Nutrition can be mind-bogglingly overwhelming at the best of times, numbers fly at you from all directions, you receive contradictory information on more or less every possible decision you could make. It’s no wonder we struggle to start, it’s been made out to be rocket science for us. I’ve got you covered, this article will highlight hallmarks of a good diet and some practical ways around simply being better than you currently are, all we want is to make little progression steps to get you eating healthier.
First of all, what do I mean by a healthy diet, this seems like an arbitrary thing to clarify, but from working with people, I have seen that the general perception of a healthy diet changes dramatically from one person to another. I have had people explain that a healthy diet is just plant based foods, others claiming its low carb and others advocating for fasting, some have suggested that simply avoiding white bread, gluten or even fat altogether is what makes a diet healthy. Is everyone right, is everyone wrong? The answer is nuanced, there are many ways to ensure you have a healthy diet, but in general here’s what we would want to be aiming for:
- Salt intake below 5g per day, to limit risk of high blood pressure, which directly impacts kidney health, artery damage progression and risk of metabolic syndrome.
- Keeping saturated fats to a minimum and trying to avoid those that originate from animal sources, i.e. don’t eat multiple bars of chocolate per day and get lean meat cuts, skinless if possible at every opportunity.
- Try to eat the rainbow, get in a varied amount of color into your diet if possible, this forces you to subconsciously consume higher amounts of fruit and veg, but you also get ore varied antioxidant intakes when you do this
- Get that fiber up, aiming for above 30g and bonus points for hitting 40g per day, this is hard to do, FYI, an all Real Bar will give you between 8-10g of fiber, this is higher than a bowl of bran flakes (they are also nicer too!)
- Keep the sugar intake lower if possible from beverages, there is a distinct difference between sugar you find in fruit and the sugar content that one finds in a brownie, generally this is a better way to go about things
- With the above point, it is warranted to point out that moderation is key, be treat wise, pick about 200 calories worth of a treat daily and work it in, if you tick the boxes above, it will be more than okay
I always ask people to think about their diet and ask the question of what type of diet could you follow forever, what are the must haves, and from that, try to find a compromise to tick off the above points as best you can, as often as possible. That’s all, that’s how to start. What do you next? You repeat, over and over. No bells & whistles.
Evan – All Real Nutritionist