Eliana didn't lie when she sang “Comer, comer, para poder crecer”, the song, which rocks from going to the school break, to the “little plane” when the child has difficulty eating, is direct and succinct about the importance of food for our life. Many studies have already proven that the lack of proper nutrition can lead to health problems such as malnutrition, anemia, obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases. Anyway, we are going to tell you the truth so that you can eat well and enjoy all the benefits of a healthy diet.
What does it mean to eat well and healthy?
Healthy eating is about consuming a variety of nutritious foods that provide the nutrients and energy your body needs to function properly. This includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, dairy and healthy fats.
- Control portion sizes: portions must be controlled to avoid excessive calorie consumption.
- Limit the consumption of processed foods, rich in sugars and fats: It is important to avoid processed foods that are high in sugars and fats, as they contain many empty calories and few nutrients.
- Choose healthy fats: including sources of healthy fats such as vegetable oils, nuts and seeds can help control cholesterol levels and keep your heart healthy.
- Drink water: water is essential for health and should be ingested regularly.
But all this seems to be almost impossible in the midst of how easy it is for us to open an app and order a hamburger, causing the proportion of obese people in the population aged 20 years or more to double in the country between 2003 and 2019, according to the IBGE¹. So, in order to eat better and better, it is important to have conscience² about each food we are ingesting: where it comes from, how it works, what nutrients it has. Let's talk about that in the next topic!
Nutrients needed for a healthy diet
Any food has one or more functions³ so that we can, from union with others, do our daily activities more efficiently. The main functions are: (i) providing energy, (ii) contributing to body structure, (iii) regulating chemical processes in the body. These functions come from the nutrients that are substances present in essential foods in these processes. They are divided into two groups: macronutrients and micronutrients:
Macronutrients in a healthy diet
Macronutrients are nutrients that the body needs in large amounts. Imagine that you are the bricks and sand of a building, as they provide energy for the body and are important for growth and development, maintenance of muscle mass and immune function. Are they:
Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are the body's main source of energy. They are found in foods such as bread, rice, pasta, fruits and vegetables. When carbohydrates are digested, they are converted into glucose, which is used by the body for fuel.
Proteins: proteins also provide energy, but in lesser amounts than carbohydrates. They are found in foods such as meat, fish, dairy and grains. When proteins are digested, they are converted into amino acids, which are used by the body to build and repair tissue.
Fats: fats also provide energy, but in smaller quantities than carbohydrates and proteins. They are found in foods such as oils, nuts and fatty meats. When fats are digested, they are converted into fatty acids, which are used by the body as fuel.
In summary, all macronutrients provide energy for the body, but carbohydrates are the main source of energy and proteins and fats also contribute the energy the body needs. It is important to have a balanced and balanced diet, with the adequate amount of each macronutrient to meet the body's energy needs.
Micronutrients in a healthy diet
Micronutrients are nutrients the body needs in small amounts to perform specific functions and maintain overall health. So, for a construction, it is the plaster, because without it, a house is not beautiful. They include vitamins and minerals.
- As vitamins are organic micronutrients that perform specific functions in the body. There are two types of vitamins: water-soluble (like vitamin C) and fat-soluble (like vitamin A, D, E, and K). Some examples of vitamins include vitamin A (needed for vision and skin health), vitamin C (needed for the immune system and wound healing), and vitamin D (needed for bone health and calcium absorption).
- You minerals are inorganic micronutrients that perform specific functions in the body. They include minerals such as iron (needed for the formation of red blood cells), calcium (needed for healthy bones and teeth) and zinc (needed for the immune system and wound healing).
Micronutrients are critical to the body as they play important roles in maintaining health, such as helping regulate bodily functions, strengthening the immune system, and protecting the body against disease. Lack of adequate micronutrients can lead to health problems such as anemia, bone problems, and skin and hair problems.
The importance of eating healthy and well
Each food is a unique experience: the flavor is different, the color, the texture, the shape, the way it is made. And not only that, cultural and regional aspects also influence feelings about that food. And one thing that helps to eat healthier is to see food as an experience, to create an affection for it, to know why we are eating it. So here are some benefits of choosing a healthy diet:
- weight control: A healthy, balanced diet can help control weight and prevent obesity.
- Prevention of chronic diseases: A healthy, balanced diet can help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and kidney disease.
- Improved heart health: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy vitamins can help maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
- Strengthening the immune system: A healthy, balanced diet can help strengthen the immune system and increase resistance to disease.
- Digestion improvement: foods rich in fiber and probiotics can help improve digestion and regulate intestinal transit.
- More moods and balance: Eating healthy and managing emotional factors are closely related, as eating habits and emotions are intertwined. Healthy, balanced eating can help regulate blood sugar levels, which can help manage moods and prevent anxiety and depression.
How to eat healthy and well?
I suspect talk, but this is one of the most sought after topics. One study⁴ of the GKF identified that 70% of the Brazilian population wants to eat better, in fact eat well. But how can we change our way of dealing with food? How to start eating more fruits, ingesting less harmful fats? There are many doubts, and we will help you!
- Pay attention to the portions: Avoid overeating and pay attention to the portions of the foods you are consuming.
- Include a variety of healthy foods: Be sure to include a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats in your diet.
- Limit processed foods: Avoid processed foods that are high in sugar, salt and saturated fat.
- plan your meals: plan your meals in advance and buy the necessary ingredients to avoid eating out or consuming unhealthy foods.
- Drink water: Drink plenty of water throughout the day, avoiding sugary or alcoholic drinks.
- be active: Stay active, exercise regularly and move throughout the day.
The cat jump: Read the label to eat healthy
Label reading is an important tool to help make healthy food choices. You food labels⁵ contain valuable information about the nutritional content of foods, including the amount of calories, fat, sodium, carbohydrates, proteins and other nutrients
- Check the nutritional table: This is usually found on the back of the label and provides information about the amount of calories, fat, sodium, carbohydrates and other nutrients per serving.
- check the ingredients: they are listed in order of quantity, that is, the first ingredient is the one in the greatest quantity in the product.
- Pay Attention to Nutrients You Want to Limit: as fat, sodium and sugar.
- Pay attention to the nutrients you want to increase: as fiber, vitamins and minerals.
- Use Percent Daily Values (%DV): to understand if a food has too little or too much of a specific nutrient.
Attention: To eat healthy you should not skip meals
Have you noticed that when you skip a meal, you feel hungrier when you go to the next one? This is the main consequence. Skipping meals can make you snack on more caloric foods, reduce the insertion of micronutrients (and you already know how important it is, right?!) and anyone who thinks they are losing weight is wrong, because the opposite effect happens.
To avoid skipping meals, the first step is to identify the reasons, then analyze the most skipped meal, and make an adaptation. If, for example, you can't manage to make lunch, because you usually have a lot of meetings and urgent things to solve, you can use Foodz as your ally.
Foodz can be your best friend so this doesn't happen and you eat healthy, because each meal has up to 40g of protein, 8g of fiber, 25 vitamins and minerals, welcome fats from coconut milk, with 353 Kcal. Amazing, huh? Here's the tip!
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