Healthy diet: the main questions and answers

Healthy food: honey - salad - blueberries

You are what you eat. And every human being is and eats differently. So you could briefly summarize the subject of nutrition with the words of the philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach and a modern research knowledge.

Because one thing is clear:The one There is no healthy diet. Doubts the seriousness of information that suggests this. Mostly there is some intention to sell behind it. Sometimes also ideology, politics or the need for attention. That does not mean that you should not be concerned with your diet and its optimization. On the contrary! But just not with one-sided or rigid specifications that do not appreciate your personal situation and not sufficiently considered (can).

Also a question of genes

Although the metabolic processes are similar from person to person, they need not be identical. Scientifically proven, for example, are differences in salt sensitivity. Some people can reduce their blood pressure by not using (additional) table salt alone, while others can not use it. Even the much-praised and undoubtedly valuable phytochemicals do not appear to have the same effect on each of their consumers.

Our 10 most important tips for a healthy diet

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Hereditary predisposition and what you make of it play an important role. As a result, in addition to the slogan of individualized medicine, personalized nutrition is now being brought into play. This is mainly about the interactions between food and genetic material. Nutritionists hope to be able to contribute to the prevention and cure of diseases through targeted recommendations and special, highly enriched foods (functional food) in the future.

Diversity is the alpha and omega

Even more than our genes, our habits, the individual way of life and the current life situation decide whether we are eating healthy or ill. This is then either too much (e.g., in energy, calories, saturated fatty acids or simple carbohydrates) or too little (e.g., in energy or calories, vitamins, minerals, or fiber). Often it is a combination of both. The right measure is one of the central factors in health issues, also and especially when eating.

The German Society for Nutrition (DGE) sums up with a simple formula what a healthy diet basically means: versatility. It is most likely to ensure a rich spectrum of vital nutrients. No food, no tablet and no powder contains all the necessary nutrients. It is always a mix of several, preferably fresh food required to meet the human nutritional needs. Schemes such as the Food Pyramid or the Nutrition Circle can give orientation when it comes to the right balance in the composition of the diet.

Listen to the body

But there is also something today called somatic intelligence. Ultimately this means the ability of the body to signal to its owner what he needs. For example through lust, aversion and wholesomeness. And the ability of the owner (that is, of you) to be able to perceive and correctly interpret these signals. The food is about the right choice of food for a type-appropriate diet.

An everyday example is wholegrain products: they are generally considered to be healthy and better than their white flour counterparts. They cause a lower insulin secretion and make you full longer. The fiber and vitamins contained in whole grains are a nutritional benefit. In general.

In particular, there are certainly people who can not tolerate whole grain. Abdominal pain, flatulence or worse complaints are the result. Unfavorable if these body signals are ignored. The same applies to the (excessive) raw food consumption. The number of resulting intestinal inflammations should have risen massively.

They should therefore focus less on nutritional beliefs, which may be more inappropriate individually. And more about your somatic intelligence.

How good was the food: a test

By the way, the conscious perception of the body signals arising in the vegetative nervous system can be trained. Mindfulness is the keyword here. A tip: After eating, allow yourself a few minutes rest, close your eyes and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why did I want to eat that?
  • Did I really need that?
  • How big was my desire for it?
  • Did the taste appeal to me?
  • How digestible was the food for me, how does my stomach feel?
  • How is my mood?
  • How fast and how consciously did I eat?

Repeat this exercise a few times and you will see how quickly your body sensation improves. Incidentally, physical activity does not just burn calories. It also promotes coordination, depth sensitivity and self-awareness - and with it somatic intelligence.

The desire for "good food" can be trained

The rapid and often surprising physical ability to learn also applies to our dietary habits. It is extremely helpful to know that and to implement it with joy instead of aversion. As a rule of thumb, you can assume that your taste (or that of your children) can be reversed in about six weeks. For example, from sugary drinks to the clearly healthier mineral water, unsweetened herbal teas or at least Schorle. Which brings us finally to the drinking, with which the nutrition begins. At least 1.5 liters should be daily.

Of course, the topic of healthy nutrition is far from complete when it comes to food choices. The preparation (as few additives and finished products) and the food culture deserve attention. And finally, framework conditions that have more to do with (proper) nutrition than it might at first glance appear to be: such as the health situation, the workplace, the daily exercise and mental fitness.

Author: Dr. Hubertus Glaser