The following tips will help you maintain your health and prevent illness in your daily life. A healthy diet is worthwhile: it can reduce the mortality risk by up to a quarter, especially due to cardiovascular diseases. A particularly good example of practical implementation is the traditional Mediterranean diet.
Choose daily from the variety of vegetables and fruit on offer.
You should eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. It is therefore best to eat three portions of vegetables and two portions of fruit a day . One serving corresponds to a handful (measured by your own hand size). Exceptions confirm the rule: for lettuce, two handfuls are considered one portion, for dried fruit only half a handful. A portion can therefore be a pepper, an apple or half a hand of raisins. Occasionally a portion of vegetables or fruit can be replaced by a glass of vegetable or fruit juice.
Fruit and vegetables contain relatively few calories, but provide plenty of vitamins, minerals, fibre and secondary plant substances. Vegetables in particular therefore have a very low energy density, which means that they are full for a long time without providing much energy. Read here if you would like to learn more about the principle of energy density.
Fruit can be used in many ways: it tastes good in muesli, is a healthy dessert or a nutritious snack. But also the preparation possibilities of vegetables are manifold: as salad, in combination with pasta, fish or meat or pickled with oils and herbs, raw or steamed – there are no limits to your imagination. In addition, ask in the supermarket or on the weekly market specifically for regional and seasonal products and discover completely new varieties. If the supply is limited in the winter months, frozen fruit or vegetables can be a good alternative without the addition of further ingredients. However, finished products that already contain cream, sugar or the like should be avoided.
Take advantage of the whole variety of starch supplements such as whole grain cereals, whole grain rice, potatoes and regularly include legumes in your diet.
Grain products, potatoes and pulses (peas, beans, lentils) have a high degree of saturation and can supplement your meal with vitamins, minerals, fibre and high-quality vegetable protein.
Whole grain products are the first choice for bread, pasta, rice and co. because they contain satiating fibre and many valuable micronutrients. Whole grain means that the whole grain has been processed. Whole grain can also be used to make fine flour. If a bread contains whole grains, kernels or seeds, this does not necessarily mean that it is a wholemeal bread. Ask your baker about wholemeal products.
Of course, it may also be a typical Italian pasta dish with “normal” spaghetti or a piece of French baguette. As a rule, you should avoid light pastries, biscuits and cakes. In addition to light flour, these often contain a lot of sugar, which means that you can absorb a large amount of energy without being full for a long time. Instead, bake yourself for your sweet break in the afternoon. You can control the amount of sugar and, for example, replace part of the flour with wholemeal flour. Alternatively, you can use unprocessed, healthy snacks such as fruit.
When eating potatoes, prefer the cooked version, for example as peel, salt or baked potatoes, or make your own potato soup or mashed potatoes. Ready-made products made from potatoes or fat-rich preparations such as chips should remain an exception.
Legumes, which are still underestimated in Germany, can be used in many different ways and can be used in soups, sauces, salads or as a spread such as hummus (a spread made from chickpeas, sesame sauce, olive oil and spices). Further recipe ideas can be found here.
Consume milk and dairy products regularly.
Choose from a variety of low-fat products: Low-fat milk, whey, buttermilk, low-fat yoghurt, soured milk, kefir, granulated cream cheese, curd cheese, low-fat cheese such as sour milk cheese (Harz cheese, Mainz cheese), etc. Sour milk products in particular are naturally rich in proteins and calcium, low in fat and contain valuable lactic acid bacteria, which can have a positive effect on your digestion and your immune system.
Cheese is generally a high-fat food, but should still be consumed regularly as a good source of protein and calcium. So treat yourself to a piece of full-fat cheese rarely, but with a clear conscience. Use sour milk cheese for low-fat alternatives.
Consume meat only in small quantities and limited to 2 to 3 times a week.
In principle, a healthy diet does not have to be vegetarian. In moderation, meat is a nutrient-rich food, which mainly provides iron and high-quality animal protein. However, the consumption of red and processed meat in particular is associated with an increased risk of obesity . Therefore, do not eat small portions (approx. 150 g) of lean meat more than two to three times a week.
Prefer white meat such as poultry (without skin) or lean meat such as veal, rabbit, lamb, game and lean pork or beef. Remove visible fat. Use lean products such as poultry or roast sliced meat and raw or cooked ham without fat edges.