Comfort food isn't wrong. It's how much that's eaten that gets people into trouble. I mean seriously, besides feeding our bodies healthy food, we need to feed our likes, and yes our emotions, because we are after all human beings. A hot portion of mac & cheese on a cold day cannot be replaced by any other food, at least for me. I think that what Spark tries to teach people is what we all know: Everything in moderation, even comfort foods. This article doesn't touch much on comfort, IMO. Yogurt? I like it, but not for comfort. Soup? That is closer but it's not substantial enough for me. Veggie juice? Who is she kidding? LOL I agree with the general consensus that this article is out-of-bounds with what it labels comfort food.
Very interesting, finally a debate on Spark!!! I love it! Another consideration: while chocolate might be a comfort food for me on one day, on the next day, it could be something entirely different. I have been sick with a virus for a week and I have eaten nothing but comfort foods. I have just gone with what really really appeals to me at that moment. Often, it actually has been something relatively healthy. Actually, needing comfort foods and emotional eating are different states of mind for me.
I agree with almost all of the comments I've read so far: the items listed are not what one traditionally thinks of when they think of "comfort foods." I understand that everyone has his or her own favorite foods and things that may comfort them, but oatmeal and yogurt aren't what I look to for foods that warm me on the inside (and I'm not referring to heat) or calm my senses. Maybe these foods should have been touted at "new comfort foods"...?
Overall, not very helpful and a tad-bit disappointing.
Weak. The author is obviously not a nutrition expert. SparkPeople might reconsider the qualities they're looking for in their authors, or have articles about nutrition reviewed by their on-staff dietitians before release.
Something that bothered me, for example, was in referring to angel food cake, the author claims that 'each bite tastes better than the last'. I think he would find that the research does not back him up on this claim. The first few bites taste best, then we tend to finish our plate because it's there, or we need to fill our stomach.
More seriously, eating for comfort rather than for nutrition, pleasure, and as part of socializing may be a problem in itself. That is, perhaps the author should not have promoted eating for comfort at all, since other (more reputable) parts of the site discuss ways to deal with emotional eating in more constructive ways.
Finally, while these aren't strictly foods, I was surprised that hot tea and similar hot, low-calorie beverages weren't listed. I find that sipping a cup of hot herbal tea can be a very calming action, especially if I'm in a state of emotional upset and "craving something" but am not actually hungry.
3/2/2011 8:40:55 PM
I love the idea of redefining "comfort food"; why does it necessarily have to be bad for us? Great article.
I have always thought of oatmeal as a comfort food. Nice and warm with a sprinkle of cinnamon...mmmm. A hot cup of tea does it for me too. The benefit is that when I'm done I feel better, not worse because I just polished off a half gal of ice cream.
I'm confused by this article. I'm thankful for the writer but confused what he thinks "comfort" foods are... the ideas here are nice healthy foods but they aren't really comfort foods. I'm not sure how many people are stressed out and decide that they want yogurt or oatmeal... mmm...
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