From what I’m reading, there is no consensus, even among very well educated professionals, as to what constitutes a healthy diet.
Some recommend a strict vegan, whole food plant based diet. Others recommend a raw food plant based diet. Then there is the other extreme, where some scientists, even cardiologists, are saying meat and saturated fat are not the villains we once thought them to be. There are even others who are saying whole grains are not that important and they are particularly recommending avoiding wheat.
So how can we possibly decide what is a healthy diet?
One thing all these professionals do agree on is that it’s important to decrease or eliminate processed packaged food and to replace it with real food. The other recommendation agreed on is to absolutely increase your intake of fresh vegetables, beans and legumes. In my opinion, all of the recommended very different diets have benefits due to the common threads they agree on.
Here is what I have done.
- I try to eat mostly real food and not packaged processed food.
- Whenever possible I eat organic, local and non-GMO.
- I have made a point to have some kind of bean main dish several times a week. I usually serve it with whole grain brown or wild rice.
- I have begun juicing or blending raw veggie drinks and try to have one daily. You can buy them from a juice bar, as well.
- Lastly, I am experimenting with new ways to cook or prepare healthy veggies and I eat many more than I used to.
I would recommend these steps as a start for everyone. If you want to decide for yourself, below are books that discuss the multiple different theories of how to eat.
The China Study by Colin Campbell, PhD
Wheat Belly by William David, MD
The Great Cholesterol Myth by Jonny Bowden, PhD and Stephen Sinatra, MD
The Raw Food Revolution Diet by Laderman and Soria
The Complete Book of Juicing by Michael Murray, ND
Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson