Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What is a healthy diet?

What is a healthy diet?

I started a new class today called "Nutrition Concepts & Controversies" and we discussed this topic today.  

A person's diet is influenced by a myriad of outside forces; environment, culture, habit, cost, preference..the list goes on and on.  People are vegan, they have allergies, they have access to certain foods and not others...  
It would be impossible to define a healthy diet in 5 broad characteristics....wouldn't it? Not really.  Think about these 5 characteristics of a healthy diet.

A healthy diet has:
1. Adequacy
     - The diet provides all the essential nutrients your body needs to function.
2. Balance
     - All essential nutrients are consumed in the proper balance to maintain health.
3. Calorie Control
     - This is the hardest one as food is more than fuel.  Fuel can be a source of entertainment, comfort, celebration, etc...HOWEVER at the core the purpose of food is to provide your body with energy.  Being in calorie control means that your food intake matches your energy needs and isn't in excess.
4. Moderation
     - There are foods that need to be limited - fat, cholesterol, salt, and sugar.  I said limited and not ELIMINATED.  It's all about moderation, while achieving the objectives above.
5. Variety
    - Nutrition scientists caution people to not eat the same diet all the time.  

Seems simple enough.  A healthy diet is adequate, balanced, with calories in control.  A variety of foods are eaten with certain ones eaten in moderation. I like it.
I feel like my diet is good.  It has, however, taken me years of learning and experimenation to achieve a diet plan that feels right for me.  And I still have days where I'm so far off the bandwagon that I can't even see the dust trail. For example, I'm fighting a nighttime snacking habit that I let myself fall into right now.  To combat it I'm making sure I've had enough calories throughout the day and drinking tea at night.  I also just realized that I forgot to buy gum at the store.  Thank you, random brain! :)

This week I'm making an extra effort to watch extra snacks.  I'm resting from running and trying to get "bikini ready" for the summer months.  

Here's our weekly In & Out:
Based off of this list do you think you have a healthy diet? Why or why not?

Love and my plate,
Carissa & Kyle

We also added a Nutrition page linking our nutrition and food related posts from the past.