Since it should not be necessary to rely on a nutrition professional to ensure healthy eating and maintain nutritional balance, research organisations have translated nutritional needs into food advice. The most common system is certainly that of the food pyramid, which is constantly reviewed and updated on the basis of the latest news.
It is therefore essential to choose how much and when to eat the various foods.
Foods of animal origin are those that provide proteins of high biological value, some mineral salts (mainly iron and calcium) and vitamins (practically all, especially those of Group B, D and A); on the other hand, the excess of these foods can cause a surplus of cholesterol, saturated fatty acids and proteins. Of these, meat and offal should be taken in at least two servings per week (150-250g), fishery products at least another 2 (200-300g), cheese/recooked at least one (80-150g) and eggs not more than three per week. Then, as far as milk and yoghurt are concerned, it is also granted more than a daily portion, although it is good to keep in mind that this depends on the portion, composition of the diet and the level of skimming of milk; 150-300ml of semi-skimmed milk and 1 or 2 jars of natural yoghurt 120g per day are normal. NB. Preserved foods, such as cold cuts, canned tuna, etc. should be a marginal alternative.
When considering food of plant origin, they should be consumed on a daily basis. The cereal and potato group, together with the legumes group, guarantees above all the necessary complex carbohydrates. They can easily fit into all meals, but it is essential that they always fit in useful portions. Pasta, rice and other derivatives should be within 90g; the bread should fill the remaining need or replace the first course and usually fluctuate between 20-30g and 100-120g. Legumes may be used as cereals.
Vegetables and sweet fruits contribute to increased satiety, to the supply of water, potassium, some vitamins (especially A, C, E and K) and antioxidants that are not vitaminic or saline. They contain simple carbohydrates and sometimes affect the energy balance to such an extent that they create excess imbalance.
NB. Some tropical fruits contain many fats, such as avocado and coconut. On average, between cooked and raw vegetables should appear at least 2-3 times in the daily diet and in portions of 50-200g; the fruits should appear about 2 times per 200g (variable depending on the fruit).
NB. jams, marmalades, dehydrated fruit, syrup and candied fruit do not belong to this category, but to sweet foods.
Seeds and seasoning fats and oilseeds are necessary to compensate for the demand for fatty acids and related vitamins (especially E and A). Carefully chosen, they help to satisfy the need for essential fatty acids and generally those beneficial to the body. In addition, they provide many non-vitamin or saline antioxidants. As far as the oil is concerned, about 2-4 tablespoons a day are sufficient (depending on the fatness of the other foods); as far as the oilseeds are concerned, it is possible to use them in quantities of a few grams and only once a day.
The only recommended beverage is water, with a saline profile that varies according to subjective needs, and is about 750-1000ml/day (very variable).
It is necessary to avoid all the above mentioned foods: preserved in salt, in oil, in syrup, preserves and overly processed recipes. In addition, all sweets and junk foods should be drastically reduced.
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