Try these super healthy plant-based recipes: breakfast, lunch, dinner, puddings & smoothies. A healthy meal for every occasion.
The impact food has on health has never been better understood. There is an ever-growing body of evidence that shows a strong link between poor dietary practices and ill-health and disease.
Obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and many types of cancers, to name the worst of a bad bunch, are directly caused or closely correlated with poor dietary habits. That is, a person who subsists off what has come to be called the ‘standard western diet’, a diet high in meat and processed foods, has a significant increased susceptibility of becoming ill and dying prematurely.
But in truth that shouldn’t come as surprise.
According to Dr Gregor (2017), author of How Not To Die, over 90% of health comes from what we eat. If this is true, and research suggests that is, then we should look to cultivate a diet that supports health, not deteriorates it.
So, with that said, how can we shape a health-promoting diet?
Firstly we must purge our diet of meat and processed foods. For some this is extremely difficult. I’ve known people who stated emphatically that they would never quit eating meat, even if it does increase their chances of developing bowel cancer and cardiovascular disease.
However, if you have been consuming meat with most every meal, which is a characteristic of the western diet, you don’t have to – if you’ll excuse the phrase – go cold turkey. Instead strive to reduce consumption by eating meat only once a day and then, once you’ve grown accustomed with this reduction, introduce meatless days.
This is the first and most important step toward a healthy diet. The next requires that you cut down on processed foods. In some ways this can be a little more challenging for the fact that it’s not always easy to distinguish what, precisely, constitutes as processed. To help distinguish an old teacher of mine used to say: if it’s in a packet leave it on the shelf, if it’s in a tin put it in the bin.
Michael Pollen, author of the Omnivore’s Dilemma, recommended not to eat anything that your nineteenth-century ancestors wouldn’t recognise as food. So, when you’re scratching your head over whether or not the food your contemplating on buying is acceptable fare, look at the ingredients list and ask yourself: would my great grandmother recognise the ingredient high fructose corn syrup, or monocalcium phosphate? Then ask yourself: do I even know what they are? Of course, if the answer is NO, and unless you’re a chemist the answer’s always going to be NO, then put it back on the shelf and quietly walk away.
You’ll soon begin to realise that healthy foods – fresh vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, unadulterated nuts and seeds – do not posses such ingredients. And, moreover, they don’t shout for you attention; they don’t promise something that they can’t give: there isn’t a billion-dollar marketing strategy behind boosting the sales of broccoli or courgettes.