“Good for You”

Steve likes to tell the story of a dietitian at a restaurant who overheard a woman dipping her bread into her olive oil dip exclaim, “This is so good and so good for me! I can’t believe how healthy I’m being!” as she heartily dunks the bread into the oil. While olive oil may be better for you than, say, butter, it’s still oil and requires moderation. Actually, any food requires moderation, but fats and oils more than most.

Which brings me to my point. I think people should actually make the difference between “good for you” and “less bad for you.” Saying that olive oil is good for you does not give you license to pour it over everything you eat and expect good things to happen to your body.

I used to joke about things like that. If I made any eating choice that was less bad for me than any of the others available, I would wink and say it was good for me. For example, eating a piece of banana bread instead of iced chocolate cake. Or pizza with a whole-wheat crust.

But sometimes the issue is more confusing, and I for one would appreciate the distinction between, “yes, this is actually good for you–eat your heart out,” and “this will make you much less fat than this other choice.”


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