Bin the pricey coconut oil, goji berries and acai. Stick to simple ingredients and principles.
A healthy diet is not about Instagrammed asparagus, glowing skin or a feeling of wellbeing – it’s about eating foods that help you to avoid disease. That simple message has been muddied by pseudoscience nutritionists and celebrity health gurus, clambering over each other to persuade you to buy their products.
With a healthy diet you can avoid risk factors such as being overweight, having high blood pressure and developing diabetes, which lead to serious cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes. It’s concerning, then, with the burden of obesity and disease falling on the poor, that health is being packaged and sold through a soft-focus lens as an aspirational product beyond many people’s means.
Nothing could be further from the truth. The much-vaunted Mediterranean diet, for instance, is one of peasants. Born of a needs-must school of eating, it emphasises varied, seasonal, humble and largely plant-based ingredients: fruit and veg, fibrous carbs, legumes, nuts, a bit of meat, and healthy fats such as olive oil. Doesn’t sound too expensive, does it?