Does eating good + bad foods together lessen the effect of the bad food?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 27, 2010 at 6:33 AM

If I'm going to eat a cheat food (say, a chocolate bar), would it be better for my health to eat it with a serving of good paleo food (egg and bacon scramble)?

At times, I'm inclined to think that this technique would limit the maximum moving-average concentration of bad food being processed by my digestive system. And perhaps the bad food concentration might be held under some natural critical thresholds, minimizing its effect on the body.


EDIT: Well, I'm not trying to promote eating bad foods. My only intention is to generate discussion about how the body might better handle bad foods. Similarly, many folks advocate fasting in the day following a cheat day. What is the basis for that if the consensus is that we simply can't alter the effects of bad food once we consume it?



on October 29, 2010
at 08:29 PM

Or maybe it increases the effect of the good food? Okay, time for some grass fed beef and oreos!!!



on October 28, 2010
at 06:56 PM

Not sure about how healthy it is, but it reminded me of this bacon/chocolate bar post by Dr. Mary Dan Eades. http://www.proteinpower.com/drmd_blog/food-and-food-products/chocolate-and-bacon-a-sweet-and-savory-taste-treat/


on October 27, 2010
at 11:18 AM

True or not I have hoped the same on the same rationale. :)

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6 Answers



on October 27, 2010
at 12:58 PM

Combining high fat paleo foods with high sugar, high carb foods regularly will result in the Faleo Diet.

It's like eating some high quality ground buffalo burger on a nice soft white flour bun with some HFC sauce and a side of sweet potato fries fried in vegetable oil. Does that sound like a meal that will result in the benefits of paleo? Insulin spike to the dome funneling fat to the belly button, O-6 overload, gluten!, AGEs creation, other general digestive evils!

My advice is to find "cheats" that aren't cheats:

  • Eat some nuts and dried fruit if you are feeling the need for something really sweet.
  • When in doubt cook and eat a pound of bacon--its totally a guilty pleasure that is generally accepted by the community as a staple.
  • Fizzy water and lime hits the spot when I am looking for a beverage that isn't regular water or coffee.
  • Dark chocolate doesn't need a chaperone if you don't eat the whole bar in one sitting.


on October 27, 2010
at 11:33 AM

Slowing down the digestion of sugars "may" slow down the speed at which your body releases (and needs) insulin.

Don't use it as justification or oversimplify... A piece of celery with a piece of cake does not a healthy meal make.

If you're going to cheat, simply do it rarely. It's the chronic damage that hurts us not the rare acute.


on October 27, 2010
at 07:45 PM

Drinking a can of Coca-Cola with a good piece of steak doesn't negate the fact that you just drank 12oz of fizzy sugar water. In fact, "cheating" might actually cause you to make even worse food decisions than you otherwise would have thanks to the anchoring effect. Besides, if you keep cheating you'll never lose your taste for those nasty bad things you used to enjoy so much.

Salad + Cheesecake = Salad + Cheesecake. The salad can not, and will not make up for the fact that you ate a dang cheesecake.

Be aware of the consequences of your dietary choices and understand that food only adds, it does not subtract.



on October 27, 2010
at 01:55 PM

Yes, but only because you eat less crap than when you would eat a whole crap meal.



on October 27, 2010
at 11:27 AM

I doubt that your body considers having non-ideal foods better for you just because they are included with good clean paleo foods. The thing I would suggest is that since you are eating said "cheat" food along with other clean foods you will be less inclined to gorge on the cheat, thereby minimizing the damage. Since you'll be more satisfied from the other food you won't have to eat as much of the cheat food.



on October 27, 2010
at 01:47 PM

I would say no. If you're putting in crap, nothing else you consume is going to change the nature of that crap.

Like others have mentioned, you may indeed be able to alter the insulin-release from certain foods by consuming fat with it. However, its a slippery slope and prolly not worth much in the end. If you're worried about insulin-release from some junk youre putting into your body youre prolly better off rethinking the whole idea, and why youre doing it.

  1. Either go ahead enjoy your treats and be done with it. or

  2. stop putting in bad stuff.

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