What is “good” nutrition? Is it avoiding any food not labeled Organic? Is it avoiding carbs? Avoiding red meat? Avoiding sugar? Is it only eating boring salads or choking down shredded wheat? Is it never attending another BBQ or dinner party for fear of slipping and indulging in some “bad” treat? Or can good nutrition be so much more?
When we look at the very simple definition of nutrition as “the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth” we can see that nutrition, good nutrition, is not meant to be complicated. So why then has the world of nutrition become such a confusing maze to try and navigate? In a word: Marketing
In a world overrun with nutrition buzzwords and diet trends that come and go faster than we can keep up, it’s easy to get lost. When social media promises results if we just follow celebrity X or expert Y, and removes us (a vital element) from the equation, it’s natural to feel hopeless. However, breaking through the buzzwords and dodging diet trends is easier than you might think; all it requires is knowing these 5 fundamentals for “good” nutrition:
- Good nutrition meets your body’s needs (it provides enough calories to support your activity level and/or goals & is made up of foods that work for YOU)
- Good nutrition contains a significant amount of nutrients with essential calories to provide your body with vital nutrients (consuming 300 calories in a doughnut vs consuming 300 calories in a meal of protein/carbs/fats)
- Good nutrition brings success in health, body composition, and performance goals (it doesn’t sacrifice one for the other, i.e. starvation to meet body composition goals only to experience both diminished health and performance)
- Good nutrition is HONEST (I can’t stress this enough) and based on specific, measurable evidence (all claims made, especially those too good to be true, must be evaluated and tested by third party. Not all that glitters is gold!)
- Good nutrition is sustainable (if you can’t or won’t do this long term, it’s not worth it to do it short term)