Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Good For Me, Bad for You

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When I saw this study in the Journal of Consumer Research I thought immediately of myself. The study found that people choose healthier foods for themselves than when they are choosing for others. This is so interesting to me and struck a cord a bit too close to home.

When left on my own, I eat pretty darn healthy most of the time (we all know about my sweet tooth as the exception). But when I am cooking for others or even shopping for my own family, I often cook or purchase foods that aren't as healthy as what I am eating! Why? I am a people pleaser. I want food to taste really good, and let's face it: sometimes more cheese, salt, or oil makes it taste better.

This study had people choose 4 items out of 16 listed for themselves and then choose 4 items for a friend. When choosing for themselves, they chose healthy items like raisins, celery, and Cheerios. However, when they chose for others, they picked out things like cookies, chocolate, donuts, and ice cream.

I do this when it comes to feeding my own family more than I would like to admit. I will purchase the cereal or crackers that I know my son or husband will eat vs what is the healthiest choice. This happens when I bring pot luck dishes as well. You would think that the dietitian would bring the healthiest dish to the party. Not the case. I often get asked to bring a dessert because of my good dessert-making reputation.

Now that I saw this study, I am going to re-commit myself to bringing healthier dishes and to be the example that I should be as a healthy eater. If no one eats them, at least I will! I just picked out this zucchini, edamame, and tomato vegetable dish to bring to Easter Sunday dinner instead of a cheesy vegetable casserole. It's a start! (oh, and I am also bringing cheesy scalloped potatoes--LOL!)

I feel like I just went to confession. Who needs therapy when you can blog your secrets?
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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