If you maintain a healthy diet throughout your life, you can prevent malnutrition in all its forms, as well as different non-communicable diseases and disorders.
Learning to eat well is a fundamental step to guarantee good health and a change in habits is decisive for the future of families.
1. Eat a variety of nutritious foods every day
Eating is healthier and more nutritious when several types of food are included in each meal. In your daily diet you should include: fruits, vegetables and vegetables of different colors, legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas), whole grains, nuts, low-fat dairy, lean meat, fish and eggs.
2. Avoid saturated fats and fast foods
Reduce the consumption of saturated fats, they can harm your health. They are present in lard, butter and red meats, pastry products, cookies and desserts. Keep in mind that fast foods like pizza, hamburgers, french fries, patties, and fried chicken are high in calories, high in fat, and low in nutrients and fiber.
3. Eat more fruits and vegetables: 5 a day
Consume 3 fruits and 2 vegetables of different colors daily, these improve your health and nutrition.
Fruits such as mango, papaya, guava, melon, orange and peach, provide vitamins A and C, necessary for the immune system and for vision, and also natural fiber that is necessary for digestion.
Vegetables are rich in vitamins and some essential minerals to activate the mind, protect the heart, maintain physical performance and the nervous system. Eat green leafy vegetables (spinach, chard, broccoli) and yellow ones (squash, carrot, zucchini); also orange, violet, white and red.
4. Watch your weight
To maintain control of your weight, start by measuring your height and weight and recording the data. Then divide them into the formula weight / height squared. The result is the body mass index (BMI) and is classified as follows (for adults between 20 and 60 years old):
- Low weight: BMI less than 18.5
- Normal weight: BMI 18.5 to 24.9
- Overweight: BMI greater than or equal to 25
- Obesity: BMI greater than or equal to 30
5. Avoid consuming sugary drinks
Sugary drinks provide only empty calories; that is, they lack nutrients. People who consume them regularly are exposed to diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Drink water instead of soda and soda.
6. Less salt in your diet
Don’t add table salt to your food. Limit the use of sauces (for example, tomato or mayonnaise) and avoid foods made with high sodium content such as canned goods, cold cuts, deli meats, and meat or chicken broths. Choose fresh food. Consuming too much sodium can raise your blood pressure.
7. Choose whole foods
Whole foods have higher nutritional value than refined foods. They retain their content of vitamins (especially vitamin E and B complex) and minerals. Due to their high fiber content, they allow fat to be converted directly into energy, preventing it from accumulating in tissues and arteries, preventing the onset of cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer.
8. Handle and preserve your food in the proper way
Select healthy and fresh foods and wash fruits and vegetables before consuming them, wash your hands with soap before preparing your food, disinfect all surfaces and utensils, separate raw food from cooked food.
Protect them from insects and pests by keeping them in covered containers and don’t leave them at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Cook them thoroughly.
9. Try to breastfeed your children and promote it
Breastfeeding is the best food that can be given from birth to six months of age because it provides all the nutrients and defenses that are needed to grow, develop and avoid infection.
From six months of age, children should start receiving highly nutritious foods and continue breastfeeding well into the second year of life.
10. Take on the challenge of changing habits
Colombians eat very few fruits and vegetables, something that is reflected in a consumption of less than 70 kilos per person per year, that is, less than 200 grams per day, figures that are well below what is recommended by the World Health Organization (400 grams per day).
To improve the consumption of fruits and vegetables, the WHO recommends:
- Include them in all meals
- Consume them as snacks (fresh fruits and raw vegetables)
- Eating fresh fruits and vegetables in season and making a varied selection