Amongst all the talk about ‘Clean Eating’ that’s been in the press recently (in part thanks to the fab Documentary from Horizon “Clean Eating: The Dirty Truth”) we may be feeling a little more confused about what the term ‘healthy’ actually means.
As with the ambiguous term ‘clean’, the term ‘healthy’ can mean completely different things to different people. I’m sure we all have some friends who wear a health halo and seem to eat the ‘perfect diet’. I’m equally sure that many of us have friends who consider eating the gherkin in their take away burger to be a step towards health. But should either of these actually be considered as ‘healthy’ and what does eating a healthy diet actually mean in the modern world?
Healthy? We are all different
However confident we feel about keeping healthy, it’s likely that we will all need slight variations of different things, such as amounts of exercise, fluids, foods and nutrients in order to keep healthy.
When looking in a dictionary, you will find that the definition of what ‘health’ actually is is:
“In a good physical or mental condition; in good health.”
Unfortunately I think more often than not, we forget about the ‘mental’ side of this definition. If you’re following a restrictive diet which makes you miserable, causes you stress and impacts negatively on your social life, is that really going to be ‘mentally healthy’ for you?
Therefore it seems somewhat illogical to consider ourselves completely ‘healthy’ if we are feeling overly stressed or unhappy. Real health therefore, comes back to working out our own individual goals. Realising that we are individuals and that a ‘diet package’ or even a specific ‘way’ of eating that worked for someone else, isn’t necessarily going to work for us too.
Healthy does not mean perfect!
Remember, when it comes to health, we aren’t thinking about simply surviving anymore – thankfully in the 21st Century, most of the western world has progressed beyond that – but we are striving to survive in a state of good health, both mentally and physically. This DOES NOT mean perfection. Perfection doesn’t exist, and often chasing it leads us directly into poor health.
If you’re wanting to seriously think about ‘healthy eating’ and what this really means, you may need to take a step back from all the faddy/clean eating/restrictive diets we’ve been trialling for so many years and get back to basics with your health.
My blog post “No New You, just common sense nutrition” should help to get you cut through all the fads and get back to basics when it comes to eating healthily. And if you want a little more advice on improving your diet, my blog “What actually is a healthy balanced diet” breaks it down for you!
Forget the fads and the perfection. Aim for a healthy body and mind for you.