Healthy Eating as a Way of Life - What Else do We Need to Know?
10 Aug 2022
Food is the fuel of life, and it is extremely important to be aware of its function in your body, and more specifically, how food can help or harm us. Yana Danailova, Chairman of the Nutritionists in Bulgaria and Ph.D. student in Human Physiology, shared the most important things we need to know about healthy eating as a lifestyle choice.
All the problems with the eating habits of modern society
One of the most common health-related problems of the modern day is overeating. The root of the problem lies in the consumption of foods containing large amounts of added sugar, preservatives, trans fats, and flavorings – or in other words, packaged foods. Although these types of foods delight our taste buds with their strong taste, unfortunately, in most cases their nutritional value is extremely low. This means that although a person has covered their caloric needs for the day, in reality, he has consumed so-called “empty calories”. This means that his needs for vitamins, minerals, fiber, etc., are not satisfied.
Jana says that the most important rule that people should remember is to eat foods close to nature. The more natural and unprocessed a food is, the better. Otherwise, the excessive consumption of foods with empty calories would unlock several deficiencies, the symptoms of which would worsen the quality of life. On top of that diseases and health problems begin to develop, which often become chronic. That’s why it’s important to track your symptoms.
Healthy habits to follow in your daily life
Undoubtedly, each person’s diet is individual and there is no universally valid “diet” that all people should follow. However, there are a few general guidelines and rules that help find a balanced solution when the question about what one should eat arises. Jana advises:
- Avoid aggressively processed food, especially fried food, because the heated fat becomes carcinogenic. Use fats for flavoring only after the heat treatment of the food is complete.
- At least 50% of the food you consume every day should be raw. For example, an option for breakfast is fruit (in pieces or as a smoothie). For lunch and dinner just add a salad to your main meal.
- Take good care of your gut microbiome. It should contain 80% alkaline foods (plant) and 20% acidic foods (animal). Fermented foods such as pickles, sauerkraut, kombucha, etc. are also important for the intestinal microbiome.
- Minimize the intake of white flour, salt, white sugar, carbonated drinks, and fried food. Instead, increase your intake of fresh fruits, vegetables, and water.
- Listen to your body - no matter how tasty food is if it makes you feel bad, don’t eat it.
Of course, drastically changing long-standing habits is not an easy task and does not happen overnight. It’s normal to eat not-so-healthy foods at some point. In such cases, it is important to remember that you should not blame yourself or feel bad. Make food your best friend and remember that balance is the key to health both physically and mentally.
Myths and facts - what is the truth?
During the summer months, a lot of myths about different diets spread around the Internet, but they are based on drastic measures. The truth is, if you want a weight change, you need to start by changing your eating habits. Think of this as a way of life, not a temporary measure. Jana revealed that she often encounters patients with a damaged metabolism, namely because of drastic diets that eliminate one or two macro groups.
Macro groups - carbohydrates, proteins, fats - are an indispensable part of the body’s functions, and a person needs large amounts of them (hence the name macro). For a healthy person, their ratio per day should be 50-60% carbohydrates, 10-15% proteins, and 20-30% fats. When any of these macro groups are eliminated, the health risks are significant. It is important to consult with a nutritionist who will provide the necessary guidance on how to properly prepare a regimen. This way you won’t cause any damage to your metabolism and end up with the yo-yo effect.
Can digital technologies help?
A hectic daily life is undoubtedly a large part of most people’s lives these days. This is also the reason why many of us do not find time for a consultation with a specialist and forget about taking our nutritional supplements or vitamins. With the Medrec:M digital health mobile app, these problems are a thing of the past because Medrec:M allows you to store medical documents, record symptoms and health issues, track medication or supplement intake, and also conduct remote check-ups with healthcare professionals. Download the app now and learn more.