Whatever your New Year’s resolutions, a healthy diet will offer you many benefits in the New Year and for many years to come. What we eat and drink has a direct effect on our body. It determines how well our body can repel infections and also how likely it is that we will develop health problems later in life. Obesity, heart disease, diabetes and all kinds of cancer to name but a few.
The exact ingredients for a healthy diet depend on several factors, such as our age, the amount of exercise we get and the available food sources in our environment. But with these 5 tips they agree all over the world:
1. Eat a varied diet
Our bodies are incredibly complex and (with the exception of breast milk) there is no food that contains all the nutrients we need. That is why it is important that we eat all kinds of different foods in order for our bodies to work optimally.
Tips for a balanced diet:
- Eat a daily mix of basic foods such as wheat, corn, rice, potatoes, fruit and vegetables and animal products such as meat, fish, eggs and milk.
- Choose wholemeal products such as wholemeal bread, brown rice and oatmeal.
- As a healthy snack you can choose raw vegetables, unsalted nuts or fresh fruit.
2. Don’t eat too much salt
Too much salt can cause high blood pressure. This plays a major role in cardiovascular diseases and cerebral infarcts.
However, most people eat too much salt. Most people even get twice the recommended amount of salt every day.
Even if we don’t throw it over our food, we often get it because it is contained in products we buy in the supermarket.
Tips for eating less salt:
- Be sparing with salt when cooking and use less salty sauces (soya sauce, fish sauce).
- Avoid salty snacks
- Remove the salt pot from the table and avoid using it out of habit; our taste buds quickly adapt to this.
- Look carefully at the labels on food in the supermarket and go for products that contain little sodium.
3. Reduce the use of fat
We all need some fat in our diet, but eating too much of it can lead to obesity, cardiovascular disease and brain attacks.
Tips to reduce your fat intake:
- Replace butter and animal cooking fat with healthy oils such as rapeseed oil, olive oil or sunflower oil.
- Choose white meats such as chicken. It contains less fat than red meat.
- Try steaming or cooking food instead of frying or frying it.
- Pay attention to labels and avoid processed and fried food.
4. Reduce the use of sugar
Too much sugar is not only bad for our teeth, but it also increases the risk of obesity. This can lead to serious, chronic health problems.
As with salt, it is important to pay attention to product labels. There are often many hidden sugars in products in the supermarket.
Tips for using less sugar:
- Reduce the intake of sweet snacks, soft drinks, fruit juices, energy drinks and ready-to-drink tea and coffee.
- Choose healthy, fresh snacks instead of processed foods.
5. Do not drink too much alcohol
Alcohol is not part of a healthy diet, but in many cultures celebrating the New Year goes hand in hand with drinking large amounts of alcohol. In general, drinking too much and too often increases your risk of liver damage, cancer, heart problems and mental illness.
- Remember that less alcohol consumption is always better for you and that it is completely OK not to drink.
- You should not drink alcohol at all when you are pregnant, breastfeeding, driving, taking medication that interacts with alcohol, have health problems that are aggravated by alcohol or when you have difficulty controlling your alcohol intake.
- If you think you or someone you care about has an alcohol problem, don’t be afraid to ask a specialist for help.