Fear of eating something wrong and guilty feelings about imperfect nutrition can cause psychological problems and harm the body no less than the notorious cakes. RBC Style tells which habits are not as terrible as the wellness industry exposes.
We know a lot about the benefits of breakfast: according to statistics, people who eat breakfast regularly and eat more balanced throughout the day are less prone to obesity and the development of certain chronic diseases. But do not think that breakfast is a panacea for all diseases. It is likely that the connection between breakfast and good health lies not in early eating, but in lifestyle in general (those who smoke, abuse alcohol and rarely exercise are known to skip breakfast more often).
Modern research shows that breakfast does not accelerate metabolism, does not help to lose weight and does not heal. In fact, it is not so important how long after waking up you start eating. The main thing is not to bring yourself to an extremely hungry state (there are still scientific disputes about the benefits and harms of intermittent fasting). For the first meal of the day, it is best to choose a balanced meal with plenty of fiber, protein, and healthy fats.
To drink coffee
Coffee is a source of antioxidants and B vitamins. Typical followers of the “Western diet” (with a large number of industrial products) often get more antioxidants from coffee than from fruits and vegetables.
In case of individual hypersensitivity to caffeine, nutritionists recommend limiting the consumption of coffee and other caffeinated drinks (matches, green and even black tea) to 1-2 cups per day. Doctors allow everyone else to drink up to four cups of coffee without harm to health and even with benefit. According to various sources, coffee can reduce anxiety, reduce the risk of liver disease and type II diabetes, improve brain function and speed up metabolism.
The only thing is that you should not drink coffee first thing in the morning and at night. After waking up, the body produces a natural stimulant norepinephrine - it is he who should invigorate us in the first hours of the day. Caffeine does not enhance the action of norepinephrine, but blocks it - as a result, both do not work well. And in the evening, caffeine in the blood interferes with sleep and worsens the quality of sleep. The ideal time for coffee is in the afternoon and after lunch.
Salt is the main and almost the only source of sodium, which maintains the body's water balance and plays a key role in the functioning of the nervous system. We love the salty taste so much because we really need sodium. Of course, you should not overdo it with salt - in the long run, this can lead to hypertension (high blood pressure). But there is a caveat: perhaps it is not the salt itself that increases the pressure. It is found in large quantities in semi-finished products, canned food and other industrial products, in which, in addition to salt, there are usually a lot of sugar, fats and food additives.
WHO recommends limiting your daily salt intake to one teaspoon (5 g). Keeping the norm is quite possible if instead of sausage and smoked cheese there are full-fledged dishes and salt them to taste.
Use regular sugar
It is everyone's responsibility to control and limit the intake of added sugar - this is the official WHO recommendation. But if you want to sweeten something (and you can do it - no one forbade sugar completely), then it is not necessary to buy organic agave syrup, cane sugar or date honey. Firstly, they have as much sugar as in ordinary refined, and sometimes even more. Our body does not care where we get it from. Secondly, it is harder for the body to break down fructose than glucose - uncontrolled consumption of natural syrups can lead to liver diseases.
Yes, in addition to sugar, syrups contain some useful nutrients, but in such quantities that they are unlikely to affect the health of the body.
Eat a lot of fruit
Some HLS gurus anathematize fruits because they contain a lot of fructose. And in vain. A large body of data has been accumulated on the dangers of added sugar, but not a single authoritative study has revealed a negative effect on human health of fruits and other products that naturally contain sugar.
Fruits and berries are a source of vitamins and fiber (the latter, by the way, helps the body absorb sugar more slowly and avoid insulin spikes). It is useful to replace cakes, cakes and other desserts with fruits, they can be added to salads and used as independent snacks.
Have a good dinner
Here it is worth remembering two points - the rule “do not eat after six” does not work for everyone, moreover, it is important not only what time you eat, but also what. It is better to build your nutrition schedule not according to someone else's recommendations, but around your own circadian rhythms and eating habits. WHO and the ministries of health in many countries do not indicate the number of meals and the time they are taken during the day - only the amount of nutrients and the general wish not to overeat. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with eating little during the day and replenishing the calorie deficit in the evening. The main thing, again, is not to bring yourself to severe hunger and follow simple safety rules.
Dinner can be heavy, but it is best to finish it two to three hours before going to bed so that the body has time to digest food. To avoid the risk of overeating, you can eat slowly, savoring each bite. The perfect dinner balances protein, fiber, slow carbs, and healthy unsaturated fats. So a plate of whole grain pasta with broccoli is a perfectly legitimate dinner.