Portion. Superfood. Foods to avoid. Restaurant specials and food promotions. These words are among the most used ones in nutrition nowadays.
It sounds very logical as we all have the tendency to first pay attention to claims putting quantity and price forward. We also may start thinking twice about food quality because of a punctual food recall or when considering a more personal health situation. In summary, food quantity, food category, and food quality. But what about another essential food trait, the food fourth dimension?
It is very simple. The food fourth dimension is the food enjoyment. I very much often tell people that food enjoyment is key because it includes all the other food dimensions thus making our diet and life easier. ‘Eating pleasure needs not be the enemy of healthy eating’ as demonstrated for centuries in many cultures around the world (think Chinese or French cuisine). More and more people also practice mindful eating, plus recent clinical studies have focused on the positive role of Epicurean pleasure in weight control, showing that it does not favor the overconsumption of food, nor the obesity.
It is important people have fun while eating. Although it is difficult to completely erase the link between pleasure and obesity as we have heard so much that eating pleasure is bad because it encourages overeating. Not to mention people feeling guilty when indulging on favorite foods that are not at their best nutritional value.
Time to change the simplistic message that there is, on the one hand, healthy foods, and on the other hand, so-called ‘bad’ foods. Let’s talk more about food in terms of flavors, texture, aromas, colors, meal friendliness, food memories and discoveries.
Sounds way better, doesn’t it? Bon Appétit!