Dietitians are fond of reciting the mantra 'all foods can fit into a healthy diet' and telling people that there are no "good' or "bad" foods. But considering that 64 percent of adults (plus an alarming 15 percent of children) are categorized by the government as overweight, some experts say this message is baloney (which happens to be a really bad food!).
"The idea that there are no bad foods is a marketing gimmick thought up by the food industry to defend their products," says Bonnie Liebman, M.S., director of nutrition at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a nonprofit health-advocacy group based in Washington, D.C. "The whole notion is full of holes and makes no sense."
Evil is the only appropriate word to describe foods that promise pleasure but deliver misery in the form of heart disease and obesity. Although a Whoopie Pie isn't going to sprout fangs and go for your jugular, it's wise to watch your back when traveling the dark alley of empty calories. A sweet, creamy taste and jazzy packaging can be hiding a food that will only do you wrong. That's the thing about evil: Sometimes it looks so good.
The Dark Side of the supermarket
What makes a food really, really scary? In the edibles department, a food gets the seal of disapproval if it does more harm than good -- that is, if it supplies calories but little else, and also contains heart-disease-promoting substances like saturated and trans fats. Trans fats are the nasty man-made fats used to give foods a longer shelf life. Manufacturers hydrogenate oil to make it solid and literally twist the molecule into a form that wreaks havoc in the body.