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What is Healthy Food: Common Sense

Updated on June 15, 2011

It seems like every other day a new idea of "what is healthy" is presented to the public. We have too much fried food? Too many preservatives? We eat too much? We eat too little? Too much sugar? Too much red meat? Too often or not often enough? Too much coffee? So, what is healthy eating?

How about we stop listening to every "expert" that is offering us their interpretation of healthy and begin to use our own common sense.

How about those diets...

Half the country is overeating, and the other half dieting and skipping meals. If a diet is asking of you to cut out an entire food group - reconsider your plans. If the diet requires of you to go hungry - slam your head into the wall instead, at least they'll feed you at the hospital. You need to eat to live, and human body is meant to consume a variety of things, we can't pull all the vitamins we need from grass, like cows. Doesn't anyone study history anymore: those travelers on ships - lack of balanced diet - the word "scurvy" comes to mind. Anyone?.. Common sense.

The size of a portion?

If every day you eat meals that are five the size of your stomach - that's a problem (a bit of trivia - your stomach is as big as your fist). Whether it's breakfast, lunch or dinner, don't pile up the food. Common sense.

Preservatives?

Do we really need an expert to tell us that chemically created materials are not as good as naturally produced and grown foods? Do we really need a doctor to remind us, that if we put something created in a lab vs. grown on a farm into our bodies it might have an undesirable side effect? How about that chicken on your plate that neither looks nor tastes like real chicken, can we figure it out on our own that it might not be the healthiest of all options? How about a doughnut that is staying "fresh and moist" for weeks inside a plastic wrap, any warning bells? Common sense.

Too much sugar?

Who said there is something wrong with dessert? I say, enjoy your lava cake. However, if you are finishing 12 inch round chocolate wonder in one day - there might be a slight problem with it, don't you think? Common sense.

Do your kids know how their dinner is made?

Mashed potatoes don't grow in a box. Soda doesn't come from cows. Pretzels (which I love, by the way), don't ripen on trees. That means that none of those things should be a regular meal for a child. Common sense.

What about snacks?

I am assuming that I am not the only person who is hungry between the traditional three meals in a day. So, enjoy your snacks. Are you having a bunch of grapes, a slice of cheese, or a box of Oreos as a snack? You know where this is going. Common sense.

If all of this is common sense, how come it's not all that common? Well, because it's much easier for us to fall back on the convenience of the unhealthy option, than to spend an hour preparing a meal where chicken actually looks like chicken, and mashed potatoes are actually potatoes that are mashed. How can you eat healthier? Not without some effort and new, painfully developed habits. That's how. I'm not suggesting to never buy pretzels or ban all lava cakes from your house. I'm simply recommending to look at the proportion of time and money you spend on healthy vs. unhealthy (including eating out) in your life, and make a first step towards rearranging where your resources are going. This will not happen without some effort on your part. Common sense.


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