A healthy diet has two equally important parts: plenty of healthy foods and not too many unhealthy ones. New research suggests that we're getting it only half right. Nutrition Diva explains.
A recent study found that global consumption of healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables has gone up over the last 20 years. Unfortunately, our consumption of unhealthy foods like sweetened beverages and processed foods went up faster.
And here’s the kicker: When it comes to the overall quality of our diets, our bad choices are dragging us down faster than our healthier habits are helping us up.
Not surprisingly, wealthy countries eat more junk than poor ones. But it might surprise you to learn that, as a result, low-income nations like Chad and Mali have higher quality diets, on average, than high-income countries like the U.S. Of course, averages don’t tell the whole story. But here is a take home lesson:
It’s not enough to eat more healthy foods. You also have to limit unhealthy foods if you want to improve the overall quality of your diet. A sprinkle of chia seeds doesn't turn a donut into a healthy breakfast any more than a glass of green juice cancels out a cheese-stuffed pizza crust.
For that matter, even healthy foods can be eaten in unhealthy amounts. Most of you reading this are doing a great job - but this latest study is a good reminder for all of us! For a quick review of some common nutritional blind spots, see:
Image courtesy of Shutterstock