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10 rules for a healthy diet

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Whether for physical and mental performance, to prevent certain diseases, or for a long and vital life, a fundamental building block is a healthy and balanced diet. But what exactly does that mean? We will explain it to you and give you 10 rules for a healthy diet. 

Enjoy a variety of foods

Do not limit yourself to a few food groups; instead, try to eat as varied as possible. Different foods contain different nutrients. With a varied diet, you can take in the range of nutrients that your body needs.

Fruit and vegetables: 5 a day

To consume enough fruit and vegetables, the 5-a-day rule is recommended. That means at least 2 servings of fruit (about 250 g) and 3 servings of vegetables (about 400 g) per day. This ensures that you receive important nutrients, fiber, secondary plant substances, and vitamins.

Choose whole grain products

Grain products are an essential component of a healthy diet. When it comes to pasta, bread, and similar items, it is advisable to choose whole grain products instead of refined products, as they contain more nutrients, reduce the risk of various diseases such as diabetes mellitus type 2, and provide longer satiety, so that hunger or appetite does not return immediately.

Animal products as a supplement

Dairy products contain proteins, calcium, and vitamins. You can consume products such as yogurt or cheese daily, while consumption of fish is recommended once or twice a week. However, meat and sausage should only be eaten rarely, as high consumption of red meat is suspected to increase the risk of colon cancer. An adult should consume a maximum of 400 to 500 grams of meat per week.

Healthy fats

Fats are essential for our body and provide essential fatty acids. They also help absorb fat-soluble vitamins into the body. However, you should opt for plant-based fats such as nuts, fatty fish, or various vegetable oils, as they contain more unsaturated fatty acids. Saturated fatty acids found in palm fat or animal products are not advantageous for our body or our blood lipids.

Moderate consumption of sugar and salt

Excessive sugar consumption increases the risk of diabetes mellitus, caries, obesity, and more. You should consume a maximum of 50 g of sugar per day. This is not easy to check, as hidden sugars are present in many processed products. Similarly, excessive consumption of salt is not recommended. Processed foods or ready-made products contain a lot of salt, but you should not consume more than 6 g of salt per day.

Water as a thirst quencher

Adequate fluid intake is essential for the functioning of our body. When choosing your beverages, you should opt mainly for water, unsweetened tea, or diluted juice, instead of quenching your thirst with fruit juices and soft drinks, which contain a lot of sugar and calories. If consumed at all, alcohol should be consumed in moderation. That means, for men, a maximum of 20 g of pure alcohol per day (= 500 ml of beer or 250 ml of wine) and for women, a maximum of 10 g. An occasional glass of wine is not necessarily associated with health risks, but alcohol is a poison for the body, so there is no risk-free consumption.

Gentle preparation

By gentle preparation, important nutrients of the product are preserved. Cooking at low temperatures is recommended to preserve the health-promoting ingredients of vegetables. For example, steaming is a suitable method of preparation. When frying, attention should be paid to highly heatable fats and burned areas should be avoided or left out, as they contain harmful substances. When preparing animal products, care should be taken to ensure that they are cooked thoroughly to kill any potential pathogens.

Eating mindfully and with enjoyment

It is healthier to eat slowly and consciously, and to chew well. This way, one is more likely to notice the feeling of satiety, which occurs after about 15 to 20 minutes, and does not eat more than necessary. This helps to regulate a healthy body weight.

A healthy body weight and sufficient exercise

The diet should provide for a healthy body weight, that is, neither overweight nor underweight. Both are associated with increased health risks. In addition to diet, sufficient exercise is recommended, i.e., 30 to 60 minutes per day. This in turn reduces the risk of various diseases and contributes to a higher quality of life.

Whether it’s burgers, soda, or sweets – you can treat yourself to something every now and then without taking a big health risk. It is important that the diet is balanced, healthy, and varied overall so that the body is supplied with all necessary nutrients and has the basis for its performance. We wish you good health and enjoy your meal.

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