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Proper nutrition implies that the body should regularly receive many nutrients – proteins, carbohydrates, fats, water, minerals, and vitamins – in the necessary amounts and optimal ratios. A shortage or excess of certain nutrients causes first temporary discomfort, and then the risk of developing various diseases.

A healthy diet makes it possible to stabilize weight without violent restrictions, helps to get rid of diseases and prevent their development, contributes to the restoration of intellectual and physical energy. A healthy diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

To eat right, you need not only the desire, but also knowledge.

The ABCs of Healthy Eating, or 20 facts about what to eat and how to eat it

1. Eating is for living. Eating is not just a pleasure or a ritual. Any food you eat supplies your body with energy and substances to keep you healthy.

2. Eat a nutritious diet. The ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates for the day should be about 1:1:4. Remember the correct proportions with a simple technique: imagine a plate divided into three equal parts. Two of them are occupied by carbohydrates, and the third is equally divided between proteins and fats.

3. Diversify your diet. The same foods on the table are boring and fraught with a lack of important nutrients.

It is possible to receive the necessary set of vitamins, microelements and minerals only from the long list of products, most of which are quite accessible: vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, nuts, dairy products, legumes, bread, durum wheat pasta, berries and greens.

4. Eat more often. Paradoxically, to avoid gaining weight, you need to eat more often. Have a good breakfast, a proper lunch and a modest dinner, between them have a snack of fruit, and before going to bed, have a sour milk drink. This way you will not feel hunger, and you can control the quality and quantity of your meals.

5. Carbohydrates are vital. They are the main source of energy, because the body uses glucose for its needs.

Carbohydrates are easily digested and enter the bloodstream quickly. In a shortage of carbohydrates, the body begins to draw energy from the proteins found in the muscles, thus depriving the body of the building material for vital hormones and antibodies.

6. Carbohydrates are simple and slow. In the average person’s mind, carbohydrate foods are something sweet. But foods containing too much sugar are a way of providing the body with energy, which in the end is enough for a very short time, and the feeling of hunger quickly arises. Therefore, it is better to eat complex or, as they are also called, slow carbohydrates, which will be digested gradually: vegetables, fruits, whole grain products, pasta from durum wheat and cereals.

7. Less sugar. Excess sugar in your diet is another cause of overweight. Read labels carefully.

Added sugar hides under other names: sucrose, maltose, corn syrup, molasses, sugar cane, corn sugar, raw sugar, honey, fruit concentrate.

Give up refined sugar and sugary drinks. One glass of sugary soda has up to 8 teaspoons and 130 kcal.

Control the sugar content of “healthy” foods. Muesli, cereal, breakfast cereals, and nonfat yogurt with fruit have sugar in them. It is also added to foods for children.

8. Eat more whole-grain foods. They have complex carbohydrates that digest slowly and reduce cravings for sweets.

Include in your diet cereals from unrefined grains, bread with bran, bread from wholemeal flour. All of them contain a lot of fiber and therefore help reduce hunger and protect the body from cardiovascular disease. Whole-grain products have fewer calories, but have B vitamins, E, calcium, potassium, zinc, copper and other beneficial substances.

9. Protein should always be there. Protein makes the body’s cells, in particular muscle tissue. Hormones, antibodies are also proteins. If there is a lack of proteins in the food, immunity decreases, hormonal balance and restoration of body tissues are disturbed.

10. Fats should not be completely eliminated. Fats make up the shells of nerve fibers, they are part of the structure of the cell wall, and they are necessary for cell division and the synthesis of important hormones. A lack of fats leads to a deficiency of vitamins it contains and to a disturbance of the nervous and hormonal systems.

Take into consideration that animal fats should make up only one fourth of your intake, and the rest should be vegetable fats.

11. fats should be limited. Not only do the excess fats accumulate in the body and form extra weight, but they also damage the function of the liver and the pancreas.

Fat can be found even in those products that seem to be fat-free. For example, “Doctor’s” sausage may have about 30 percent fat. There is fat in chocolate and cookies; the latter have an average of 20 percent fat. Animal and vegetable fats are equally caloric.