COLUMNIST: What really constitutes a good diet?

Sue Taylor
Sue Taylor

During the past 50 years there has been much debate on the optimal dietary advice for improving long-term health in the general population as well as in people with established cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure obesity, osteoporosis and other problems related to the Western lifestyle.

During my career within the health and fitness industry I have seen various ‘diets’ come and go. Most I have found to be way too restrictive, focusing only on calorie counting rather than on the quality of the foods.

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The following are the CONSISTENT BASICS that should work for almost everyone.

If you are looking to change your lifestyle I would recommend that you work through these basics one at a time, so you don’t overwhelm yourself.

The main thing is to have fun with your food whilst remembering “Put rubbish in, get rubbish out”.

Aim for a good balance that you can sustain over a long period of time, rather than embark on a very restrictive diet regime that will only last for a matter of days before you are right back where you started.

Keep your consumption of red meat to a minimum and instead focus on fish (preferably line caught) and organic meats like chicken, turkey, venison, lamb.

Reduce your consumption of saturated fats from meat and dairy. If you do not digest dairy products well, you are best to avoid them altogether and perhaps think about swapping to a plant-based milk instead.

Reduce your consumption of refined foods (white bread, pizza, bread, pasta, flour, cakes, biscuits, confectionary, sugar)

Reduce your intake of processed foods

Reduce tea and coffee and replace with lots of fresh water

Reduce alcohol consumption

Reduce sugary drinks

Eating a whole-food diet has so many benefits for our health.

Next time your visit the supermarket, just check to see how much real food you have in your trolley as opposed to fake, processed food.

And remember it isn’t about being perfect.

Have the odd treat here and there but overall, endeavour to eat a healthy whole-food diet for a happy and healthy body and mind.

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