18 Jun What does healthy eating mean?
I was recently doing some research as to what is the best diet in the world with the view to answering the question of “What does healthy eating mean?”. I decided to share my findings with everyone and hopefully fill some of your time at home with an interesting read. My research turned out to be a really fascinating topic and I’ll elaborate on what I found.
The article that really caught my eye was written by US health news. This article named the best diets in the world as rated by top health experts.
What is the best diet in the world
The diets that came top of the pops for healthy eating included the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet and the flexitarian diet. These top rated diets have quite a few things in common which is why they are each being hailed as the best diet in the world.
These diets are all high in fresh fruits and vegetables. They recommend eating wholegrain and unrefined carbohydrate foods. They include plenty of nuts, seeds, fish and healthy oils. Most of these diets also suggest including meat alternatives such and beans, legumes and soy protein as healthy choices within a balanced diet. Each of these foods groups have been shown to provide their own health benefits ranging from lowering cholesterol levels to reducing the risk of certain cancers.
Why are these eating patterns so highly rated?
These foods are recommended because they have all been associated in one way or another with lower risks of heart disease, blood pressure, diabetes and cancer to name a few. They are the foods that provide our bodies with all the essential nutrients to ensure that our bodies function at their best. In many of these diets you will also find that red wine is a regular component of daily intake. Red wine is high in antioxidants and, in moderation, is cardioprotective.
Does this mean that I can have as much as I want?
The thing to remember is that even if a food is really healthy it doesn’t mean that you can just eat as much as you want. Just because a food is healthy doesn’t give us the freedom to eat huge portions. It all often goes back the saying that “everything in moderation” is probably OK. But….. we definitely want the bulk of that to be healthy food.
What shouldn’t we be eating?
Another common factor among the best diets in the world are the fact that they are low in red meat, low in saturated fat and low in refined sugar and carbohydrates. These foods increase your risk of heart disease, obesity, cancer according to many studies, and the list goes on…
Within these diets the proportion of the various food groups differ. For example some are higher in protein, some are higher in complex carbohydrates and others suggest larger amounts of healthy fats. Despite these differences the messages among the various diets remains the same.
Should everyone follow the same diet?
While this is quite a contentious topic it is always best to remind ourselves that not everyone responds the same way to the same diet. There might be people who are following different eating patterns who read this this with disbelief. But always remember that what suits you may not suit the person next to you. The overall message to take from this is that whatever you are following it should be aimed at your overall health. You should also minimize any harm that the food may be doing. It should also be aimed at maximizing your intake of foods with benefit in order to try and reduce your future risk of disease. Your decisions should also be based on good evidence rather than the fad that is in fashion at the moment.
Do the top health authorities agree?
Dietary guidelines set out by countries across the world show similar trend. You will see recommendations for high fruit and vegetable intake, lower animal protein intake. You will also find suggestions for the inclusion of healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil and nuts.
How to eat healthy?
So what’s the take home message. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables every day. The guidelines vary in their suggestions but the range is between 5 and 8 fruit and /or vegetables every day. Ensure that your carbohydrates are complex and wholegrain. Eat more vegetable based protein, legumes and (low mercury) fatty fish two to three times per week. Make sure that any added fats are the heart healthy variety. And finally 1 – 2 servings of red wine a day is a good thing.
Do you need help with healthy eating?
I hope that you have found this information useful and that it shed some light on all the conflicting information out there.
If you would like to read a bit more on this topic then feel free to check my article What is the best diet in the world
If you would like some help with the planning of your new healthy diet then check out Two week vegetarian dinner planner or Two week dinner planner or one month COVID-19 menu planner. These planners and recipes are the perfect resources to get you going on your path to healthy eating. If you would like some more personalized advice or a customized analysis of your diet the click on Personalised dietary analysis to find out the process
Do you want more healthy eating information
If you would like more information on the topic of healthy eating please feel free to let me know. I have lots of information to share and I will add it to my next post. I hope that you are all staying warm and safe. Until next time, Leanne xoxo