Do you sometimes question which foods are healthy and which foods are unhealthy?
Is there such thing as healthy and unhealthy foods?
Do you feel guilty eating one food compared to another?
The word ‘healthy’ when it comes to food is grammatically incorrect, the real meaning of the word healthy is in good physical condition, in good health or promoting good health. So in other words when you say healthy food, you are saying a food good in health. Wait, huh, what does that mean?
I have a friend who is really conscious about his health and eats what he thinks is healthy. When he invited me over for a catch up, he was very excited to make me something healthy for lunch, his version of a healthy cheeseburger. We walked down to his local supermarket (woohoo! cardio) to pick up some missing ingredients?
What he bought for his recipe:
- Wholemeal Burger Buns
- Fresh Mince Lamb directly from the Butchers
- Low-Fat Mayonnaise
- Low-Fat Cheese
Other ingredients he used:
- Olive oil
- Tomato Ketchup
He went about making his healthy cheeseburger and I cannot lie, it was pretty good. Whilst we were eating, I asked him what made this healthy. He went to tell me that it is a healthy because he used wholemeal buns, compared to normal white sesame buns, fresh lamb from the butchers, compared to frozen or packaged meat, low-fat mayo and cheese, compared to full fat and Olive oil, which he said is very healthy, showing me an article he read on olive oil.
Now is what he perceived healthy, really healthy, or has the word healthy just misrepresented the ingredients?
To be totally honest, although his burger does seem healthier, it still would not be far off from a cheeseburger from McDonalds. You see some of the ingredients like low-fat is usually filled with a lot of sugar, salt and additives, in order to give it the same consistency and flavouring of a full fat version, and buying meat from a butcher doesn’t make far better than the one you buy frozen.
When it comes to food what makes it healthy or unhealthy is ‘moderation’. If you are to eat carrots all day because it is deemed by society as healthy, you are not going to be healthy because they are incomplete.
In all truth, all food is healthy, in that all food can be part of a healthy diet. A healthy diet is a balanced diet made from a variety of foods. The key here is proportion.
Wait, does this mean I can have a doughnut as part of a healthy diet?
Yes, you can. You see, all it comes down to is eating at moderation. If you eat too many foods that society deems healthy, i.e. fruits, you still can be overweight, and if you eat foods society deems as unhealthy but at the right portion size, you can be at a healthy weight.
What this teaches us is that we need to start focusing more on balance and moderation, not deprivation. If we are to build a health relationship with eating and plan what we eat and how much of each food we eat, we can get away with having a doughnut or biscuit or cake as part of a healthy diet.
Here are a few tips to live by when it comes to healthy or unhealthy foods (still hate the use of the word healthy)
- Stop giving a value to cake and fruits
- Think more healthful/nutritious, instead of healthy
- Learn moderation and forward planning
- Indulge knowingly, not carelessly
So, next time you pick up that Chocolate Dreamcake Doughnut, don’t feel guilty. Just work it into your diet/meal plan and learn to stop at one, rather than eating the entire dozen.