Why do so many of us like sugary or greasy foods that are bad for our health?
I’ll say it right up front: I’m not perfect. I try to buy healthy foods at the supermarket and make quick, easy meals that won’t make a beeline to my stomach or hips as soon as the fork goes past my lips. Occasionally, though, the little devil that sits on my left shoulder says, “Ya gotta be a little bad sometimes. Go get the tomato and basil potato chips!” To which the little angel on my right shoulder responds, “Don’t listen to that devil! You’ve been so good watching what you’ve been eating that you don’t want to give up now.” They go back and forth with their arguments, both making good points. Often, the little angel wins out, but sometimes it’s the little devil.
Does this sound familiar to you? We all know we should stay away from foods loaded with sugar, grease, and calories, but despite this, the fast food restaurants are busy and the snack aisles in the grocery stores need continuous re-stocking. I generally stay away from fried food, fast food, and junk food, but every so now and then I get a craving for some pastries or a hamburger. When that happens, I sometimes (emphasis on sometimes as opposed to often) give in to my craving by rationalizing that my body must be needing some red meat or whatever since I’m craving the burger.
Some of us give into our cravings a little more than others, however. Take my boyfriend, for instance. He loves eating greasy take out and indulges in it a few times a week (and let’s not get started on Mountain Dew and all its sugar). I’m always amazed at how he can eat the food he eats and still stay slender. Just hearing about the things he consumes makes me feel like I’m gaining a few calories as I’m listening to him talk. He knows he should be eating healthier, and he’s all for a switch in his menu. Nevertheless, the appeal of quick and tasty food just brings out his dark side.
Maybe that’s it? Maybe so many of us like greasy and sugary foods because they’re tasty and quick? I’m not going to say that fried chicken doesn’t taste good, but what’s wrong with grilled chicken that’s been spiced up or marinated? Chicken and other foods that are prepared with health consciousness in mind can be just as tasty and quick as foods that are bad for us. So, if we can eat healthy just as easily as we can eat unhealthy, why aren’t more of us turning away from greasy, sugary foods that are bad for us?