Complete and balanced nutrition should have all the food groups. Which ones to avoid and how to include everything you need to take care of your health.
It is essential to understand particular diet, metabolism, and energy management problems to take care of your health and maintain a healthy weight. It is not complex. We tell you what healthy and unhealthy foods are and how to easily incorporate them into your daily routine to recharge your batteries and prevent diseases.
With the current pace of life, marked by stress, running and a sedentary lifestyle, food is one of the main pillars to maintain a healthy and balanced life. However, it is not about living on a diet or being filled with restrictions, but about learning to eat, distinguishing which foods are healthy and preferable to avoid.
Healthy And Unhealthy Foods
To begin with, you must keep in mind that there are no prohibited foods, but that it is best to consume everything in its proper measure. Excessive restrictions only make that “craving” at some point turn into an uncontrolled binge.
Therefore, try to maintain a healthy and varied eating plan to put aside the extra kilos, fatigue and digestive discomfort. Learn to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy foods to enrich your home menu on all levels.
As mentioned earlier, unhealthy foods are neither prohibited nor harmful. In general, these are foods that we should try to consume less frequently because they do not add nutrients or are hypercaloric or excessively fatty. Then, it is convenient to leave them for a moment with friends or family or when we feel like indulging ourselves.
Reduce Your Alcohol Intake:
It always sounds tempting to go to an after office with your co-workers and even more so when the heat approaches, but keep in mind that consuming alcohol too often is not the best option. When you drink alcoholic beverages, your body focuses on burning those empty calories and does not consume those from your diet.
Limit The Consumption Of Sodas:
It would be best to opt for natural juices or still waters, but if you like sodas, prefer those drinks in their light version or without sugar.
Reduce Dressings And Sauces:
It is advisable to choose foods without dressings or sauces, as they add a lot of fat and calories to your plate. A great option is to be encouraged to try new ways of spicing foods to add flavour and not feel the need to make unnecessary additions.
Don’t start your day with cookies or bills. So many times, we say no to a croissant but end up eating half a packet of cookies instead. Remember that even those listed as “light” tend to have a lot of sugar and saturated fat.
Red meat: seriously moderate your consumption of red meat. At the same time, specialists indicate that it is best to eat 300 grams of meat per week.
Avoid Ultra-processed Foods:
If we listed them, you would not believe how many refined products you must be consuming daily. For example, pizzas, pasta, and pre-cooked cakes, soups, noodles, instant cakes and desserts, sausages, hamburgers, chicken and fish nuggets, and the typical snacks are foods with a lot of saturated fat and an incredible amount of salt and sugar.
Limit The Number Of Dairy Desserts:
Desserts are usually the most chosen option for when we get a craving, and we want to eat something sweet, but you have to bear in mind that they have a very high sugar intake, even those skimmed.
Before running to your refrigerator and emptying it, remember that you do not have to demonize any food: the key is to enjoy them in moderation, choosing when and when we want to eat them.
As you can imagine, in this category we can include all fresh foods, such as fruits and vegetables. But for your healthy eating plan to be a success and you don’t give up quickly, your intake has to include proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals, that is, all the necessary nutrients to make you feel good and with a lot of energy. For this, we remind you of some tips that you can take into account and, thus, generate a habit that is difficult to abandon:
Say Yes To Water:
It is advisable to consume between 2 and 3 liters of water per day. Sometimes we forget to do it, or it seems very difficult to meet this goal, but there is a trick for everything: choose a bottle in a transportable size, fill it with water, and take it with you wherever you go. The important thing is not to wait until you are thirsty to drink water because we are somewhat dehydrated when we feel very thirsty. Get the batteries!
Include at least two servings of fruits in your daily diet. You can include it in your breakfast and snack. If you are one of those who wake up with little desire to eat, you can divide your breakfast into two parts and leave the fruit for the middle of the morning. Fruits provide vitamins, fibres, antioxidants, minerals, and a large amount of water. If you suffer from fluid retention, you can opt for some diuretics such as pineapple, melon, orange, and watermelon.
Add vegetables to your meals. Ensure each lunch or dinner includes vegetables (estimate between a quarter and a half of the plate for this food group). They are all important, but pay special attention to leafy greens, such as lettuce, spinach, chard, and arugula, to help the digestive system. Others can be eaten raw, baked, steamed, grilled or as a puree.
Choose Whole Grains:
Because of their high fibre content, these foods will help you feel full and, in this way, not overeat. In addition, they are the ideal ally to regulate intestinal transit. Oatmeal, bran, rye, quinoa are just a few options you can include at breakfast and any dinner.
Incorporate Seeds And Nuts As Part Of Your Meals:
It can be in salads, soups, in your yogurt, or with your fruits. The options are limitless. If you choose to consume them as one of your snacks, remember that the correct amount is just a handful.
We often forget them, but they provide us with an incredible amount of iron, protein, and fibre, making our dishes super complete. You can include lentils, carob, soybeans, beans, peas, and chickpeas in your daily diet.
The 5 Rules For Eating Well And Staying Healthy
A healthy diet, combined with an active lifestyle, is essential for maintaining a good state of well-being and health. To live for a long time in a solid and healthy body, you do not need to follow drastic dietary regimes, give up the table’s pleasure we are somewhat dehydrated and conviviality, or undergo exhausting sports training sessions. On the contrary, it is enough to know and follow a few simple rules that guarantee a healthy and balanced diet and always keep physically active.
There are ten simple recommendations that, if followed daily, make proper nutrition: let’s see them together!
Always Stay Active And Monitor Your Weight
Excess weight poses a health risk. It increases the likelihood of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, some types of cancer, and other chronic diseases such as osteoarticular ones; accumulating visceral fat, particularly in the abdominal area, is associated with a higher level of risk. For these reasons, it is essential to check your body weight periodically: it is not necessary to weigh yourself every day but get on the scale now and promptly notice any weight changes and therefore allow us to intervene.
Don’t worry, get on the scale at home at least once a month: it doesn’t matter whether it’s super precise; the important thing is to monitor the weight’s deviation over time; if you realise you’re overweight (BMI = weight in kg/height in cm> 24.9), see your doctor for diagnostic tests and, if necessary, seek assistance from a dietician to report your weight in a gradable manner.
In any case, reduce the “income”, favoring foods with lower energy density and high satiating power such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains, etc … and increase the “outputs” by doing more physical activity.
Without proven medical reasons, avoid “do-it-yourself” extreme diets, long periods of fasting, and the elimination of food groups: you risk nutritional imbalances that may be harmful to your health. Instead, follow the traditional “three main meals plus two snacks” rule to balance nutrients and spread them out during the day.
Remember: to permanently solve the problem. It is essential to change your eating habits and lifestyle forever; better a few targeted changes maintained over time than rigid patterns followed for short periods!
Get used to moving every day: walk more (for example, try to avoid using the car for short journeys, get off one stop earlier from the bus/metro, go out several times a day with your pet and enter at least 3- 4 scheduled walks per week), use the bicycle, go up and down the stairs avoiding the use of the lift, personally take care of small household chores (e.g.cleaning, gardening), practice a sporting activity that makes you feel good.
The guidelines emphasize that at least 2 hours and a half of moderate exercise distributed over the week or 1 hour of 15 minutes of vigorous exercise divided into sessions of at least 10 minutes at a time, plus two weekly sessions of strengthening the main muscle groups are required. But also remember to rest appropriately.
1.Vary Your Diet By Always Choosing Quality Products, Possibly Local And Seasonal
Vary your food choices as much as possible to introduce all the nutrients and beneficial substances your body needs and reduce the risk of continuously ingesting toxic or unwanted substances.
However, varying your choices will allow you to change the exposure, even if minimal, to unwanted substances; whenever possible, prefer the consumption of products from organic farming to further lower the risk.
If you can self-produce fruit and vegetables, pay attention to any pesticides used: always strictly follow the instructions on doses, treatment times, and suspension.
In general, prefer fresh, seasonal, and locally produced products: more decadent inactive ingredients and nutrients, much better than first fruits or products are grown in greenhouses, generally less treated with pesticides and with lower quantities of nitrates.
2.Drink Plenty Of Water Every Day
Water is the fundamental component of the human organism and represents about 60% of the body weight and 50% of the importance of a healthy woman; its presence is essential for developing all physiological processes and biochemical reactions in our body.
As a result, it’s essential to drink at least 1.5-2 liters of water per day to quench and prevent thirst (8-10 glasses). Even if you aren’t thirsty, drink small amounts of water frequently during the day, opting for both tap and bottled water, which can be carbonated if desired.
Do not be concerned about adding weight, as water does not contain calories and does not exacerbate water retention. Finally, keep in mind that the calcium in the water is not conducive to developing kidney stones. If you are predisposed to this condition, you must often drink and large quantities during the day.
3.More Fruit And More Vegetables
Fruit and vegetable intake is an influential protective factor against obesity as well as chronic degenerative diseases. It is due to the low energy density of fruits and vegetables. As a result, they are low in calories and aid in achieving and maintaining a reasonable degree of satiety over time. They also provide beneficial fibre food for good intestinal function, vitamins, and minerals, bioactive molecules, or minor compounds with anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties.
How much to consume? The more we consume, the better, as long as we bear in mind the nutritional balance of our diet, which necessitates the representation of all foods. Aim for five portions of vegetables and three parts of fruit each day, divided into two vegetables (consumed for lunch and dinner) and three fruits (with main meals or snack).
So concentrate on consuming more portions of fresh vegetables and fruit every day, taking care not to overdo it with the addition of oils, other fats, sugar, and salt: an excellent new seasonal product is also good as it is!
Who said you couldn’t even eat some vegetables at a snack? A handful of juicy cherry tomatoes, raw carrots, or a little fennel. Don’t just consume it at main meals but also include it as a snack: vegetables can be a hunger-breaker moisturizer.
Choose fruit and vegetables of different colors, favoring seasonal, tastier, and cheaper products: by varying the color, you will ensure all the nutrients you need; for example, by consuming red fruits and vegetables, you will take lycopene, by introducing orange colors (carrots, apricot, peach, pumpkin) you will ensure beta carotene, with the dark green leafy vegetables you will get your fill of folate, iron, calcium, etc.
In general, get used to alternating cooked vegetables with raw ones and prefer fruit “in pieces” rather than centrifuges and extracts. Having less fiber has a lower satiating power.
Fruit with meals is not necessarily bad; for certain people, it can be beneficial because the vitamin C in it aids in the absorption of iron from vegetables, cleans the mucous membranes of the mouth and teeth, and can be an excellent way to end a meal. Sweet and not excessively caloric.
Remember to introduce a portion of dried fruit in the shell every day: consuming it will be elementary! Introduce it to breakfast as dried fruit butter spread on a slice of bread or pancake, or use it as a snack. for example, in conjunction with fruit, or enrich your dishes, make tasty pesto, crunchy salads, or super tasty breading: with just 30 g per day (equivalent to 6 walnuts, 15/20 almonds or hazelnuts, etc.)
You will ensure a good intake of good fats, omega 3, fibre, folic acid, iron, and calcium! However, remember not to exceed the quantities and consume natural products to increase calorie and fat intake.
4.Cereals: The Basis Of Your Diet; Better If Whole!
Wheat, rice, maize, barley, spelled, millet, sorghum, oats, and rye are all cereals; pseudocereals (buckwheat, amaranth, and quinoa) are also cereals, as are all products made from flour derived from them, such as bread, pasta, and other foods.
These foods have always played a fundamental role in human nutrition, being the optimal fuel for our bodies. According to the guidelines, 50-60% of the energy should come from their introduction. For these reasons, remember to consume cereals (grains, puffs, or flakes), bread, and pasta (preferably wholemeal) at every main meal, avoiding adding too many condiments rich in fat. If you have small children (under three years old), prefer refined products.
By choosing wholemeal products, you will not reduce your calorie intake, but the fibre introduced will help you satiate more and longer. Having said that, if you have to consume refined products for reasons of taste or gastrointestinal pathologies, don’t worry. They do not “cause cancer” or “cause diabetes”. They are simply products with less fibre!
Try to vary the type of cereals: if you don’t like grain cereals very much, you can do it using minor puffed cereals or flakes for breakfast (e.g. quinoa or puffed millet, oat or rye flakes), choosing bread prepared from flours different (e.g. multigrain, spelled, rye) or alternating the classic wheat pasta with spelled, buckwheat, polenta, spelled or barley couscous.
Avoid excluding gluten a priori in the absence of a medical diagnosis: gluten-free products are no longer light or slimming. The gluten-free diet is the specific therapy for celiac disease, not a food trend. You will not benefit from its exclusion if you are healthy!