- Why is it important to eat right
- Basic principles of proper nutrition
- Featured Products
- Foods to avoid
- Menu examples
- How to lose weight by eating right
- Expert Comments
Why is it important to eat right?
Research continues to link health problems to dietary errors , . For example, a balanced diet can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease . Diverse, nutritious meals improve all bodily functions, from physical performance to cognitive performance in the brain. In fact, food affects all cells and organs , . If at the same time a person goes in for sports, then a healthy diet will improve performance and increase achievements .
Basic principles of proper nutrition
In recent years, nutritionists have not considered dietary calories to be the main parameter of nutritional value and benefit. Calorie counting is useful for guiding food choices and making menus more varied, and weight loss occurs due to deficiencies . But a decrease in the calorie content of meals often leads to a lack of energy and basic vital macro- and micronutrients. Basal metabolism and energy balance are not the only criteria for a healthy diet.
Calorie counting is useful for guiding food choices © Gustavo Fring / Pexels
There are three groups of major macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. These nutrients (plus water) are the basis for life. Trace elements are essential vitamins and minerals. Each of them plays a specific role in the functioning of the body. Thus, magnesium is involved in more than six hundred processes, including energy production, the functioning of the nervous system and muscle contraction . Iron carries oxygen, affects the immune system and brain function, while calcium is an essential component of teeth and bones, a key mineral for the heart and muscles , . The lack of some vitamins can be replenished with pharmaceutical preparations, but it is better not to bring it to a deficit and get everything you need through food. The daily requirement for certain substances varies depending on the individual characteristics of the organism.
An easy way to lose weight without giving up your favorite foods
To understand which foods are useful, you need to understand their composition and properties. First of all, it is important to assess the availability of macronutrients:
- Carbohydrates (4 kcal per g) are found in grains, cereals, starchy foods - bread, pasta, potatoes, as well as in fruits, legumes, dairy products, and sugar.
- Proteins (4 kcal / g) - meat, fish, dairy products, eggs, legumes, soybeans, sprouts
- Fat (9 kcal / g) - Nuts, seeds, oils, oily fish, avocado
It should be borne in mind that few foods contain only one macronutrient. Most are sources of proteins, fats and carbohydrates at the same time, but in different percentages. For example, one hundred grams of walnuts contain about 60 g of fat, but also 12 g of protein and 11 g of carbohydrates.
To understand which products are useful, you need to understand their composition and properties © Ola Mishchenko / Unsplash
Eating well means eating whole foods, which make up 80-90% of the diet. They are rich in nutrients and are often low in calories. That is, there will be more benefits from each portion without compromising health and shape. These are necessarily cereals, cereals, vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat, fish, dairy products, nuts, oils. For variety, this menu basis can be supplemented with optional ingredients: superfoods, spices, sprouts, soy and legumes, berries, seeds. In addition, you need to carefully monitor the sufficient amount of substances if you deliberately exclude any foods (for allergies, vegetarian or vegan diets).
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Foods to avoid
For starters, we don't need to exclude foods forever. Chances are, if you make a promise to yourself never to eat bread again, you will one day break down. Allow yourself exceptions to your diet once or twice a week. It is optimal if you eat a little "unhealthy" foods after the main balanced meal.
Most processed foods are low in nutritional value and high in calories. Eating well includes avoiding foods high in sugar most of the time, especially sugary drinks. Doctors associate their use with the risk of obesity and the development of type 2 diabetes , .
Avoid trans fats and processed, refined, high-carb foods © Kevin Mccutcheon / Pexels
Try to eliminate trans fats (partially hydrogenated), which can cause heart disease . It also doesn't make sense to eat processed, refined, high-carb foods like white bread. They increase the risk of overeating and metabolic disorders , . Contrary to popular misconception, low-fat foods are also an unhealthy option, as they often contain a lot of sugar and other additives to improve taste.
A healthy diet is different for everyone. This means that you do not need to follow a clear pattern from the list of dishes, but it is important to learn how to balance yourself and make a choice in favor of healthy foods. An approximate menu for the day may be as follows:
- Breakfast: oatmeal with apples, nuts, a spoonful of honey,
- Snack: fruit or cottage cheese
- Lunch: boiled bulgur, baked salmon, vegetable salad
- Snack: a piece of whole grain bread with Adyghe cheese and cucumber
- Dinner: oven chicken, green beans, stewed with ghee
- Snack / light dinner: a glass of kefir, shrimp salad with arugula and tomatoes
It is important to pay attention to the composition of the dish and portion sizes © Ella Olsson / Pexels
Beyond the composition, it's important to pay attention to serving sizes. Optimally - 250-350 ml. Whole foods are satiating and difficult to overeat, but any diet can create a habit of eating large portions. There are several ways to control. For example, start with a smaller portion than usual and increase it if you are hungry after 20 minutes. Another popular approach is to measure the volume of food "by eye" using your hand. So, a portion of carbohydrates should be the size of a fist, protein - from the palm, and fat - half as much.
How to start eating right
It is not necessary to follow all the principles of healthy eating from day one. Try to introduce and reinforce new habits gradually, adding more tasks and varying them to find the optimal balance.
- Avoid excess foods most of the time, including industrial baked goods, foods high in sugar and salt, alcohol and sugary drinks, and fast food.
- Explore your menu, highlight your favorite healthy ingredients, find new recipes based on them.
- Observe serving size and 2-4 hour intervals to avoid overeating or starving.
- Don't forget about water balance. On average, this is 1.5-2 liters of clean water per day, but each has its own norm. It is important that it is not replaced by store-bought juices, sugar compotes and carbonated drinks.
- Include healthy snacks in your diet so you don't get hungry between meals.
- Add complex carbohydrates to the menu - cereals, durum wheat pasta, whole grain bread.
- Try to reduce the amount of fried foods, find substitutes for ketchup and mayonnaise. For example, make sauces based on Greek yogurt.
- Study the balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the diet, track satiety and health from the change in the balance of macronutrients.
- Experiment and add new ingredients.