When it comes to our use of social media, opinions may be divided. Some can’t imagine living without it. Others warn against its potentially negative influence on our behavior, relationships, and thinking.
However, if there’s one good thing social media can do, it’s raising awareness of issues. Regardless of your opinion on people posting images of post-workout bodies or ‘food porn,’ there’s no denying that such content can drive better health awareness.
That’s a good starting point. But from there, it’s easy to get lost in a myriad of fad diets and products claiming unverified benefits. Having found inspiration to follow a healthy diet, you may be better off sticking to foods and recipes that have stood the test of time.
The complexities of health
Taking better care of our bodies might seem like a simple thing. But learning about your health and putting that knowledge into practice is actually a complex challenge.
Everyone is a little different in terms of health determinants. Our unique individual genetics and background can’t be changed. Factors such as education, socio-economic status, location, and psychological influences will vary greatly.
Thus, what works for one person may not induce the same reaction in someone else. It’s always wise to take any advice with a grain of salt, especially if it came from an online source. Experts who have taken a health coach course are in a much better position to give health-related advice. But they are far outnumbered in the virtual realm by those who have a vested interest in promoting products or spreading misinformation.
Of course, you can make headway and improve your diet by learning online about which foods are healthy versus others that aren’t. But vetting your sources of information and digging into nutritional content specifics can be a cognitive burden for anybody.
Relying on tradition
People often cite time as one of the biggest obstacles to preparing home-cooked meals. And you certainly don’t want to add unnecessary decision-making on top of that challenge.
Science can be a little slow to catch up and verify any reputed health benefits of a diet or product. It takes time, effort, and rigor to conduct worthwhile research. And we can’t all afford to have a personal nutritionist on call.
There’s a simple heuristic you can use, though, to cut through the noise and find a diet that works. Time itself eliminates things that don’t work or hold no value. For this reason, traditional foods and recipes that have survived across the generations are an excellent choice to form the core of your diet.
Before the modern age of abundance, people had to know which foods could provide adequate nourishment. That knowledge included when to harvest them and how to cook them. Before the information age, such information was passed from one generation to the next in family recipes.
These traditions don’t survive without being both delicious and healthy at the same time. Logic alone tells you that. But so does science. Studies of people from different cultures worldwide showed that those who followed traditional diets were significantly more healthy than those from the same population who consumed modern foods.
Learning from the source
If your family background can trace its roots to a rich culinary heritage, you may be in luck. Perhaps there’s a family cookbook containing recipes that didn’t rely on any modern processed ingredients. Or you might be able to glean that information from a relative, especially someone from older generations.
But what if you don’t have that sort of connection? Many people have grown up living exclusively in cities, surrounded by convenience stores and fast-food chains. Even their parents might not know any recipes that don’t rely on excessive sugar and salt.
The internet, of course, can prove useful. Assuming you’re willing to wade through a lot of information and filter out what’s not useful, you can come up with a healthy diet. You can fill out your personal cookbook with recipes that use only traditional Mediterranean, Asian, African, or Latin American ingredients.
At the same time, however, you can also learn through observation. Many second-generation or later immigrants in our nation have lost their connection to their native roots. That hasn’t stopped them from recreating traditional recipes from memories or watching and listening to others from their country of origin.
Many of our health problems can be traced in part to the unhealthy influences of the modern diet. Start your journey towards better health by learning from the source and following traditional diets.