Eat to your health: pre-New Year interview with a nutritionist about the holiday table and more

Why does a healthy person need to know his nutritional status, is there any point in separate meals, can delicious food be healthy, and what to prepare for New Year’s dinner, an expert from the National Health League, head of the CDC “Healthy and Sports Nutrition” of the Federal State Budgetary Institution “FIC” told MedNews nutrition and biotechnology”, nutritionist, Ph.D. Ekaterina Burlyaeva.

Eat to your health: a New Year's interview with a nutritionist about the holiday table and more 26405

It is no secret that a properly selected diet can influence nutrition-related diseases, for example, gout, diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, preventing their occurrence or significantly facilitating their course. I'm not even talking about obesity and protein-energy deficiency, when the results of the influence of an individually designed diet are simply obvious.

Our Center has developed various programs that are focused not only on losing or gaining body weight, but also on dietary habits. Nowadays you can often find people oriented towards various types of vegetarianism or observing religious fasts. Unfortunately, we often see the rejection of certain types of products without replacing them with similar nutritional values. These people also need a diet that satisfies all the physiological needs of the body. And the basic rules of nutrition are the same for everyone.

What are these rules?

– Firstly, the number of calories consumed must correspond to the number spent. Ate a cake – 400 kcal, spend this energy so as not to gain extra pounds. If a person expends more energy than he consumes, he gets sick. If less, excess body weight appears, then obesity, he also gets sick.

The second rule concerns diet diversity. It should contain various types of products: fish, meat, cottage cheese, eggs, bread, butter, cereals, vegetables and fruits. And it is desirable that this diversity be observed every day. According to the recommendations of the World Health Organization, every meal should include proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. To date, there is no scientifically based data confirming that separate nutrition has any advantages over mixed nutrition (if we are talking about a relatively healthy person, without allergies or other problems).

The third law of dietetics requires that the set of products that a person chooses for himself during the day satisfies his biological needs for proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

And, finally, regularity of nutrition is important. The interval between meals should be 2-3 hours. Five meals a day are optimal – three main meals and two intermediate meals. This is a mandatory breakfast (unfortunately, today many people ignore it), lunch, dinner (three hours before bedtime) and two properly planned snacks.

It always seemed to be believed that it was wrong to interrupt your appetite with snacks…

– Snacking helps a person better control their appetite. By eating every 2-3 hours, he will not experience a pronounced feeling of hunger when it comes time for lunch or dinner.

Main meals should consist of a protein product, a side dish, a salad, and a drink. But you shouldn’t add dessert to them. Chocolates and bars should be a meal in their own right, just like fruits, and are suitable for snacking.

Fruits as a snack are tasty and healthy. Chocolates as a snack are delicious.

-…And useful. Chocolate is, firstly, polyunsaturated fatty acids. In addition, it provides fast glucose for the brain, which is especially important for people engaged in mental activity. In addition, there are also “joy hormones” that improve mood. But in everything you need to know when to stop. Of course, eating a whole 100-gram chocolate bar is not healthy, but three slices – that’s 15 g of chocolate – is quite acceptable. It's best to choose chocolate that contains cocoa butter rather than butter substitutes, and cocoa liquor rather than cocoa powder. In this case, a person will receive polyunsaturated fatty acids and some dietary fiber from grated cocoa. Dietary fiber gives a feeling of fullness and ensures slower processing of this chocolate in the gastrointestinal tract. This means that insulin release will occur more slowly.

Salt and cholesterol are also good for you?

– Yes, they are useful. Totholesterol, which we get from food in the form of butter, meat, eggs, does not significantly affect the level of cholesterol in the blood. This has been proven more than once, so people even with high cholesterol can be recommended to include these foods, which contain many useful substances, in their diet.

As for salt, there are categories of people for whom, in principle, salt drinks are indicated. The same professional athletes know that they must drink drinks high in salt and sugar during or after training, otherwise they simply will not regain their strength.

We say that there are no harmful foods, there are wrong approach to nutrition. Unfortunately, over the past half century, the consumption of complex carbohydrates, such as cereals, pasta, bread, has significantly decreased, while the amount of sugar in the diet has increased significantly. Of course this is wrong. A balanced diet is based primarily on complex carbohydrates and protein foods, while the ratio of proteins and carbohydrates should still be in favor of carbohydrates.

Unfortunately, many people do not understand this. Patients often come to the office who believe that cereals, pasta and bread contribute to weight gain. We have to fight these stereotypes. We develop diets that include these products, and then our patients are surprised to say that they eat pasta three times more often than before, and at the same time lose extra pounds.

Is it even possible to talk about healthy eating when the only talk around is about low-quality products?

– Products go through several stages of control before reaching the counter. Rospotrebnadzor actively monitors the quality of products. Another issue is the responsibility of the buyer himself. When buying food in a store, a person should carefully look at the label and check the expiration date. Then read the ingredients: how much fat, sugar and salt are there. We have introduced voluntary labeling of products, so that responsible producers “give a signal” with color: green – where the minimum amount of fat, sugar and salt is, yellow – a little higher, and red – eat a small piece and stop, so that the values ​​​​recommended by WHO are not exceeded . But we still have few people who necessarily read labels.

Please advise the menu for the New Year's table so that it istasty, healthy and feels holiday?

– Let's imagine that on our New Year's table there is oven-baked or grilled fish, maybe lean meats and fresh vegetables: cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet peppers, radishes, lettuce. For an appetizer, you can offer boiled tongue or, if you continue the fish theme, lightly salted salmon. And for dessert there is jelly. If you take a creative approach to the design of each dish, you will get a low-calorie festive table containing proteins, fats, carbohydrates – everything that is necessary for a relatively healthy person. After such a feast there will be no feeling of heaviness, and you will still have the strength to dance or go for a walk.