How to eat well?
The vast majority of food specialists, whether or not from the official milieu, agree on a certain number of principles which can serve as guides, here they are:
A balanced diet: It is advisable to choose your food from the different food groups: vegetables and fruit (half the plate), cereal products (a quarter of the plate), meats and alternatives (l ‘other quarter), to which we will add a contribution of calcium, by consuming dairy products, for example. Thus, your meal will contain: a good dose of carbohydrates, enough protein and little fat.
A varied diet: to reach the necessary range of nutrients and avoid deficiencies, it is necessary not only to consume daily foods from each food group, but several foods in each group.
Fresh, good quality food: Fresh, local food is recommended. Refined products and hydrogenated fats are to be avoided.
Eat a reasonable amount: Being overweight promotes the onset of many diseases, and significantly reduces life expectancy. A slightly low-calorie diet (but without nutrient deficiency) maintained over the long term could help prevent certain cancers and increase longevity. In addition, it limits oxidation and prevents fouling. An example of adjustment: systematically reduce, by a quarter or a third, the portions of high-calorie foods (pasta and rice, for example) and replace them with a nutritious and low-calorie food, such as a vegetable.
Tasty food: First and foremost, it is the flavor that determines our food choices. If so many people abandon a diet, it is because it does not give them pleasure. However, the high salt, sugar and fat content of processed foods seems to be increasingly appreciated and is even, among young people, becoming the norm. To counterbalance the attraction of these “over-favored” dishes, you have to offer yourself the healthy foods that we particularly appreciate and prepare them in a tasty way – using, in particular, herbs, many of which are a good source of nutrients …
Eat mindfully: by taking your time and enjoying each bite, mindful eating is an effective technique for learning to rediscover the flavors of food, while reducing the proportion of foods absorbed during a meal.
Adopt chrono-nutrition: chrono-nutrition consists of eating in a certain way according to the different times of the day. For example, it is advisable to eat fatty in the morning, dense at midday and light in the evening. In the long term, this technique allows you to regain your healthy weight and improve your health.
Manage your meals: for optimal nutritional intake and to avoid weight gain, it is essential to organize yourself. Indeed, unbalanced meals are often due to improvisation, this is why it is recommended to plan the evening before the contents of breakfast and each morning what will consist of the meals of the day.
Be careful when cooking: To keep all the benefits of food, it is best to cook at low temperatures below 100 ° C because the high temperature distorts the properties of food. You should limit grilling, which contains a lot of free radicals. The microwave is also to be avoided because it distorts the chemical form of food.
BASIC NUTRITIONAL NEEDS
The basic nutritional needs to know can be divided into two categories which we will develop below: the macronutrients (proteins, lipids, carbohydrates) which provide energy, and the micronutrients (vitamins, trace elements, etc.), which are essential for the assimilation, transformation and proper use of macronutrients.
Proteins are essential for a balanced diet. They help the proper functioning of the organs thanks to the amino acids of which they are made up: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, valine. Our cells need these eight essential amino acids, and the absence of just one of these amino acids blocks protein synthesis, which is essential for rebuilding our DNA.
Lipids are the basis of all of our cells, our hormonal system, and all of our cell membranes. They provide the energy necessary for the functioning of the organism and regulate multiple physiological functions. The omegas 3 contained in food are essential to a good diet. You have to know how to choose your oils with quality fatty acids rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (olive oil) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (rapeseed oil).
Carbohydrates are just as essential for bringing energy to our body. Carbohydrate foods are starchy foods (cereals, legumes, potatoes, high in starch), green vegetables, sugary products and fresh and dried fruits. The three types of carbohydrates are: simple sugars, complex sugars and fiber. It is best to avoid white sugar and brown sugar which are refined and addictive. These are present in sweets, confectionery and sugary drinks.
Today’s food is increasingly poor in micronutrients, because cultivation methods (use of pesticides, fungicides etc.), food extraction methods (refining, high temperatures), cooking methods ( microwave, frying) and preservation methods destroy these micronutrients. These cannot be manufactured by the body and must therefore be provided by a varied, balanced and good quality diet.
Indispensable to the body, their deficiencies create imbalances which are responsible for a large number of symptoms (inflammation, sleep disorders, memory problems, mood disorders, digestive disorders). In addition, they protect us from free radicals.
The major antioxidant vitamins are vitamins A E, C, which are contained in fruits, vegetables, green tea, etc.
Vitamin A tones the eye area.
Vitamin C helps the body make collagen, which provides cohesion, elasticity and regeneration of connective tissue. It also has an action on the immune system and is present in the liver, brain and endocrine glands.
Vitamin E contained in vegetable oils plays an important role on the membrane of the intestines, therefore in the digestive process. Powerful antioxidant, it synergizes with vitamin C.
As for the other vitamins, group B vitamins are useful for the nervous system, vitamin D is used in hundreds of functions in the body, vitamin K is essential for normal blood clotting and plays a role. role in bone consolidation.
Be careful not to consume too many grains and legumes, which in large quantities cause maldigestion and block the assimilation of nutrients because of the anti-nutrients they contain (lectins, phytates, saponins, etc.).
Digestion begins in the mouth and is not even finished 2 days later. During this process countless chemical transformations take place in which various enzymes and several organs collaborate. In addition, many personal characteristics influence the way in which our body assimilates nutrients: age, state of health, food allergies or intolerances, the amount of adipose tissue, the reserves of nutrients in the body, the type work, physical activity, quality of sleep, tobacco use, emotional and nervous state, time of meal, posture during meal, etc.
The assimilation process is so complex that, since always, we have recommended all kinds of approaches supposed to better suit our digestive system: vegetarianism, the choice of food according to its blood group, the acid-base balance, food combinations, raw food, various diets (Montignac method, Pritikin, Kousmine …), without forgetting Chinese dietetics, Ayurvedic food, etc. In addition, public health organizations in most countries publish official food guides that are constantly evolving. But, even today, specialists do not get along with each other and new dietary hypotheses appear regularly.
THE BENEFITS OF GOOD NUTRITION
The list of the benefits of a good diet is long, depending on the environment, the emotions, the source of the food, the method of cooking, the physiology of the individual and his ability to assimilate nutrients, among which :
Ensure base acid balance
As we age, the tissues tend to acidify, which results in demineralization. The liver is the most important deacidification organ. According to most specialists, the white sugars contained in pastries, sweets, meats, sausages, preserves, industrial drinks and many other foods are acidifying if they are abused. This is why it is essential to balance your diet with alkalizing foods (like minerals), and to oxygenate the tissues by practicing physical activity.
There are some tips to aid digestion, such as taking the time to sit down for a meal (avoiding eating in front of the computer or television). Chewing in full consciousness allows the brain to transmit the feeling of satiety, and the digestive system to perform its salivary secretion functions in order to make the crushed food more assimilable.
Protect the intestinal ecosystem (or microbiota)
The intestinal ecosystem requires a nutritional and emotional balance in order to be optimal. It is composed of our intestinal flora, but also of “friendly” bacteria, which ensure good digestion, contribute to the immune system and act on multiple functions in the body (appetite, assimilation of nutrients, etc.). In order to multiply, they need fiber, polyphenols, omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D.
Avoid fatigue and food compulsions
Avoiding snacking ensures the proper functioning of our biological (circadian) rhythm. This helps regulate blood sugar and overall metabolism to prevent fatigue and sudden cravings for a food.
Preserve our liver with a light and easily digestible diet
This therefore consists in limiting foods that are too fatty, too cooked, too sweet, and alcoholic beverages. Favor a diet devoid of toxins and pollutants that can slow down the metabolism and make it sick.
Fight against certain cancers
Certain foods such as turmeric, green tea and pepper reduce the risk of developing certain cancers. On the other hand, excessive consumption of meat promotes the development of colorectal cancer.
How to eat well in practice?
There are 7 main families of foods, all essential for a balanced diet:
Meat / fish / eggs
This family contains eggs, cold meats, seafood, meats … These foods provide mainly proteins and lipids as well as certain vitamins essential for the functioning of the nervous system and the mineralization of bones (B1, B2, D).
Milk and dairy products
In this family, we find yogurts, cheeses and of course milk. These products provide proteins, lipids, calcium, phosphorus as well as vitamin A, D, B2 and B12. They are therefore mainly involved in the construction of bones. At too high a dose, dairy products can promote the development of prostate cancer.
Fruits and vegetables
Dried fruits, oil seeds, frozen, fresh vegetables … The products of this family are very rich in water, which allows the body to stay hydrated. They provide carbohydrates, vitamins (A and C), calcium and dietary fiber, which participate in good digestion.
This family contains the most caloric foods: butter, margarine, oil … They provide energy, vitamins (A, D, E) as well as omega 3 and omega 6.
Sugar and sweet products
Comprising mainly carbohydrates and minerals (magnesium), sugary products provide energy. Even if they provide a lot of pleasure, it should not be abused because they do not have a very important nutritional interest.
Our body is made up of more than 60% water. It is the basis of a healthy diet because it helps dilute the acids in the body. Good hydration is essential for good physical shape and for cleaning the body. Experts consider that an adult should drink between 1.5 and 2 liters of water per day, i.e. 4 to 6 glasses of water, light tea, herbal tea, soup, or even more depending on the ambient heat and activity. physical.
Cereals and starchy foods
Rice, pasta, breads, potatoes … Foods belonging to this category fill the feeling of hunger and provide a lot of energy. They contain proteins, carbohydrates, magnesium, iron, dietary fiber as well as vitamin B.
Some tips in practice:
It is best to consume the fruit outside of meals (ideal from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.) to avoid intestinal fermentation.
Favor white bread: in white flour, only the central part of the wheat seed (starch) is preserved. It is therefore better to consume bread with semi-complete flour, which contains more vitamins and minerals. Even better, “natural sourdough” bread, which allows better assimilation of food.
Try the Mediterranean diet: it consists mainly of semi-complete or complete cereals, olive oil, starchy foods (pasta, rice, potatoes), legumes, green vegetables (5 to 15 varieties), sheep or goat cheese, fruit and little butter. Oilseeds (nuts, almonds, hazelnuts), condiments and herbs (garlic, turmeric, onion, thyme, savory, herbs, sweet spices) are added very regularly. Protein is mainly provided by poultry fish, eggs and rarely beef or lamb. Very few sweets. The wine is consumed on a regular but moderate basis. Herbal teas are regular, and coffee exceptional.
The nutrition specialist: nutritionist, naturopath or doctor The nutrition specialist can be a naturopath, nutritionist or doctor.
How is an appointment with a nutritionist?
Although basic nutritional requirements are similar for all humans, an optimal diet will differ for each person and the ideal diet does not exist. Given the real complexity of nutrition data, it can therefore be useful for most of us to periodically consult a competent person, capable of determining our needs and guiding us in the best nutritional choices.
This is the role of the nutritionist and the naturopath. As far as naturopathy is concerned, this practice aims above all to stimulate the body’s natural self-healing mechanisms. First, the specialist will have to find out where his patient’s problem is coming from. First, he will therefore administer a questionnaire to his patient in order to know his history (anamnesis), his history (the field, childhood), his lifestyle and his eating habits. Second, he will identify the signs precisely and set up the monitoring program. Expert advice, personalized and based on natural means generally helps to resolve the patient’s problem.
Become a nutrition expert
Nutrition experts who have received university training and who are part of a professional order carry the reserved title of nutritionist, dietitian or dietitian (the name varies according to the country). However, other health workers, such as naturopaths, have very good knowledge on the subject. Indeed, naturopathic training contains courses in medicine, anatomy, biology. In France, there are naturopathic training courses in a dozen schools but the profession of naturopath is not yet regulated. This is why it is better to check that the school is approved by the French Federation of Naturopathy (FENAHMAN)