The Best Diet??

A diet is whatever we eat on a regular basis and not just a short term weightloss programme.  Though most of us change our diets regularly for just that reason with little permanent success.  

We are what we eat.  How we look, our size and shape, our health are all down to our eating habits.  So if we want to change in any way we need to change our diet rather than go on a diet.  The change has to be permanent and the right diet has to be chosen.

So what is the perfect diet or the best diet for you?  There are so many to choose from and many claim to be the diet to end all diets.  What though is a healthy diet that works and is easy to follow.  There are probably hundreds of diets and a lot of them will be worth following.  So what do they have in common.  What common denominator links them because there is a link.

As well as what we eat our diet is also influenced by our lifestyles, the way we were brought up and our genetic make up.  Today there is also more food choices and more confusion as the food companies and supermarket chains push their products even claiming they have healthy choices.  Yet many of these choices are not really as healthy as they appear.  Food processing has affected our health and wellbeing in ways still being uncovered, while giving us cheap, quick fix foods.

Despite all this there are plenty of choices for a healthy diet to suit most lifestyles and tastes.  My own nutrition based diet is just one.  See my book (FREE) – The Nutrition Diet and Recipe Book which is available for free download at www.oobooko.com under the heading Health and Self Improvement.

Whatever the diet  healthy diets have one thing in common.  Whether vegetarian or a meat eater, a diet is only as good as the content.  There are different types of diet and different diets within those types and brief details of some follow.

The most common diet is the Omnivor – a meat and vegetable diet (the diet I was brought up on in my younger days).  Meat, eggs, fish, fruit and vegetables.   Then there are vegetarian diets which come in many forms.  The most common are not strict and include eggs and dairy in their vegetarian diets.   Vegans are more strict and only eat fruit, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds.  Raw food diets are another healthy way to eat and not just for vegetarians.  In fact we should all eat more raw foods whatever our diet.  Raw foods provide more nutrition and fibre.

Then there are regional diets such as the Mediterranean diet.  But  what is the Mediterranean diet?  Supposedly more fruit and vegetables – tomatoes, peppers, etc.  Also olive oil and red wine!!  The Mediterranean diet varies though from country to country.  Italy is different from Spain and different again from Portugal.  Italy has more bread and pasta, Spain more meat and fish and Portugal is based on meat and potatoes.  All though have lots of olive oil.  Perhaps that is where the benefits come from.

Asian foods are also healthy with plenty of rice and vegetables and little meat in most traditional recipes.  There are more but one thing none of  these diets have in their original form  is processed foods.  As well as depleting nutrients, food processing also uses various additives including  flavouring, colourings and preservatives.  Processing also includes bleaching and other chemical processes.  Sugar, vegetable oils, salt and mono sodium glutamate (MSG) are also widespread.  At the end of the day processed foods are bad for your health. 

There are fuller details about the food processing and the different types of processed foods and additives at a informative food site at http://www.healthy-eating-politics.com/processed-foods.html .   A sample from there – “Processed foods are foods that have been compromised by the addition of hormones, additives, preservatives, unnatural genetic material or other chemical or heat treatments that alter or destroy the natural healthy enzymes, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. The main goal of food processing is to lengthen the shelf life of foods so that larger amounts can be sold over time.

It is not  the case that all junk food is evil or is to be avoided at all costs. In some cases, food processing is beneficial in that it helps neutralize the natural toxins in food before they are consumed.  Sometimes you just want to eat something because you like the taste, and eating a little processed food now and then won’t have a great effect on your overall health. The human body is pretty resilient. However, a continuous diet of only junk food will certainly have an effect on your well being and your long term risk of disease. Foods such as pastured, grass fed meats, eggs and poultry, fresh organic vegetables and fruit, wild caught seafood, tropical oils, clean, raw diary products and properly prepared nuts and grains support the growth and maintenance of your muscles and organs. Stick with these types of foods for the majority of your meals, and you’ll go a long way toward avoiding the health problems associated with non-nutritive, processed junk foods.”

The common denominator for any diet whether meat eating or vegetarian or regional is  therefore a wide and varied nutritious diet based on real food, including plenty of fruit and vegetables (organic or home grown if possible) including raw food.  Whether you have meat, eggs or dairy is a personal choice but if you do it should also be organic, free range etc or at least know the source of your meat.  A lot of large commercial farms   use hormones, antibiotics and feedstuff that is not always natural to the animal.  This may also affect the person who eats the meat.

It is not time consuming or difficult to have a healthy nutritious meal.  Take a salad, baked potato and a tin of tuna or sardines.  For example make the salad with lettuce, cucumber and tomato then chop the white of a leak and grate some carrot to sprinkle on the lettuce.  Put a nob of butter on the potato and sprinkle some chopped chives or parsley.  Easy and quick.  Healthy and raw too!

So whatever diet you fancy whether meat and two veg, Italian, Mediterranean or whatever all you have to remember is fresh wholesome nutritious foods and cut out the processed foods, ready meals and junk.  After a while you won’t want to eat any other way. 

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