There are no bad foods, just bad diets

May 4, 2019

I saw a great bumper sticker a few days ago: “If you don’t like bacon, you’re wrong!” As I have a great deal of respect for people’s individual choices, I’m not going to argue about whether or not bacon is wrong. I am going to use this bumper sticker to lead me into one of my personal favorite sayings and that is “there is no such thing as a bad food, just bad diets.”

Criminalizing a food or food group never works out well for anyone in the end. Let’s go back to bacon as an example. Bacon has been classified as a “bad” food, as it reportedly causes heart disease due to the saturated fats it contains.

Pork fat is only 40 percent saturated, 48 percent monounsaturated, and 12 percent polyunsaturated, while coconut oil is 92 percent saturated fat and we have been told that is good for us.

The breast milk tiny babies get from their mommas is greater than 55 percent saturated fat and we know that is good for them. As I stated above, having some bacon, or any food for that matter, in proper proportions and control, is not bad for you. You must look at the big picture.

If we were to point our fingers at any food that may potentially be not as healthy for us, we need not look at the food, but rather where it comes from.

Bacon from a once free-range pig, no matter what the fat percentages, is not bad for us. So whether you’re a bacon lover or not, it is vital that you do not classify any food as “bad.”

Be more conscious of where your food comes from, how it is prepared, and what you do when you’re not eating (i.e. an overall healthy lifestyle). Look at the big picture. You are not wrong if you don’t like even free-range bacon. That leaves more for me.

Dr. Warren Willey is a Pocatello physician. Visit his website at http://drwilley.com.