Sometimes people come to reflect on the importance of healthy eating after having suffered some health problems. However, ideally, we do not have to go to these extremes to understand the role of diet in our physical and mental well-being.
Therefore, acquiring certain habits at an early age, if possible, is a good investment for the present and the future.
What do we talk about when we talk about healthy eating?
Food, in a broad sense, conditions in an important way the health, growth and development of people and must contain a sufficient amount of nutrients to cover most of our physiological needs.
Even so, our health does not depend only on what we eat but on a sum of healthy habits. Other factors that influence the maintenance of the balance of our body are the regular practice of exercise, both physical and mental.
Why is there so much talk of healthy eating?
The lack of a good diet occurs, in many cases, because there is a lack in the culture of eating habits. The hustle and bustle of everyday life and the lack of time lead people to look for easy and fast food, which in the vast majority of cases could be catalogued as junk food.
According to the World Health Organization, almost 50% of the health complications that we can develop throughout our lives are caused by poor nutrition.
Arguments such as “I don’t have time to cook”, “I don’t know how to cook” or “eating healthy is expensive” are just excuses to opt for that tasty but heavy junk food with a high percentage of fats and sugars.
The goal of understanding what good nutrition is and what its benefits are for our health is:
- Stop “dieting” for life (most of them without scientific basis).
- Stop experiencing the famous “rebound effects”.
- Enjoy the pleasure of eating without being afraid of gaining weight or causing health complications in the future.
Tips for healthy eating
To start the way to healthy living habits, some first scientifically based advice is recommended:
1) Set schedules
The ideal is to be able to set times for the main meals of the day. Setting schedules and respecting them will be a great step in starting a healthy eating pattern.
2) Chew your food slowly
The digestion of food begins as soon as we put it in our mouth. Not only do you avoid heavy digestion or feeling bad about your food, but chewing it well and slowly means feeling full faster and consuming the amounts you need.
3) Prioritize the raw material
This includes fresh foods such as vegetables, fruits, and nuts. These are the foods that provide your body with the nutrients it needs throughout the day.
4) Choose products with healthy fats
Keep in mind that not all fats are bad. That is why it is important to learn to distinguish those that are healthier. A good example is consuming products that contain extra virgin olive oil.
5) Control salt consumption
The ideal would be to have a minimum consumption of salt and use substitutes such as garlic or spices to give flavor to the food.
6) Consume high biological value proteins
It includes, lean meats like chicken, eggs, fish and some types of vegetables. They are called high biological value proteins because of their important function in the body.
We talk about functions:
- Regulators: hormones, neurotransmitters…
- Of transport: albumin…
- Structural: collagen, keratin…
- Defensive: immunoglobulins…
- Reserve: ferritin, myoglobin…
Proteins have a high nutritional value and stand out for their properties:
- Maintain and increase muscle mass
- Promote satiety
Let us remember that all the structures of the organism are constituted totally or partially by proteins: the skin (collagen); musculature; hormones; the immune system, etc. Hence its importance.
7) Drink water
Soft drinks can be very sweet and high in calories. If a drink has 0% sugars in its container, ask yourself what has been added to it to make it so sweet. Everything is chemical and artificial.
The ideal is to personalize it and make it a physical as well as mental exercise, including yoga or tai chi. Personalization requires the involvement of physical trainers and specialized health professionals to adapt the diet to the nutritional needs of each person.
9) Get informed
Question what you read about food. There are many false myths. Reliable sources are those that come from professionals specialized in this field and from scientifically based articles.
I will finish with one last detail. I’m sure most of the advice you’ve read in this post sounds familiar, but this is just the beginning of a learning curve. Keep informing yourself because the merit is not in saying “I already know this”, but in knowing how to apply it and maintain it in the long term.
By the way, if you are wondering why there are 9 tips and not 10? It’s not about a number, nor putting a grade on us, nor demanding from us… just learning and balance, not perfection.