Which foods make you an unhealthy person?
If only it were that simple...
In isolation, no single food can make you unhealthy (unless it's gross and mouldy or you're allergic 👀).
Where your health lies on a scale from poor to optimal depends on your lifestyle as a WHOLE.
The average of your diet and lifestyle over time.
This includes your diet, physical activity, stress levels, sleep and much more!
One day (or even a week) of eating typically unhealthy foods is not going to ruin your health forever. However, a poor diet which is unbalanced or lacking necessary nutrients over a prolonged period of time can have detrimental impacts on your health and increase your risk of certain diseases.
Here's where the concept of balance is key.
So, Can I Just Eat Cake?
With the mindset of looking at our diets as a whole, regular "treats" should be encouraged over restriction and denial. If you enjoy sweet foods, including them in your diet will bring you pleasure and an enjoyable sensory experience for your tastebuds.
Making space for enjoyment in your diet is an important part of a healthy relationship with food, as is eating at social occasions where cakes, chocolates and puddings often feature.
However, this only stands if eating treats is the exception, not the rule.
Eating cupcakes for breakfast lunch and dinner will not only damage your dental health and spike your blood glucose levels, but you'll probably stop enjoying them pretty fast!
Whilst these foods are calorie dense, often with high levels of sugar and saturated fat, they are not necessarily nutrient-dense with micronutrients, fibre and a balance of protein.
The 80/20 Concept
Take the 80/20 concept:
80% of the time if you make healthy choices, choose nourishing foods you enjoy 🥑🍓 move your body 🚴🤸♀️ and take care of your health...
It balances out with the 20% where you make choices based on taste, enjoyment and connection rather than nutrition alone.
Enjoy a glass of wine + a late to spend time with friends, 🍷🕺 stay in bed and rest rather than attending an early spin class. 💤📖
Enjoying a donut won't 'cancel out' all the healthy choices you have made.
It will just add a sprinkle of deliciousness!
Thanks for reading!