to make you sick in another.” I always used the excuses when I was younger, saying “that ketchup has tomatoes in it and that is my vegetable”.

  • maxfunny

    What do you think when people go on those cleansing diets where they only eat grapefruit or something else only. Obviously it is not healthy but would you use the same argument of just because you are not eating fats does not make it healthy. I also wonder about fake good food such as yogurt or a cereal that claims one thing and them has a out rages amount of sugared. Do you just point out how it is bad for you then?

  • Paige Cuchna

    Trying to eat healthy in college is one of the hardest things. Especially as a freshmen where you have to eat the food from the dinning halls instead of cooking a meal yourself. Since i am out of the dorms now I cook a lot. Yeah im basically eating the same thing everyday (chicken and veges) but you can always mix it up with different spices and what not.

  • Ashleigh Hartlaub

    Knowing what to eat and whats best for your body is always hard. Being in college and having a small budget on food has caused me some stress because like what is said in the post I have started to realize what I might have considered healthy my freshman year. For example, not drinking milk because i could drink it fast enough or buy it but now that I realize that I need more calcium I have started to buy milk again. Its hard but if you plan your trips wisely eating healthy can be easy.

  • Katie Germain

    Eating in college is hard enough especially with a small budget, let alone trying to eat healthy. It can be hard trying to figure out what foods are actually healthy for you when food can be limited to us and most of the options on campus are unhealthy. Now that I am not in the dorms it is easier to find good food for myself and I can go out a buy fruits and vegetables.

  • Katie Germain

    I agree! Eating healthy in college is so hard! I usually just stick to the same similar foods too because they are easiest to have around and cook, but they are still better than the unhealthy food that is available on campus.

  • Katie Germain

    I do the same thing! I will be on a healthy streak for a while and then I will reward myself will unhealthy food, which completely throws my health kick off track. I think it is important to realize what foods are bad for you and which will have the most effect on our bodies.

  • Katie Germain

    I think this is a great point! I grew up eating whatever my parents made me and I was not allowed to leave the table until my plate was cleared. Lately, my family has tried to eat a lot healthier and I think it is great for us to bond over something like health because it is helping us all better ourselves.

  • Kaila Witthun

    Exactly! I also sometimes try rewarding myself with like a new workout shirt or something so that I don’t throw myself off track. When health is not the thing I am thinking about it is so easy to just slip up, it is even easy to slip up when I am thinking about health. So I can only imagine for the individuals who do not know and those who don’t even think about it.

  • Will Ettl

    It is always good to take a multi vitamin because than you know you are getting the nutrition that your body needs. Working out can be one of the hardest things to do since very college student has such a stressful and chaotic life. We can never find a time to fit it in.

  • afallon14

    I agree! Eating healthy in college is way harder than I ever thought it was going to be. Freshman year is the worst because all you have is microwavable food and dining hall food, which isn’t all that great for you in the first place. In college it is all about convenience and not if it is healthy for you or not. It gets a little easier when you have your own place with your own kitchen and you are able to make your own meals, but even then you find yourself eating out a lot because you don’t want to take the time or even don’t have the time to make a healthy meal for yourself.

  • Desiree

    I agree.if your a college student I feel like its hard to eat healthy foods when you are constantly surrounded by shit. its just so convenient because the food is right there and on top of that buying healthy food is expensive when theres a perfectly delicious box of donuts for like a dollar twenty five. I think as college student we go for the cheap stuff. Eating healthy should be made a top priority in ones diet.

  • Paige

    eating healthy should be a top priority and i feel like because fast food is so convenient with a college kids busy schedule that people tend to cave and buy it

  • schoenherr2424

    Proper planning the day before can help tremendously. Taking 15 minutes the night before to pack yourself healthy snacks or even just to simply decide what you will eat tomorrow can help. I live an extremely busy life, this semester I have 17 credits and work 40 hours a week. No one is too busy to be healthy!

  • Ryan Dow

    Sometimes in college it is hard to eat healthy but there is a way around it. For people that live off campus it is a lot easier though.

  • Tyler Hebert

    I like what you said about forcing yourself to make time to eat healthy. I think that is super important and one of the hardest things for people, especially college kids, to do. Whenever I go on roadtrips, Mcdonalds is usually taking my money at least 2 or 3 times depending on the drive. Fast food is never healthy but soooo easy and tempting when time is money.

  • kolinjk29

    I agree as a college student and having a full time job I find it very difficult sometimes to eat a home cooked healthy meal. After going to school in the morning and working until 9 o’clock at night most days of the week the last thing I want to do when I get home is to make food for myself when I can call and get something delivered in the same amount of time. The other bad thing about this is when I do eat at home I usually would go for the easiest stuff to make like a can of soup that probably is loaded with sodium or making a box of mac n cheese. I always try to set a least 2 days where I will cook up something healthy for myself. This will change once the semester is over because I will have a lot more time on my hands.

  • Steven Hass

    We talked about this in class and people don’t understand that it can’t be healthy if it hurts you. My roommates tell me all the time that the frozen pizza they made was good for them because they ate the whole thing and it had 30 grams of protein.

  • Steven Hass

    I completely agree. I think that you just need to make a conscious effort to eat healthy and things will work themselves out. I see too many people that are “trying” to eat healthy, and then give up because they think it is hard.

  • Steven Hass

    Totally agreed. Some of my roommates eat out every day, and it is extremely difficult to be surrounded by those bad foods and not want to cave in and get some yourself.

  • Leah Renee

    weeding through all the nutrition and health advice and information is a full-time job when one first starts trying to learn. it took me years when first started to try to figure it out and I’m still learning so much. I like these ideas are helpful but even these can be hard for things like fruit. so many people are demonizing fruit and saying it is not healthy because of the sugar so if they asked themselves the first they probably would consider fruit unhealthy. oy.
    “potato-chip vegetarian” yeah… that’s why so many vegetarians or vegans fail and why many are not convinced that being vegetarian or vegan is healthy… because of those “potato-chip vegetarians” haha

  • kgonyo

    I really like the idea of what we don’t eat doesn’t count. While we might use it to justify our less than healthy habits, our body doesn’t need any justification. It knows what is good for it and what isn’t, and we all need to remember this the next time we are choosing between planning ahead to cook dinner or running through the drive thru on our way home.

  • Tyler Mueller

    As a college student myself, and a busy schedule on top of that I completely understand where you are coming from. It is difficult to find that time to make a good healthy meal. My suggestion to you would be to pick one or two days during the week where you make your meals for the entire week. This way when you are ready to it you just put it in the microwave and your healthy meal is ready to go. Doing this as a college student will boat not only your overall health, but will save you a lot of money in the future. But once summer comes in sure you will have a little extra time or the help from your parents!

  • DavidMizelle1

    That’s very true – being on a budget often makes it hard to eat healthily. Even more of a problem in college sometimes is that you’re sharing fridge/pantry space and buying fresh ingredients can take up a lot of what little space you do have! Then you can’t fit anything else in there and have to eat nothing but what you bought for multiple days. It’s a frustrating but worthwhile thing to do!

  • McKennaKJ29

    I definitely agree that people can be blind to the fact that food can be very unhealthy in an aspect that they do not account for. For example, people eat a salad thinking it is low in calories, but then they drowned it in dressing. We have to be aware of what we are eating and properly understand macro nutrients and the way our body stores energy.

  • Jpl89

    I think this can be related to your previous article that menions how people should be more concerned about smoking than what kind of milk there drinking. If people made a few major adjustments in there diet it would solve most of the problems they are having. If your eating a salad, you don’t need to measure our two teaspoons of dresssing- your eating a salad just put some dressing on top of your lettuce and eat it


    I agree, Ryan. However, I feel as if there will always be something in life that will make eating healthy somewhat difficult. If it isn’t college, it’s a demanding work schedule, lack of money, a family later in life, etc. The truth of the matter is that healthy eating requires preparation and a time commitment. Although some may see that as an issue, the fact of the matter is that if you invest the time in planning meals ahead of time, you’ll save yourself a lot of time that may be spent in the Doctor’s office later in life if you don’t. Of course picking up some fast food may be quicker, but I know personally I feel like it slows my body down and makes me incredibly lethargic.

  • Chloe

    This post resonated with me deeply. More people need to understand what is and what is not healthy because we are living in a society where an overwhelming amount of food makes us sick in the United States. Many people believe they are eating healthfully, when in reality only a small percentage of Americans eat right and get proper nutrition. I have “potato chip vegetarians” in my family and I truly hope I can get through to them one day. More posts like this one are needed to change people’s opinions and habits! Eating healtahy and prevention is the best medicine.

  • sophia laValley

    I agree that the rationale of eating something that has one “good quality” as a healthy food is dangerous. Too many people try new diets to become healthier eaters only to make themselves sick. Picking and choosing only the foods we love out of a style of eating is why many people abandon healthy diets. Being a vegetarian takes more knowledge than simply not eating meat.