"Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well;...
and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man."
~James H. West

Lisa's Blog

What is healthy food?

Lisa Cutforth - Saturday, April 10, 2010

Your question answered:

I am confused by what is good food?  High protein, low fat, low carb?

  I just don't know what makes up the 80 % in the 80:20 principle.

It is easy to get confused by all the mixed messages and seemingly contradictory information out there.

What constitutes healthy food? 
Here are some pointers of what to eat 80 % of the time:
  • Food closely resembling it's most natural form (unprocessed)
  • A variety of different foods. Eat a Rainbow! 
  • Food that agrees with your body.  (If you get a bad reaction or it doesn't make you feel good, don't eat it!) 
  • Fresh local food in season
  • Organic where possible
  • Mostly vegetarian: beans, lentils, seeds, nuts, soya, vegetables, fruit, grains, cereals, plant oils
  • Foods free from artificial chemicals and additives:  organic, preservative free, free from flavorings and artificial colours and sweeteners.
  • Eat food from each of these groups daily: vegetables, fruit, protein, fats and oils, carbohydrates
  • Choose quality over quantity.  Rather eat a smaller amount of good quality produce than a large amount of poor quality food.
  • Eat some raw food every day, the enzymes and nutrients are SO good for you.


Myths: Low fat, low carb, high protein is healthiest

Fat is good, a food that is labelled "low fat" is not necessarily healthier.  Fat is essential in the diet.  Good fats are natural fats, and generally plant oils/fats are better than animal fats (with the exception of fish oils), generally unsaturated fats are healthier than saturated fats (with the exception of coconut oil, which although saturated is a very healthy fat).  Fat is high in "energy" or calories so don't overindulge, particularly in animal fats.  Avoid trans fats and hydrogenated fats at all costs.

Low Carb is not necessarily healthier.  Carbohydrates are essential.  Your brain, nerve and muscle cells require glucose to function properly and carbohydrate rich foods contain the main source of fibre your bowels need to keep healthy.  However choosing low glycaemic carbs is a good idea.  Lower glycaemic carbohydrates are usually complex carbohydrates, unrefined or wholegrain and include certain vegetables and fruits.  But you can safely assume all fruit and vegetables are healthy (poisonous or allegies excepted). 

High protein is not necessarily healthy although daily protein is advisable.  Too much protein can put strain on your vital organs like your kidneys and digestive tract, especially if accompanied with a low carbohydrate regime.  Eat some good quality protein everyday.  Good quality protein includes: nuts, seeds, fish, eggs


 Please email me with further questions.


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