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The 9 Most Common Nutritional Mistakes In A Healthy Diet

A truly healthy diet is anything but easy. But often you don’t even notice the nutritional mistakes that you unknowingly commit every day. Yes, one even believes that one is eating very healthily. And one day you wonder why it tugs here or pinches there – when you’ve lived so healthily.

Healthy eating and its pitfalls

Healthy eating inspires many people. Eating healthy is fun and can easily become a hobby.

Countless websites, books, lectures, videos, and courses provide information about healthy eating. And just as countless are the different views and directions. It is not uncommon for only part of a topic to be told (e.g. vegetable fats are the better fats), and the other part (which vegetable fats are the better fats?) falls by the wayside.

It is therefore extremely difficult for the interested layperson to find out what really belongs to a healthy diet and what does not. In no time, nutritional errors creep in, mostly completely unknowingly.

This is a pity! Because many people want to eat healthily in order to feel better, to get fitter, to be able to shake off illnesses, and get well faster. But that is often not possible if you unintentionally cling to mistakes that shouldn’t be there. Because if you knew about the pitfalls of healthy eating, you could quickly eradicate the mistakes.

We introduce you to the nine most common mistakes that usually creep in when you start eating healthy for the first time. It’s often because you haven’t gotten enough information, you stick too rigidly to a certain diet, or you uncritically believe everything that’s going on about nutrition.

The 9 most common mistakes of a “healthy” diet

Maybe you know this:

You have discovered how much fun a different diet can be. You are fascinated by the new foods that are available in organic supermarkets – and you try everything.

You can save yourself reading the labels here. Because in the health food store everything is natural and everything is healthy. Not necessarily! Many things are much better in the health food store, but not everything is perfect and certainly, not everything is healthy.

However, with the right knowledge, you can also differentiate between what is good, and what is okay from time to time, and what is better left on the shelf.

Mistakes in healthy eating: too many omega-6 fatty acids

The organic store is teeming with omega-6 fatty acids.

Omega-6 fatty acids are of course healthy, even essential, i.e. vital.

However, too much of it is not good at all. Then they promote chronic inflammation – and there are more than enough of them today.

Almost every chronic disease is accompanied by inflammatory processes or is caused by them – regardless of whether it is called diabetes, arthritis, neurodermatitis, arteriosclerosis, tinnitus, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic cystitis, migraine, autoimmune disease, or whatever.

Omega-6 fatty acids should therefore be consumed in a maximum ratio of 5 to 1, better than 3 to 1 with omega-3 fatty acids.

However, the usual ratio today is at least 10 to 25 to 1 or much higher.

So there is a general excess of omega-6 fatty acids, which can still be increased with many supposedly healthy products from the health food store (from the normal supermarket too, of course).

Choose the right oils

So you often hear from doctors, nutritionists, or in the media that vegetable oils are simply wonderful – the main thing is that they are cold-pressed.

So you buy a good cold-pressed sunflower oil or safflower oil, because both oils usually taste very neutral, which is rarely the case with olive oil.

Sunflower oil and safflower oil, but also grape seed oil and pumpkin seed oil are oils with very high omega-6 contents.

Of course, you can use them every now and then. Pumpkin seed oil in particular is usually only used in small quantities for certain raw vegetable salads.

However, the use of these oils in large quantities should be avoided at all costs.

Olive oil or hemp oil is far more suitable for salads.

Olive oil can also be used for gentle frying. For searing, on the other hand, choose coconut oil or ghee.

Choose the right drinks

Another source of omega-6 fatty acids that not everyone thinks of is plant-based drinks.

Rice and oat drinks are usually mixed with sunflower oil. Moreover, the grain itself is also a source of omega-6 fatty acids.

Of course, that doesn’t matter at all if you have a glass of rice drink every now and then or prepare your morning muesli with oat milk.

But you quickly get used to the sweet drinks, maybe take them with you to the office and drink a liter of them a day on the side.

Mistakes in healthy eating: Too much whole grain

When you change your diet, you often end up eating a lot of whole grains. The whole grain here means grain products made from wheat, spelled, oats and rye.

You have experienced the health benefits of whole grain compared to white flour products and now eat everything that you previously ate in the ground version as a whole grain version:

Fresh grain muesli in the morning, whole grain bread in the company, whole grain pancakes at lunchtime, whole grain cake in the afternoon, and whole grain pasta in the evening.

Of course, whole-grain foods are healthier than those made from white flour. They provide more minerals and vitamins, more phytochemicals, and more fiber.

However, too many whole grain products overload the digestive system and, due to the high carbohydrate content, also the pancreas and liver.

One whole grain meal per day is therefore perfectly sufficient – especially since there are many other side dishes that you can eat instead and which in turn provide other health benefits so that a balanced diet can take place in the first place.

For example, brown rice, pseudocereals, potatoes, Jerusalem artichoke, corn, and, in particular, gluten-free pasta and baked goods are available.

Instead of mueslis made from whole grains such as spelled, oats and wheat, you can try mueslis made from gluten-free grains (e.g. millet and rice), amaranth and quinoa pop, or tiger nuts.

Chestnut flakes or porridge made from chestnut flour also taste extremely delicious with fruit and almond butter.

Of course, nuts, almonds, coconut flour, linseed, hemp seed, and other oilseeds can also be used alternately.

And if you want to limit carbohydrates and fats in general, you will eat more vegetables, fruits, and sources of protein.

The often plentiful consumption of whole grains after a change in diet is automatically accompanied by the third mistake, namely excessive gluten consumption.

Mistakes in healthy eating: Too much gluten

Gluten is the grain protein in wheat, which is also found in other variations in the rye, barley, oats, and spelled.

Gluten is not well tolerated by many people, and only very few cases of gluten intolerance are celiac diseases. Most gluten-sensitive people suffer from gluten intolerance (also called gluten intolerance), which can lead to a wide variety of symptoms.

These include digestive problems, migraines, depression, fibromyalgia, constant fatigue, autoimmune diseases, and last but not least obesity. We have discussed details here: Gluten sensitivity and here: Gluten clouds the senses

For this reason, too, it is not bad to use grain products a little less frequently or at least choose gluten-free products from time to time.

Mistakes in healthy eating: Too many fruits and fruit juices

If you don’t just want to “just” practice whole food nutrition, but want to get into vital food, you can choose from a variety of different diets. For example, this includes the purely alkaline diet or the fruit-based raw diet, the 80/10/10 diet, the original diet, and many more.

Most of these diets are – consistently implemented – very beneficial for health. Often, however, only those parts of a diet are implemented that are particularly easy to practice or, of course, those that taste particularly good.

When it comes to healthy food, it often happens that many beginners eat a lot of fruit – too much fruit. It is true that the vital food literature repeatedly points out how important a balance in the form of vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables, is.

But for many people, the greens don’t taste nearly as good as the sugar-sweet fruits. You can also eat a kilo of seedless grapes with significantly less effort than a handful of dandelions. So you simply ignore the vegetables and live off fruit for the most part.

Fruits, however, are very rich in sugar and fruit acid. Both are anything but healthy in excess – neither for the teeth nor for the rest of the body. At the same time, fruits provide far fewer minerals than vegetables, so excess fruit can quickly lead to a deficiency.

With fruit juices, you can eat large amounts of fruit even faster and in this way, you can quickly reach a fructose excess.

With a high consumption of fruit, the diet also becomes increasingly poor in protein, because fruit only provides a small amount of protein, namely usually less than 1 percent.

Mistakes in healthy eating: Too little protein

But not only a fruit-rich diet can lead to a lack of protein. A change in diet is very often associated with a risk of deficiency (which of course does not mean that you did not have a deficiency before). Because a change in diet often consists of simply leaving out one or the other food.

Vegetarians simply leave out meat and fish. Anyone who lives vegan also removes dairy products and eggs from the menu.

Anyone who has discovered a food intolerance or has developed an allergy should immediately avoid the food in question, e.g. For example, in the case of fructose intolerance, all foods with fructose (including many vegetables).

It is not uncommon for people to forget that instead of the food that has been eliminated, you should now choose other foods in order to continue to practice a balanced and varied diet and not slip into one-sidedness. Especially the protein supply often suffers after a change in diet.

Since many people used to eat a high-protein diet and tended to suffer from an excess of protein, protein restriction is initially advantageous because the organism can now recover from the years of protein overdose.

In the long term, however, some people literally slip into a protein deficiency. It may be that they are consuming enough protein. However, since they may only have a few sources of protein available, there may be shortages of one or the other amino acid.

Because protein consists of amino acids, 8 of which are essential, so they must be included in the diet. However, not all amino acids are contained in the required amount in every protein source.

So if, for example, grain is the main source of protein, then the amino acid lysine, which is not so richly contained in grain protein, is quickly missing.

It is therefore important to consume a variety of protein sources, such as B. Legumes, cereals, pseudocereals, oilseeds, root vegetables, and leafy vegetables.

If you fear a protein deficiency, the menu can also be supplemented with natural protein powders or protein sticks (without artificial additives). Rice protein, pea protein, basic lupine protein, and hemp protein are available.

Mistakes in healthy eating: Too many snacks

A typical nutritional error – whether in a healthy or unhealthy diet – is frequent snacking, which often completely replaces the main meals. Because if you keep snacking on little things, you no longer have any hunger or appetite for lunch or dinner.

Snacks such as chips and pretzel sticks are at the top of the list, followed by sweets, pastries, sandwiches, baked goods, biscuits, etc.

All of these products are also available in organic quality in organic supermarkets. Therefore, even in the supposedly healthy diet, snacking is common. But snacking means that you are usually well supplied with the so-called macronutrients carbohydrates, fat, and proteins. But vitamins, minerals, and secondary plant substances are now missing.

Snacks are also often very high in sugar or salt and at the same time very low in the water, which of course also doesn’t exactly make sense in this combination from a health point of view.

At the same time, there is a risk of being overweight, since constant snacking is also associated with constant blood sugar spikes and high insulin levels. High insulin levels, however, prevent fat loss and even promote fat storage in adipose tissue.

It is much better if you concentrate on a few main meals (except if you want to gain weight or have problems with hypoglycemia). For example, try the so-called intermittent fasting. It not only has an excellent effect on weight but also promotes many healing processes.

It’s not really about fasting, i.e. not eating, but rather about a daily extended night fasting period: You simply start eating a little later in the day, e.g. B. at 11 a.m. with the first main meal. It then follows z. B. around 4 p.m. a second and already last main meal. There are no snacks. The nightly fasting period is about 18 hours long in this way.

Of course, you are flexible here and can also schedule the two meals at 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. or, for example, at 12 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Mistakes in healthy eating: Too much raw food too late in the evening

The eating rhythm of intermittent fasting also prevents the 7th mistake, namely eating too late. Eating late from around 8 p.m. or later puts an enormous strain on the organism. Of course, it also depends a lot on the type of food.

A light soup is usually not a problem. On the other hand, a heavy meal that is high in fat, protein, or gluten, or even a multi-course menu, overwhelms the digestive organs late in the evening and often leads to waking up completely exhausted the next morning.

After a change in diet, a lot of raw food is often included on the menu. Raw food really is one of the best ways to eat food, but not if you’re not used to it. After all, most people ate very little raw food beforehand. As a result, your digestive organs are no longer used to this type of food.

Not infrequently, the raw food is not chewed thoroughly enough. They are devoured, as has been done with soft-boiled food for years. But then the raw food weighs heavily on the stomach, especially in the evening.

So be gentle with the transition. Make sure you always chew and salivate raw food very well and only eat it until the early afternoon at first, but no longer in the evening.

As soon as your body has gotten used to the high proportion of raw food in your diet, you can of course also eat raw food in the evening. However, feel your way slowly.

Mistakes in healthy eating: too much “healthy”

At the beginning of a healthy diet change, there is often a temptation to eat the healthiest of the healthy – and lots of it.

You swallow vitamin pills, fish oil capsules, calcium supplements, trace elements, probiotics, green powder, protein tabs, and superfoods – whether they are necessary for you personally or not and you can’t even eat because of all the preparations.

On the other hand, it would make more sense to only take those vitamins, minerals, and trace elements that you personally really need. For example, if you eat vegan, you think of vitamin B12 or some of the vitamins described here.

In the same way, you only choose a protein supplement if your own needs are so high that your diet cannot cover them. The dosage should also be chosen very carefully and certainly not according to the motto “a lot helps a lot”.

Overdoses can quickly upset the body’s balance. Therefore, one does it in such a way as to achieve the balance and then maintain it.

Mistakes in healthy eating: Fear shapes the menu

Whoever starts with a healthy diet devours all literature about it. As a result, he also learns a lot about things that are supposed to be bad – and then consistently avoids them for fear of becoming seriously ill immediately if they eat them.

However, he often completely overlooks the fact that these things are bad only in EXCESSIVE, but not if they are prepared in a certain way (e.g. sprouted, fermented, soaked, etc.) or simply in good doses and in alternation with many other foods eats.

For example, grain should not be used as a staple or main food. Grain is also much more digestible if it is germinated before consumption or when baking bread – prepared with sourdough.

So just because there’s a warning against eating grain frequently, that doesn’t mean grain is bad all around. It should not be consumed daily in large quantities, nor in the form of white flour products.

Soy in particular has fallen into disrepute and is considered by many people in the same breath as arsenic and mercury and consequently as a high-level poison, which of course is an extreme exaggeration.

Soy shouldn’t be eaten by the kilo every day, but there’s nothing wrong with consuming some tofu, miso, tempeh, or products made from them every now and then if the quality is high (organic, if possible from European soy cultivation, gentle processing, etc.).

Fish – so one often reads – is contaminated with mercury, salt, and spices that are unnatural and were never eaten by our primeval ancestors, potatoes are a nightshade plant and also too rich in starch, eggs are high in cholesterol, and moreover the “menstrual waste of a chicken”, legumes are not part of the species-appropriate food for humans and contain – just like nuts and other seeds – enzyme inhibitors and toxic phytochemicals and so on and so forth.

As a result, more and more food groups are being eliminated from the menu. At some point, you only eat organic carrots and rice cakes – and then you find out that rice cakes in particular are said to be contaminated with arsenic.

What’s left? Certainly no more zest for life. It is therefore important to keep a cool head.

It is still ideal to eat as varied a diet as possible, to cut out the typically unhealthy and really bad foods (sugar, white flour, heavily processed finished products, and those that you personally cannot tolerate), and to select the other foods of the highest possible quality, whereby the following applies:

  • Fresh
  • organic
  • Regional
  • Seasonal

We wish you a good and healthy appetite!

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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