What do we eat today? What is considered healthy diet for the adult population of developed world?
I accepted to write about healthy dieting and even though I consult diabetes patients about it on a regular basis, it was not an easy task. Naturally, I read evidence based articles and scientifically proven recommendations, but healthy dieting is individual and unique for each one of us.
Recently, the traditional Mediterranean diet in Croatia was included on UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage. In Sibenik (from 29 May to 1 June 2014) an international conference about food took place as the first of its kind, called “Taste of Mediterranean”, and gathered a large number of international experts in nutrition, medicine and pharmacy.
In the early 50th of the last century, healthy diet was considered a diet rich in blue fish and olive oil because it reduces mortality from cardiovascular disease. It is interesting how habits have completely changed geographically, they mixed and blended where northern Europe is eating Mediterranean and southern Europe gravitates towards fast food diet.
Are we really averagely obese?
Globalization has done its tow; consumerism as well. Nowadays, most people eat industrially processed and prepared food, the evil enriched trans fatty acids, additives and preservatives. The lack of time and insufficient attention to ingredients that we eat, results in us cramming ourselves with processed food and drinks of attractive taste and flavor. De facto we take in a bunch of “junk” in our body that our bodies should reprocess and “keep” us healthy. What absurdity?
Studies show that on average people do not dedicate enough attention to proper nutrition. Nutrition should be diversified and people should understand what they consume and how does it influence their health. Colorful bags on store shelves are all around us. Poor knowledge about food and excessive consumption leads to an average obese population.
Sedentary lifestyle and the work even adds more kilograms to the scale.
What should be a part of health diet on daily basis
1. Fresh fruits, which are not sprayed and freshly picked. (when fruit is refrigerated and sprayed with “the chemicals” that prolong a nicer appearance, ripeness and color its not healthy for our bodies)
Less popular form of fruit is dried fruit, but it can in a short time fill our bodies with energy or replace dessert or along with cereals replace a complete meal. Check out this article if you would like to find out more about raw food dieting. Or a raw food retreat where our specialists will teach you how to cook and enjoy raw food in the best way.
2. Nuts including walnuts, almonds, hazelnut, pistachios and other nuttiness contain the good saturated fatty acids, and are considered important part of a healthy diet.
3. Vegetables are also neglected part of the diet, we eat too little, and for some reason, we think that the most important vegetable in the world is potato. Fresh vegetables, grated vegetables, or very shortly braised veggies should be eaten every day, because they contain vitamins, minerals and both carbohydrates and proteins necessary for balanced diet.
4. Cereals are located at the base of the food pyramid. They should be consumed not processed, because the fiber which are good for digestion remain. If you have to eat bread – it should be made with many types of flour and seeds. Eat pasta and rice also dark and not processed white.
5. Studies prove the meat should be eaten in small quantities. Today’s medicine is attacking the red meat because there is a positive correlation between colon cancer and intake of red meat.
Knowing the suffering of animals and their processing for food, certainly contribute to the negative emotions and hormones stuck in the meat so not one piece of poultry or fish is acceptable.
Although it is exactly the kind of meat that is recommended in small amounts everyday for young people, overweight population and even those recovering from illness. We must not forget that there are a large number of proteins in the plants or vegetables.
6. Dairy products and eggs can be a great replacement for animal proteins. These products must be less greasy and made with excellence and care. Vegans and vegetarians would not agree with that.
7. Fats are important and necessary components of our nutrition, despite the general belief that fats are bad. Latest research recommends the use of unsaturated fatty acids (sunflower, olive, pumpkin seed or coconut oil).
Butter made his way back on the permitted list of daily ingredients.
Unfortunately, for many years (too long) margarine has been advised as an optimal surrogate of butter. Finally, it was revealed as “artificially made product” containing hydrogenated oils, and as such it should not be on our table.
The French Paradox
French are famous for eating the good old butter. Its seems that they were right all along. The “French paradox” is that their population has minimum of cardiovascular diseases in the world, despite its gourmet approach to eating. The scientific explanation is not clear enough. Polyphenols in red wine and slow food are unique, but i believe the enjoyment as part of their daily rituals at mealtimes also has a significant influence.
We started with Mediterranean diet when our fisherman just ate little bit of fried blue fish and a piece of bread soaked in olive oil along with home grown tomato. He was very healthy. Maybe that’s why Noma, the Danish restaurant, was again awarded as the best restaurant in the world of 2014. There are the lichens on the menu besides Nordic fish. So you should eat little but nice. And drink a glass of fine red wine. Bon appetite!
Dubravka Tarle, MD, Specialized in Treating Diabetes and Rational Use of Medicine
Dubravka has 30 years of experience in treating patients, managing medical clinical trials and conducts education and counseling on diabetes treatment and rational use of medicine. firstname.lastname@example.org
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