Regardless of what kind of diet we decide on, it is important to maintain the right proportions between the various nutrients. To function properly our body needs carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals, as well as healthy fats, which are omitted by many people.
Almost every day we are flooded with information about the salutary effects of yet another innovative diet promoted by internet influencers or celebrities. However, it’s worth realizing that the effectiveness of any diet model depends on many variables, such as our health, level of physical activity, as well as age, weight, body composition, and even genetics. However, there are some universal principles that, if followed, should result in a range of benefits in healthy adults. They are by no means about eliminating all high-calorie ingredients from the diet, but about maintaining an optimal calorie balance.
In this case, doctors and nutritionists agree – the best diet is one that is perfectly balanced in terms of nutrients provided. The recommended amount of energy obtained from proteins should therefore oscillate within 10-20%, from fat 20-35%, and from carbohydrates – from 45 to 65%. The body also needs to be regularly supplied with vitamins and minerals, which in their natural form can be found in all fresh fruits and vegetables, which are a perfect complement to daily meals. That is why in spring we reach for fresh vegetables, while in autumn and winter we rely on vegetable preserves.
Equally important in the diet should be the quality of products from which we prepare meals. The most important thing you can do for your diet is to pay attention to the quality of the products you are preparing. The right level of fats will provide us with the consumption of sea fish several times a week and healthy oils (rapeseed, coconut, flax, or olive oil). Limiting the intake of salt and white sugar will also bring beneficial changes, after all, both these ingredients commonly referred to as “white death” are found in greater or lesser amounts in almost all food products. Dark, whole-grain bread should in turn prevail over light, wheat bread. Calorific snacks, such as crisps or sweets, should be replaced by much healthier almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds – in their range nowadays every health food store has them.
The key principles of a balanced diet are perfectly illustrated by the updated Pyramid of Healthy Eating and Physical Activity, whose creators pay even more attention to the appropriate number of meals consumed during the day (about 4-6 per day), proper hydration of the body (min. 1.5 liters of still water per day), and finally the consistent elimination of stimulants, among which the leading ones are tobacco and alcohol.
The diet itself, even the best balanced and personalized one, is not everything. At the very base of the pyramid there is regular physical activity – just 40 minutes of physical activity a day can quickly improve our mood and strengthen the cardio-respiratory system. Often physical exercise is even a remedy for serious illnesses or chronic diseases, including cancer.
Physical activity combined with a balanced diet is the best tested “medicine” for good psychophysical condition and long-term health, which especially nowadays is an absolutely priceless good. Therefore, it is worth changing your habits today, using the small steps method at the beginning, and the beneficial effects should translate into all aspects of our functioning.