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Six nutritional habits to improve at the end of 2016

 Foto 6 Hábitos ...

Eating better is one of the most common aims, but do you know where to begin?

Below are 6 simple guidelines to achieve this objective and continue enjoying good food.

 

  • More fruit and vegetables on the menu

This is the first step towards a healthy diet, and the World Health Organization claims that sufficient daily meals can contribute to preventing major illnesses.

  • It is recommended that the vegetables cover a quarter and a half of your plate.  These are the protagonists, with meat or fish as the secondary food.
  • Have you heard of green juices?  These fruit and vegetable smoothies can help you to obtain vitamins and nutrients, and are an excellent way to start the day.  They are not miraculous and neither can they substitute a balanced diet.  A simple example: orange, carrot, and apple.
  • Eat salad throughout the year, not only in summer, making the most of seasonal products.

 

  • Take time to eat

Nowadays, everything is done rapidly, and it is not unusual for us to steal some minutes from the time we allow for a meal.   It doesn’t matter if this only happens occasionally, but if it becomes a habit, you should think again.

  • Eat your meals slowly at the appropriate times.  This is a great way to combat stress.
  • Sit down to eat.
  • Chewing properly will help digestion and nutrient intake.
  • Focus on enjoying the meal and all its flavours, instead of performing other activities at the same time, in mechanical fashion.

 

  • Whenever possible, eat home cooking

 Whenever it suits your work time, go back to that forgotten place: the kitchen.  It can be a source of personal satisfaction and, at the same time, you will be reducing the number of  processed products in your fridge.

The return to home cooking must include one important habit  -  planning.  Think ahead about menus and this will help you to buy the needed ingredients and prevent you from wasting food.  Organizing the kitchen will save you losing time, and valuable minutes.

 

  • Lighten your meals

If there has been one public enemy number one against healthy food, it is saturated fat.  However, according to recent studies, this is not to blame for all ills, and food that is low in fat has been replaced by sugar, refined flour, or “trans fats”, with their corresponding harmful effects.  Due to the lack of conclusive scientific evidence, experts recommend avoiding “fried, industrial food, pastries, biscuits, and processed food”

Another way of lightening our diet is to return to the ways of cooking  by steaming, or  the oven.  Furthermore, fat is also a flavour enhancer, but you can use other ingredients such as lemons, spices, and seeds to achieve that effect.

 

  • Drink enough water

Drink 1.5 to 2 litres of water a day and try to avoid sugary and alcoholic drinks.

 

  • 2016 is the year of Pulses

Advice is being given this year with more sense than ever by returning these ingredients to our menu, since the United Nations Organization has declared 2016 as the International Year of Pulses, such as lentils and beans.

These are an excellent source of nutrients, and when they are eaten with cereals, the quality of the protein in the diet is highly improved.  Furthermore, they are financially accessible and very practical, not only because they are normally used in simple stews when preparing a meal for several days, and are overwhelming as a single dish, but also because canned and bottled pulses are always an easy, fast and healthy option.

 

 

 

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