Other Equally Important
Healthy eating is just one spoke in the wheel of health
Just as a chain can only be as strong as its weakest link, you can only be as healthy as the weakest link in your "chain of health". But to know how your "chain" is doing, you need to know some specifics regarding those lifestyle practices that have just as much influence on your health as does your diet.
Many non-medical health practitioners focus on diet, and indeed I have a class devoted entirely to it, and in my first book, the chapter on diet is the biggest chapter, but this is simply because of all the aspects of healthy living, diet is the one fraught with the most conflicting information, misinformation, and disinformation, and therefore the one with the most confusion. So the subject of diet may need more study than the other "basics of health", but not more attention.
So seekers of robust health need to go beyond diet. And although no one argues about the need for enough sleep and enough exercise, the "how to's" and "importance of's" are missing in many of today's health creation curriculums where the other aspects of health get honorable mention (maybe) and then take a back seat to diet.
To put this another way, you could be eating the most perfect, the healthiest, the one diet that humans are designed to eat, but if you're not paying equal attention to the other equally important aspects of health, you cannot have the best chance of achieving the best quality-of-life your genetics will allow.
Let's now look at both the basics of health and the factors in disease:
Basics of Health: diet, physical activity, water, sunshine, sleep, stress management, toxin avoidance, information.
Factors in Disease: diet, physical activity, water, sunshine, sleep, stress management, toxin avoidance, misinformation.
As you can see from the two lists above, the same things are involved in both health and disease. For example: in health, enough and appropriate exercise; in disease, not enough and/or worthless exercise (or worse, harmful exercise). In health, enough sunshine; in disease, not enough sunshine.
When you think about it, in both health and ill-health, you need the exact same things: enough sleep, enough relaxation, enough water, enough stress management, enough sunshine, enough toxin avoidance, and enough food (which may be none when you're ill). Vibrant health and ill-health are a continuum; they are two sides of the same coin. Just as you can cause ill-health, you can also cause vibrant health. The difference is, in today's modern world, causing ill-health is as easy as falling off a log, but causing vibrant health requires some conscious effort. (A sad state of affairs indeed.)
Below is a chart that illustrates the relationship between disease and one's lifestyle habits. As you can see, diet does not occupy a more prominent place on the chart than the other items listed. So if your goal is to be slim, and you focus only on what you eat and on counting and burning calories, you may look great on the outside, but disease develops on the inside, and if your insides aren't in as good a shape as your outside, you're sending degenerative disease an invitation to have its way with you.
Youll notice "genetics" doesn't appear on the above chart. That's because you can't do much about your genetics (although now with genetic testing used in diagnostics, there are some things you can do). The role your genetics play is merely which disease you're predisposed to and how much you're predisposed to it, (and not whether or not you're destined to get a disease). It's those other causative factors the ones you have a lot of control over that are the real "deciders" as to whether you do or don't develop something life-threatening. And consider that if you don't abide by Nature's Laws, and give your body what it wants and don't give it what it doesn't want, it doesn't matter what kind of genetics you have, suffering with a disease is suffering with a disease, whether at 50 or 70.
So if any health practitioner tries to place more importance on one aspect of health over the others, my advice would be to look elsewhere for guidance. Sure, there can be people who specialize in diet, and people who specialize in exercise, but a health practitioner who specializes in health creation and therefore in all of the requirements of robust health is someone who can, not just tie everything together, but can give equal weight to all of the factors that govern health, and thereby help you draft a health creation plan that will give you the best odds for success, which can be defined as the highest quality of life during the highest quantity of life.