The relationship between healthy nutrition and health is very close: it is scientifically proven that health is built at the table, based on the food we eat. That’s why we want to talk to you about the importance of eating a balanced and balanced diet.
Following a healthy diet brings with it countless benefits , if followed continuously and if understood as a lifestyle: it is the healthy habits implemented daily that make the difference over time.
It is essential to give due importance to a varied and balanced diet, characterized by the balanced intake of all nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals).
Eating well means not only preventing disease and having a better chance of living longer but feeling better, having more energy and even improving your mood.
The right balance in food choices is necessary : depriving oneself and constantly renouncing foods considered ” banned ” entails temptation, consequent failure perceived as failure and thus generates a vicious circle, which progressively moves away from one’s goal.
The truth is that there are no ” forbidden ” foods to be eliminated , as well as ” miraculous ” healthy foods , but there is the right balance, made up of healthy daily food choices alternating with occasions of “mischief”.
Healthy eating should not be interpreted as a means to resolve, but to prevent. It is therefore essential to follow a healthy and correct diet in all age groups :
- . from birth to adolescence , nutrition must be understood as real nutrition, necessary to promote growth and proper development. Younger people should be taught the basics of a healthy diet: how to eat wholesome foods, follow their seasonality, avoid junk food, involve them in the choices and preparation of meals, because these simple habits, once acquired, will be maintained for the rest of life;
- . from the third and fourth age , to prevent numerous pathologies, such as overweight and obesity, conditions that threaten the Western world today, so much so that we talk about globesity (a term coined to indicate a true global emergency). To make this situation worse there is another predominant factor: a sedentary lifestyle. The WHO estimates that around 41% of Europeans do not engage in any type of physical activity during the week and this increases the risk of chronic diseases.
In this sense, the importance of following a healthy diet, together with the correct performance of physical activity, can help prevent numerous diseases, including the aforementioned obesity, a risk factor for:
- . cardiovascular diseases : due to a diet rich in saturated fat and low in fiber, they favor the development of atherosclerosis;
- . type 2 diabetes : associated with numerous complications such as cardiovascular, kidney disease, diabetic vascular disease and blindness;
- . osteoporosis : resulting from a diet low in calcium and vitamin D, it increases the risk of fractures and reduces the quality of life;
- . gastrointestinal ;
- . autoimmune and inflammatory diseases ;
Furthermore, especially in this delicate period, a healthy diet allows for the strengthening of the immune system .
Among the foods that are allies of health we remember:
- . fruit and vegetables : rich in vitamins, minerals and fibers. A healthy diet involves the daily consumption of at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables, possibly in season and at 0 km;
- . milk and derivatives : sources of calcium in a highly absorbable and usable form by the body. For cheeses it is advisable to consume them in moderation and prefer fresh ones, with a reduced fat content;
- . fish, meat and eggs : sources of protein and iron (meat and fish). Fish has a protective effect due to omega-3 fats which reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. It is important to favor lean meats (chicken, turkey, veal and rabbit), limiting the consumption of red meats to 1 time per week. For eggs, on the other hand, the guidelines recommend the consumption of 2-4 eggs per week;
- . seasoning fats , mainly extra virgin olive oil: it is advisable to limit the use of fats of animal origin such as butter, lard, lard and cream, which contain high quantities of saturated fats. Excessive fat consumption increases the risk of overweight and the development of cardiovascular disease.
Prevention also depends on small precautions, such as the daily consumption of salt and sugar .
An excessive consumption of salt promotes hypertension and cardiovascular disease . Try to gradually reduce, without completely eliminating it, the salt added to foods, both during cooking and before consumption, using spices and aromatic herbs.
In the case of sugar, it is advisable to moderate the consumption of added sugar , for example in coffee, but also sweet foods and drinks for better glycemic control and to reduce the risk of developing dietary diabetes.
Another factor of fundamental importance is hydration : remembering to drink water (also flavored), at least 2 liters a day, is necessary to compensate for the daily losses through sweat, urine, breathing.
Do not wait until you are thirsty but set aside fixed moments to drink , because often the brain confuses thirst with other sensations, such as hunger and pushes you to eat instead of drinking. You can satisfy your water intake by helping yourself with herbal teas or infusions without adding sugar.
Proper nutrition does not only mean the quality of what you eat at the table, but also when and how many times a day you eat .
Meals mark our day and allow us to create a healthy metabolic routine. Hence the importance of not skipping meals and dividing the day into three main meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) plus two snacks.
The time to consume the meal is also important and hence the need to chew food slowly not only because digestion begins in the first tract of the digestive canal or in the mouth, but also because the stimulus of satiety is late and comes about 20 minutes later. the end of the meal .
The last factor is conviviality: sharing the moment of the meal with your family members from the earliest years of life makes food acquire a different value and enables you to appreciate more what you eat.