table full of food

How To Eat Healthy – 10 Most Important Rules

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What are the rules for healthy eating according to modern dietetics?

Eat regularly, choose the least processed products, eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible, and cut carbohydrate intake – these are the most important recommendations of nutritionists about healthy eating

Healthy nutrition in the consciousness of the majority of people is a diet with low-fat content, without pork, sweets and white bread.

But is it enough to be healthy and prevent diseases of civilization? And above all – is this the right approach?

Progress in the field of nutrition science is taking place very quickly, and new knowledge reaches universities educating dieters with a delay of at least a decade. This means that in practice you should be up to date with scientific research, look for yourself and test whether the new guidelines are working.

Healthy eating philosophy means something different for everyone. A diet of a person with insulin resistance needs to be different from someone with autoimmune diseases.

Unfortunately, it sometimes turns out that even products commonly considered healthy may be harmful to some groups of people. That is why it is so important to see your body, listen to its response to food and try to choose the best possible diet that suits you

The rules for healthy eating according to modern dietetics

1. Eat regularly

table full of food

The regularity of meals favors the supply of an adequate amount of energy during the day, has a positive effect on well-being, concentration, and maintenance of adequate body weight.

It’s best to eat between 3 and 5 meals a day. If the meals are more generous, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are enough.

When smaller meals are preferred, 1 or 2 snacks should be added during the day.

For optimal health and slim figure, it is important not to snack, do not change meals for a dozen or so snacks a day. This promotes overeating and has a negative impact on metabolism. The best meal times are breakfast up to an hour after waking up, lunch in the middle of the day, at the time of the greatest activity and dinner 2-3 hours before bedtime.

2. Choose the least processed products

Greasy American cheeseburgers with bacon, ketchup, and mustard

Every dietitian agrees with this statement regardless of his approach.

The higher the degree of food processing, the farther away from nature, the worse for health.

All powdered food, fast food, ready meals and products with a long list of ingredients should not appear in a healthy diet.

Food additives created by humans are not thoroughly tested and it is not known what the long-term health effects will bring.

They can be recognized by the body as a foreign body and cause a reaction of the immune system and have a negative impact on the microflora of the body and the condition of the intestines.

A typical Western diet is reflected in the condition of the stomach, intestines, pancreas and liver as well as kidneys that must filter and excrete any chemical additives.

A healthy diet is a menu made of products close to nature, unprocessed, with a short composition and known origin.

3. Eat More Vegetables

A table full of vegetables including celery and carrots at Marché aux Fleurs

Vegetables should form the basis of any healthy diet.

They are a source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.

Their choice can be personalized depending on possible diseases, but generally, vegetables are the healthiest group of food products.

Ideally, eat raw vegetables, bake them, or steam them to keep all the precious nutrition.

Remember, although on the healthy eating pyramid vegetables and fruits are placed together, it is recommended that vegetables account for ¾ of the daily part, and fruits ¼.

4. Don’t Eat More Than Two Portions of Fruits a Day

Three apricots lined up on a wooden table

The fruit is best eaten for one meal during the day. In the second they can be an addition.

Daily you should not eat more than 200-300g of fruits. Why? Fruits are a source of simple sugars. Despite the content of vitamins and fiber, fruits promote insulin episodes and fluctuations in blood glucose levels, and such states have many health consequences.

Fruits, unlike vegetables, is not an unpunished snack. Their uncontrolled snacking promotes the weight gain and deposition of abdominal adipose tissue and so metabolic diseases.

5. Limit carbohydrate intake, increase fat intake

Overflowing box of pretzels, bread, and pastries for snack

For decades, carbohydrates in the form of cereal products have been promoted as the most important element of a healthy diet and the basic source of energy.

However, nowadays, when we have little physical activity, we sit a lot and walk a little, carbohydrates in every meal are not a necessity, and even unnecessary.

Demand for carbohydrates increases with increasing physical activity, so they are recommended for people who work hard or train a lot. In other cases, it is enough to add carbohydrates in two meals.

By limiting carbohydrates, you need to replace them with another energy component, i.e., fat.  Reducing the amount of carbohydrates in favor of healthy fats reduces the fluctuation of insulin during the day, resulting in a higher level of energy, higher satiety, no hunger attacks, reduced snacking and better body composition.

6. Choose good carbohydrates

rye bread

Carbohydrates are not “evil incarnate”, but they are also not a product without which the diet loses its value. It is important to choose the right carbohydrate sources.

The first goal is to eat wholemeal products, from wholemeal flour instead of from highly purified.

The best choice when it comes to bread is rye bread with sourdough. Rye is a much less modified cereal than wheat, and leaven reduces gluten and phytic acid, which makes the minerals from bread better digestible.

The most nutritious cereal is quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat. Do you have to completely give up gluten? It depends on the case, but certainly everyone can recommend limiting the consumption of gluten products.

7. Do not be afraid of saturated fat and cholesterol

Blackboard with word menopause and cholesterol on wooden background

The fact that cholesterol from the diet is responsible for atherosclerosis and heart disease is one of the greatest dietary myths.

Scientific research has shown that cholesterol in food products has very little effect on blood cholesterol levels, and this impact is negligible clinically in cardiovascular diseases. What does it mean? That eggs and offal are a safe element of the diet and do not increase the risk of heart attack.

New analyzes show that animal fats (saturated fatty acids) and cholesterol in the diet are not significant risk factors for atherosclerosis and heart attack, and low cholesterol shortens life and not make it longer!

Heart disease and atherosclerosis are the results of damage to the endothelium of blood vessels and chronic inflammation, which can be caused by some factors, including smoking, high blood sugar, an incorrect ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, deficiency of B, C, K2 and D3 vitamins.

8. Get Rid Of Sugar

Close up of tiny rainbow colored sugar candies.

Sugar refined in various forms can be found literally everywhere, even in ketchup and cold cuts.

To eliminate sugar, you have to give up products that in the composition also have glucose-fructose syrup, invert sugar, cane sugar, maltodextrins, agave syrup and rice syrup.

Excess sugar in the diet impairs proteins that build the body’s structures, which translates into many disease states, such as the eyes problem, kidney diseases, nervous system problems and senile dementia.

The more sugar, the greater variations in the level of glucose and insulin in the blood, and hence – the increased risk of metabolic diseases and weight gain.

9. Do not drink sweet drinks and limit juices

cans of various sodas

Water and teas should be your main drinks.

Sweetened drinks are a huge dose of sugar and chemical additives.

Fruit juices too should only be an addition to your diet. Drinking juices and sweet drinks in large quantities promotes glycation or joining of glucose molecules to proteins, which impairs their functioning and accelerates the aging of the body.

It is also responsible for weight gain, increasing triglyceride levels in the blood and fatty liver.

10. Choose good dairy products

Milk jar in a coffee shop in Brighton, UK

Milk is a very controversial product. Official sources recommend drinking 2 glasses of milk daily as the main source of calcium in the diet.

The new approach, however, speaks of a complete exclusion of milk from cows from industrial breeding and a large reduction in dairy products.

Milk and milk products contain a lot of calcium, but it does not necessarily build into the bones. This is confirmed by new analyzes, which show, among others, that in areas with high milk intake a greater percentage of postmenopausal women suffer from osteoporosis.

The high content of phosphorus in dairy causes that to balance its amount in the blood after ingestion, calcium is washed out of the bones.

Milk is intolerable and poorly digested by many people. It causes bloating and other problems of the digestive tract.

Dairy products, preferably in the acidified form (i.e. better digestible) should appear in the diet more often than once a day. It is best when it comes from cows grazed in meadows and is produced by traditional methods. Then it is also a good source of probiotic bacteria

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