When comfort food is actually good for you
Because soul-satisfying and hearty dishes can be healthy, too
Nov 16, 2017
If the Goop machine is to be believed, there’s no other way to live except austerely and with the barest flavor. No sugar, no carbs, a minimum of salt, zero spice—oh, and yeah, expensive as hell.
And we seem to have fallen for this idea, based on how we tend to describe things that make us happy: guilty pleasures—emphasis on the guilty.
Let’s be real, though. It is but just human to enjoy the juice out of life, especially when it comes to eating. We’re not simple savages who eat simply to stay alive; if that were the case, we’d be content to eat tree bark and leaves for the rest of our lives.
That’s because flavorful food makes us feel more alive. It wakes up our taste buds and excites the rest of our senses, getting us to anticipate the next bite, the next dish, the next meal, keto diet be damned.
Plus, delicious meals are also like mental time capsules that whisk us back to when we first had a taste of something good. Remember sitting down to a Saturday breakfast of Purefoods Corned Beef, hot and fresh from the stove and garnished with potato cubes and chopped onions? Just thinking of how good it smells whisks us back to those childhood mornings when the next most important agenda after breakfast is catching up with our favorite cartoons.
And doesn’t the sight of Purefoods Luncheon Meat, sliced and fried golden brown, sandwiched between fluffy loaves of bread, make you feel like you’re in grade school again, sitting down for an after-school snack that would revive you enough to do homework and squeeze in a bit of playing in the streets before your folks sequestered you indoors for the rest of the evening?
Because of the high-quality meat used by Purefoods, these dishes that were the hallmarks of Filipino childhood are a source of comfort to both the palate and the psyche. Juicy and flavorful, they may not be Gwyneth Paltrow’s idea of a treat (they might change her stance if she gave them a chance). But comfort food, when prepared well and eaten in moderation, not only tastes great but is also good for the soul—or at the very least, for one’s mood. In fact, doctors advise that the brain and the body both need carbs and in turn, comfort food to function. Besides, when we eliminate any food group from our diet, we’re just setting ourselves up for misery and eventual failure.
Real good food shouldn’t be called guilty pleasure. What is there to feel guilty about in enjoying life through them? Let’s change the way we approach things that are of premium quality, are delicious, and give us comfort. Put down that salad and for once, go to town with something your body, taste buds, and soul are crying for. Maybe we just have to remember the joy we felt as kids sitting down to a tasty meal that was prepared with love—any guilt will then go away.
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