How Balance and Moderation can Improve Your Diet

There’s no single panacea to ensure you have a great diet and eat healthily. The so-called ‘superfoods’ currently pervading the market, promising miraculous health benefits and a quick diet fix are all the rage right now. However, the word ‘superfoods’ was dreamt up by marketeers to lure you into buying certain products. Also, despite what you may have read about such products on the internet, no single ‘superfood’ is going to transform your diet, nor will it save your life.

Superfoods? Not so super

In fact, the whole idea of ‘superfoods’ is disingenuous, as it perpetuates the idea that some foods are ‘bad’ and some are ‘good’. It is true that some foods are highly nutritious, and others less so, but characterising foods as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ can be damaging to healthy relationships with food. It may also encourage exclusion diets wherein people cut entire foods or food groups from their diet, often consulting only unmonitored advice from the internet rather than evidence-based advice from qualified professionals.

The importance of balance to your diet

What we eat needs to be considered in the broader context of the whole diet and not in isolation. There is a place for all foods in a healthy diet, which is all about balance and moderation. This means eating more nutritious foods regularly and plentifully, and less nutritious foods a more occasional basis.

Moderation is the key to a great diet

However, what constitutes a healthy diet seems to be widely misunderstood, often because people perceive the healthiness of their diet on a short-term basis. The issue here is that it’s what you eat in the long-term that is important, not what you may choose to eat on each individual day.

For example, when you pick up a pudding in a supermarket, you will often see a number of red traffic lights on the front of the pack which indicate that it contains a considerable proportion of your recommended daily intake of fat, saturated fat, sugar and/or salt. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should put it back and walk swiftly to the fruit and vegetable aisle, nor that by eating such foods you can’t consider your diets to be helpful, just that you shouldn’t eat it too regularly and that you need to be mindful of what you are eating and how frequently.

Moderation can also be practised in different ways. For some people it’s all about portion control but for others it’s more about how often they eat certain products. There are no hard-and-fast rules.

These are all simple ideas you can incorporate into your diet to help improve your lifestyle.