A balanced diet is a nutritious diet. It’s enjoyable, social, tasteful and part of a healthy lifestyle. It allows us to occasionally indulge, encourages us to cook, inspires us to experiment and brings us together to share not only what’s edible, but also what’s conversational.
There are no revolutionary dietary recommendations which deserve the gold star. Many are simply fad diets which attract plenty of media attention but lack scientific merit.
We often need to be reminded that most of us already know how to eat healthfully; it’s just that we get distracted with what seems like a never-ending torrent of varying dietary advice.
The truth is that a healthy diet is diverse and built over time. It can accommodate the rules, rituals and taboos of every culture and will never demonise – or glorify – a single nutrient, food or meal.
Having a focus on balance and moderation can be a lot of help. Both suggest taking in a level of calories that your body requires and balancing those calories across carbohydrates, proteins and fats. This is simple advice that has stood the test of time.
We must also foster skills and habits which encourage ourselves and our families to eat more minimally-processed food, particularly colourful fruits and vegetables, wholegrains, lean meats, fish, legumes, nuts, seeds and dairy.
There are many ways that we can eat to live long, prosperous lives and all of them are simple variations on a common dietary theme.
We don’t need to be taken in by the scare-mongering and confusing media headlines. Rather, we can remain on a path of vitality by consuming the large variety of wholesome foods we all enjoy and have available to us.
The longest living populations in the world all have a healthy, happy approach to eating real food. Eating is one of the most pleasurable experiences in the world and we can repeat this act several times a day by enjoying food as nature intended us to eat it – minimally processed.
Remember, a balanced diet is a nutritious diet. There is no doubt that some of us may need to eat according to a leaner set of rules. However, if the majority of us can unite in order to dine according to this common theme of eating, then ultimately, public health can benefit on a grand scale.