There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to diets or one single eating pattern that is best for everyone.
They key to achieving a healthy diet is getting the basics right and then individualizing it to suit your own needs and lifestyle. If you have the basics of healthy eating right by eating a variety of minimally processed, plant based, nutrient dense foods you can modify it to suit your lifestyle, preferences, culture and traditions. Take a look at these very different daily diets, from different cultures and countries around the world:
Breakfast: 2-3 Idlies (savoury cake made with lentils and rice) with sambhar (lentil vegetable stew) and chutney.
Morning Tea: Almonds
Lunch: 2Phulka/Roti, ½ Cup Vegetables curry, 1 Cup Dal, 1 Bowl Salad.
Afternoon Tea: 1 Cup yogurt/dahi with little cut fruits
Dinner: 1Cup Chicken Curry with 1 Phulka/Roti, 1 bowl salad, ½ cup boiled rice.
Breakfast: Greek yogurt topped with ½ cup strawberries and honey. 1 slice whole-grain toast with half mashed avocado drizzled with olive oil.
Lunch: 1 whole-grain pita with hummus and stuffed with 1 cup fresh greens and 2 slices tomatoes.1 cup minestrone soup.1 medium orange
Afternoon Tea: almonds and peanuts
Dinner: Salmon topped with tarragon and mustard over ½ cup couscous, ½ cup zucchini, and 4 spears asparagus. Side salad of spinach, cheese and olive oil dressing.
Breakfast: Boiled white rice mixed with raw egg; bread roll; green tea.
Lunch: Small bowl of rice; nimono vegetables (potato, daikon radish, carrots, taro root); thinly sliced stir-fried pork and bean sprouts; miso soup; green tea.
Dinner: Sushi, green tea.
Breakfast: Porridge with Greek yoghurt, berries, nuts and cinnamon
Lunch: Veggie salad with quinoa and tofu
Dinner: Salmon, vegetables and brown rice
Supper: Greek yoghurt with berries
Which diet is best? Which is worst? They are all very different but they all tick the boxes of being healthy and nutritious diets. Some of these diets are higher in fat than others, some higher in carbs, some include meat, some exclude snacks, but they all get the basics right. They all contain plenty of plant based and minimally processed foods which is consistently associated with health and disease prevention. How you choose to include plenty of plant based, minimally processed foods into your diet is up to you and as you can see there are many ways to achieve it. The best way will be a way that fits in with your lifestyle and that is a lifelong approach to healthy eating rather than a ‘diet’. If you get the basics right and make it suit your lifestyle everything else will fall into place.
Jo @ The Balanced Lunch Box says:
Well done again, Alex, great post. The basics are truely the key. Thanks as always.
Great post it rings true
Great post Alex!
Gemma Critchley says:
Great post Alex! I’ve nominated you for a Liebster award on my blog if you’d care to participate! Gemmahttp://dietitianwithoutborders.com/liebster-award/