I face this question almost everyday and sometimes several times a day!
What makes your food intake healthy?
The truth is nobody really knows the answer to this question. You will hear different opinions stating complex terms and study results to support why they believe so and so is bad or good for you and they all mean well!
I studied Nutrition and Food Technology and practised as a dietitian back home for 7 years and what I can tell you out of my hands on experience is we are all different! There’s no cookie cutter solution that works for everyone.
Our environment, body structure, hormonal levels, emotional status, social status, (the list goes on) are all factors that contribute to how our body behaves and reacts to what we eat.
Yes there are basic tips that everyone is advised to follow in terms of how many meals a day, how important staying hydrated is, a balanced food intake, some form of activity etc.
Some obvious NO Nos would include high salt, high sugar, junk food, saturated fats and some obvious YES YESs like fresh produce, a rainbow of vegetables and fruits, moderate healthy fat intake are usually recommended.
But my point is the food idustry, the media and anyone who influences people’s food intake decisions are constantly giving us the ‘consumer’ new information, new super foods to love for this year and others to throw out even though we were told to love them a few years ago!
So that leaves us all confused!
What I believe in is that you need to listen to your body. Some of us have what is called a food sensitivity or intolerance and for those of you who know (there are tests to show what causes your body an intolerance or allergic reaction) then these foods become the bad guys and so they should be avoided but for others who don’t get a bad reaction eating them these foods are still the good guys!
I believe that you need to enjoy what you eat and not feel stressed over counting calories or portions! It should all be natural to you. I prefer if people ate foods when in season because that’s when you get the most nutritional value out of them and if you educate yourself about how to read labels and how to use your eyes and only your eyes to determine whether this is enough then you’ll do great.
How do you do this? There are many tools online and in books that are catered to help you learn about food and food intake in a simple way. There are also Nutritionists and Dietitians who can answer your concerns and help you better understand how to eat in a balanced, healthy and mindful way.
I know I didn’t get into specifics here but this is an introduction to upcoming posts through which I will dive deeper into the different types of food groups and what makes up a healthy ‘diet’.
If you have any specific questions please don’t hesitate to send me an email and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
Healthy Genie x