What does it mean to be healthy? Who determines if someone is healthier than someone else?
As a Nutritionist my interpretation of ‘healthy’ is eating food in its most natural state which often indicates ‘wholefoods’. This means quality protein (animal and plant proteins), lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and quality fats (nuts, seeds, avocados, cold pressed oils etc.). Each nutritionist or naturopath will have a slightly different opinion as to what constitutes being healthy, however we all generally share the same view that food should be consumed in its most natural state where possible.
So what are the pro’s and con’s of eating healthy?
- Eating well now will benefit your overall health in the short and long term, meaning you are less likely to suffer from illnesses and infections and therefore you will have a stronger immune system.
- You will spend less money on pharmaceutical medication as you will be less likely to need it.
- You will have more energy and be able to maintain a healthy weight by choosing to eat real foods.
- Sometimes eating healthy means having to spend more money. While this can be true at times, you don’t always necessarily need to spend too much more money but rather become smarter with buying produce (e.g. buying seasonally, going to local markets etc.). Eating out for dinner is where I personally notice the additional expense incurred.
- Eating healthy does often require a little more time each day for preparation. You may need to allow for an additional 5-10 minutes in the morning to prepare breakfast or lunch for the day. Saying this you can purchase pre-made salad bags in your local grocery shop which makes eating healthy more convenient.
While these are the main pro’s and con’s of eating healthy I am realistic in the sense that pre-packaged foods do have their place in today’s society, especially when you are travelling or camping for example. While being prepared may come easier to me, it is what I love to do.
When you are turning to pre-packaged foods just try to keep it in moderation and allow for this type of food to be occasional treats rather than everyday foods. You can find healthier options these days in grocery stores such as (chia seed puddings, tuna and mixed bean tins, tinned fruit, wholegrain crackers and natural protein bars) as opposed to packet chips, lollies and frozen pies for example.
I do believe it is important to enjoy treats/occasional foods and I myself enjoy eating out once a week for this reason. Our bodies are pretty unique and very capable of metabolising and excreting products when we are healthy.