Filed under: Food + Health, J500 Week 10 | Tags: childhood foods, childhood memories, comfort foods, familiarity, nostalgia
When I was growing up, I loved pasta. That was my favorite food to eat, and I ate quite a bit of it. After I came to college and was on my own, I started to notice a trend—I unintentionally didn’t eat as much pasta as I used to. Our ‘comfort foods’ have strong roots to our past (memories, people, or feelings); I think this connection is an important element to have in our lives. While I think this aspect is important, I think we need to watch how much we rely on these foods.
When we were kids, we all had certain foods our parents fed us quite often. And the ones we liked became our ‘comfort foods’. I think this really shapes who we are. When we move out and live on our own, these comfort foods are still a part of us and our diet, intentionally or unintentionally. The frequency might differ, but it will still be present in our lives.
We return to this comfort food because it reminds us our childhood. We long to return to a part our past, so we eat familiar foods that bring us back there. I think this comfort food is important for us to have, so we can go back to our childhood when we feel the need. If we are in an uncomfortable or stressed situation, that food will remind us of home, and make us feel more comfortable.
The ability to return to familiar surroundings is important in the psychology of one’s mind. If one feels very uncomfortable or stressed, they could go into a depression. It is important to have these options available, because it can prevent these feelings.
However, comfort food can also negatively affect one’s mood as well. It is quite common for people who are stressed or sad to eat more and less healthy comfort foods than those who are happy. We could go overboard on how much of that food we eat, which could result in weight gain and guilt.
To avoid these negative effects, there are many ways to control the urges of comfort foods. To control these urges you can: practice patience before eating comfort foods, limit your intake and surroundings of comfort foods, work alongside a friend who is facing the same dilemma, and limit, or eliminate completely, the amount of money you will spend on comfort foods.
So while comfort foods could return us to happy place in time, we need to be careful of how much of it we eat. Because we are sad or uncomfortable, we could eat too much of that comfort food, and be right back where we started.
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