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Keys to a healthy and balanced diet

Eating habits have always been a constant concern of governments and international organizations. As a consequence of the indiscriminate intake of hypercaloric foods or the lack of access to vitamins and nutrients, the world population currently faces several problems such as malnutrition, overweight and obesity.

Since 1975, obesity has almost tripled worldwide. According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), since 2016 it is estimated that more than 1.9 billion adults, aged 18 and over, are overweight. In addition, it is recorded that 52 million children under 5 years of age suffer from malnutrition problems, such as extreme thinness and growth problems, and 41 million infants are overweight and obese.

For this reason, it is essential to take care of your diet and follow some rules to create a healthy menu. Above all, a food plan must be balanced, complete, sufficient, adequate and safe, qualities that will allow a diet to maintain a correct proportion between fruits, vegetables and proteins in daily consumption, take care of the quantity and quality of food, adjust to the age, sex and specific conditions of each person. Additionally, it will also help make it suitable for ingestion, that is, it will be free of microorganisms and contaminants.

Following this premise, here are some tips to take into account to improve your eating habits:

  1. Meal times depend on each person: in general, the distribution of food should focus on three main times (breakfast, lunch, dinner). However, if a person requires a more frequent caloric intake, feeding times can be divided into five times.
  2. Increase the consumption of fruits, vegetables and legumes: it is recommended that people consume three servings of fruit and two servings of vegetables per day, to ensure a balanced diet. In addition, the intake of legumes 2 to 3 times a week should be included.
  3. Reduce the consumption of red meat: According to several studies, frequent intake of red meat is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease or cancer. For this reason, it is recommended to reduce its consumption (once a week) and opt for other options such as fish (at least twice a week).
  4. Eliminate “breakfast cereals”: ​​To ensure a healthy diet, you should stop eating breakfast cereals and all kinds of refined foods, such as flour, which lack nutrients and vitamins. Instead, you should incorporate whole grains, such as quinoa, wheat, and oats.
  5. Consume fresh food: it highlights the importance of buying food on a weekly basis, in order to maintain its freshness and nutritional properties.
  6. Put into practice the “good eating plate”: this feeding technique consists of dividing the plate of food into two parts: half of the plate should contain non-starchy vegetables, such as cucumber, radish, lettuce and tomato; while the other half should have whole grains or carbohydrates and a protein food in equal parts.
  7. Change preparation techniques: in order to ensure that food does not lose its qualities and nutrients, traditional cooking techniques, such as frying and boiling in water, must be replaced by alternatives such as sautéing, baking and cooking. grilled or steamed preparations.

A food plan must be balanced, complete, sufficient, adequate and safe, qualities that will allow a diet to maintain a correct proportion between fruits, vegetables and proteins in daily consumption.

The intention of these tips is to educate our community on healthy eating, to strengthen food safety and adequate nutrition for a better quality of life.

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José Martí
José Martí
Nacionalista cubano, poeta, filósofo, ensayista, periodista, traductor, profesor y editor.

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