Food marketing can be very confusing. With so many health claims bumping against each other (“No fat!”…“Essential healthy fats!”) and constantly changing indications of what to eat/not to eat (“Eat whole wheat!”…“No, wait, eat less gluten!”), it can be difficult to get a clear picture and understand what it really means to eat well.
In fact, having a healthy diet doesn't have to be complicated, nor does it involve spending lots of money on expensive products that reach the consumer through carefully thought out marketing campaigns.
Here is a simple list of rules I recommend for consistently healthy eating.
1 - EAT REAL FOOD
There is a difference between real food and “edible food-like substances”.
Real food is something our great-grandmothers would recognize. We must be able to imagine real food in its natural form (eg a cow, an apple tree). And for baked or prepared foods, we should be able to recognize all the ingredients and probably have them in our pantry (flour, oil, salt, etc.)… most of us don't have E965 maltitol in our kitchens.
2 - CHOOSE 'NAKED' FOODS
Foods that don't come in packages, such as fresh fruit or vegetables; meat or fish that is bought at the butcher's or market; and grains, nuts or spices are clean, natural foods.
3 - ORGANIC
When you choose organic, you choose the "cleanest" type of food, grown or raised without pesticides, insecticides, chemical fertilizers, hormones, steroids, etc.
4- PRIORITIZE PLANTS
Vegetables are rich in minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and fiber - and virtually devoid of the calories, sugars or toxins that cause weight gain and health problems.
5- PUT ASIDE THE WHITES
Or at least avoid it as much as possible, and opt for the integral. This applies to white sugar or other disguised forms, but also to processed cereals, and whole-grain forms should be chosen instead.
6 - COOK AT HOME
Most ready-to-eat or restaurant meals are high in processed foods and sugars. When we cook at home we know exactly what is going into our body.
7 - ENJOY FOOD
Cooking healthy food doesn't have to be monotonous. Furthermore, eating real, healthy food is also a matter of teaching and training our palate. How many of us hated soup as a child and as adults we loved it? Teach your palate and you will quickly learn to truly taste and appreciate food.