How Healthy Are You Eating?

How Healthy Are You Eating?

Chefs & Experts

How Healthy Are You Eating?


How healthy are you eating?

Most people seem to think that they eat a pretty healthy diet. They’ve been told their entire lives that it is important to eat a “balanced” diet–making sure that they get enough protein and vegetables. So, naturally, they think that if they eat a grilled salmon fillet over a bed of greens that they must be doing pretty well.

And it seems like almost everyone these days has either cut back or eliminated their consumption of red meat and are now eating more poultry and/or fish. And of course, everyone says that they’re “watching what they eat.” I never have figured out what that means–for while everyone “watches” what they’re eating, the rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes continue to skyrocket.

So what’s going on? While most of us “Westerners” think that we’re eating a pretty good diet, we have unknowingly drifted far away from what Mother Nature had in mind. Her plan was that we would do just fine on a variety of whole, plant-based foods—just like our cousins in the wild; the gorilla and the chimpanzee. Dr. T. Colin Campbell (author of The China Study), describes what Mother Nature was talking about:

The closer we get to eating a diet of whole, plant-based foods, the better off we will be.

–T. Colin Campbell, PhD, Cornell University

How close is close enough? And how are we doing? Science is not real clear on the first question, but there is no doubt about the answer to the second one. On average, we are consuming a horribly unhealthy diet—deriving less than ten percent of our calories from whole, plant-based foods.

As for the first question about “close enough,” we know from hundreds of thousands of patient observations that deriving over 80% of your calories from whole plants promotes health far better than our current average of less than 10 percent. Would 100% be even better? Probably, but there have been no scientific studies to prove it. In the meantime, why not shoot for the highest percentage from whole plants that you and your family can live with?

Want to assess how healthy you are eating? Take our 4Leaf Survey and let me know how you scored. More importantly, let me know if taking the survey was helpful in your deciding to make some dietary improvements.


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