In this obsessive World we now live in, obsessing about nutrients has, for some, become a way of life. It’s not until you really focus on what nutrition actually is and where nutrients come from that you will see what you are getting. What makes a healthy diet is not labelling a piece of food to contain 1 type of nutrient; it’s simply not helpful.
When following a healthy and balanced diet you’ll need a healthy shopping list that includes a range of foods – don’t think with narrow vision and assume your cart contains X amount of carbs, X protein etc.
Take flat leaf parsley – many see this as a flavouring herb, but it’s actually packed with nutrition, incorporating:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin K
- And a whole lot more…
Some diet plans unassumingly embrace eating a diverse range of foods; they understand that what makes a healthy diet by not setting rigid rules. A paleo diet grocery list is somewhere that you will see a diverse batch of foods groups, all with nutrition at the forefront.
I was giving a talk in a primary school recently on ‘five a day’ and tips for children to eat more fruit and veg. I thought it had gone quite well until the very end when a little boy came up and asked earnestly, ‘Is cheese a vegetable?’
Then again, it sometimes occurs to me that we adults are not always as clued up as we think when it comes to nutrients, either. Our eagerness to slot things into different food groups can often make us miss the bigger picture.
But as the pasta water boiled, I glanced idly at some of the packets. The unsmoked streaky bacon (Denhay and) that I’d considered a pure ‘protein’ actually contained just 18.5g of protein per 100g. Meanwhile the pasta, which I had relegated to being a mere ‘carb’, turned out to have a surprisingly large amount of protein: 13.5g per 100g. Since I reckon on around 50g of bacon per person as against 100g of pasta, the upshot was that more of the protein in each portion was coming from the pasta than from the bacon: 13.5g as against 9.25g.
But I do think we do too much neurotic categorising of foods: protein good, carbs bad. When you reject a baked potato because it’s a ‘carb’, you miss out on lots of B vitamins, not to mention the joy of crisp potato skin and melted butter.
Image courtesy of telegraph.co.uk