Any food can be eaten and enjoyed without harming your body. The key is knowing and listening to what your body tells you. It will tell you when you are hungry and when you are satisfied.
There’s a key difference between satisfied and full.
Satisfied = “I’ve had enough.” — may or may not coincide with fullness
Full = “I feel the fullness of food in my stomach.”
Now, I’m not saying that everyone should go out and eat as much of any food they want to. That’s not my point. My point is that there are no specific foods that are inherently harmful. There are amounts of foods that are harmful. The operative word being amount – it’s the quantity, not the food, that is harmful. Any food eaten in excess can be damaging. Too many baby carrots will turn your skin orange. Too much water will give you hyponatremia (low blood sodium). Too much protein can damage your kidneys. Too much sugar-free candy will give you bloating, gas and/or diarrhea. I could give a hundred examples like this. Again, the point being that excess of any food is problematic.
And we need to stop blaming the food.
It’s important to note that there are certain health conditions that require you make adjustments with food, and in this scenario certain foods can be harmful. But we are talking about a medical condition here. For people without these conditions, the food is not harmful.
- Diabetes: eat certain amounts of carbohydrate throughout the day, not going too long without eating because that can cause hypoglycemia, and not eating too many carbs in one sitting because the body can’t process it properly. Just to be clear, sugar is not the devil for people with diabetes – they have to have carbohydrates – in strategic amounts.
- Hypertension (high blood pressure): limit sodium intake because it increases blood pressure.
- Celiac disease: avoid gluten because it literally damages the small intestine.
- Food allergies: if someone is allergic to strawberries then consuming them is harmful and they should be avoided.
Don’t resent your body for any of this. It is doing the best it can to keep you alive and well, and it needs your help. Treat it with lovingkindness.
Eat and enjoy the foods you want and me mindful of not causing your body harm.