“What is healthy eating” sounds like a rather simple question right? Research suggests Australians on a whole don’t know the answer, well they aren’t eating particularly balanced let’s just say that. With today’s media obsession focus on food and nutrition eating healthy has become increasingly more confusing. Healthy eating is eating a variety of foods in a balanced way evenly distributed throughout the day. This can include cake, ice cream or chocolate, but it does not exclusively include cake, ice cream and chocolate. It can include eating out and a glass of wine with a friend, all within a healthy, balanced overall approach to eating.
Why do “they keep changing their mind”?
Largely the fundamental concept of healthy eating hasn’t changed. Those qualified in nutrition and food science haven’t “changed their minds”. Rather, these days everyone has an opinion about healthy eating, including celebrity/TV chefs, journalists, authors, bloggers, naturopaths, acupuncturists and even Instagram influencers. Often those lacking credentials and a scientific basis form (and promote) their own ‘beliefs’ rather than providing scientifically supported advice.
While there are certainly some nutritional components that need to be highlighted (increased or decreased) in different medical circumstances (such as kidney or heart disease). Eating should fundamentally meet your macro-nutrient (carbohydrate, fat and protein) and micro-nutrient (calcium, iron, folate, magnesium, potassium etc) needs to ensure your body functions in the best possible way. However, this is not something you need to ‘track’, it’s our job to make sure you are meeting all your body’s needs.
What about “superfoods”?
Here is the thing with all foods … they are all “super”. They all allow us to live and breathe and love. They should all be consumed in balance and with variety. Superfoods are largely “super marketed”. By and large, foods labelled “super” are no better or worse than other foods. Kale is really no different to spinach or rocket, Gogi berries aren’t that different to dried cranberries, not much difference between acai and blueberries. Some are harmful if they are overconsumed or consumed in place of other key foods.
What about sugar, isn’t sugar bad?
Should I eat fruit? Which fruit should I eat? Which should I avoid? Isn’t fruit high in fructose? This is one of the most common misconceptions we at SS Diets are approached with. Australians eat too much sugar correct. But that does not mean we should not eat fruit. Sugar isn’t bad (it’s actually vital to our survival as human beings), however too much sugar has been shown to put health at risk.
Most of the overconsumption of sugar comes in the form of processed sugars (particularly sweet beverages (soft drink, sports drinks, milkshakes, fruit juices), and foods very high in sugars (banana bread, blueberry muffins, bowls of ice cream, blocks of chocolate). It’s actually quite difficult to eat large amounts of sugar from fruit (you would need to eat 3 medium bananas to equal 600ml Coke). Add to that, fruit contributes fibre, nutrients such as (magnesium, potassium, B-Group vitamins) and anti-oxidants important to support a healthy body.
If you’re looking for more in-depth information about this article, please get in contact with SS Diets for a confidential chat.