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The Effects of Diet Culture

Do you remember when life used to be simple?

When you could drink a fruit smoothie, knowing that fruit is healthy. Or snack on granola because it’s convenient and flippin’ delicious.

It was a time before the internet exploded with diet fads and nutrition advice from people who know absolutely nothing.

Now you’re told that you should NEVER eat sugar. That you should always avoid “empty” calories. That eating dairy is the absolute worst thing you could do. That dessert should be flavored air and a drop of water.

We severely overcomplicate nutrition.

Don’t get me wrong, nutrition is a very complex topic. But the basics of what you should/shouldn’t eat have become WAY too complicated for no real reason.

We’re always trying to find the “healthiest” food and avoid anything that is “bad” for us. Instead, we should focus on what we ENJOY and what fits our lifestyle.

Do you love granola and need a quick breakfast? Eat granola. Do you love yogurt? That’s a great snack. Do you dream of pizza? Make that dream a reality, baby.

It doesn’t need to be so complicated. Everything is great in moderation. Even if you know something may not be the best choice, that doesn’t make it a bad choice. You don’t need to be perfect at all times.



Look at the graphic above. If you were to listen to all of the information out there today, you’d believe that you have to eat all the food on the right. Diet culture seems to demonize these foods on the left, and I’m here to tell you that you can eat them if you want to.

If you’ve hung around here for more than a minute, you know that I’m all about moderation. Sure, choosing low-calorie options might be very helpful if you’re looking to lose weight (since we know that weight loss comes from a caloric deficit). But does that mean you should never choose the higher-calorie alternative? Of course not!

There’s a time and a place for ALL food. Maybe eating pizza every day is not going to help you lose weight, but that doesn’t mean you should cut it out of your life completely. That’s just torturous.

And likewise, it’s important to keep in mind that just because you think something is healthier, it doesn’t mean it necessarily is.

Let’s look a cauliflower pizza, since it’s very popular right now:



These two pizzas are pretty comparable both in size (the cauliflower crust is slightly heavier) and in nutritional value. You may be surprised to see that the DiGiorno pizza has an edge in every category, with the major surprise being the carb total.

Don’t be afraid of “normal” food. Just because something isn’t necessarily marketed as healthy, it doesn’t mean you can’t eat it! In this case, the cauliflower pizza is not necessarily any “healthier” than the regular pizza, unless you have dietary restrictions, of course.

You can eat pizza if it isn’t cauliflower crust. You can eat a cookie if it’s not a protein cookie. You can pasta if it’s not made from zucchini.

Just because someone else says something is unhealthy, or it sounds unhealthy, that doesn’t mean it is.


And pleasealways ignore the clickbait articles that list “Foods You Think Are Healthy But Are Actually Killing You.” Because “healthy” is totally subjective.

Keep doing you.

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About Matt Rosenman

With over 15 years of experience in health and fitness, Matt Rosenman is the expert voice behind Matt’s philosophy is simple: no foods are off-limits, and a healthy lifestyle shouldn't be complicated or restrictive. As a former certified personal trainer with a bachelor’s degree in Health Behavioral Sciences, Matt brings well-rounded expertise to his blog. From revamping classic recipes with a nutritious twist to breaking down fast food menus, his goal is make healthy living less confusing for everyone. Featured in major publications and with a strong following on social media, Matt is committed to making “healthy” uncomplicated—no matter where you are in your health journey. Join Matt on his mission to simplify health without sacrificing flavor. Learn More