How to follow a healthy diet?
Paleo, vegan, low carb:
healthy food is now making the rounds of society in the form of a great variety of diet concepts .
And all claim to be the healthiest way to eat. But is there a formula universally valid for a healthy diet? Find out here what a balanced diet is, which foods should definitely be on the menu and how a healthy diet can be implemented in everyday life.
How to set up a healthy diet?
Healthy eating: what is it?
In today's world, nutrition is no longer just about energy intake . It is a statement and expression of a lifestyle. In a study on eating habits, the majority of respondents said they ate healthy on a daily basis. This situation contrasts with the growing number of overweight people . So there seems to be a gap between the perception and the implementation of healthy eating.
It's no wonder that new concepts regularly claim to have found the best way to long-term healthy eating and are greedily absorbed by the insecure population. There are variations, with which one eats like in the Stone Age, with which only raw food is allowed or anything animal is prohibited. Carbohydrates are avoided, refined sugar is avoided, or all processed foods are eliminated.
Healthy Eating: Definition
First, there is no such thing as a healthy diet. The definition of what is healthy, or what is actually effective and good in terms of nutrition, always depends on each person. Already alone, due to food allergies (for example against tannins), incompatibilities (gluten, lactose, fructose) or ethical beliefs (renouncing animal products), certain nourishing concepts immediately fall into the water because of their food composition for certain humans. Similarly, energy and nutrients from the same product are absorbed and processed differently in the body.
However, dietary guidelines do exist and can be considered a general basis for the daily choice of foods for a healthy diet. These are guideline values for healthy eating, based on current scientific findings.
Healthy eating: the basics
The most important thing for a healthy diet is that it is variable. This is the only way to ensure that the organization receives all the macro- and micronutrients it needs to stay healthy and productive. If the diet is permanently too rich in fats or sugars, there is a risk of heart attack, diabetes, obesity and other diseases of civilization.
In order to provide the body with optimal nutrition, professional societies from Germany, Austria and Switzerland recommend the following daily distribution of macronutrients (DA-CH reference values) among the chosen foods:
Carbohydrates: 50 to 55%.
Carbohydrates are the body's main source of energy. The contribution must consist mainly of complex carbohydrates (whole grains, vegetables), which do not lead to a sharp rise in blood sugar and a sudden relapse.
Protein: 10 to 15%.
Without proteins, or rather without its vital amino acids , the body cannot build muscles, organs, cartilage, bones, skin, hair or nails. The metabolism would also become confused. Animal proteins in the form of eggs, sausages, fish, meat and dairy products are easier to digest. Protein can also be found in legumes and cereals, for example.
Fats: about 30%.
For a long time fat was generally condemned as a fattening agent. However, the body needs it, on the one hand, to break down certain vitamins ( vitamins A, D, E, K ) and, on the other hand, as a protective insulating layer. In the meantime, we make the difference between the "good" fats (unsaturated fatty acids; eg nuts/seeds, fish, olive oil) and "bad" fats (saturated fatty acids; eg butter, frying fat). The former do not have a negative effect on cholesterol levels, but are used by the body to build body cells. A healthy diet must therefore contain it regularly.
Other basic tips to follow
To get a better idea of what the diet should look like, there is something called the food pyramid .
Few cooked meals
Prepared meals often containing lots of salt as well as additives , flavor enhancers or sugar, it is best to opt for natural and unprocessed products.
As a general rule, for a healthy diet, the shorter the list of ingredients, the better. Foods of plant origin such as cereals, Fruits and vegetables are therefore essential to a good diet . But you also have to eat them regularly, because their mixture of carbohydrates, fibers, vitamins and minerals makes them a real nutritional catch-all.
Five servings of fruits and vegetables
It is recommended to consume five servings of vegetables and fruit (ideally: 2 servings of fruit, 3 servings of vegetables) per day, one serving corresponding to about two handfuls (formed in a bowl). In addition, it is advisable to drink at least 1.5 liters of drink (unsweetened, for example water or tea) per day, and as much in case of physical exertion .
If you're unsure which food groups should be on the menu and how often, you can find guidance in programs such as the Food Pyramid, Food Circle, or DGE's 10 Rules.
Healthy food: children
But what is a healthy diet broken down into different stages of life? For infants, a healthy diet is boils down to breast milk . Between the ages of five and twelve months, their increased nutritional needs are met by supplementary meals of porridge.
For children and adolescents up to 19 years old, same principles as for adults apply in principle, although the nutrient ratios differ slightly in terms of protein and fat. Since they are still growing and developing their body substance, the energy needs of children and adolescents are higher and they need more protein.
Healthy food: adults
Adults can follow the DGE's ten rules for healthy eating:
have a varied diet
lots of cereals and potatoes
five servings of fruits and vegetables a day
daily milk (products)
fish once or twice a week
meat, sausage and eggs in moderation
a little fat
sugar and salt in moderation
lots of fluids
Prepare food gently, take your time and enjoy it, watch your weight and keep moving.
By the way: If sedentary adult women have an average daily need for 2,000 calories and the men of 2,500 kilocalories , the energy requirement of the elderly is lower due to their reduced muscle mass. It is therefore all the more important that the elderly take care to consume foods healthy and rich in nutrients in order to avoid obesity but also the symptoms of deficiency.
How to eat healthy in everyday life?
According to studies, most German citizens know that a healthy diet is important. However, when it comes to practical implementation in everyday life, most people's interest in healthy eating is often quickly lost by lack of time or convenience.
There are many tips for healthy eating, even under stress and without much effort, for example:
Cook ahead , prepare Lunch Boxes on the weekend or on a quiet evening, freeze leftovers in portions and take them to the office or eat them in the evening. It's a quick and easy way to maintain a healthy diet even during stressful periods at work. If you are interested in buying a Lunch Box, don't hesitate to take a look at our MaLunchBox website
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bento Lunch Boxes or heated Lunch Boxes which are really very practical and aesthetic.
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Healthy Eating: Conclusion
Healthy eating makes you feel good, fit, efficient and can even help prevent diseases (chronic and lifestyle related) as well as injuries. Healthy eating involves a bit of discipline and possibly a bit more shopping and cooking. But you don't have to go completely without anything if you don't want to. If you follow the recommendations of a healthy diet at about 80%, you are also entitled to indulge in a (sweet) sin from time to time. Especially if you supplement your healthy diet with a regular exercise .
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