So what is a healthy diet? That’s a really good question. I think a lot of us probably don’t really know what a healthy diet is. I’ve lost count of the amount of people who’ve come to me and said, “Look, my GP suggested that I just need a healthy diet and exercise, and my cholesterol or my blood pressure will come back to normal.” In this video, what I’m going to do is talk about, what is a healthy diet and open up a discussion about this.
My name is Leonie Satori. I’m a herbalist and naturopath with a clinic in Lismore, New South Wales. It’s my passion, working with people to help them to reach their health goals. And a large part of that is looking at food and nutrition, and understanding what a healthy diet is. It isn’t about having the one single template for everyone. It’s not about having everyone on a vegan diet or a paleo diet or a raw food diet or whatever the latest fad or trend is. It’s about finding what is suitable for that individual and how do we go about doing that?
The first thing that we would look at is that we would rule out all of the obvious stuff. So we’d look at ruling out highly processed foods, such as takeaway fast food, burgers, fries, overly sugary foods, biscuits, cakes, lollies, soft drinks, and anything that’s like a pastry or pies that are takeaway fast food, any processed foods. So that’s the first obvious thing. That’s really where we’d start, but then we’d also look at, does the individual have any allergies or food sensitivities that we’re aware of? That would be the first step and that would be a guideline to help us to identify, okay, what is a healthy diet for this person?
The next thing we would look at is the person’s health history, their current health condition, and also their age. So someone who, say for example, is in their sixties, who has rheumatoid arthritis, the ideal diet for them would not be the same as someone who, perhaps an infant, they would have different nutritional requirements. Another consideration is the body’s ability to actually digest and assimilate, so looking at the ability of an individual to digest and absorb. How good is their digestive system working? How well are they processing those nutrients? So that’s another consideration.
The other thing is that we would also look at the season. So we’d look at eating seasonal produce in the sense that you’d be consuming more food that is grown locally, that is grown in the particular climate that you’re living in, but also you would be eating according to the seasons. So, say for example, in summer, you’d be eating perhaps more raw food or more salads. And then in winter, you’d be eating more grounding, nourishing, warming foods.
So the other consideration, of course, is looking at an individual’s physical activity. So someone who has been sedentary for a long period of time or someone who is quite physically active will obviously have different nutritional requirements, these two types of people. So when we come back to looking at what is a healthy diet, it comes back to understanding the individual and understanding that particular person’s needs nutritionally at that time in their life. And that’s going to be different to their nutritional needs perhaps 20 or 30 years prior to that.
So perhaps this doesn’t answer the question of what is a healthy diet, but it gives us a better understanding that using a diet template for everyone and considering what is a healthy diet for a population is incorrect. And there needs to be greater awareness that not all healthy foods, will be healthy for everyone.
So I would love to hear your feedback and your idea of what is a healthy diet. I look forward to discussions about what a healthy diet is. And I look forward to chatting with you again soon.
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