In the internet age, we are constantly bombarded with information and advice about fitness and healthy eating. New fad diets seem to be appearing every week, and there’s always a latest exercise ‘craze’. But what happened to good old fashioned, wise, advice that you can trust?! Luckily, some healthy eating wisdom is timeless and can always be relied upon when it comes to building a healthy lifestyle - Here’s 5 nuggets of diet advice that have stood the test of time:
Eat your vegetables “Eat your fruit and vegetables!” This advice was first drummed into most of us by our mothers as we grew up, but the importance of fruit and vegetables for our health has been acknowledged for centuries, and was first mentioned in the US Agriculture dept. Food Guide as far back as 1917! Since then, scientific advancement has only strengthened the support for fruit and veggies as the cornerstone of a healthy diet, and their nutritional powers have been proven time and again. Current government guidelines recommend at least 5 portions per day, and a healthy meal should always contain some fruit or veg. The great thing is that there are so many different varieties and ways to eat and enjoy them, that there’s really no excuse not to eat more! Eat More Fiber Fiber has been a highly prized nutrient for the last century. It has long been noted for its importance to healthy bowels and fighting off colon cancer and other bowel conditions, but more recently fiber has been found to have even more powerful health benefits than we realized. Science has now proven that fiber is just as powerful for reducing our risk of a range of other serious illnesses like heart-disease, type 2 diabetes as well as encouraging lower cholesterol and stable blood-sugar levels. You should aim for around 30grams of fiber everyday, and beans, whole grains, potatoes and vegetables are the healthiest sources you can get it from! Choose A Variety of Foods Many diets today are restrictive, they advise focusing on one or two food groups, or eating just a handful of ‘superfoods’. But the reality is that, although some foods are certainly healthier than others, no single food or group will ever be able to provide your body with all the various nutrients and vitamins it needs. That’s why it’s best to fill your diet and your plate with a wide variety of different nutritious foods, and ensure that all the major food groups are represented on your plate. Of course, some groups are healthier than others, and you should always look for a balance, but they are all important if you want to maintain a healthy body! Ditch Junk Food The term junk food has existed since the 1940s to describe unhealthy snacks such as cakes and candy as well as sugary soda drinks that were thought to be linked to a range of illnesses and general ill health. Fast forward to the present and the advice remains sound, it’s no coincidence that despite new diets appearing almost daily, none have ever been built around eating more junk food. In fact, almost all actively discourage it. Even though advertisers are constantly coming up with new creative ways to convince us otherwise, the facts don’t lie. Science has proven beyond doubt that there is no nutritional benefit to these foods, and they should only ever be enjoyed only in moderation. Drink Alcohol in Moderation Since prohibition times, widespread concern has existed about the effects of excess alcohol consumption on our health, and this was a contributing factor in the decision to implement the controversial policy. Then, as science and research advanced, we gained a greater understanding of the effects of alcohol, and by 1980 consumption was advised to be consumed ‘in moderation’ by Dietary Guidelines. Today it’s widely acknowledged that, provided you’re aware of the dangers of addiction and excess consumption, if you stick to the recommended one drink a day for a woman, or two for a man, then alcohol is relatively harmless and perhaps even good for you (as some studies suggest!).