The three macro-categories into which we can divide the pyramid are the following:
- foods of animal origin such as: meat and offal, fishery products, cheeses and eggs;
- foods of plant origin such as: cereals, potatoes, legumes, vegetables and fruit;
- seasoning fats and oil seeds.
Preserved foods and processed meats, such as cured meats and canned foods, should be a marginal alternative since it is always better to choose fresh foods. The same goes for cow’s milk and its derivatives. Instead, it is recommended to consume at least 2-3 times a week: lean meats raised respectfully (eg “grass fed”) fresh fish and organic eggs.
Vegetables, fruit, cereals and legumes should be consumed daily and the same goes for your children, indeed if you get used to eating fruit and vegetables from an early age they will have a better chance of growing up healthy and aware of their choices.
- Finally, the seasoning fats and oil seeds necessary to compensate for the demand for fatty acids and vitamins, contribute to the supply of many non-vitamin or saline antioxidants.
- But be careful: of all foods it is always good to avoid those preserved in salt, in oil, syrups, preserves and overly elaborate recipes as well as junk foods.
Remember not to replace natural elements with processed ones such as: jams, marmalades, dehydrated fruit, in syrup or candied fruit as they do not belong to the vegetable category, but to that of sweet foods.
Food hygiene is the second pillar of healthy eating. With hygiene, we do not refer only to biological and microbiological safety from bacteria, viruses and parasites but, more precisely, it is a protection against all forms of genetic, chemical or pharmacological contamination.
To ensure safe food, the simplest way is to check the traceability of the food supply chain. In this way, you can check that the foods respect biological processes and are controlled from sowing to production, up to the moment of sale.
Why eat healthy?
The topic of nutrition is not that simple but at this point you may be wondering: what are the benefits of a healthy diet?
Let’s start by debunking the myth that eating healthy only serves to lose weight to get into the gala dress or in view of your well-deserved vacation. Following a balanced diet, rather means feeling good about yourself every day, without giving up the pleasure of a good meal. Unfortunately, it is often forgotten that a balanced diet first of all involves optimizing the supply of nutrients and components that meet the needs of our body.
In fact, it happens that due to an incorrect diet, deficiencies occur that our body, designed by Mother Nature as a perfect machine, is able to compensate for itself. In some cases, however, these imbalances lead to side effects both in the short term; such as lowering energy levels or mood swings, both in the long term; such as the development of diseases such as diabetes, food allergies, arthritis or cancer.
But the effects of a nutritional imbalance don’t just affect people who eat junk food. In fact, even those who are convinced that they are eating healthy but limit themselves to always consuming the same foods, have deficiencies in some essential nutrients. What to do then?
As we had already anticipated, the first step towards proper nutrition is to pay attention to which nutrients we consume. The aim is in fact to promote not only physical balance, removing the risks of diseases and eating disorders, but also to support the mental one.