There is No Such Thing as Healthy Food
With so much information available about how to eat healthy, eating can become confusing. Many diets tell us to “eat this,” and “avoid that,” but generalized diet advice contradicts itself and is difficult to follow. However, people often completely change the way they eat because of advice they saw on social media or on a documentary. We commonly accept the recommendation to eat “healthy” foods, but we rarely stop to question why certain foods have the label of “healthy.” And how it could be possible that there’s one correct way to eat that would work for everyone?
Certain foods may be nutritious, but that doesn’t make them healthy. The idea that we could label a food as healthy or unhealthy doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t account for the individual differences, the reason why we’re eating or the quantity of the food. In fact, if you only ate kale (often considered to be a healthy food) and nothing else, you’d get quite sick. Our bodies are designed to function well with a variety of foods in a variety of quantities, not just the ones that we’ve labeled healthy.
What’s good for someone to eat varies significantly from person to person, so the idea of a universally healthy diet is impossible. Recent research confirms that the reaction of the body to food depends primarily on the body, not on the food. Many factors, such as stress level, activity level, your microbiome and many genetic variables can change how food impacts your body. This helps explain why a one-size-fits-all approach to eating hasn’t worked. We wouldn’t encourage someone to eat broccoli if they were allergic to it, even though broccoli is often labeled healthy. Broccoli would definitely be considered unhealthy for someone with a broccoli allergy! Labeling a food as healthy or unhealthy isn’t possible because there is no such thing as a healthy food that works for everyone.
All foods can be part of a healthy diet. Yes, even that junk food that you try to avoid. All foods provide nutrients that our body can use. And different nutrients are necessary for a healthy gut and a body that works well. When we eat intuitively and listen to our body, we’ll notice that our body wants a wide variety of foods, not just the foods that we’ve labeled healthy. There’s no need to fight with your body just because you have labeled some foods as bad. It’s time for us to rethink how we talk about food and to question why we’ve attached such problematic labels to what we eat.
No single food alone can make or break your health. Our food isn’t healthy. WE are healthy.