Updated: Jan 1
Healthy nutrition is probably one of the most controversial topics in the world today. Most people will agree that healthy eating is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle. But the controversy steps in when we want to determine how exactly that healthy eating habits should look like.
I must admit, that I have never been too interested in nutrition in general. I have never counted macros and I have never been a fan of diets. I do however agree that is essential to make good and informed food choices if you want to build a healthy and balanced lifestyle. The amount of food people can eat from every food group will vary depending numerous factors such as age, gender and activity levels.
There are many nutrition specialists in the industry and all of them have their own opinions of what type of diets people should be following and what foods to avoid. Research has also shown that South Africans’ diets have rapidly changed over the years. These days more and more people chose to follow a diet which contains less fibre, more saturated fats, higher salt contents and a lot more processed foods. There may be several reasons why the change occurred, but that is a completely different topic for another day.
What studies also have show is that poor eating habits have been directly linked to an increase in general obesity, chronic diseases as well as death. According to Eat Well Live Well, approximately 56% of South African females, 29% of males and 17% of children in South Africa are overweight or obese. Take a moment and let that sink in. 56% of all South African adult females. Six million South Africans suffer from high blood pressure. And 25% of South Africa’s adult population have risk factors for high blood pressure – factors such as obesity, excessive alcohol consumption and a high sodium (salt) and low vegetable, legume and milk intake, which result in a low potassium intake.
Eat Well Live Well suggests in order to keep yourself and your family healthy, you must ensure that your diet consist of a variety of foods from each of the food groups, in the correct amounts and according to your unique lifestyle needs.
The main reason why I do not support diets is because they are not sustainable. You might stay on track for a few days or some might even stay dedicated for a few months. But my question is, what do you think will happen to you body once you start eating normal again? The problem with diets is that hey usually exclude or limit certain food groups and promote other food groups. That will only result in an imbalance.
Our bodies need various foods from ALL the food groups, to provide the body with fuel for daily functions. If you are really serious about leading a healthy lifestyle, you will stop counting macros and jumping from one diet to the next. A healthy lifestyle is about make good and proper food choices. Not following a diet that works for someone else. Building a healthy lifestyle is more than simply the food you consume every day. It’s about consuming the types of food that your body need to be able to perform the required functions and tasks, you as an individual need to perform every day. A healthy lifestyle stretches further than healthy eating habits – it should include physical activity on a daily basis.
To build up and maintain a healthy lifestyle in general, it is of utmost importance that you understand the impact of your own food choices on your body. By choosing to follow a healthy lifestyle you will drastically reduce your risk of chronic diseases and will be able to enjoy your life with much more energy.
Choosing a healthy lifestyle is a smart choice for everyone – no matter your age or gender. It will assist you in maintaining a healthy weight and fuelling your body with the needed nutrients.
Healthy looks different on everybody. So, it is up to you to dig in, learn a little more about what your body really needs to perform at its best. Find a healthy eating routine that works for you. And please, I beg of you – don’t ever cut any food group completely from your diet.
Living a healthy life in general does not require any food restrictions. Forget about the diets and the food restrictions. Find a sustainable lifestyle diet that works for you, something that you can stick with for the rest of your life & not just for a few days or weeks. Eat the pizza when you want it & the greens when you need it! If you take care of your body, it will surely take care of you!