yup you are right. balance is the key.
however balance before 40 and after 40 are two different things. esp. with food. you can get away a lot before 40 but after 40 plus menopause - woah very unforgiving.
the sad part that i am discovering around friends whose parents have heart disease and who are getting their first heart attacks around 35/40 changing their diet in their 20s is still too late enough to avoid heart attacks but not late enough to avoid open heart surgery.
which freaks me out as a mom since it is becoming more and more apparent that under 20 or so are the building years when you need to have a good diet. after that you can cheat a bit. its interesting to see the difference in my friends groups. immigrants from asia who grew up on a good diet and then ate terrible stuff - seemed to do better than my non immigrant friends who ate horrible stuff (which was the norm then) and then cleaned up their diet in their late 20s or early 30s. mind you though this is just a small group of people in my universe - but the results scare me.
though its not all about nutrition either. there is so much more that we dont even talk about. stress and stress control for instance. friends and community.