It seems to me that there’s a fair bit of confusion around what kinds of foods humans should eat to support their health — just look at the countless number of different diet books that have been published over the years! In my experience, confusion around health tends to arise when we remove ourselves too far from the natural world. I’ve never seen a wild animal on a diet. Have you? Yet, wild animals are generally much healthier and suffer far less from chronic illness as compared to us domesticated humans. There are many other ways in which wild animals are more in tune with nature than we are, but I've no doubt their natural diet plays a significant role in their wellbeing. Admittedly, I’m no expert on animal behaviour, but when I do observe animals in the wild, they simply seem to find food that they can eat and then they eat it. It doesn’t usually appear to be a particularly complicated or confusing process. What makes it complicated for us is that we’ve disconnected our food from nature. We process and preserve it to the point where it has a completely different nutritional profile compared to its natural state, and we ship it all over the world so that we can get whatever we want whenever we want. While this is great for variety and convenience, it’s not so great for keeping our biology in sync with the natural rhythms of the planet, and these rhythms have a significant influence on our health. All these unnatural choices lead to confusion — choices that we simply wouldn’t have to make if we were living in the wild. If you’re in the wild, there’s no such thing as ‘health food’ or ‘junk food’ — there’s just food — and that food provides your body-mind and microbiome with information about the local environment you’re living in. Everything is designed to be connected. Connection is natural, just as health is natural. When your mind, body and environment are connected, health results. When you artificially create disconnection, disease results.
In summary, when you do your grocery shopping, aim for a large variety of real food that is locally grown and in season. Food doesn’t need to be as complicated as we’ve made it, and neither does your health.
Finally, remember that your state of mind is just as important to your health as the food you eat, so try not to let your food become a source of guilt or shame. Whatever you choose to eat, be grateful for it and ENJOY it! :)