What is Positive Food Language? 

The words we choose to use hold a lot of power and meaning, and this sentiment rings true for how we describe food as well. Associating certain foods or eating behaviors as “bad” can perpetuate feelings of guilt or shame around what we eat1. Positive food language is an idea that focuses on the flavors, textures, and reasons for eating foods rather than categorizing them as “healthy” or “junk food. 1 

Positive Food Language Negative Food Language 
Nourishing Junk 
Satisfying Fattening 
Energizing Naughty 
Colorful Guilt-free 
Aromatic Sinful 
Appetizing Addictive 
Filling Cheat meal 
Tasty Reward 
Delicious Clean 

Why is Using Positive Food Language Important? 

Using positive food language to describe your relationship with food is important for everyone, not just people with eating disorders or disordered eating. It allows you to develop self-compassion when making choices around food choices as they can evoke strong emotional connections.1 Using negative food language can lead to patterns of restricting and binging or feeling a loss of control around certain foods.1 

How to Reframe Your Relationship with Food 

You can start developing a healthier relationship with food by first dispelling the idea that certain foods are good/bad or healthy/unhealthy1. Every food you eat serves a purpose, whether it is for enjoyment, energy, a way of connecting with others, or a combination of reasons1. Focus on the positive aspects of food such as the aroma, colors, and textures1. Lastly, allow yourself to enjoy a variety of foods. No foods should be off-limits due to their caloric or nutrient content.  


Delfino, B. (2017, March 22). Eat your words: Change the way you talk about food. Healthy Food Guide. https://www.healthyfood.com/advice/eat-your-words-change-the-way-you-talk-about-food/ 

Yumlish. (2020, December 29). Positive Food Language for a Healthy Relationship with Food. Yumlish. https://yumlish.com/positive-food-language-for-a-healthy-relationship-with-food/ 

By Michelle Lee 

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