How should a healthy dinner be?

It is known to all that dinners should be light and, above all, based on foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, nuts and seed or legumes. However, despite this general consensus, a large part of the population still does not give the necessary importance to this meal of the day. “Dinner to get out of trouble.” This is still the mindset of many people. Red meat, sausages, chocolate, carbohydrates … Is everything valid for the night, in the hours before break?

Red meat

In principle, it is not convenient to include red meat at dinner. “It is a type of food that may be present in our diet, but given the information we are receiving from the studies that relate the high consumption of meat with some pathologies, it should not be a food to recommend to the population”, Indicates Giuseppe Russolillo, president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The expert clarifies, however, that this does not mean that eating meat is harmful to our health. “It means that, right now, the population is taking quantities of red meat well above the needs and what marks a healthy diet. For this reason, it is advisable to reduce its consumption ”.


As already mentioned, fruits they are a very important part of what is meant by healthy dinner. In fact, many people end the day eating only fruit. In this sense, Can excessive consumption of it be counterproductive?

“There is no contraindication to taking five or six pieces a day. A healthy person can take as many as he wants. It is a food with which it is necessary to boost its consumption in the diet ”, answers Russolillo. People who would have a problem with this food are those with diabetes and that they take large amounts of fruit on an empty stomach, although, as the dietician affirms, “they would be specific and isolated cases”.

Nutritional supplements

Nutritional supplements such as C vitamin, better in the morning than at night. What is true about that? The expert warns that it is not good to take multivitamin supplements: “It has been seen that, unless there is a deficiency diagnosed in a blood test, the regimen and supplement of these supplements is not justified.” Thus, the nutritionist insists on the importance of following a varied diet of plant-based foods that offers the necessary micronutrients for the body, such as vitamins.


Like red meats, it is not advisable to include cold cuts such as salami, chorizo ​​or fuet in this meal of the day (or in any other). In the face of this type of product, it is better to be cautious. Russolillo says that, for example, you could eat cold cuts once every one or two weeks for dinner. Yes, in a totally moderate amount.


“¿Carbohydrates in the dinner? Never of ever ”, this is what has always been thought. The nutrition expert declares that it is true that some recent research shows the chronoutrition, according to which, has mIt makes more sense to eat more energetic food in the morning, when we need it most for daily physical activity. And, for the night, leave the nutrients that have a more plastic, regulatory and repair function of our body.

“Carbohydrates and fats have a mainly energetic function and protein, plastic and restorative. For this reason, we would consume the first group in the first part of the day; and foods rich in protein, starting in the late evening, ”says Russolillo, who adds that this does not mean that we completely eradicate carbohydrates from dinners, but we take them to a lesser extent.

In this sense, it states that “that the pasta, rice or cooked potato dish is not included in dinner, but at noon. At night, let’s take the opportunity to take a portion of protein food, which we can accompany with a small garnish of foods rich in carbohydrates such as peas, potatoes, pan integral…”.


First of all, you have to distinguish what chocolate it is. “If we talk about the one that is mixed with substitutes and with fat and sugar emulsions, it is not convenient to ingest it because the high consumption of sugar in the population has detrimental effectsRussolillo points out.

However, the specialist states that if chocolate it is of high purity (between 75% and 80% pure cocoa), can have positive effects. In this regard, he explains that “it has been seen that high purity cocoa -which is also very bitter and has nothing to do with the traditional chocolate we know- has a series of substances called plant phytochemicals or bioactive compounds that have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health and on arterial hypertension”.


Russolillo says that vegetables can be taken three or four times a week and cook them, especially with vegetables. Only from time to time, it is advisable to cook them with foods of animal origin. “It is not the same to have some beans with bacon and chorizo ​​today in 2020, than 100 years ago, when people’s physical activity had absolutely nothing to do with it today. Before, more calories were ingested, but much more energy was also used than now, so that plate of legumes and blood sausage could be more justified then ”.


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