What Is A Healthy Diet?
More and more people are on the search for a healthy diet. This is good, in that bad nutrition is one of the leading causes of illness and disease. But it is also bad, as it has caused all sorts of confusion and contradiction in the nutrition world.
One person says eating animal products will kill you. Another says that you can’t be truly healthy unless you include animal products. One “expert” says that soybeans are healthy; the next, that they will mes up your reproductive system and lead to breast cancer.
Who is right?
Principles of a healthy diet
There is no doubt about it: there will always be some confusion in the world of healthy diet food because we are constantly learning new things. Still, if we follow certain principles, our chances of making the right choices about what we put in our bodies will greatly increase – no matter what the latest finding is by the current nutrition guru.
1. Eat food in as close to its natural form as possible.
An apple that has been grown without having any pesticides sprayed on either it or its mother tree, and that is eaten raw with the skin on is much healthier than a jar of applesauce made from apples sprayed with pesticides.
Meat that comes from animals that have been allowed to live in a natural state and eat their natural food is healthier than meat that comes from animals forced to live in confined quarters and eat food they were not designed to be able to digest.
2. Eat a variety every day.
It has been said that grocery stores sell only about 10% of the variety of fruits and vegetables that were being consumed about a hundred years ago. This makes creating true diversity in our diets difficult – unless you grow at least some of your own food – so we need to get into the habit of doing things like eating different greens, fruits and grains each day.
3. Drink more purified water than you think you need.
Even health-conscious individuals tend to get slack on the amount of water they take in…or discover that what the experts recommend is not enough for their particular body and/or lifestyle.
4. Enjoy what you eat.
I am the poster child for eating disgusting-tasting food for the sake of having better nutrition. But in the past few years, I have realized that a truly healthy diet should not cause me to feel deprived. Using lots of herbs and spices in cooking, and eating healthy treats made with such ingredients as fruits, nuts, whole grains and/or natural sweeteners bring joy not only to the dinner table, but also to life in general.
As a matter of fact, I recently read that people eating otherwise super-healthy food that they don’t like do not assimilate as many of the nutrients from such foods as form the foods they truly enjoy.
5. Eat plenty of saturated, omega-3 and mono-unsaturated fats.
They are necessary for proper brain function, help protect organs, reduce inflammation, etc., etc. In addition, they contribute to the taste of food and are necessary for the assimilation of particular nutrients into the body. A low-fat diet is not a healthy diet.
Looking for ideas on how to prepare homemade meals and snacks in less than thirty minutes total a day? Check out my e-book, Healthy Fast Food.