top 10 main characters of the daily menu
A lot is being said and written about proper nutrition. It would seem that the topic is not new, but there are still many misconceptions around it. Some foods traditionally included in a healthy menu are actually not as healthy as manufacturers are trying to assure us. The article provides a list of 10 healthy foods that doctors recommend to include in the daily diet.
Healthy foods: myths and reality
We live in an era of food abundance, but it is definitely not worth considering this a boon. The consequences of an overabundance and availability of products (not always healthy) are already obvious to everyone. The number of people with obesity and other diet-related diseases is rapidly increasing worldwide. Therefore, the concept of a healthy lifestyle is relevant today more than ever.
Representatives of the food industry, of course, did not stay away from fashion trends. They actively responded to consumer demand with a proposal. On the shelves of stores, products labeled “dietary”, “low-calorie”, “enriched” are multiplying day by day. However, sometimes this is nothing more than a marketing ploy, designed for not too knowledgeable fans of a healthy lifestyle. Many products that manufacturers claim to be good for are actually of little value. However, advertising works: consumers believe that by consuming such food, they adhere to the rules of healthy eating.
How not to fall for the tricks of marketers?
First of all, you should carefully study the composition: the presence of palm oil, hydrogenated fats, preservatives, artificial sweeteners and other additives automatically removes the product from the list of healthy ones. But not everyone can see the fine print in which this information is printed. In addition, the information on the packaging does not give a complete picture of the composition. The manufacturer lists the ingredients, but does not indicate their quantity. So it is impossible to say exactly, for example, how much sugar is contained in yogurt or cottage cheese. We have prepared a list of products whose benefits are greatly exaggerated.
Muesli. It would seem that they are a solid benefit: cereals, nuts and dried fruits. But even such ready-made breakfasts often contain sugar: it can be called maltose or dextrose – the essence of this does not change. Muesli will not bring harm to health, if you know the measure. But you should not get too carried away with them because of the high calorie content.
Fitness bars. Manufacturers are actively promoting them on the market under the guise of a healthy snack, fortified and low-calorie source of energy. But, if you study the composition of the bars, it becomes clear that these are not the most useful products for the human body. They typically contain sugar or other sweetener and palm oil, which effectively negate the benefits of whole grains and dried fruits.
Yoghurts with fillings. “Delicious healthy product” – advertising convinces us. And this would be true if not for the amount of sugar that is added to industrial yogurts. It is quite understandable: without sweetness, the delicacy would not be so tasty. That’s just the benefits of yogurt are too exaggerated.
Skimmed dairy products . Trying to limit the consumption of fats, fans of diets sometimes do not know the measure. Manufacturers of dairy products, taking advantage of our desire to lose weight, have created “light” versions of cottage cheese, yogurt, kefir. Their calorie content is really lower, but the feeling of fullness after such a meal passes quickly. As a result, we eat more.
Juices and nectars in boxes . It will be much more useful to eat a whole apple or orange. Reconstituted juice is about equal in nutritional value to sweetened water. There are almost no vitamins in it, but there are much more calories than in fresh fruits.
Soy products . They are presented as a source of easily digestible protein and an alternative to meat. Therefore, soybean-based products are invariably present in vegetarian diets. But doctors still have not come to a consensus about the benefits and harms of soy. Some believe that excessive consumption of it can provoke urolithiasis, metabolic problems and certain types of tumors.
Of course, all of the above does not mean that the above types of food should be completely excluded from the diet. They are safe in small amounts. Therefore, as in any business, it is very important to know the measure in nutrition. Even healthy foods can be harmful if overused.
Most Useful Products: Must Buy List
Fortunately for those who prefer to stick to a healthy diet, there are foods whose benefits are beyond doubt. We have selected 10 absolute champions in terms of the content of substances valuable for health. We bring to your attention this list.
All types of cabbage, spinach, lettuce, asparagus and other green vegetables contain the pigment chlorophyll, which has a number of useful properties. It helps increase hemoglobin levels, helps eliminate toxins, reduces inflammation, and supports the health of the nervous system. Chlorophyll also has anticarcinogenic properties and is able to slow down aging.
Green vegetables are rich in vitamins A, C, E, folic acid, potassium, magnesium, zinc, selenium. They are high in fiber, which helps improve digestion, and antioxidants, which help keep you young. And those who want to get rid of extra pounds will also be pleased with the very low calorie content of green vegetables.
Kale, cucumbers, spinach, asparagus, and greens are often referred to as “negative calorie” foods. You shouldn’t take it literally. The body cannot use more calories to process food than it contains, so “negative calorie content” is another myth. However, the energy value of green vegetables is close to zero, so they contribute to weight loss. The latter, of course, does not mean that you can eat cakes with greens and not get better.
According to scientists, for maximum benefit, you need to eat at least 800 g of fresh vegetables per day. Greens can be consumed in almost unlimited quantities.
Avocado pulp is rich in unsaturated fatty acids, which reduce the level of “bad” cholesterol. Exotic fruits contain many vitamins (A, C, E, K, B groups, folic and pantothenic acids) and minerals (calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, selenium). Avocados have more potassium than bananas. The amino acid L-carnitine, contained in large quantities in the pulp of this fruit, is involved in the process of burning fat.
Thanks to its rich composition, avocados are considered one of the healthiest foods. Its regular use reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer, helps to strengthen the immune system, slows down the aging of the body. Valuable fatty acids and vitamins in avocados have a beneficial effect on appearance: collagen synthesis improves and the skin becomes more elastic.
These fruits, available at any time of the year, are a real pantry of healthy substances. Apples contain a lot of vitamins C, A, group B, iron, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and iodine. They are rich in dietary fiber – fiber and pectin, so they help digestion, cleanse the body of toxins, and protect against atherosclerosis. Due to the high content of vitamin C, apples strengthen blood vessels, enhance immunity.
The absence of fat and low calorie content make apples relevant for weight loss diets. But the abuse of these fruits can cause indigestion. To get the benefits, it is enough to eat three to four apples a day.
Blueberries and other berries
The main wealth of berries is antioxidants that prevent aging and protect against cancer. Due to their low calorie content and high fiber content, they contribute to weight loss, cleanse the body, and improve digestion. Berries speed up metabolic processes, regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and protect the cardiovascular system.
Almost all types of berries are rich in vitamins, micro and macro elements. The most useful are blueberries, blueberries, black and red currants, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries. Each of these types of berries has special valuable properties. For example: blueberries are good for vision, and cranberries are indispensable for urinary tract problems. In season, it is recommended to consume one to two glasses of berries per day.
In the list of useful products, unpolished (brown) rice occupies a special place of honor. Unlike processed cereals, it retains all the valuable properties of a cereal crop.
Brown rice is rich in fiber, B vitamins, folic acid, iron, magnesium, zinc, iodine and selenium. With its regular use, toxins are removed from the body, the work of the gastrointestinal tract and liver, the cardiovascular system, and the brain improves. Due to its antioxidant properties, brown rice is one of the top useful products for the prevention of cancer. Due to the high content of complex carbohydrates, it gives a long feeling of satiety, so you can safely make a dietary diet based on it. Brown rice dishes are advised to be included in the menu two to three times a week.
Beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas, mung beans and other legumes are valuable for their high content of vegetable protein and fiber. In addition, they have vitamins (A, B groups, folic acid), minerals (potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, manganese), antioxidants. Legumes are nutritious, after eating they leave a feeling of satiety for a long time. But this is a rather heavy food, and you should not get carried away with it too much. It is enough to cook dishes from legumes a couple of times a week.
In terms of the content of healthy fats, nuts have no equal. They also contain protein, vitamins A, E, group B, valuable minerals, including selenium. The use of nuts helps to strengthen the immune system, cleanse the body, lower the level of “bad” cholesterol, and prevent cardiovascular diseases. It should be remembered that nuts, although healthy foods, are very high-calorie – about 600 kcal per 100 g. Therefore, it is recommended to eat no more than 50 g of nuts per day.
Salmon fish is a source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Known for their role in the prevention of atherosclerosis, diabetes and hypertension, to prolong youth and beauty. Fish protein is easily digestible and is considered dietary. As with other healthy foods, red fish is rich in vitamins and minerals.
Cheese is an easily digestible healthy product, a source of protein, B vitamins and calcium. It contains the amino acid tryptophan, which is responsible for the production of the “hormone of happiness” – serotonin. Eating cheese helps maintain a healthy intestinal microflora and immunity. But this is a fairly high-calorie product, and it is better to limit its consumption to 30–50 g per day.
Mushrooms are valued as a source of essential amino acids. They also have a lot of vitamins (especially group B) and trace elements. When using mushroom dishes, the condition of the skin and hair improves, immunity increases, metabolic processes normalize. The calorie content of mushrooms is low, but since it is an indigestible food, you should not eat them more than twice a week. And, of course, no matter how seductive the gifts of the forest look, we must not forget about the danger of poisoning. Therefore, if you do not have enough experience to distinguish edible mushrooms from non-edible mushrooms, it is better to buy “artificial” grown mushrooms in order to avoid risk.
How to combine products for greater benefit?
Useful properties of products are preserved and multiplied if they are cooked and combined correctly. First of all, remember the rule: the lower the degree of processing, the more valuable substances are stored in food. Of course, not everything can be eaten raw, but it is better to choose gentle cooking methods. Avoid fried foods in favor of baked, boiled and steamed.
Many of the listed products are perfectly combined with each other. These combinations can form the basis for delicious dishes and a healthy menu in general. Let’s give some examples.
Red fish + green vegetables . Baked salmon steak with broccoli garnish is a nutritious and low-calorie dinner.
Avocado + spinach . A classic combination in which one product enhances the properties of another. Based on these ingredients, you can prepare a delicious vitamin salad.
Apples + nuts . This healthy food combination is perfect for a low-calorie dessert. Oven-baked apples stuffed with nuts and honey will appeal to even those who are not adherents of a healthy lifestyle.
Brown rice + mushrooms. This combination will form the basis of a nutritious second course. You can add vegetables to this combination.
Proper nutrition is one of the indispensable conditions for health and well-being.