Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Healthy Comfort Food


Comfort food is usually home made and carries some emotional significance with it. During times of stress or illness people often turn to "comfort foods" to feel better. Most everyone has a favorite comfort food and comfort foods are not necessarily one's favorite food. Ask yourself...what is my favorite food? Then ask "At the end of a long day, when I'm tired and stressed or sick in bed, what food would I like a loved one (mom) to fix for me?

Comfort foods are often fattening or unhealthy...macaroni and cheese, chocolate cake, fried chicken, chocolate pudding. Foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugar are often connected to childhood and make you feel homey and good. And different cultures have different comfort foods. Rarely is yogurt or a handful of almonds a comfort food in any culture.

There is nothing wrong with a fattening comfort food. The key word here is "comfort". If it elicits a fond memory of good times, it is comforting. The thing to notice is how often you are turning to "comfort foods". If it a regular happening it may be an indication of a life out of balance and that is where the focus should be. Eating comfort food several times a week can be a problem if that food is unhealthy. Emotional eating is also different from the occasional comfort food.

My comfort food is toast. When I'm sick I want "Wah Won Ton Soup". What is your comfort food?

15 comments:

Leigh Ann Otte said...

I like this balanced view--that comfort food is OK in moderation and eating it is different than emotional eating.

I think I have a lot of comfort foods--ha! Some that come to mind are macaroni and cheese; birthday cake; and, when I'm sick, chicken noodle soup and Popsicles.

totalblammblamm said...

Definitely mac n cheese with tater tots. I can't help myself. It just always makes me feel more like myself.

CountryMidwife said...

Two things: toasted brown sugar Pop Tart. And toasted english muffin with peanut butter (Jiffy Crunchy) on top. None of which live in my house because I can take comfort a little too far...

StorytellERdoc said...

Great post...I realize that my mom was an amazing cook, since my list of comfort foods is long. I guess I would have to say mashed potatoes with globs of butter, slightly sprinkled with some salt, and maybe the occasional gravy.

Now I'm hungry...LOL Well done.

tracy said...

Red, red wine....wait, is that a food???

Bakery cake...vanilla with vanilla frosting.

Toni Brayer, MD said...

Doesn't just the smell of garlic and onions in the pan create warmth and comfort?

Linda Leighton said...

Thanks, Dr. Toni, for the response!! Did you guess that I was hungry last night when I typed the suggestion? :-)

prb said...

Baked custard in little cups...yum!

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so dep said...

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viagra said...

I think that one of the most important things when you are eating is feel comfortable with the food!

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