“Healthy food,” “healthy diet,” “healthy lifestyle”… Perhaps you hear these words everywhere. But what healthy food really is? What is healthy for one may not be healthy for another person. The DyeDiet approach (see Food Definition and DyeDiet Food Risk and Nutrition Explained) is built on the fact that any living species, human included, need nutrition to support their lives. This is why FOOD = NUTRITION. That is it! We do NOT need endless tail of food additives, especially foreign ones (bio-chemically useless or even disruptive, anti-nutritional), to be attached to our vital nutrients. All those additives serve solely commercial goals of the food industry, not us. Therefore:
- A healthy food must be a NUTRITIOUS food. This is the QUALITY requirement for our diet.
Is eating healthy food is enough to stay healthy? No, not yet! Why? Well, the QUANTITY of a healthy food eaten is equally important. The problem is that we tend to overeat and that the moderate amount varies greatly from a person to person and, therefore, cannot be of the same quantity for everyone. However understanding the basic principles of toxicology may provide us with some guidance. Paracelsus is credited with the classic toxicology maxim, “Alle Dinge sind Gift und nichts ist ohne Gift; allein die Dosis macht, dass ein Ding kein Gift ist.” which translates as, “All things are poison and nothing is without poison; only the dose makes a thing not a poison.” This is often referred to: “The dose makes the poison” or in Latin “Sola dosis facit venenum”. In other words, the core principle of Toxicology says: Everything has its toxic quantity.
This is a very strong statement which has a critically important application in our diet:
- Even a healthiest food can be TOXIC if eaten in large excess. While a toxicity threshold may be different for different people, the more you eat the higher are chances that you approach, reach or exceed YOUR toxic dose. This means it is NOT safe to regularly eat out no matter how nutritional and safe is the food.
So the toxicity of a food is a matter of the amount of food or beverage we consumed. Water intoxication is a bright evidence of that principle in operation. Of course, the toxic amount (dose) of “junk food,” (watch video “Supersize Me!”), “fast food” (find a way to watch “Fast Food Nation” movie) or alcoholic beverages are even smaller. Therefore, the second condition for a person trying to switch for a healthy diet is to practice MODERATION:
- A healthy diet is a NUTRITIOUS food eaten in MODERATION.
An important hint to eating in moderation is to balance the energy intake with the energy expenditure. What is normal for a hard-working man may be way too much for a procrastinator.
- A healthy life style is the one based on a NUTRITIOUS food eaten in MODERATION balanced with enough of physical and mental work.
Sounds boring? Well, not much we can do about that. These conditions are “mandatory” because they are dictated by our very nature. While human biochemistry is flexible enough so we can handle tremendous variations and deviations in our food, diet and the lifestyle without getting badly ill for a long time, on one day we will be forced to make a “healthy” decision, if we want to keep enjoying the life for longer.
Here is an important conclusion which may be of use for many: No healthy diet can be designed based on foods that contain FOREIGN (anti-nutritional) food additives. Hence, for instance, most of the “diet” and “zero calories” soft drinks cannot be a part of a healthy diet. They do introduce foreign food additives like sugar substitutes, preservatives and/or food dyes (watch quick video on ADHD and food dyes link). So, elimination of all the anti-nutritional food additives from our diet is a very important first step towards a healthy diet (watch brief video on the food dyes issue).
Let us start making healthy food choices for ourselves and our children!
Category: Food and Risk