What does “Healthy Eating” mean anyway?

What does “Healthy Eating” mean anyway?

Healthy eating means a lot of things to a lot of people. Terms such as: good foods, bad foods, cheat days, “on” a diet, “off” a diet, etc. make it hard to have a healthy relationship with food. Then, add the media into the mix and now we really have no clue if a food is healthy or not for us. Case in point, eggs – one day they’re good for us and the next they’re not. The same rule applies to coffee, acai berries, coconut oil, the list goes on and on. 

Enter the Harvard School of Public Health – Nutrition Source. Thank goodness for their work! They do the hard work in testing nutrition trends and breaking down the science in a practical and understandable way. 

So what foods should you really be eating as part of a nutritious diet? The Harvard Healthy Plate demonstrates the simplest form of a healthy diet for overall health: 

  • ½ to 2/3 of your food from vegetables (mix some fruit in there with meals or snacks)
  • ¼ whole grains/complex carbohydrates
  • ¼ protein (animal and plant-based). 

Additionally, remembering that no one eats perfectly, balance should stay at the forefront. When it comes to processed foods and animal products the portions and frequency are most important.

Keep in mind that fueling your body is unique for everyone and while we all have to eat, we may have health and fitness goals that differ from our boot camp buds, co-workers, and family. So while a certain style of eating or diet may produce results for one person, the results and timeframe may vary.

Lastly, thank you for boot camping with us! You’re meeting the, “Stay active,” recommendation also listed on the Healthy Plate model. 

Our challenge for you in September: follow the Harvard Healthy Plate as much as you can and let us know how you feel!

P.S. Another popular feature of Harvard School of Public Health’s Nutrition Source is their page of diet reviews. Have you heard of a diet and wondered what it is all about? Read about the pros and cons and details of a variety of diets here.


By Victoria Emmitt RD

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