Rather than investing time to study specific food, I ‘d rather use common sense to improve my health. The reason is that the more I research, the more commercial data I tend to get. This casts doubts on whether my effort is worthwhile. The basic question we should ask is: What is the purpose of food besides nutritious details? Well, food is simply for health and enjoyment. Everything else should serve this basic purpose.
The enjoyment purpose is very easy to fulfill. If we like what we eat, that’s sufficient reason. However, enjoyment has to enhance health at the same time for we don’t want to eat ourselves to a slow death. So moderation is the key. Too much enjoyment will lead to indulgence. We must moderate the quantity and frequency of food intake even though we crave for a particular kind. Eat less and the food will taste better, so goes a Chinese saying. Just stay in the middle. Avoid going to extremes.
Knowledge is expanding everyday. What we know today will become obsolete soon. How do we know we are eating the right kind of stuff? In fact, we don’t know very much even though we think we do. So why bother? A good attitude is: Try different kinds of food that we haven’t tasted before. This will expand our possiblity of enjoyment for we don’t know how much we are missing if not trying. My suggestion: If you like it, eat a little more. If not, eat a little less.
Your body needs all kinds of nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, etc, but not too much of them everyday. Your body will absorb the right amounts of nutrients from what you eat, and reject the rest. There is no need to force-feed with the correct nutrients. The body will not accept anything more than it needs. The best way is to give your body enough chance to do what is best. As far as you can control, do the easiest and most enjoyable thing, that is, eat a great variety of food. Have you noticed that most of the people suffering from mal-nutrition have a very restricted diet?
Variety does not mean large quantity. Variety means many different kinds of food and methods of preparation in a moderate quantity. Variety enables you to obtain different kinds of nutrients. It also adds color to your life and enhances your enjoyment. The easiest way to achieve variety is to gradually enlarge the scope of food eaten. In short, be adventurous and try something new everyday!
When we combine moderation with variety, we come close to a balance point. Balance is not easy to explain because it comprises many things and takes forever to perfect. The body cannot stay in perfect balance everyday due to frequent disruptions from the pressures of life. When you are weak, sick or feeling bad, your body loses balance temporarily. When you recover, your body returns to the balance point. When you lose total balance, you are dead.
There always exist a higher and lower balance points as far as health is concerned. When you achieve a higher balance, your health improves as demonstrated by better strength, higher immunity, and faster recovery from illness. The opposite is true when you deteriorate to a lower point. That’s why it pays to constantly strive for a higher balance.
Balance does not necessarily mean a numerical number, such as how many ounces of meat or vegetable you should eat per day. The complex concept of balance can be illustrated with bicycle riding. It is very difficult to describe how to ride a bicycle. But people don’t learn to ride by reading a manual. They learn to ride by doing it themselves! They may fall a couple of times but they will learn. In particular, they will understand what balance means and how to maintain it. Although achieving balance in health seems complicated, the simplest measurement is: When you feel good, you have achieved a balance.