Marion Nestle’s tips on healthy eat are right in line with the 6 Pillars of Nutrition.
Tell patients that healthy eating simply means three things: variety, minimal processing and moderation.
Variety means choosing many different kinds of foods from the various food groups: meat, dairy, fruits, vegetables, grains. It counts because foods vary in nutrient content. Varying foods within and among food groups takes care of needs for nutrients without having to think about them. People who consume adequate amounts of varied diets rarely exhibit nutrient deficiencies. It’s the most restrictive diets that are likely to be deficient in one or another nutrient.
Minimal processing means that the foods should be as close as possible to how they came from the animal or plant. The greater the level of processing, the less the foods resemble their origins, the less nutritious they may be, and the more salt, sugar and calories get added to disguise the changes.
Minimal processing excludes foods high in salt and sugars and low in fiber, as well as sugary sodas and juice drinks, those popularly known as junk foods.
My definition of minimal processing is only slightly facetious: Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients or an ingredient you can’t pronounce.
Moderation is about balancing calorie intake with expenditure and maintaining a healthy weight through food choices and physical activity.