We’ve all heard it before. Eat healthily, don’t eat bad things, too much sugar or fat or alcohol is bad for you, eat your greens, drink water. Fast food is bad, beansprouts are good, and you should eat brown rice. We probably have information fatigue about this topic more than almost any other. We also know that what we put into our bodies is our choice. At least, if we’re more than about 16 years old – and because we’ve all grown up being told what we should and shouldn’t eat, we take control as soon as we’re around the corner from our parents and start on the sugar and pastry.

At some point, though, either because of personal experience, doctors’ orders, or a desire to have more energy, many people start looking around for ways of improving their diet. It’s interesting that they usually start to come to the same conclusions that they were fed as children – eat your greens, drink more water, lay off the processed food, and so on. So why is that?

Maybe there’s something in it after all.

It’s not something we think about a lot, maybe because it seems so obvious, but you are literally constructed from the building blocks of the food you eat. Your body, amazing as it is, is fairly delicately balanced, expecting certain things to keep it going. You can cope with a hefty element of personal choice, but not excess. You’re a complex machine, as I think I’ve mentioned before, and any of you who have owned any kind of precision machinery will know that they need to be finely tuned and looked after.

There’s not room to go into a lot of detail, as food is a massive topic and I can’t do it justice here at all. But it looks like in a lot of ways or parents were right – eating certain things will give you energy and help you concentrate, and others will make you sluggish and fidgety. Excess of just about everything will harm you in the long run.

So if you are made of the food you eat, and it affects how you are, who you are, how long you live, and what you can do while you’re alive, isn’t it worth paying a bit of attention to?

If you want to change how you eat, remember to start small. Make changes that you won’t resist too much, and let your taste buds get used to new flavours, less salt, or whatever it is. You can absolutely train yourself to like things you used to hate.

A note about comfort eating. I do this, and although my metabolism seems super-fast so I don’t put on weight, that doesn’t mean I don’t have any side effects. My body still has to process the unhealthy material, and maybe I just suffer from it in a different way. It’s not all about whether you put weight on or not.

If you were building a house, you wouldn’t choose to make it from cardboard. It’s not suitable. In a way, we have the same choice when it comes to eating. Choose materials that are fit for purpose, or weaken the construction. It’s up to you.