Ignorance Is NOT Bliss

I can not tell you how many times I have had clients tell me that, “Ignorance is bliss” when it comes to their eating habits. Normally after I go over their diet analysis, changes that have to be made include:

  • lowering the daily amount of sodium consumed
  • lowering the amount of saturated fat grams consumed therefore reducing their food cholesterol
  • increasing fruits and vegetables therefore increasing fiber and natural vitamin consumption
  • increasing water intake while decreasing alcohol and caffeine consumption
  • decreasing dependence on processed and packaged foods

I am usually greeted then with the “ignorance is bliss” comment. It’s as if they believe that because no one ever told them that eating huge portions of fried food is bad, it isn’t going to make them gain weight, clog their arteries, or set them up for an unhealthy future. But I can always say that 99% of the time that same client will come back to me after about 6 weeks of following my meal plan with the following observations:

  • increased energy levels
  • brighter skin complexion
  • weight loss but more importantly body fat % has usually decreased
  • less bloated feeling
  • overall increased happiness levels

To which I always respond, “So was ignorance truly bliss?” I always get a few chuckles and a sheepish no. 🙂 I think there is a huge misconception out there that eating and being healthy means depriving yourself of delicious foods….it doesn’t! I can, however, see though how some people fall victim to this way of thinking though. For example, let’s take something basic like a cookie. If you have a package of cookies where you can plainly see the nutrition label would you be less or more willing to overindulge than if you just saw a plate of cookies at a party without seeing the nutrition facts for yourself? My guess is you would probably eat more cookies when you didn’t clearly see the nutritional information even though logically you know cookies in excess are not healthy. I think the same can be true for living an overall unhealthy lifestyle. But once positive changes are made…the bliss of ignorance fastly fades!

Have you ever been in an “ignorance is bliss” frame of mind?


26 Responses

  1. I’ll admit, I said this to HEAB yesterday because we were talking dairy queen and I haven’t ever gone back since learning the cherry dip is basically all partially hydrogenated oils :-/

  2. i can’t say that i have, although sometimes i will say that NOT knowing the entire nutritional breakdown of a slice of cheesecake makes it taste THAT much better…the thing is I know that it should be only a treat and not part of my daily or weekly diet…

  3. I think when it comes to indulgences, I have an idea, but I’d rather not analyze- just enjoy.

    But I can imagine living an entire life of health choices in ignorance can lead you down a rocky road… eek.

  4. I know this is probably bad for me to admit. But I’m sort of in that stage right now of “Ignorance is Bliss”.

    I need to change my eating habits. I need to stop eating (I’m not telling you) _____ for lunch.

    I know what it’s like to feel energized and refreshed after a healthy meal. I just don’t do it! Why? I have NO idea 😦


  5. Um….yeah….I didn’t way myself, didn’t eat healthy, told myself I was fine…then I weighed 250 pounds!! Ignorance is NOT bliss!

  6. For sure with Olive Garden bread sticks. I used to eat at least 3 every time I went. I told myself they couldnt be THAT bad, until I looked up the inforand found they were 140 calories EACH. Yikes…sooo not even worth it! Especially if I want to split dessert with the hubby!!

  7. I most definitely have had the ignorance is bliss attitude. Even now when I want to indulge, I can feel that attitude creeping up.

  8. like amy said, when it comes to the once in a while indulgences, ill live in ignorance…but other, daily consumed foods i prefer not to live in ignorance.

  9. I used to have an “ignorance is bliss” attitude with sodium and sugar. I always thought that if the calorie count was low, that was the main thing that mattered. Not so much! Now I study the nutrition labels more to find out what i’m REALLY putting into my body!


  10. Absolutely…sometimes I just don’t want to know! Especially when I am eating a huge DQ blizzard 🙂

  11. Ignorance is bliss until you have a heart attack or get diabetes…not so blissful anymore haha! But seriously, I agree that it’s not ignorance – they know it’s bad for them – it’s choosing to ignore the info they know and deciding to take one benefit over another (like the immediate benefit of a delicious greasy cheeseburger over the benefits you listed – increased energy, etc.).

    I am waaaay more likely to indulge in something if I don’t know the nutritional stats – especially homemade baked goods. I don’t necessarily see this as a bad thing for me personally because it’s not an everyday occurance. And for me it also keeps me from being obsessive about being healthy all the time – knowing and obsessing over the nutrion of every single food I eat isn’t a good thing either.

  12. Oh man…I used to LOVE Marble Slab ice cream….until I looked up the nutritional stats. Ignorance is bliss indeed 🙂

    But YES, I feel better now that I don’t eat it 4 times a week (seriously).

  13. I agree with Cardio Pizza…when it’s put into perspective and not “abused”.

  14. Ignorance is only bliss until you are confronted with reality. Then all bliss is gone!

  15. Is it bad that this made me slightly angry?? Obviously, ignorance is not bliss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. I would say ignorance is bliss at certain times..like special treat time, or for foods I would not usually eat. If it’s a treat I don’t really want to know how many cals or fat is in the food, because honestly I probably wouldn’t eat it if I knew. But on a daily basis, ignorance is certainly NOT bliss! We need to take ownership of our food choices and be aware of what is being put into our bodies!

    • That is a great way to put it…ignorance is definitely bliss on special occasions but on a regular basis it isn’t! Great point Nicole!

  17. I think “ignorance is bliss” is a statement that can be applied to many things…but NOT health. Unless you consider “bliss” as high cholesterol or type 2 diabetes 🙂

  18. there are a few things I don’t care to think about, but for the most part, in total agreement!

  19. I was in an “ignorance is bliss” mode about the fish I was eating. I used to eat a ton of Orange Roughy from Costco and other over-fished fish. Then, I did some research and found out more about my protein intake. Now, I stick to more sustainable fish and I’m trying to wean myself off of that too.

  20. Ignorance is bliss is what I’ve been saying in regard to the political realm for months now. I stopped watching news, reading news, etc. But now I can’t ignore what’s going on with the oil, the economy, national security, and our borders. Unfortunately, too much of this really makes me fearful and depressed which is something I DON’T need.

    Ignorance used to be bliss before diabetes 😀 Now, I know what I’m eating and where it came from. Life is good!

  21. Great post, Kel!!!! I love your cookie example, too. Yea, cookies at a party are so much easier to eat! Of course I could tell myself they’re homemade and therefore ‘better’ for me. Haha 🙂

    You are such a thoughtful writer!

  22. I sometimes do participate in “ignorance is bliss” like this week, when traveling. But I know I need to get back to normal. And I think that is a sorry excuse for eating like crap all the time.

    It scares me that some people don’t know how bad for them the things they eat are!

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