Healthy Comfort Foods

What do you think of when someone mentions “comfort food?” Mac and cheese? Meatloaf and mashed potatoes? Grilled cheese and tomato soup? Fried chicken? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as: food prepared in a traditional style having a usually nostalgic or sentimental appeal.

Interestingly, some studies have shown that the consumption of comfort food by men is often triggered by  positive emotions, while it is often negative ones that trigger it in women—especially college-aged women. Studies indicate that these foods may be eaten to relieve negative psychological effects or to increase positive ones for women. But for both men and women, comfort foods are usually those that pique an emotional response in us—specific dishes that bring back fond memories, usually of our childhoods or specific cultures.

As good as comfort foods may be for our psyches, however, they’re usually not great for our hearts as they’re often high in calories and saturated fats. But there are ways to still enjoy these taste-tempting meals without the guilt. We’ve listed a number of websites here that offer great recipes for comfort food that have had modern makeovers to limit the fat and calories and still keep the great flavors we love. They include other nutritional information as well including diabetic exchanges.

What’s your favorite comfort food? Let us know in the comments section below!