Juan Carlos Palomo, nurse and professor at the Sant Joan de Déu de Bormujos University Nursing Center, Seville; and Diego José Géniz, a student at this center, sign this article where they offer guidelines and recommendations to take care of food after the Christmas excesses
by Juan Carlos Palomo and Diego José Géniz
After a period of excesses such as Christmas, in which we enjoy frequent and abundant meals with family and friends, comes ordinary time, in which we resume our daily lives and taking care of food is essential.
To face it with the best possible habits, and return to the weight we had before Christmas Eve dinner, we can follow some tips, such as:
- Resume physical activity again. The ideal is not to have lost it during Christmas.
- Try to carry out 5 meals a day, avoiding periods of fasting, which are not beneficial.
- Incorporate fruits and vegetables into the diet. We have a wide variety of local vegetables, let’s incorporate them into our diet.
- Do not do miracle diets, they do NOT exist.
- Cooking with steam, oven or iron is better than frying
A healthy diet is still a protective tool for our health. A balanced and healthy diet will help protect us from malnutrition and the most common diseases today, which cause the highest rates of morbidity and mortality: hypertension and overweight, which with diets rich in sugars and fats and sedentary behavior are responsible for cardiovascular diseases.
We live in a society that continues to increase the production and consumption of processed foods. The standard of living we lead and the frenetic pace we live in every day have produced changes in our eating habits.
According to the WHO, healthy habits must begin in the first years of life, and must be included little by little, although it is never too late to incorporate healthy habits into our lives and, above all, that there last
We must adapt our caloric intake to our caloric expenditure, and in the same way we must abandon the use and abuse of salt, not exceeding 5 grams a day, and maintain a moderate use of sugars, avoiding refined and free sugars, those added to food or found in juices or syrups, i.e. those that are quickly absorbed.
As we already know, we have to eat about five meals a day. We can include some type of vegetable, or make snacks of fresh fruit or raw vegetables. Let’s not forget that it is advisable to eat at least 400 grams of vegetables a day.
Take care of food when cooking
When cooking food, always opt for the healthiest methods that do not produce fatty or sugar-rich foods.
Use the iron, boil food, cook in the oven or steam, meat, fish or vegetables. By frying food we are modifying its characteristics (we remove vitamins, dehydrate the product, increase fats and sugars). Use lean meat and fish, avoiding the consumption of saturated fats. We can remove the visible fat, consume skimmed milk, replace these foods rich in trans fats with fruits.
It is very important to change the use of salt as a seasoning in meals and use instead spices or fruit juices, such as lemon.
Avoid putting on the table industrial sauces with high levels of salt or the consumption of processed foods. Salt is one of the main problems along with sugar when it comes to maintaining a healthy life. Along with other habits, they increase the population’s risk of suffering from high blood pressure, heart disease or some type of cerebrovascular accident. The WHO, together with its member states, have agreed to reduce their consumption by 30% by 2025.
Food and mental health
Food does not directly influence our mental health, but it is a source of added concern that in people with anxiety and depression they can influence their decompensation, given that the food basket is becoming more and more expensive. We make recommendations about healthy food but don’t forget that it is more expensive than unhealthy food (industrial, ultra-processed…)
To have a good diet, and good habits, we have to invest time that we often don’t have, but that if we stop to think we can take it at any time and in the long run it will generate a superior quality of life, and we will avoid big problems related to food, which can be avoided.
It is essential to make us aware that a healthy, healthy and varied diet is the best treatment for many diseases. We spend more time on health and, above all, on food.