What is a healthy diet? It can be many things, depending on our views and beliefs. Some may swear by a vegetarian or vegan diet. Others may advocate a low carbohydrate or low fat diet as the only way to go. What about the Mediterranean Diet – all those tomatoes and peppers and crisp salads with home made pasta and lots of olive oil! Actually the olive oil is what makes the Mediterranean diet so good. They all have good points and some have bad points, for example a vegetarian diet may not provide Vitamin B12 and other nutrients only found in meat. In general any diet that avoids processed foods and high sugar foods and contains plenty of variety including the right carbohydrates, protein and plenty of fruit and vegetables can be healthy.
Our body needs food which can provide all the nutrients that is required to feed, maintain and repair itself. In theory any diet that provides these nutrients can be considered a healthy diet. The Nutrition Diet I keep going on about is one way to get a healthy diet. Plenty of fruit and vegetables and no processed or junk food, but plenty of variety. A varied diet is important so that it is easier for a full range of nutrients to be consumed.
It is surprising when we think, “I’m okay, I have a healthy diet so don’t need to worry” and then you find out that is not the case – as I did recently! I try my best to follow my own advice (but nobody is perfect) and think my diet is ok. Then I recently analysed my sons eating habits to try and help his migraine problems and then decided to look at my own diet. After checking my diet for a few days and getting the nutrient totals/analysis I found that I was quite low on the needs of 3 or 4 nutrients. One in particular was calcium which as an older person(!) is essential and my intake was way down. At least now I know I can do something about it either by diet or perhaps added supplements.
You can check your own nutrient levels fairly easily and for free and you might be surprised at the results. The software is available free either on line or as a download at www.cronometer.com. A more professional diet calculator can be found at http://www.weightlosssoftware.com but it is not free. It costs $39.97 but gives more more information and more factors including exercise and medical conditions to factor into your dietary analysis. It is still fairly straightforward to use – well managed it so most people should be able to use it.
So a healthy diet can mean different things to different people but it should mean a nutrition based diet without junk or processed foods and include exercise. As I found out myself, don’t be complacent about your diet, thinking that yours is healthy enough. Like me you are very likely missing a vital nutrient or two.
Don’t forget you can download FREE from www.obooko.com my book ‘The Nutrition Diet and Recipe Book’ under the heading of Health and Self Improvement.