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The Simplest Diet Advice Ever

Jul 23, 2008
Every newspaper or magazine you pick up is full of advice on diet and diet related health articles. It has been the same for many, many years. Different ideas come along and if we believed and followed everything we read then we would probably be following a vastly limited diet. Some of the advice has been pretty controversial and some of them just downright dangerous.

There has been everything from the cabbage soup diet (only for those with no friends) to the grapefruit diet (for those with no taste buds or appetite). As if people weren't confused enough over all the different types of diets and healthy eating advice there is out there, we also have no idea what the ideal weight is.

Doctors and insurance companies have set guidelines over what they consider to be a healthy weight range but even this has differed over the years and on top of that, many young people feel pressured into looking a certain way - you usually amounts to them being underweight. Add to this the other end of the spectrum where you see vast amounts of obese people in this world and it seems the diet balance is all out of kilter.

The Atkins Diet was one that was followed by many celebrities and at the time hailed by most as a breakthrough into everybody's dream of healthy, easy weight loss without having to leave out too many of our favourite foods. However, like all of the fad diets it has had its critics. The Atkins diet cuts back on carbohydrates but some said that as we need carbs then this would not be good for us. Although, as with all diets, initial weigh loss is successful, it would go back on again as soon as the diet was discontinued.

Low calorie and low fat diets have been followed by many but the busier our lives have become, the harder these are to stick to. Convenience snacks and fast food mean that we lose track of our calorie and fat intake. But these are exactly the foods that are crammed with far too much sugar, salt and fat to possibly be healthy for us yet these extras are needed to provide some sort of taste to the product.

In the news this week is the revelation that, actually, the Atkins diet is as safe to use as any other calorie controlled diet. However, at the end of the day, the government have been trying to get across the message that when it comes to our health and our diets, moderation is the key. Whether it be in what we eat or how we exercise, there is no need to be beating ourselves up over it, we just need a measure of control and a little enthusiasm to live that little bit longer, that little bit healthier.

A balanced diet has room for the occasional sugary treat or the occasional bag of crisps, even for the once a week takeaway. However, the key is not to live like this every day. A balanced diet should consist of a health portion of fruit, vegetables, dairy and some meat or fish and some carbohydrates for energy. This type of diet will bring us all we need to feel fit and strong and it will, at the same time, afford us our best opportunity to fight off illnesses and diseases.

If we combine our balanced diet with a regime that gets us moving at least once a day, whether we choose to visit the gym or simply walk the dog, any activity that removes our rears from the sofa, will have a beneficial effect. So, we can read all the advice we like but the best ideas are the simplest, cheapest, healthiest and will have the most lasting effects.
About the Author
Nutritional expert Catherine Harvey looks at the way diet plays a big part in our lives.
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