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?
Posted by Toni Brayer, MD at 7:35 AM