What is the "healthiest diet" to you? and why?

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Replies

  • crzycatlady1
    crzycatlady1 Posts: 1,930 Member
    ktfranke wrote: »
    The "healthiest diet," for me... it depends on what my fitness goals are!

    All summer I was running ultra marathons, so my diet was high carb. I ate a lot of fruits like dates and bananas, fruit puree, coconut water, Gatorade, honey gels and power gels... purely because I performed well with those fuel sources... and they provided me with the instant sugars I needed to perform a high endurance sport.

    This winter, my focus has shifted to strength training, building muscle, and losing fat. So I've switched to a low carb, higher fat/protein based diet. Lots of meats, dairy, and high fiber greens. So fish, eggs, avocado, cottage cheese, whey protein, spinach, broccoli, etc. And steering away from the processed carbs such as breads, crackers and sweets. And I've had great success in changing my body composition! I'm getting a leaner and more muscular physique!

    I think your diet should remain fluid depending on how active you are, and what your training for, as well as your own specific health needs.

    But I think most people would agree, that there are universal food items that should be avoided or at least consumed in moderation. Such as alcohol, ice cream, cakes, candies, chips, soda, fast food, and other heavily processed catbohydrates/fats.

    I'll be eating fast food 5 times this week and I'll still be hitting my goals (there will be alcohol, candy [diet] soda, chips and other heavily processed carbs/fats involved too :D ).

  • Traveler120
    Traveler120 Posts: 712 Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    manther88 wrote: »
    Whole food. Foods that aren't in a box, can or package. What do you think people were eating a long time ago? Lol.

    That's not a diet. You can eat huge range of ways without foods in a box, can, or package, some of which will be nutritionally adequate and some of which will not, even apart from whether one also has a healthy approach to food.
    Anything that is processed is bad whether it's fruit or veggies because they still add sugar or salt and other things to it.

    Numerous foods in a "box, can, or package" are without added sugar, salt, or "other things." For example, eggs in a carton (including the ones I get from a local farm). Meat in a package (same). Frozen fish. Canned beans or tomatoes, which can be purchased without any additives. Frozen veg and fruit (normally don't have additives). Most dairy. Dried beans and pasta. Oats. Rice. So on. Even plenty of protein powders.

    .....
    Protein powders are the very definition of a highly processed food. Everything else on that list is a whole food.

    No, everything else on that list falls into the poster's definition of "processed foods" (in a box, can, or package), which that poster was saying couldn't be part of a healthy diet.

    I mentioned protein powder because -- although I of course agree it's highly processed -- it often has no added sugar or salt and often few additives beyond the whey it's made of. So it seems inconsistent with the poster's argument. Which was, rather obviously, the point.

    It would be helpful if you'd try to follow the discussion before jumping in, although if you have something to say that is actually relevant to that discussion I'd be interested.

    I was agreeing with your response with the exception of the protein powder since she was talking about what's a whole food. Seems like a perfectly relevant response on my part.

    And a product having no additives or additional ingredients doesn't make it a whole food. Olives are a whole food. Olive oil has one single ingredient, no additives and it's still a highly processed food.

    I would just like to point out that you don't eat olives straight from the tree. They are washed and then put in a salt bath for a month (at least) and then put in jars with their brine. Olive oil, on the other hand, is washed olives run through a press--we get cold pressed--then put in containers or bottles. In my opinion, olive oil is closer to a natural olive.

    Closer to a natural olive than an actual olive sitting in a salt bath? Haha..ok.

    Yup--just like fresh squeezed orange juice is closer to an orange, than frozen, or dried.

    Ok...you got me....I surrender! By this logic, this means foods like olive oil, potato starch, whey isolate, soy isolate etc which are all extracted from the whole food, are in fact closer to the original whole food than if the original food has been dried, frozen, cooked, brined etc. Brilliant!

    I would think that maybe you should visit a factory (I have witnessed olive oil being pressed) because you should see what you're demonizing up close and personal. These ideas are absolutely ridiculous in my opinion. Processed, not processed, whole, or not whole......if you think that these things get you closer to "healthy" eating, so be it. Everyone needs a fantasy. B)

    What? Where? Defining what a processed food is, is not demonizing. It's just calling a spade a spade, though it's clear that definitions are apparently quite fluid.

    I currently define my healthy diet as getting 85% of my calories from whole foods (beans, lentils, whole grains, potatoes and other tubers, fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds). If it physically looks like it did when harvested AND has one single ingredient, it's a whole food to me. The remaining 15% goes to processed/junk food and that includes ice cream, chocolate, biscuits, added oils etc. I evaluate this, as well as the nutrition value (on Cronometer.com) on a weekly basis, not daily.

    Well, I live in Italy, where healthy, informed eating is the norm--not the exception. We have fabulous gelato, chocolates,pizza, pasta, cheeses, hams,sausages, breads, etc, etc. Healthy eating has nothing to do with "whole" foods--it has to do with quality ingredients.

    You missed the part where I said "I define MY healthy diet as...". There are probably a billion configurations of what a healthy diet comprises of. I hope you weren't expecting a consensus on ONE single definition of a healthy diet from this thread, were you? Coz there isn't one. There are however common elements of healthy diets across various cultures and populations that are healthy, have lower chronic diseases and are long living. I try to copy some of those elements the best I can. But that's just me. You do You!
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    edited December 2016
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    manther88 wrote: »
    Whole food. Foods that aren't in a box, can or package. What do you think people were eating a long time ago? Lol.

    That's not a diet. You can eat huge range of ways without foods in a box, can, or package, some of which will be nutritionally adequate and some of which will not, even apart from whether one also has a healthy approach to food.
    Anything that is processed is bad whether it's fruit or veggies because they still add sugar or salt and other things to it.

    Numerous foods in a "box, can, or package" are without added sugar, salt, or "other things." For example, eggs in a carton (including the ones I get from a local farm). Meat in a package (same). Frozen fish. Canned beans or tomatoes, which can be purchased without any additives. Frozen veg and fruit (normally don't have additives). Most dairy. Dried beans and pasta. Oats. Rice. So on. Even plenty of protein powders.

    .....
    Protein powders are the very definition of a highly processed food. Everything else on that list is a whole food.

    No, everything else on that list falls into the poster's definition of "processed foods" (in a box, can, or package), which that poster was saying couldn't be part of a healthy diet.

    I mentioned protein powder because -- although I of course agree it's highly processed -- it often has no added sugar or salt and often few additives beyond the whey it's made of. So it seems inconsistent with the poster's argument. Which was, rather obviously, the point.

    It would be helpful if you'd try to follow the discussion before jumping in, although if you have something to say that is actually relevant to that discussion I'd be interested.

    I was agreeing with your response with the exception of the protein powder since she was talking about what's a whole food. Seems like a perfectly relevant response on my part.

    Okay, but if you notice her comment was that ANYTHING in a can, box, or package is "bad."
    And a product having no additives or additional ingredients doesn't make it a whole food. Olives are a whole food. Olive oil has one single ingredient, no additives and it's still a highly processed food.

    Yes, of course. You keep (weirdly) arguing as if someone had said that protein powder was not a processed food when obviously it is. My point was that being "processed" (or in packaging -- which I agree includes whole foods but that protein powder is not a whole food) DOES NOT mean that something has sugar, salt or other additives which is what the poster I was responding to had claimed, and further asserted that's what makes them bad.

    I happen to prefer to mostly eat whole foods (although I don't stick to that 100%, as that wouldn't be healthy for me in that I tend toward the obsessive), but I DON'T pretend like not being a whole food makes something "bad" or not consistent with a healthy diet. I also think there are differences between foods that are properly classified as "processed."

    Oh boy...round and about we go. Splitting hairs. Look, I agree with literally 99% of what you've said. You're essentially 'preaching to the choir'. I merely contradicted/clarified one simple statement. Let's move on, shall we?

    Works for me. (I'm still puzzled about why you thought anyone was saying protein powder was a "whole food" such that it needed to be clarified, but I'm moving on!)
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    manther88 wrote: »
    Whole food. Foods that aren't in a box, can or package. What do you think people were eating a long time ago? Lol.

    That's not a diet. You can eat huge range of ways without foods in a box, can, or package, some of which will be nutritionally adequate and some of which will not, even apart from whether one also has a healthy approach to food.
    Anything that is processed is bad whether it's fruit or veggies because they still add sugar or salt and other things to it.

    Numerous foods in a "box, can, or package" are without added sugar, salt, or "other things." For example, eggs in a carton (including the ones I get from a local farm). Meat in a package (same). Frozen fish. Canned beans or tomatoes, which can be purchased without any additives. Frozen veg and fruit (normally don't have additives). Most dairy. Dried beans and pasta. Oats. Rice. So on. Even plenty of protein powders.

    .....
    Protein powders are the very definition of a highly processed food. Everything else on that list is a whole food.

    No, everything else on that list falls into the poster's definition of "processed foods" (in a box, can, or package), which that poster was saying couldn't be part of a healthy diet.

    I mentioned protein powder because -- although I of course agree it's highly processed -- it often has no added sugar or salt and often few additives beyond the whey it's made of. So it seems inconsistent with the poster's argument. Which was, rather obviously, the point.

    It would be helpful if you'd try to follow the discussion before jumping in, although if you have something to say that is actually relevant to that discussion I'd be interested.

    I was agreeing with your response with the exception of the protein powder since she was talking about what's a whole food. Seems like a perfectly relevant response on my part.

    And a product having no additives or additional ingredients doesn't make it a whole food. Olives are a whole food. Olive oil has one single ingredient, no additives and it's still a highly processed food.

    I would just like to point out that you don't eat olives straight from the tree. They are washed and then put in a salt bath for a month (at least) and then put in jars with their brine. Olive oil, on the other hand, is washed olives run through a press--we get cold pressed--then put in containers or bottles. In my opinion, olive oil is closer to a natural olive.

    Closer to a natural olive than an actual olive sitting in a salt bath? Haha..ok.

    Yup--just like fresh squeezed orange juice is closer to an orange, than frozen, or dried.

    Ok...you got me....I surrender! By this logic, this means foods like olive oil, potato starch, whey isolate, soy isolate etc which are all extracted from the whole food, are in fact closer to the original whole food than if the original food has been dried, frozen, cooked, brined etc. Brilliant!

    I would think that maybe you should visit a factory (I have witnessed olive oil being pressed) because you should see what you're demonizing up close and personal. These ideas are absolutely ridiculous in my opinion. Processed, not processed, whole, or not whole......if you think that these things get you closer to "healthy" eating, so be it. Everyone needs a fantasy. B)

    What? Where? Defining what a processed food is, is not demonizing. It's just calling a spade a spade, though it's clear that definitions are apparently quite fluid.

    I currently define my healthy diet as getting 85% of my calories from whole foods (beans, lentils, whole grains, potatoes and other tubers, fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds). If it physically looks like it did when harvested AND has one single ingredient, it's a whole food to me. The remaining 15% goes to processed/junk food and that includes ice cream, chocolate, biscuits, added oils etc. I evaluate this, as well as the nutrition value (on Cronometer.com) on a weekly basis, not daily.

    Well, I live in Italy, where healthy, informed eating is the norm--not the exception. We have fabulous gelato, chocolates,pizza, pasta, cheeses, hams,sausages, breads, etc, etc. Healthy eating has nothing to do with "whole" foods--it has to do with quality ingredients.

    You missed the part where I said "I define MY healthy diet as...". There are probably a billion configurations of what a healthy diet comprises of. I hope you weren't expecting a consensus on ONE single definition of a healthy diet from this thread, were you? Coz there isn't one. There are however common elements of healthy diets across various cultures and populations that are healthy, have lower chronic diseases and are long living. I try to copy some of those elements the best I can. But that's just me. You do You!

    And for the record I see nothing to disagree with here.
  • VKetoV
    VKetoV Posts: 111 Member
    edited December 2016
    "Healthiest" seems like an opinion to me as what is healthiest for an individual is dependent on activity, goals, disease states, genetics, environment, lifestyle, convenience, time management, body composition, etc. Example, an endurance athlete or someone with cystic fibrosis might not be healthiest eating a whole food diet simply by not being physically able to consume enough kcals; carbohydrate ladent "junk" food & high fat diets (with pancreatic enzyme replacement) respectively may be better options.
  • MelissaPhippsFeagins
    MelissaPhippsFeagins Posts: 8,064 Member
    Without reading other replies, the healthiest diet for me is one with no shellfish, soybeans, mushrooms, coconuts, egg yolks, dark green leafy vegetables, wheat, barley or rye because of food allergies. No one else should eat this diet because it is too stinking hard. Oh, and on the odd occasion, milk chocolate has given me hives.
  • Sabine_Stroehm
    Sabine_Stroehm Posts: 19,270 Member
    JoyMaillet wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    Primarily whole foods with to include a lot of plant based foods (not just vegetables) as well as lean sources of protein (I eat a lot of fish and chicken), and healthy fats...because, whole foods are pretty healthy.
    What is a "half food" or "quarter food"?

    Are you being facetious?
  • CrabNebula
    CrabNebula Posts: 1,119 Member
    It sure isn't intuitive eating. Put me in front of box of Costco bakery cookies and say 'intuitively eat these'. Well, I could probably polish off 10-12 of them before getting full. Then maybe I'd leave them for a few hours, come back peckish, and finish off the rest of the box. Now, each cookie is estimated to be around 210 cals, but don't know for a fact because apparently it, and most other things in their bakery, are such calorie nuclear disasters, Costco won't release nutritional info on most of its bakery products. Thanks, I've now had probably around 5000 cals in just cookies alone. Next morning, I'll probably wake up starving. It is a real tossup I've never understood. Some days I way overeat and go most of the next day not hungry at all. Some days I way over eat and wake up like I haven't eaten in ten days. I don't get it. Anyway, because of that alone, I can't intuitively eat. That's how I got to be on the cusp of being super morbidly obese just doing whatever dumb**** thing my lizard brain told me to do.
  • cerise_noir
    cerise_noir Posts: 5,468 Member
    manther88 wrote: »
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    manther88 wrote: »
    Whole food. Foods that aren't in a box, can or package. What do you think people were eating a long time ago? Lol.

    Anything that is processed is bad whether it's fruit or veggies because they still add sugar or salt and other things to it.

    How specifically do things like boxed pasta, rice, canned beans or tomatoes, or Greek yogurt harm my health? Why, with no medical reason to limit salt or sugar, should I avoid foods with it added, in the context of an overall balanced diet.

    Everyone has their own opinions. That was mine. YOU don't have to do what I'm doing or what I'm writing lol. Just giving my own preference. To each their own. No hard feelings. Love life and take care of your temple because we only live once!

    And this, for me, is why life is too short to NOT eat chocolate and drink wine. ;)

  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,878 Member
    CrabNebula wrote: »
    It sure isn't intuitive eating. Put me in front of box of Costco bakery cookies and say 'intuitively eat these'. Well, I could probably polish off 10-12 of them before getting full. Then maybe I'd leave them for a few hours, come back peckish, and finish off the rest of the box. Now, each cookie is estimated to be around 210 cals, but don't know for a fact because apparently it, and most other things in their bakery, are such calorie nuclear disasters, Costco won't release nutritional info on most of its bakery products. Thanks, I've now had probably around 5000 cals in just cookies alone. Next morning, I'll probably wake up starving. It is a real tossup I've never understood. Some days I way overeat and go most of the next day not hungry at all. Some days I way over eat and wake up like I haven't eaten in ten days. I don't get it. Anyway, because of that alone, I can't intuitively eat. That's how I got to be on the cusp of being super morbidly obese just doing whatever dumb**** thing my lizard brain told me to do.

    I was visiting my sister recently and decided to just "do whatever" for the day and I intuitively ate my way through an entire container of peanut candy and half a bag of tortilla chips. I am not made for intuitive eating.
  • kareno38
    kareno38 Posts: 4 Member
    1. Normal eaters generally don’t plan their food in advance. They eat when they’re hungry, or when dinner time rolls around, and they don’t think about food in between those times. They don’t worry about what they’re going to eat for dinner for hours before they get home from work, and they don’t spend time creating elaborate meal plans (e.g., “For the next three months, I’m eating 3 oz. of lean protein and 1 cup of vegetables for every meal, with two fruit snacks at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. every day”). Lame.

    2. Normal eaters have a life in between meals. That is, in addition to not planning, they don’t fantasize about food, dieting and weight loss all day long. They think about what they should get their boyfriend for his birthday or how they’re going to celebrate that new promotion — not whether or not they should try to sneak a stale cookie from the corporate kitchen, because God knows when they’ll ever be able to eat cookies again.

    3. Normal eaters don’t think they’re doing anything “wrong” when they eat something that might not be the best for them. What I mean is, normal eaters don’t attach moral judgement to what they’re eating. They don’t think the whole world is going to judge them for eating a doughnut in public, and don’t “sneak eat” cookies in the middle of the night. While they generally make healthful choices because that’s what feels best to their bodies (and thus that’s what they legitimately want) they’re not sent into a frenzy when they do eventually have a bite of dessert or the occasional side order of fries. It’s no biggie.

    4. Normal eaters eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’re full, and usually eat what sounds good to them in the moment. Are you having a “duh” moment? The number one objection I get from women when I tell them the benefits of a “non-diet” approach to eating is, “If I wasn’t constantly on a diet, I’d gain a bajillion pounds.” Not so. Eating like a “normal” person means making decisions about food based on your body’s natural biological wisdom, rather than external cues that make you feel like you’re in prison. Your body knows exactly how much food you need to maintain a weight that’s healthful for you. That is the biological function of hunger — to remind animals to eat (because otherwise “normies” might forget... for serious).

    5. Normal eaters practice a variety of coping mechanisms and don’t turn to food to get them through the day’s discomforts. This is the single most important thing to understand about normal eaters, and probably the thing most of you are scared you can’t do. Normal eaters trust that if they let themselves eat what they wanted, they wouldn’t fall into a bread basket that they weren’t able to swim out of. They’re able to do this because they’ve been practicing coping with life’s “triggers” using non-food-related comforts. I promise this can be learned.
  • trigden1991
    trigden1991 Posts: 4,659 Member
    #easymac is the healthiest diet going currently.
  • Need2Exerc1se
    Need2Exerc1se Posts: 13,577 Member
    edited January 2017
  • rainbowbow
    rainbowbow Posts: 7,491 Member
    kareno38 wrote: »
    1. Normal eaters generally don’t plan their food in advance. They eat when they’re hungry, or when dinner time rolls around, and they don’t think about food in between those times. They don’t worry about what they’re going to eat for dinner for hours before they get home from work, and they don’t spend time creating elaborate meal plans (e.g., “For the next three months, I’m eating 3 oz. of lean protein and 1 cup of vegetables for every meal, with two fruit snacks at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. every day”). Lame.

    2. Normal eaters have a life in between meals. That is, in addition to not planning, they don’t fantasize about food, dieting and weight loss all day long. They think about what they should get their boyfriend for his birthday or how they’re going to celebrate that new promotion — not whether or not they should try to sneak a stale cookie from the corporate kitchen, because God knows when they’ll ever be able to eat cookies again.

    3. Normal eaters don’t think they’re doing anything “wrong” when they eat something that might not be the best for them. What I mean is, normal eaters don’t attach moral judgement to what they’re eating. They don’t think the whole world is going to judge them for eating a doughnut in public, and don’t “sneak eat” cookies in the middle of the night. While they generally make healthful choices because that’s what feels best to their bodies (and thus that’s what they legitimately want) they’re not sent into a frenzy when they do eventually have a bite of dessert or the occasional side order of fries. It’s no biggie.

    4. Normal eaters eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’re full, and usually eat what sounds good to them in the moment. Are you having a “duh” moment? The number one objection I get from women when I tell them the benefits of a “non-diet” approach to eating is, “If I wasn’t constantly on a diet, I’d gain a bajillion pounds.” Not so. Eating like a “normal” person means making decisions about food based on your body’s natural biological wisdom, rather than external cues that make you feel like you’re in prison. Your body knows exactly how much food you need to maintain a weight that’s healthful for you. That is the biological function of hunger — to remind animals to eat (because otherwise “normies” might forget... for serious).

    5. Normal eaters practice a variety of coping mechanisms and don’t turn to food to get them through the day’s discomforts. This is the single most important thing to understand about normal eaters, and probably the thing most of you are scared you can’t do. Normal eaters trust that if they let themselves eat what they wanted, they wouldn’t fall into a bread basket that they weren’t able to swim out of. They’re able to do this because they’ve been practicing coping with life’s “triggers” using non-food-related comforts. I promise this can be learned.

    I don't there is such a thing as a "normal eater" and i don't think anyone operates under the perfect conditions you're outlining above.
  • J72FIT
    J72FIT Posts: 5,932 Member
    not talking about weight loss or anything, just truly the "healthiest" way to eat. Be as descriptive as you like.

    IMO, a little bit of everything and not too much of anything...
  • J72FIT
    J72FIT Posts: 5,932 Member
    rainbowbow wrote: »
    kareno38 wrote: »
    1. Normal eaters generally don’t plan their food in advance. They eat when they’re hungry, or when dinner time rolls around, and they don’t think about food in between those times. They don’t worry about what they’re going to eat for dinner for hours before they get home from work, and they don’t spend time creating elaborate meal plans (e.g., “For the next three months, I’m eating 3 oz. of lean protein and 1 cup of vegetables for every meal, with two fruit snacks at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. every day”). Lame.

    2. Normal eaters have a life in between meals. That is, in addition to not planning, they don’t fantasize about food, dieting and weight loss all day long. They think about what they should get their boyfriend for his birthday or how they’re going to celebrate that new promotion — not whether or not they should try to sneak a stale cookie from the corporate kitchen, because God knows when they’ll ever be able to eat cookies again.

    3. Normal eaters don’t think they’re doing anything “wrong” when they eat something that might not be the best for them. What I mean is, normal eaters don’t attach moral judgement to what they’re eating. They don’t think the whole world is going to judge them for eating a doughnut in public, and don’t “sneak eat” cookies in the middle of the night. While they generally make healthful choices because that’s what feels best to their bodies (and thus that’s what they legitimately want) they’re not sent into a frenzy when they do eventually have a bite of dessert or the occasional side order of fries. It’s no biggie.

    4. Normal eaters eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’re full, and usually eat what sounds good to them in the moment. Are you having a “duh” moment? The number one objection I get from women when I tell them the benefits of a “non-diet” approach to eating is, “If I wasn’t constantly on a diet, I’d gain a bajillion pounds.” Not so. Eating like a “normal” person means making decisions about food based on your body’s natural biological wisdom, rather than external cues that make you feel like you’re in prison. Your body knows exactly how much food you need to maintain a weight that’s healthful for you. That is the biological function of hunger — to remind animals to eat (because otherwise “normies” might forget... for serious).

    5. Normal eaters practice a variety of coping mechanisms and don’t turn to food to get them through the day’s discomforts. This is the single most important thing to understand about normal eaters, and probably the thing most of you are scared you can’t do. Normal eaters trust that if they let themselves eat what they wanted, they wouldn’t fall into a bread basket that they weren’t able to swim out of. They’re able to do this because they’ve been practicing coping with life’s “triggers” using non-food-related comforts. I promise this can be learned.

    I don't there is such a thing as a "normal eater" and i don't think anyone operates under the perfect conditions you're outlining above.

    Normal is a setting on a dryer...

    ;)
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 46,320 Member
    Well here's some the markers for good health:

    Optimal weight
    Physically fit for normal day to day activities
    Gets optimal rest and sleep
    Has an optimal environment that doesn't endanger the person
    Doesn't participate in risk behavior (smoking, doing *kitten* stuff, etc.)
    Has a good family history of health
    Has good mental health
    And is happy and content with themselves

    Now if what you eat helps to meet with those criteria, then I'd say that's a healthy diet.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png
  • Emily3907
    Emily3907 Posts: 1,460 Member
    Healthy for me is eating mostly meat, vegetables, fruits and whole grains about 80% of the time. Basically, minimal processing. When I look at an ingredients list, my goal is to be able to read everything and understand exactly what it is. But, I also understand that I don't HAVE to eat ONLY these things to be healthy. Processed foods are not the devil and can be used in a healthy diet. Life without cheese would be sad for me. Sometimes convenience trumps something being "processed". Life happens.

    I also consider it "emotionally healthy" to eat the things you enjoy without guilt or punishment. I love to enjoy my homemade pizza on Friday nights and maybe a chocolate chip cookie dough cupcake from Gigi's Cupcakes. :D

    So for me a "healthy" diet is achieved by knowing what you are eating (understanding ingredients) and more importantly why you are eating it. I subscribe to the thought that "no food is bad or good". Yes, food is primarily fuel, but food can also be enjoyable with the right mindset.