You don’t have to “eat clean”, drink juices, go paleo or quit sugar to be healthy.
Whatever happened to a healthy diet just meaning getting adequate nutrition from food?
These days it can feel like “health” requires activating your superfoods, liquifying your veggies, going sugar free and drinking bee water – yep, that’s right, bee water… what the? I have seen this for sale.
Health and healthy are now loaded words that have been mixed up with “clean” eating, “quitting sugar”, green smoothies and “Paleo”. While there is nothing wrong with doing any of these things per se, they are too often taken to the extreme and none are actually necessary for health. As I have always stated, if you enjoy following a specific dietary regimen, that’s fine, I am not saying you shouldn’t, I’m just saying you don’t have to.
Why am I concerned about this?
For many people, these extreme forms of “healthy” eating are leading to very distorted relationships with food and body, and serious eating disorders or orthorexia (a yet to be classified eating disorder which is an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating).
Our culture’s preoccupation with “healthy” eating sucks the joy out of eating for many and wastes a hell of a lot of mental space. How much time do you spend thinking about food? Imagine what else we could achieve if we spent less time worrying so much about food.
Your diet is healthy if you are getting enough food energy and nutrients to support physical and mental health, and eating food (and amounts) that leave you feeling satisfied and energised. There are a million and one different ways to achieve this and there is no single food that must be either included or avoided in order to eat well.