What is healthy eating?

I underwent pre-diabetes training 18 months ago. Apart from eating predominantly natural, unprocessed food without additives, the most useful advice was to keep carbohydrate portions between 10 to 14 per day (a portion contains 10g of carbohydrate).


Eating low glycaemic foods helps too.

I've also looked at the DoH healthy eating guidelines, and found the evidence underpinning it wanting, to say the least. The above measures are beneficial to health, whereas the recommendation to restrict saturated fats seems to be based of flawed observational studies.

What does everyone else think?

8 Replies

  • A lot of evidence for healthy eating is flimsy, eg, guidelines on salt, fats, fibre, some of it seems to be right out lies. It is very difficult to know what to follow. I am looking into the paleo diet at the moment. It does seem to make sence. I wouldnt have any difficulty cutting out grains and sugar but milk products would be very hard. I now that many here have very good experience of it.


  • Glad you asked that question. It's one I've wanted to ask myself. So many people here say they eat a 'healthy' diet, and I wonder what exactly they mean by that.

    If you read everything that's said about food, you'd end up eating nothing! It can't all be as bad as they say or mankind wouldn't have survived all these years. Of course, things are different these days with so much processed food.

    I think my definition of a 'healthy' diet would be one without additives. But that's getting harder and harder to achieve. We just don't know what they do to our food before it reaches us. And all in the name of profit! It's enough to turn one anorexic!!!

    Hugs, grey

  • Time and again people claim they eat a healthy diet. Time and again, some aspect is shown not to be as healthy, for them, as they thought!

    I do not claim to eat a healthy diet - too many potatoes, too much chocolate (did I really just type that!), not enough green vegetables, etc. Though I do usually avoid most of the unnecessary additives.

    An absolute classic would be someone eating what in every other way is a wonderful diet, but because they have pernicious anaemia, even the apparently decent amount of B12 is wholly inadequate. For them it is an unhealthy diet without supplementation (whether oral or IV/SC) - which gets to the very real difficulties. The borderline between diet and supplementation is very porous!


  • In other words, a healthy diet is in the eye of the beholder. Or something.

    No, I don't claim to eat a healthy diet, either. Gave that up years ago. With me it's too much bread and not enough green vegetables. Perhaps too much cheese and not enough meat. But I eat what I like and I adore cheese sandwiches! lol Oh, just a bit of lettuce, if you insist...

  • I'm afraid I'm not a believer in all this tosh about "5 a day", or the nutritionist's view of one size fits all vitamin/mineral intake. I'd have said I was brought up on a "healthy" diet, and did the same for my kids - fresh veg. from the garden when possible, the proper fats (NEVER marg), a bit of this and a bit of that to get an all round diet, eating at the proper times, having proper family meals (which I think is VERY important). We weren't puritans either when it came to the bad stuff like alcohol, chocolate, cakes - just VERY careful!

    Yet, however hard we try it is impossible to eat truly organic food these days. All of it has stuff in it which has come from the sky or been leached into it through the earth. If we avoided all of this contaminated stuff we'd die, so all we can do is our best, and that I suspect is an entirely individual thing.

    My family is certainly not a glowing example of what happens when you have a "healthy" diet. I think that we've done as much as possible to eat correctly, but apparently that's not enough, so I've come to the conclusion that a lot of it is luck depending on what body type you have and/or your genetic make up.

    Jane x x

  • ......I agree with all that has been said so far. The Low-fat diet was promotoed in the 70's as being healthy and I think we are now seeing the results - obesity ! Mostly when fats were removed - eg yogurt - then sugars would be added. We need fat to lubricate our bodies in the same way door hinges need WD40 ! Maybe the low salt fad has caused the world problem of thyroid dysfunction - who knows ? Love salt !

    It's impossible to be pure/healthy - we can just do the best we can. I love good food, wine, coffee and with everything in moderation I consider that to be a healthy diet ! Fortunately I do not have a sweet tooth. Here in Crete we are surrounded by fresh fruits and veg - but heaven knows what they do to it in those poly tunnels ! Just slap on the olive oil and enjoy !

    As we know our gut health is crucial to our well being - and as many of us suffer with varying degrees of problems - then it is very apparent that what and how we eat is important. However it is all very individual and the old saying - listen to your body - does resonate !

    ..off to have my coffee !.........

  • My personal experience of low fat and low calorie eating for years (with great initial sucess) but long term resulting in an addiction to carbs, Reactive Hypoglycaemia and pre-diabetes!

    Over the same period I watched my own grandmother die of diabetic complications eating an enforced "diabetic" diet in a nursing home, with the family being accused of illicitly feeding her because of total lack of blood glucose control - now, even in my pre-diabetic condition, I can't eat the levels of carbs she was fed without being ill, so now I understand it perfectly!

    I have existed for over 3.5 years now on a low carb diet, and now control 100% the misery I had, I* have lost 51kg in that time, and lowered my cholesterol too eating more fat than at any other time in my life - and I am now starting to see regular scientific studies that proves to me what a problem sugar is, NOT fat. Just this week I have seen two new reports - one on sugary soft drinks and a study that showed how effectlive low carb is at conrtolling diabetes.

    Oh... getting rid of carbs also got rid of years of indigestion too!

    If you are eating the "5 a day" you wont' come to much harm as long as you dont eat much of it as fruit.

  • Hi I agree about the sugar issue.

    I think in the western world we probably eat too much protein, too many carbs, too much sugar and not enough fruit and veg. I am just as guilty of it as are we all.

    Everything in moderation would seem to be the key plus exercise if possible and not too many calories.

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