What is healthy food?

Conditions for a diet to be healthy


What is a healthy diet?

Food is the basis to achieve a good health. Food provides vitamins, minerals, proteins and other components needed for the body not to be sick. A healthy diet is that one that comes closer to a natural food ingestion, that’s to say, the one that provides nutrients offered by nature in its most simple state.

Throughout history there has been a negative trend in eating habits. The first men ate fruits, vegetables and seeds collected from the wild. However, over time, there has been a change in this tendency.

Commercial reasons have replaced common sense, so today diet has derived from the ingestion of natural food to an increasingly intake of artificial and less healthy food.

Examples of an unhealthy change in eating habits


Sausages are not considered healthy food

Among the changes in the food we must take into consideration the case of refined foods, especially in regard to the whole grains. We have traditionally consumed whole grains, that’s to say, those containing the outer layer of seeds.

With whole wheat, oats or barley people usually made breads, cakes, flour and other food rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins. etc.

In more recent days, the outer layer of cereals has been progressively been removed for making refined flours with which less healthy food products are made. The outer layer of whole grains contains the most vitamins, minerals many proteins and other components, as the germ, rich in fatty acids.

Most of them are removed when refined.

Cereals are refined because, when the germ is removed, the remaining flour can be stored for longer. Besides consumers, unfortunately, identify white bread as tastier and cleaner. This is why white bread is generally preferred to whole bread.

These commercial reasons have been replacing some rich products from an edible point of view by other more appropriate products from an economic perspective, although less healthy.

Something similar has also occurred with sugars. Refined sugar does not practically contain anything but carbohydrates. Minerals in brown sugar have been removed with the refining process. This has produced a product that can be preserved longer but it not recommended for a healthy diet.

A diet too rich in meat

In most modern societies, diet is based on the excessive consumption of meat.

The substitution of a diet based on plant foods by another one based on animal food has led to the emergence of numerous health problems: obesity, overweight, cholesterol, gout, arthritis, uric acid and, consequently, the appearance of many circulatory problems.

It has been demonstrated that people in vegetarian societies live longer and posses fewer health problems.

In industrialized countries, people generally follows a too rich animal diet, plenty of saturated fats, combined with an excessive intake of food. This has been considered the main reason for premature aging and a lower quality of life in people.

How to acquire new habits of healthy eating?

If we wish to come back to a healthy diet, we must return to a more natural way of eating that breaks with today’s eating tendency. We must return to a more primitive diet and, therefore, to a more authentic one. If we want to acquire new healthy eating habits, we should consider the following recommendations:

  • A healthy diet is one that mainly takes into account natural plant foods, mainly fruits and vegetables, specially fresh and lush seasonable fruits and vegetables, whenever possible.

  • It is important that the raw plant foods constitute almost half the daily intake. One should start eating these in salads, for example. By doing this, we will make better use of their properties.

  • Do not abuse of fried, baked or cooked food

  • Meat and fish should be consumed sparingly. The proteins in meat or fish will be progressively replaced by vegetable proteins, such as those provided by legumes or nuts. If consumed moderately, milk and dairy products (yogurt, kefir, curd, etc.) are good sources of protein, as well as eggs.

  • One should avoid eating refined foods, substituting them by nonrefined ones. Thus, white bread will give way to brown bread. Refined sugar will be replaced by brown sugar or honey.

  • Try to eat as frugally as possible. Never gorge yourself. It is better to feel that you can still eat a little more.

  • Five meals a day are generally recommended: a hearty breakfast that constitutes the main meal, a small snack midmorning. A moderate lunch at noon. Another afternoon snack, and an early and very light dinner. Leave enough time before going to bed after dinner.

  • Meals must be taken in a relaxed, stress free environment, avoid discussions and, if possible, eat without the pervasive presence of television.

  • Food should be chewed slowly, finely ground and properly moistened with saliva. This will provide a better digestion and will exploit all food virtues.

  • One should avoid or minimize the consumption of bad products such as alcohol, tobacco, coffee, stimulants, spicy food and soft drinks.

punto rojoMore information on craving for food.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

22 April, 2019

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