The way our language is constructed is directly related to reality. Not only is our vocabulary strewn with personal values, it can also be tainted by negative ones. Whether you've heard these buzzwords from social media, advertising, or the diet-industry, it's time to reject them.


pizza, cheese, sauce, crust, dough, pepperoni, mozzarella
Emily Coppella

Whenever someone uses this buzzword a part of me dies. It's the part of me that loves pizza, chocolate, chips, all the stuff we associate with being "bad." So does that mean if a product labels itself as "guilt-free" we have been given permission to eat it? Or even to feast on it, since it's technically "good?" Thanks to diet-culture we live in a society where the policing of food reigns, creating numerous problems such as binging, low self-esteem and eating disorders.

So if something is not "guilt free," should we feel bad about our choices? Not so fast. Science has proven that food guilt not only negatively affects your mind, it affects your body as well. Of course, you can always make some healthy swaps but there's no need to draw the line between "good" and "bad" foods. Yes, food is fuel, but it's also enjoyment.

We have created a ranking of morality on our food choices. If you think about it, it sounds crazy. What's crazier is the idea of never having our favourite foods that would be truly evil.

All-natural, organic

vegetable, pepper, chili, pasture, sweet pepper, garlic
Emily Coppella

These words in themselves aren't all that bad because consuming foods that are closer to their most natural state is definitely something we should all focus on. Not only are there numerous health benefits, but foods that look like they actually came from the Earth can help the environment , as well as poverty

On the other hand, nobody wants pesticides  (that has been linked to cancer and even reduced sperm counts) or chemicals on their plate either, so buying 100% organic makes sense, right? Unfortunately, it's not thats simple. The guidelines for what's considered "all-natural" and "organic" is really complex.

 Many companies can totally take advantage of the lack of definition and hide under these buzzwords. Not only are the concepts a little sketchy, sometimes the prices can be too. If you can afford buying organic that's great, but sometimes it's just not realistic. That's totally okay too, because you can still get involved.

Visit your local farmer's market or try cooking an organic vegetable once a week. Here's a great guide on the things you should try to buy organic.


Diet Pepsi

JeepersMedia on Flickr

The diet industry has gone crazy on this term, slapping it on labels in order to rake in huge profits. Why? Because we have been told that calorie counting is the end all be all of being "healthy." Of course, this is up for debate. Although being aware of calories is important if you're interested in losing weight, but calories are only one small aspect of nutrition, and a complex one at that.

High calorie foods aren't essentially bad for our health, or even our weight (yes, there should be a distinction between the two). Some of the greatest foods bursting with healthy fats and vitamins are calorically-dense like nuts, avocado or hummus. Conversely, many products marked as "low-calorie" can be extremely damaging to our health.

Not only is calorie-counting possibly a poor choice for those interested in healthy eating, it can also lead to restriction, guilt, and other destructive eating behaviours. So, no thanks, I'd rather have the movie-theatre popcorn than the "skinny" pop.


dairy product, sweet
Lauryn Lahr

The dieting industry is dynamic; it changes with consumer preferences and trends. Historically, fat-free was all the rage, turning into a frenzy for cutting carbs. All of these only exist to convince you that one product is superior simply from its use of the latest and greatest buzzword.

Whenever I see this label on products at the grocery store I want to sweep my arm across the whole shelf and send them tumbling to the floor. And that’s the thing, most of these products are packaged and processed. I would rather indulge in something full of fat than full of preservatives.

Fat-free is also flavour-free in my opinion, and in order to make up for this loss of taste, food companies pack these foods with even more sugar and chemicals. Not only does fat give food its delicious flavour, it satiates you. By restricting this macro-nutrient also deemed as "brain food," you put yourself at risk for over-eating and developing nutrient deficiencies.

Don't be afraid of eating fat and know the impacts of the different kinds so never measure out a "serving size" peanut butter again.

Cheat day

bacon, lettuce, hamburger, cheese, bun, beef
Monica Cheng

This may be a controversial one. There's a huge debate over whether or not cheat days/cheat meals/treat days should exist Although there's pros and cons to both sides, the reality is that we are not robots. We do not run on a fixed schedule where we are able to eat 100% "clean" through the week so that we can "cheat" on the weekends.

Not only is this very limiting to typical lifestyles, but the terminology "cheat" like "guilt-free" sets us up for a toxic relationship with food. Some results of using this tactic can be binge-eating or orthorexia. Even the super popular fitness trainer, Kayla Itsines argues against this type of diet

Let's be honest, gnawing on raw vegetables so you can have a plate of fries on the weekend just isn't worth it, at least for me.

Although these buzzwords are catchy, we must be careful with our language surrounding food culture. There's a reason trends are called trends: they don't last.