The old adage says “Forbidden fruit always tastes better.” This holds true for a multitude of habits, good and bad, including eating. Unlike other habits, however, we need to consume food to live. Most of the tastiest foods are the ones that, if consumed in excess, will result in health problems. Eating a restricted diet consisting only of certain types of foods may also lead to problems as no single food, or food group, can supply the body with all of the nutrients it requires.  Eating a varied, balanced selection of food is desirable. 

There are many publications available describing various diets, eating habits and other food related patterns, but this is not the correct forum for this discussion.  As individuals, we are all responsible for choosing that which is best suited specifically to our own life and lifestyle. However, there are general guidelines that apply to all.

The quality of your food and drink intake today may affect the quality of your life, and your health, in later years. One’s body is able to discard a certain amount of toxins but intake should be moderated – natural, wholesome, unadulterated foods in general, contain fewer toxins than their processed counterparts.  Nutritional information labels should be read carefully, and foodstuffs containing undesirable ingredients should be avoided as much as possible, especially by children in their formative years. Health should not be disregarded for convenience.  No matter how attractive the packaging, nor how exciting the advertising campaign, the ultimate responsibility for choosing the right food in the right amount, lies with you.

Another universal law is one regarding energy balance:

Energy taken in equals energy used ⇒ no weight gain

Energy taken in is less than energy used ⇒ weight loss

Energy taken in is more than energy used ⇒ weight gain

If you are consuming enough energy, your weight should remain fairly constant. If you start doing strenuous exercise, you may need to increase your energy intake to counteract the increased energy use, to remain balanced. If you are less active than you were previously, you can adjust either your energy intake by eating less, or your energy output by exercising more in order to reach a good balance.

A balanced diet is one in which the intake of necessary nutrients and foodstuffs is proportionate to you and your lifestyle. Moderate portions and healthy foodstuffs are the most common and practical methods of maintaining this balance, keeping you happy and healthy within the framework that you have chosen.

The responsibility for maintaining a healthy lifestyle lies entirely with you as an individual. Only you can moderate your intake. If you are a mother, or a primary care giver, teaching your children about balance and moderation is regarded as a basic life skill.

Be balanced, be healthy, be happy!