Is There Such a Thing as the ‘Perfect’ Diet?

People have been discussing the perfect diet since the idea of nutrition first came onto the scene. At different points in time, the perfect diet has been popularized as everything from The Grapefruit Diet of the 30s to Oprah’s famous liquids-only diet.

Here’s the thing: there’s no perfect diet that will work for every single person on this planet. Every body is different. So, rather than clawing desperately for a one-ticket solution to your dietary needs, here are a few principles that can help you decide what’s right for you.

Make sure your diet is nutrient rich

Move away from a dated “food group philosophy” into one that values nutrients, mainly: proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and water. Work on hitting the recommended daily intake (RDI) of all your most important nutrients, then work with a dietitian to make adjustments as necessary based on your personal body chemistry.

Shop local and in-season

Foods are most nutrient-dense when they’re fresh, in season and locally grown, so choose fresh foods as often as possible. Spend most of your time shopping the outside perimeters of your grocery store and avoid the center aisles as these are typically filled with processed, nutrient-poor foods.

Choose high quality options

Eat the highest-quality food that you can afford without breaking the bank. If you can swing it, it’s prudent to put a higher proportion of your income into better, higher quality food, as this will help you maintain a healthful life for years to come.

Vegetarian breakfast bowl with spinach, arugula, avocado, seeds and sprouts

Work on balancing your blood sugar

Putting your body on a blood sugar roller coaster is one of the worst things you can do for your long-term health. To prevent insulin spikes and slow the release of sugar, eat carbohydrates in moderation and in balance with protein and fat sources.

Avoid processed foods

A diet that strictly cuts out treats like cookies and crackers just isn’t realistic. That said, diets high in processed foods often lead to a number of serious health risks, so choose these in extreme moderation and opt for “real food” instead. What counts as real food? Anything that comes naturally from the earth and has not been altered or modified.

Create variety in your diet

Eating a wide range of foods is a great way to “hedge your bets” when it comes to building a healthful diet. Eating in season will help you do this, as readily available foods will shift month by month. You might also choose to shop at new stores, visit the farmers market or make it a point to try a new recipe once a week.

Make your diet choice a sustainable one

The perfect diet will be one that you can sustain for a long time. It should not be socially isolating – meaning, you should not feel cut off or high maintenance when out with friends – and it should suit your lifestyle overall. It should also be sustainable beyond your lifetime. Consider how the food you eat fits into the greater food ecosystem. Will your choice have a positive impact? Or will it deplete the earth’s resources?

Remember: A healthy diet for one person may not be a healthy diet for another. There is no cookie cutter solution here. But apply these guidelines and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier, happier life.

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34 comments

Shae Lee
Shae Lee4 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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Louise R
Past Member 4 months ago

Thanks

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JoAnn Paris
JoAnn P4 months ago

Thank you for this very interesting article.

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Mia B
Melisa B4 months ago

Thanks for posting

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Shirley Plowman
Shirley Plowman4 months ago

QUALITY DATA HERE.

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Caitlin L
Past Member 4 months ago

thank you

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Christophe B
Christophe Bazin6 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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hELEN hEARFIELD
hELEN h6 months ago

tyfs

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Camilla V
Camilla Vaga6 months ago

thx

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Diane Wayne
Past Member 6 months ago

cheers

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