People seem to be very confused about what really constitutes a “healthy diet” and it’s no wonder, with experts arguing, conflicting media headlines and research constantly telling you that foods X, Y and Z will cause cancer. However, ultimately the main principles of being healthy have always been the same.
As soon as we get away from the idea that there is a ‘quick fix’ or ‘cheat sheet’ to improving our health, we can start to realise that being healthy is about looking after yourself and your body, eating well and being active.
There is no other way to achieve good health!
So I’ve complied a list of the basic principles needed to be a ‘healthy you’ and to live a healthy lifestyle. It’s not an ultimate list, but it’s a platform for the basics of living healthily.
A few healthy steps:
- Eat more VEGETABLES (and some extra fruit, too)
- Avoid eating too many processed products, fast food and junk
- Use water as your main source of fluid and keep fizzy drinks to only rare occasions
- Cook meals from scratch as much as possible
- Enjoy mealtimes, food and eating. Rather than seeing it as simply a necessity. Take time out for it and try to eat with friends or family
- Keep an eye on your portion sizes – inside and outside of the home – and eat from a smaller plate, if possible
- Fill half your plate with vegetables – at lunch and dinner
- Choose whole grains and less processed carbohydrates
- Eat fish and smaller amounts of unprocessed, quality meat (if you choose to eat meat, that is)
- Watch the amount of sugar and salt you add, or that are already added to your foods
- If you choose to snack, opt for healthy, plain varieties such as nuts, natural yoghurt, fruit and avoid snacking daily on ‘junk’ such as crisps
- Get active – spend less time sitting and more time moving everyday
- Don’t drink too much alcohol
All the other arguments you read are immaterial if you haven’t got these basic principles sorted.
Sugar vs Fat, Butter vs Marg, Organic vs Non-Organic, Superfoods vs Day-to-Day foods – all pointless arguments unless you’re already leading a healthy lifestyle. These are things you can worry about (if you really want too) once you are following the basics of a healthy lifestyle (above).
Take a look at my other articles about why nutrition advice seems so confusing!
And some of the other topics I discuss here such as healthy weight, butter vs marg, organic vs non organic – but remember the answers to those questions aren’t relevant if you’re not healthy to start with!