“Our 21st century eating habits are a big issue. Potentially two thirds of men and half of the female population can be considered overweight.” says Professor Dr. Med Briner of Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence
The numbers vary by age group, but even the lowest estimates show our population needs to dramatically review the food we eat and make some healthier choices. What we eat can prevent life-threatening illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, strokes and osteoporosis.
The ingredients of a healthy diet
A healthy diet has a balanced intake of macronutrients, micronutrients, electrolytes and water. Macronutrients serve as the building blocks for muscles and tissues and make up most of your calorific intake. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron and iodine, found in milk, pumpkin seeds and sea food for example. Another ingredient should be electrolytes such as sodium and potassium, these minerals found in all cells of your body, your blood, urine and sweat and are vital to keep homeostasis and metabolism functioning. Finally you need water to cleanse your body, get rid of ‘waste’ such as uric acid, creatine, salt in the urine. In the stool, urine and by perspiration you also loose fluid and electrolytes. Thus, intake should be in the range of ‘output’ (1.5 to 2.5 litre/day).
The ingredients of an unhealthy diet
We might grab some fast food to benefit another area of our life, invariably work, but it is a short lived solution. Invariably fast food means generally junk food which is actively bad for you when eaten regularly. Sometimes even the things we think are healthy are full of sugar and fats. A quick bowl of breakfast cereal can have as much sugar as a sweet bar, and that healthy sounding gluten free muesli can contain unhealthy amounts of sugar. Sugary drinks are liquid calories and big drivers of obesity. There are nine teaspoons of sugar in a can of coke. Even vitamin rich fruit juices are enriched with sugar. Pizzas are made with highly refined dough, which is low in fibre, and the heavily processed meats have high levels of salt, sugar and fat. Fried foods and moreish salty crisps are not just dripping with fat and calories but also acrylamide which can lead to cancer. Yes, it’s a minefield, nowadays we have to think about what we eat because there is so much unhealthy food on offer.
Energy in and energy out
Achieving a healthy diet is about balancing the energy you consume with the energy you use. The more you exercise the more you can eat, and of course the less you exercise, the less calories the body requires to stay in balance. In a virtuous circle healthy eating has shown to improve your mood, which in turn stimulates an eagerness for physical activity. Health is a complete lifestyle choice.
Snacking has a bad reputation but there are potentially two benefits to snacking. A healthy snack can take the edge off your appetite and stop you overeating at meal time. A healthy snack can provide energy in the middle of the day, giving you the impetus for exercise. Make sure your snack is healthy though, and it’s quite easy, just slice up an apple, pack up some strawberries, grab a banana. Popcorn can be healthy, when it’s homemade, it’s a good source of fibre, so make it with oil and spice it with a sprinkle of chilli. Nuts are terrifically healthy, full of nutrients, and while they have a high fat content they are filling, so you can probably restrain yourself from over indulging. Bad snacking is obvious, as a rule the more extra flavouring it contains the worse it is.
How to eat well
Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence is all about preventative healthcare and nutrition is a vital part of leading you to a longer, healthier and happier life. At the Waldhotel Cooking Lab they teach the art of healthy meal creation, identifying the foods that will improve your personal health. It is all delicious news as you take home skills for a healthy gourmet kitchen to transform your lifestyle.