Whatever your New Year's resolution, a healthy and balanced diet will provide many benefits in 2019 and beyond, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
What we eat and drink can affect our body's ability to fight infection, and the possibility that we will develop future health problems, such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and various types of cancer.
The right ingredients of a healthy diet will depend on different factors, such as age and activity, and the types of food available in the communities where we live. But in different cultures, there are several general food tips to help us live a longer and healthier life.
Eat a variety of foods
Our bodies are very complex and, with the exception of breast milk for babies, there is no food that contains all the nutrients we need to function in the best way possible. Therefore, our diet must contain a variety of fresh and nutritious foods so that we remain strong.
Some tips for ensuring a balanced diet:
- In your daily diet, try eating a mixture of staples such as wheat, corn, rice and potatoes with beans such as lentils and beans, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, and foods that come from animals (such as meat, fish, eggs, and milk).
- Choose whole foods like corn, millet, oats, whole wheat, and brown rice if you can; They are rich in fiber that are valuable and can help you feel full longer.
- Choose lean meat if possible or reduce visible fat.
- Try steaming or boiling rather than frying food.
- For sandwiches, choose raw vegetables, unsalted beans and fresh fruits, rather than foods high in sugar, fat, or salt.
Too much salt can increase blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Most people throughout the world consume too much salt: on average, we consume twice the recommended WHO limit of 5 grams (equivalent to one teaspoon) per day.
Even if we don't add additional salt to our food, we must remember that salt is usually placed in processed foods or drinks, and often in high amounts.
Some tips for reducing your salt intake:
- When cooking and preparing food, use enough salt and reduce the use of salted sauces and seasonings (such as soy sauce, broth or fish sauce).
- Avoid sandwiches with high salt content, and try choosing fresh and healthy snacks rather than processed foods.
- When using canned or dried vegetables, nuts and fruits, choose fresh varieties and added sugar.
- Remove salt and salt from the table and try not to add it to the habit; our tastes can adjust quickly and once they do, you tend to enjoy food with a little salt, but with more flavor!
- Check food labels and look for products with less sodium content.
Reduce the use of certain fats and oils
We all need fat in our food, but eating too much, especially the wrong type, increases the risk of obesity, heart disease and stroke.
Industrial trans-trans fats are the most dangerous for health. It has been found that a high-fat diet of this type increases the risk of heart disease by almost 30%.
Some tips for reducing fat consumption:
- Replace butter, butter, and ghee with healthier oils like soybeans, canola, corn, safflower, and sunflowers.
- Choose white meat like chicken and fish, which are generally lower in fat than red meat, and limit consumption of processed meat.
- Check labels and always avoid all processed, fast and fried foods that contain industrial-produced trans fats. This is often found in margarine and ghee, as well as pre-packaged snacks and fast, baked and fried foods.
Limit sugar consumption
Too much sugar is not only bad for our teeth, but increases the risk of weight gain and unhealthy obesity, which can cause chronic and serious health problems.
Like salt, it is important to note the amount of "hidden" sugar that can be found in processed foods and beverages. For example, one can of soda can contain up to 10 teaspoons of added sugar!
Some tips for reducing sugar intake:
- Limit consumption of sweets and sweet drinks, such as soft drinks, fruit and juice, liquid and powder concentrates, flavored water, energy drinks and sports, tea and coffee ready to drink, and flavored milk drinks.
- Choose healthy snacks rather than processed foods.
- Avoid giving sweet foods to children. Salt and sugar should not be added to complementary foods given to children under the age of 2 years, and must be restricted beyond that age.
Avoid dangerous and dangerous consumption of alcohol
Alcohol is not part of a healthy diet, but in many cultures, New Year's celebrations are associated with excessive alcohol consumption. In general, drinking too much, or too often, increases the risk of immediate injury, besides causing long-term effects such as liver damage, cancer, heart disease and mental illness.
WHO recommends that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption; and for many people, even low levels of alcohol consumption can be associated with significant health risks.
Remember, consuming less alcohol is always better for your health and very good for not drinking.
You may not drink alcohol at all if you: pregnant or breastfeeding; driving, operating machinery or carrying out other activities involving related risks; have health problems that can be aggravated by alcohol; taking medication that interacts directly with alcohol; or having trouble controlling drinks.
If you think someone close to you might have problems with alcohol or other psychoactive substances, don't be afraid to ask for help from health workers or drug and alcohol services. WHO has also developed self-help guidelines to provide guidance for people who want to reduce or stop using alcohol.
Swisslatin News / WHO (28.12.2018)