5 ‘Diet Foods’ I’ll Allow

I hate diet culture. Why are people so desperate to be skinny? Get a hobby! Keto, paleo, low carb, raw: They are all bizarre to me. Unless you have a medical condition that requires you to not eat certain things, it is okay (even good!) to have a bagel or brownie. And yet, weight-focused food companies continue to peddle truly bad-tasting products and people continue to eat them in an attempt to look different. For my money? I’d rather eat literally anything else.

In my time at Sporked, my thoughts on “diet” foods have been confirmed. Once in a blue moon, however, a “diet” food ends up tasting like a food you actually want to eat. So toss aside your preconceived notions and just enjoy these “diet” foods, because they actually taste good.

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Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / iStock

Deciding to make everything out of cauliflower is stupid. Carbs are enjoyable and important and everyone needs to chill. Cauliflower crust frozen pizzas, however, are very tasty. They taste like regular pizzas with the added boost of more veggies, which I never mind. Some brands even put cheese in the crust as a binder. Another way to get cheese into pizza? I’m sold.

I recommend buying: CAULIPOWER Three Cheese Frozen Pizza

Rice Cakes

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / iStock

Eating a rice cracker by itself is one of the most depressing things a human can do. Using a rice cracker as the crunchy base for a delicious snack, however, is acceptable. I love a chocolate rice cake topped with Nutella and sliced bananas. A salted rice cake topped with really good tuna salad made with a bunch of fresh dill? Sign me up. Sometimes you don’t want bread and you don’t want a cracker. You want something a little different and that is a rice cake!

I recommend buying: Quaker Everything-Flavored Large Rice Cake

Cottage Cheese

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / iStock

Diet culture really did cottage cheese dirty. It has everyone eating flavorless, watery, 0% fat cottage cheese and thinking that all cottage cheese tastes like that. It doesn’t! Cottage cheese can actually be delicious and versatile. I love to top it with tons of freshly cracked pepper and a drizzle of nice olive oil and serve it with raw, seasonal vegetables. Polish people use cottage cheese and noodles to make a rich, tasty dish called kluski z serem. Just remember to never buy fat-free cottage cheese!

I recommend buying: Good Culture Organic Whole Milk Classic Cottage Cheese

Wheat Bread

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / iStock

The health difference between wheat bread and white bread is, for the most part, negligible. And yet, many people still ditched white bread in favor of wheat for “health” reasons. While I think that is dumb, wheat bread is good! Wheat bread is its own thing that can be delicious and flavorful. It’s much more enjoyable when you stop trying to be “healthier” and just appreciate it for what it is.

I recommend buying: Nature’s Harvest Stone Ground 100% Whole Wheat Bread

Greek Yogurt

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / iStock

Everyone hopped on the greek yogurt train because they thought it was better for you than regular yogurt. They’re just different! And both are good! Greek yogurt definitely should not be lumped in with diet foods because it is decadent and fatty when done correctly. This is another product where I’m begging you to not buy the 0% fat version. Please!!!

I recommend buying: Straus Whole Milk Organic Greek Yogurt

About the Author

Jordan Myrick

Jordan is an L.A.-based writer and comedian who believes all food should come with extra sauce. When they're not writing for Sporked, Jordan is at the movies or sharing an order of french fries with their elderly chihuahua.

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  • While diet culture can be unhelpful, obesity is one of the main causes of death and disease in Western culture. And substitute foods can be a powerful tool in avoiding or curing obesity, if you enjoy them and can sustain new habits with them. I was previously obese and on my way to serious health consequences, and I’ve lost a lot of weight by maintaining a simple and flexible calorie deficit. Brands like Diet Coke, Halotop, CauliPOWER and others have immeasurably improved my life. I am able to have certain foods more often, and with less negative health impact by using these substitutions. I feel better, look better, have more confidence and will likely live longer due in part to the products of “weight-focused” companies. There may be a middle ground between toxic diet culture and childish, petulant denial of reality. Of course, maybe Jordan includes obesity in her description of “health conditions”. But if I had understood the power of calorie counting and minor substitutions when I was merely a bit overweight, perhaps I would have been spared the pain of obesity, and the mental health impact that comes with it. Sporked, I understand there’s an element of humor in your style, but obesity really, really sucks, and some of us are on this website to expand our options for making healthy choices. Perhaps someone could review diet foods who actually enjoys them and has the nuance to appreciate their value next time.

    • You should educate yourself further on the topic, maybe start with the Maintenance Phase podcast or Aubrey Gordon’s books. Ob*sity is not an epidemic and it is not the leading cause of death. Thin people also die of heart disease, thin people also have diabetes, thin people also have joint pains. I stand with Jordan’s point of view.

      • Absolutely seconding everything Catherine just said— especially the recommendation of the Maintenance Phase podcast! Check out the episode “Is Being Fat Bad For You?”

      • Maybe consult a licensed physician and actual statistics instead of a PR writer for “fat acceptance” as she calls it. Is losing weight going to cure everything? Ofcourse not. Does it lessen risk factors for diabetes, heart disease cancer among other quality of life disease PROVABLY yes it does. Trying to normalize obesity as if its a non-issue is harmful to collective health, theres a difference between being okay with yourself and saying it’s a healthy life choice. Youre delusional if you think it isnt a large scale health hazard, increases insurance premiums for everybody that pays taxes, and causes a number of other issues depending on the scale of it.

    • Couple things 1) diet sodas tend to actually be worse for you than the regular brands, sure theyre less calories however they have less calories because of substitutions with known carcinogens that can also cause a number of other problems. 2) obesity isnt the leading cause of death it CONTRIBUTES to a number of factors. Now anybody who says being obese is perfectly fine is kidding themselves or is more concerned with optics than facts, but you cause just as much harm as trying to ‘normalize’ obesity by overstating the facts.

      The posters below you and this article are on the other end of the spectrum as far as obesity is concerned. Fact being obese is a health hazard. Fact being obese affects quality of life factors even if it doesnt out right cause your death. Fact being obese increases risk of a large number of CHRONIC and preventable diseases. Now onto the other side if somebody choses to be obese thats their prerogative, but those same people shouldnt be criticizing those who want to maintain a healthier weight just as they wouldnt want to be criticized for being obese. This article clearly is criticizing those who want to maintain a healthy body weight and is combative in both word choice and tone.