On August 15, Healthy Eating Day is celebrated. Health professionals urge everyone to think about their health, daily diet and make informed choices. After all, nutrition is one of the most important aspects of a healthy lifestyle: the normal functioning of almost all organs and systems in the human body depends on it. The relationship between nutrition and the development of major chronic noncommunicable diseases, including cardiovascular and some oncological diseases, which are the two leading causes of premature mortality in the world and in the Republic of Belarus, has been scientifically proven. In addition, recent studies indicate that overweight people are susceptible to a severe course of the new coronavirus infection.
The diet of a modern person is extremely unbalanced. According to the World Health Organization, mankind overeats starchy foods (bread, potatoes) by 10%, sugar – by 30-35%; and undereats meat – by 25%, milk – by 30%, vegetables and fruits – by 45-50%.
Belarusians also do not eat in the best way. According to the latest scientific research data, there is not enough plant and animal proteins, healthy dietary fiber, micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), but an excess of fats, especially animal fats, cholesterol, sucrose in our diet. Many people abuse refined salt: at a rate of 5 grams per day, this level is almost 2 times exceeded in women, and even more in men.
An unbalanced diet contributes to overweight and obesity.
12 principles of healthy eating
1. Frequency. One of the main rules of healthy eating is to eat several times a day, preferably at least 3-5 times, but in small portions and at the same time.
2. Variety. Food should be varied and not too extravagant. The amount of fat, fried, spicy and sour foods should be limited. The human body needs a huge amount of organic and mineral substances for normal functioning, and they must be present in your diet.
3. Gradualness. It is difficult to immediately give up the usual diet, so include "healthy" food in your diet gradually. Buy yourself or give your girlfriend (wife, mother, grandmother, neighbor – underline as necessary) a steam pot. It will preserve all the nutrients contained in foods, and at the same time protect you from fats. You should also cut back on salt and sugar intake.
4. Energy balance. Food must replenish the energy expenditure of a person. Study the table of calorie content of foods, and calculate your energy consumption for the day.
5. Breakfast is required. It should be complete and varied, coffee and cheese sandwiches are clearly not enough. The best option is to return to childhood with oatmeal or buckwheat. It is up to your liking. If there is no time in the morning, and there is no one to cook, you can have a snack with a banana, apple or yogurt. It's good to eat soft-boiled or scrambled eggs and instead of coffee drink a cup of freshly brewed tea (preferably green and, of course, without sugar).
6. Eat on a schedule. For work / school, you can take a loaf of wheat bread, a muesli bar, a mixture of dried fruits and nuts, an apple or a slice of cheese. All this will help you keep in a good mood until lunch. For those who work the night shift, you cannot refuse food, while you must definitely eat something sweet (glucose will help the body cope with stress and feed the sleepy nervous system).
7. Dilute the diet. During lunch and dinner, do not forget about thick soups, they promote better digestion and do not overload the stomach. The amount of alcohol should be reduced. Drink juice, tea or still mineral water. Any soda should be excluded. Nutritionists' opinion is that ANY soda affects the gastrointestinal tract.
8. Sweet does not mean healthy. We advise sweet lovers not to abuse cakes and pastries with cream and consume a lot of chocolate. For example, fresh cottage cheese with fruits or berries, marmalade, and honey will be wholesome. By the way, contrary to popular belief, it is better to eat desserts before the main meal – this will help reduce appetite and prevent overeating. Fruits eaten at the end of a hearty lunch or dinner take too long to digest and lose all nutrients. It is best to indulge yourself with an apple, orange or banana between or right before your meals.
9. Don't forget about genes. When looking for food, try to delve deeper into your family's genealogy. For example, if your ancestors were from the North, then fish and meat dishes are welcome in your food system, but exotic fruits are not allowed. Perhaps, the genes have not yet had time to "get used" to this type of food. Which, however, does not prevent you from setting up a small experiment.
10. Fruits and vegetables are essential. This is one of the foundations of proper nutrition. They must be present in your diet. They contain dietary fiber and vitamins that are so necessary for our body. Lack of fruit in the diet can cause increased thirst (you have to drink a lot, the load on the heart and kidneys increases) and the need to take "box" vitamins, which differ significantly from their natural counterparts. But do not eat fruits and salads all day long, as this leads to indigestion and other problems associated with the digestive process.
11. Dose fats. Don't skip foods that contain fats, but stick with plant-based fats.
12. Most importantly, practice moderation in everything. Health is in your hands, or rather, in your plate of healthy food.
Medical prophylaxis doctor,
4th City Clinical Hospital named after M. Saŭčanka U. Čarnoŭ
The material was prepared on the basis of information from WHO and open sources