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What do you consider a healthy diet?


What is your idea of a healthy diet?  

  1. 1. What is your idea of a healthy diet?

    • low fat (skim milk, skinless meat), sugar free, "diet food"
      16
    • Nourishing Traditions-based (whole milk, butter, coconut oil, etc.)
      67
    • Organic/Sustainably grown food most of the time
      71
    • Whole wheat, brown rice, honey, sucanat, etc. exclusively
      65
    • White flour/sugar are okay, trying to add more fruit/veg.
      27
    • We like convenience foods and we eat them. We're doing our best.
      12
    • a vegetarian diet (no seafood)
      8
    • a vegetarian diet (inc. a little seafood)
      15
    • a vegan diet
      5
    • Other
      26


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So often people use the term "healthy diet" and yet I know that the definition of that term varies widely.

There is the low fat, sugar free, "diet food" crowd.

Then you have the organic/sustainably grown people.

Some people go the route of a "traditional diet" as presented in books like Nourishing Traditions and Full Moon Feast. This would include full-fat dairy products, leaving the skin on meat, and opting for lard or butter rather than margarine or processed vegetable oils.

Some insist on only whole grains, brown rice, grass fed beef, and free range chicken.

Of course there are also varying levels of vegetarians, including vegans.

 

What is your idea of "healthy"?

 

I will create a poll, but I am issuing a disclaimer right off the bat: there is no way to make this totally inclusive. I will definitely leave off someone's preferred way of eating. Please feel free to take the "other" option and to expound within the thread.

 

Okay, here goes!

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For me healthy is good fat, lean protein, no chemicals or additives, lots of fruits and veggies and beans, whole grains, natural fruits, and enough water. We don't eat fish because dh doesn't like it, and I don't trust the mercury levels. When my youngest is around 8 or so, I may add it back in. And we try not to eat dirty foods, like pork and shrimp. But I don't think my salvation is dependent upon it, so I don't stress over it too much, I just limit our intake.

 

When I'm really on my game, the kids get green drinks and enzymes and omega 3 fat supplements.

 

This is how I try to eat, but not how I always eat. We have too many sugars and not enough fiber and not enough food from scratch. Although most boxed stuff I use is still okay like Kashi pizza. We love their frozen cheese pizzas.

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I like to keep it simple...

 

lots of fruits and veggies

 

NO high fructose corn syrup (this is very difficult but can be done....though, personally, I do rarely cheat)

 

NO artificial sweeteners

 

Whole grains or sprouted grains

 

Very little processed food....generally speaking....the fewer ingredients involved...and those being names you can easily identify....the better

 

I personally try to use organic whenever possible....but that just isn't always possible...so I just try to do my best.:001_smile:

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A dinner in which everyone eats without complaint, snarled faces, or poking at it with a fork. It keep them healthy because I don't want to kill them. It keeps me healthy as it doesn't raise my blood pressure. :D:lol:

 

:smilielol5:There is that to consider. ;)

 

For me, I grew up with a lot of white flour and white sugar. Then I had to see one person after another die in their fifties from diabetes, colon cancer, etc. Now my mom is 52 and has had gall bladder surgery and needs a colonoscopy (which she refuses to get even though her mom died of colon cancer...and I did send her the Dave Barry article) and she spends a lot of time and money going to doctors and never feeling any better. I'm not sure exactly what to eat, but I've seen the havoc wreaked on the bodies of people who eat the way I grew up eating, and throughout my 20s I had chronic fatigue syndrome and constant back pain. While I don't have all the answers, I know that eating whole grains instead of white flour and white sugar and adding all sorts of vegetables has been enormously helpful in my own health and energy levels. I ate vegan briefly and it helped a lot but was so difficult to maintain that I just stopped (this 12 grain bread is vegan, while that 12 grain bread has dairy...or was it this other 12 grain bread that was vegan...I don't have that much time to read the labels on every item!)

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I use coconut oil, butter, and olive oil as fats - we do not eat hydrogenated fats unless we're eating out and don't know about them. We don't drink much milk as a beverage, but when we do (or dh does), I try to buy whole, organic milk. Whole foods as much as possible - lots of fruits, no fruit juice (prefer the whole fruit), vegetables, and whole grains (I bake my own bread and grind my own wheat, except during the summer - too hot and no AC). I will buy organic when the price is close to conventional products, but can't afford to buy everything organic. We almost always have meat with every dinner meal - definitely not vegetarian here :tongue_smilie:

 

I do use white flour and sugar (along with honey and rapadura), but I don't bake tons of sweets (we don't eat candy as a rule - dark chocolate chips are a sweet snack). We avoid high fructose corn syrup and do not eat anything with artificial sweeteners. We drink mostly water - I drink tea, but the rest of the family doesn't really like it.

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I like to keep it simple...

 

lots of fruits and veggies

 

NO high fructose corn syrup (this is very difficult but can be done....though, personally, I do rarely cheat)

 

NO artificial sweeteners

 

Whole grains or sprouted grains

 

Very little processed food....generally speaking....the fewer ingredients involved...and those being names you can easily identify....the better

 

I personally try to use organic whenever possible....but that just isn't always possible...so I just try to do my best.:001_smile:

 

This just about sums it up for us as well, except we eat white rice and regular pasta because we can't stand the whole grain kind, have diet or regular soda occasionally and eat some processed foods like breakfast cereal and Hunt's Garlic and Herb spaghetti sauce regularly. We eat out a couple of times a month and on Fun Fridays, we eat junky food. Also, when we eat meat it's usually ground turkey or boneless/skinless chicken breasts.

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Whole foods. Whole grains, lots of fruit and veggies, occasional meat. (Personally, I do better with meat only once or twice a week, but that's just MY body.) Organic as much as possible, especially animal products. I'm trying to eat locally as much as possible. I'm not entirely convinced that it is healthier (though it has been argued that the fresher the vegetable, the more nutrients in it), but I do know that local fruits and veggies are more flavorful. So then it is easier to eat fruits and veggies. (Or, rather, easier to convince small children to eat said fruits and veggies.)

 

I try to cook from scratch as much as possible, and try to think far enough in advance to make my own convenience foods (frozen muffins, soups, cookies, roasted veggies, pizzas, etc.).

 

While that's my idea of a healthy diet, I definitely don't follow it 100% or the time. I eat white flour and white sugar (usually in moderation), and I love to eat out, and I especially love dessert when I am out. I have good weeks and bad weeks.

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Eating healthy to me = whole foods and homemade foods. Home baked muffins over cereal, whole foods at dinner instead of frozen pizza, sandwiches instead of hot pockets (LOL). Personally I would love to eat far less meat than we do but adding beans and such into my kids' diet has not gone over well so my goal for the moment is no red meat.

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I try to keep it at real food whenever possible. If I'm going to die because I eat too much fat then I want real butter.

 

I do keep fried food to twice a year (my dh craves fried chicken, pork chops and the like), and the occasioinal fast food.

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We are organic 99.9% at home, but we do eat out.

 

I am trying to incorporate more of a of a "traditional diet" as well. I have been using Nourishing Traditions for most of my receipes. We do the raw dairy, grass fed beef, and the pastured pork.

 

I am also trying to have more of a whole grain diet at home as well. This one is hard for us. Whole Wheat pasta just doesn't cut it for my family. So, we have chosen to eat it less. We do do whole grain brown rice. We love that. For others like pancakes, biscuits, waffles, etc., I am able to use 1/2 whole wheat floor without any complaints from dh and my girls.

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I don't buy into the whole fat-is-always-bad thing, so what you say about Nourishing Traditions appeals to me, though I have not read it.

 

We don't live up to our standards, most of the time, but here they are:

 

1. Only eat meat and dairy from traditional, family farms.

2. Avoid GMO and pesticide-laden foods.

3. Go heavy on the raw and light on the processed.

4. Eat only when hungry, and slowly.

 

We do a pretty good job of avoiding meat, GMO, and pesticides, and don't have any issues with emphasizing the raw or eating slowly. But we do have a heck of a time with dairy. It's just too expensive to eat healthy dairy, and being most vegetarian, it's hard to go without altogether.

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Technically, because we use honey, we're not vegan.

 

I don't necessarily consider the term vegan to be a blanket statement about health, though. There are plenty of unhealthy foods that are vegan. I would consider a grass fed beef to be a healthier option than a fake, vegan soy meat.

 

Here is what we call a healthy diet in our house:

 

1) A plant based diet. Organic is best. Raw fruits and vegetables are the base of this diet. Also, the fresh juices of these.

 

2) Proper organic, cold pressed fats, including olive, flax, and coconut oils.

 

3) Raw, soaked and sprouted nuts and seeds, with a lesser amount of soaked and sprouted grains.

 

4) Occasional cooked food is fine. It's generally organic whole grain wheat pasta, or brown basmati rice with some kind of cooked veggies.

 

That is just the basics here. Food is not just a meal here in our house; health and nutrition are our lives. We talk and read about this stuff All. Day. Long. I'm not kidding!

 

~Lisa

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Guest Virginia Dawn

I picked other. My idea of a healthy diet is as natural as possible or as close to nature as we can afford.

 

We can't afford organic, so we have standard fresh and frozen veggies and fruits.

 

We can't afford most of the natural sweeteners, so we get white sugar, brown sugar, and molasses.

 

I buy only whole wheat bread, and have recently decided to begin making most of our bread because the price of bread is now comparable to the price of a gallon of gas.

 

If we purchase anything canned or boxed, I try to make sure it has no artificial ingredients, no HFCS, no hydrogenated fats. But I can't always achieve that 100%, so I settle for as good as I can get.

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I picked other. I like the everything in moderation mindset. We had extremes in our house growing up and it caused us to be raised with unhealthy ideas toward food. We eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies in our house and my dc will choose fruit over sweets a lot of the time. But, in our house, sweets are around occasionally and they eat those at times too.

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To me a healthy diet means having a healthy attitude towards food. It means seeing food for what it is - a tool to nourish the body. It is learning to recognize what your body needs and being freed from obsessing over food or weight. It is being able to eat anything without feeling guilty. If you listen to your body, you will eat a variety of nourishing foods - meat, fruit, vegetables, and dairy. You will occasionally eat snacks or treats and not feel bad about it. A healthy diet means eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are not hungry but not stuffed either. This is what I aim for. I have battled anorexia off and on for all my adult life, so having strict rules about my diet is not healthy at all for me. When I can keep that balanced healthy attitude towards food, life feels so much freer and more enjoyable.

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Kimber, you sound a lot like me! We try to avoid pork, shrimp, crab, etc. as well, though I do have a crabcake once a year. :)

 

For the most part, I choose whole grain, and if I eat a boxed meal, it's Kashi frozen pizza or Morning Star veggie patties. I eat low or non-fat yogurt which I sweeten myself, low-fat cottage cheese, skim milk, lean chicken and beef (no groth hormone). We eat lots of homemade muffins, bread, etc. I make lots of soups/chowders/chili. We eat a lot of salad and fruit. We don't buy soda except for birthdays, and when we do buy juice (which is really because my husband likes it), it's 100% fruit juice -- no Tang or juice cocktails.

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I will definitely leave off someone's preferred way of eating. Please feel free to take the "other" option and to expound within the thread.

 

I voted both for Nourishing Traditions and for Other because I combine the principles of NT with a low-carb diet and have found this to be the absolute bar-none hands-down BEST for my personal health and well being.

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For us, it consists of eating pretty low on the food chain. We eat lots of fruits and vegetables. We eat whole wheat bread (although dh doesn't like brown rice). We don't eat a ton of meat, but a little here and there. We have a little dessert after most dinners. All things in moderation, I guess would sum up our eating habits. (Or at least, it would sum up what I aspire to! I'm not above a secret McDonald's double cheeseburger.)

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I chose nourishing Traditions AND the two vegetarian options! Thats because we are a strange mixture. I like the Nourishing Traditions way of eating, yet my husband and I have been mostly vegetarian or strictly vegetarian for years.

For me, personally, a vegetarian diet makes me really run down, even though it is my ideal for ethical reasons. I have super low blood pressure and difficulty absorbing iron- I get so I can barely get out of bed on what is a healthy diet for my husband (although he eats too much vegetarian junk food and dairy and is overweight).

So thats why Nourishing Traditions suits me better, and the kids and I tend that way, while dh is strict vego.

 

I don't see organic as a relevent option on its own- there is SO much highly processed and downright junky organic food on the market nowadays, so by itself, its not viable as an option, although ideally, sure, an all organic diet would be great. I think you would be far better off eating carefully washed conventional fresh food, and little processed food- than eating a lot of processed organic food.

 

My overall diet aim is to eat as much LIVING food as possible, but I am not a raw foodist- I think freshly cooked fresh food is fine, like stirfries or steamed vegies.

 

And the other thing is, I think its wrong to live to eat, that is, to be obsessive about your food/diet. Some people are forced into having to be hyper vigilant due to allergies in the family, but common sense is enough for most people.

And I say that after a lot of study (naturopathy training and lifelong interest in health) and experience being a food extremist.

However, I realise many people may need to do a lot of self education before they can just get on with eating in a basically healthy way without being trippy about it.

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I don't see organic as a relevent option on its own- there is SO much highly processed and downright junky organic food on the market nowadays, so by itself, its not viable as an option, although ideally, sure, an all organic diet would be great. I think you would be far better off eating carefully washed conventional fresh food, and little processed food- than eating a lot of processed organic food.

 

Great post, Peela. You made several really good points. I totally agree with the part I quoted above, and I tried to think of a way to say that when I made the poll, but it would've taken too long. I completely agree that there is a lot of junky "organic" food on the market and people are paying through the nose for it. Far better to eat locally grown food whenever possible.

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I think its all about balance and moderation. Low fat (except the baby), lean meats, lots of fruits and veggies, and keeping sugar and junk foods at a minimum. We have also been trying to avoid over processed foods as much as possible. I would rather buy some fruits and veg that are organic or locally grown because I think they often taste better than the over engineered supermarket produce.

 

Ultimately I want the kids to enjoy food (in a healthy way) and have them be curious about new tastes and experiences. I have to realize that taste buds and preferences grow and change with us so we adapt. We talk about making smart choices for healthy bodies.

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I guess I'm what you called "Nourishing Traditions". I believe in using "real" fats, butter, etc., so that's what we do. Lots of veggies, some fruits, mostly because I just don't really like fruit so I don't eat very much, but dh and ds do.

I can't have grains, but ds and dh eat mostly whole grains.

They both use white sugar, but I use artificial sweetener (I consider neither of these healthy).

We do use some pre-packaged foods, I think some of them can be quite healthy.

We really don't use anything low-fat as I believe that since the foods were created with fat, it deserves to be there (talking about meats, milk, etc...not "altered foods").

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I believe a healthy diet is not to over eat, no pre packaged food and a diet with mostly: whole grains, no white flour, raw milk, refined sugar and plenty of fruit, veg, grass fed beef, real free range chix and eggs and plenty of low mercury, high omega-3 fish. Also plenty of raw foods such as salads and nuts and seeds.

 

That being said, I find it difficult to follow and I firmly plant myself in the moderation camp.

 

If I've eaten well all day and at the end of the day my kids and I make some fresh chocolate chip cookies, well... let's just say I've been known to have one or two with a nice cup of milk :)

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And I don't mean research sponsored by the Dairy Council.

 

Get fair and impartial research on the subject. Dh and I have always taken good care of our health, but in our early 50's, we started having major health problems due to our diet and exercise. Discipline has to be more than 95% in terms of diet and exercise, because we were actually doing extremely well on that one. The doctors kept telling us we were doing fantastic for our age, but then BAM!

 

Just to warn you youngsters...

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Get fair and impartial research on the subject.

 

Is it just me or does it seem like nutrition is a subject in which this is easier said than done? Everyone has an agenda and is selling something, it seems. I like Marion Nestle's books Food Politics and What to Eat. I've also been reading a book called In Defense of Food and that author claims that nutritionists know a lot less than they let on and that's part of why nutritional information changes every few months.

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Is it just me or does it seem like nutrition is a subject in which this is easier said than done? Everyone has an agenda and is selling something, it seems. I like Marion Nestle's books Food Politics and What to Eat. I've also been reading a book called In Defense of Food and that author claims that nutritionists know a lot less than they let on and that's part of why nutritional information changes every few months.

 

Yes! :iagree:

 

Another great read on the subject of so-called nutritionalism is Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. I've been chipping away at it for months (it's nutrient-dense and calorie-rich :lol:), and it seems that the "facts" pushed upon us by various organizations (corporations? :glare:) in the name of health have skewed most everyone's view of both health and food as we know it.

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I just got a hold of the books Nourishing Traditions and The Makers Diet and I am totally fascinated!! I just ordered fresh, local farm raised chicken eggs, butter, raw cow and goat milk. We are so excited to start eating healthier. I tossed the white sugar and white flour and a number of highly processed foods last night. Made my grocery list for the organic store and talked to the local farm about ordering some fresh beef. I have no idea how much to order. Anyone know? We're a family of 4. They said the beef would be ready next month and they do another slaughter in October.

 

I'm so excited to then see this poll here today!! Thanks for posting it.

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For me, it means trying my best to add more fruits and veggies to our meals, and aim for healthier snacks. I am someone who enjoys the "taste" of food, so bland doesn't work for me. I have to make conscious decisions to look for healthy, tasty choices.

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:001_smile:

 

A dinner in which everyone eats without complaint, snarled faces, or poking at it with a fork. It keep them healthy because I don't want to kill them. It keeps me healthy as it doesn't raise my blood pressure. :D:lol:

 

I enjoy a variety and when ever possible keep it simple. We've lived in too many countries to think there is one perfect diet. My experience has been not to over do anything.

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lots of great posts. I can't believe no one's posted about Pollan's books yet - In Defense of Food The Omnivore's Dilemma Another fun, good read is Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. The Weston A Price is another good site. Oh, and a great book about the organic industry is Organic, Inc.

 

A healthy diet is real food, not chemicalized food with additives and chemicals. I realize that budgets constrain the grocery list, but it's still possible. For us, we eat whole grains, brown rice, fruits and veggies, butter, whole milk (eventually raw milk), pastured meat, no HFCS at all - we can tell a huge difference in ds after taking him off that. I think that a lot of ADD/ADHD kids would be 'cured' if they would just get the sugar out of their system, and could run around for a bit. We don't usually do processed foods - the soy additives, soy lecithin are so terrible for your body, especially boys b/c of how they bind to the estrogen receptors.

 

It takes a lot of work to eat real foods, but it's kind of fun once you get into it. We aren't anal about it, either, though. We eat at restaurants sometimes, we don't say anything when we are over at other ppl's houses, when the grocery money gets low, we'll get the processed fake peanut butter and cheap bread, and we're about 50/50 on pastured meat vs store meat.

 

But once you study and know about food, and what they do to it, and how good food acts on your body, and all the diseases that come from the Western diet - I think most people would be more persuaded to put the effort in to try and eat better. And when you think about a higher grocery bill now, or high medical bills down the road, then the real cost of food doesn't seem as bad.

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Nourishing Traditions tweaked for various food intolerances.

 

OTOH, dh follows the Swank Diet for MS and still clings to various beliefs about saturated fat that I disagree with.

 

Somehow we all manage to eat at the same table.

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When we are being intentional and on track, DH and I eat unlimited animal protein, unlimited non starchy/low gi veggies cooked or dipped in quality fats. We eat fruit sparingly, and grain based foods even more sparingly (and they are whole grains when we do). We do include full fat dairy - cheese, yogurt. We eat a lot of eggs.

 

For us, for our bodies, we've found this to be healthiest. We sleep better, are more alert, experience few food cravings, lose weight. Both of our test results (lipid profiles, iron, etc) are in normal/optimal range.

 

The unlimited animal protein is self limiting. When we are able to eat until we feel naturally full, the fat and protein keep us satiated and not craving less than healthy foods.

 

While I see the wisdom behind a more varied diet (specifically including more grain), it does not work for our bodies. I don't believe in the food pryramid and the grain base.

 

I guess that puts me in the Nourishing Traditions camp, but I'm more Good Calories/Bad Calories as I believe a lot of the info we've been getting in terms of nutrition for the past 25+ years has been inaccurate and politically driven.

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Well, I checked off a bunch of things.

 

We're:

 

•Vegetarian, with some fish

•Mostly whole grain (my baking is usually 1/3 to 1/2 whole wheat, and the rest white unbleached. I also add things like oats or flax seed)

•Big fruit and veggie eaters. Fresh better than frozen, frozen better than canned, and whole fruit much preferred to juice

•Unapologetic dairy and egg eaters. We have a flock of chickens, and have contemplated a milk animal.

•Convenience food eaters in a pinch. We love morningstar farms stuff, and are sort of suckers for DiGiornos frozen pizza.

•Fairly militant about avoiding corn syrup and hydrogenated oils (for the kids more so than us)

 

I basically do the five a day the color way thing, and focus on food that's as unprocessed as possible, but I'm subject to the same time constraints as anybody. We have a huge garden (an acre) and sell at a farmers' market, so I've managed to integrate a sideline business and our family's needs, which helps.

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