What is good nutrition?
Good nutrition provides your body with enough energy and nutrients: proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fiber and sufficient fluid.
Good nutrition makes you feel fitter. And you have a lower risk of diabetes, cancer and diseases of your heart and blood vessels, such as a stroke or heart attack.
Good nutrition is:
- lots of fruits and vegetables
- many whole grain products
- weekly legumes
- about 3 eggs a week
- a handful of unsalted nuts every day
- a few servings of dairy a day, such as milk or yogurt
- Fish once a week, preferably fatty fish, for example herring, halibut, salmon or mackerel
- few products made from white wheat flour, such as white bread, cookies, biscuits, pretzels
- little red or processed meat, such as sausage or meat
Red meat is meat from cows, sheep, goats and pigs.
- few drinks with sugar, such as juice and soda
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
Eat a lot of vegetables every day. And eat 2 pieces of fruit a day. Then you have a smaller chance of diseases of your heart and blood vessels and some types of cancer.
Try a different vegetable or fruit regularly. Alternate.
If you don’t like vegetables or fruit, you can squeeze juice from fruit and vegetables yourself to get it inside. Freshly squeezed juice contains less fiber than loose fruit. It also makes you feel full less quickly.
Eat mostly whole grain products
Choose whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat pasta and brown rice. These foods are rich in carbohydrates, dietary fiber and various vitamins. They also provide a feeling of satiety.
The brown color of bread does not always mean that this bread is healthier. Sometimes the bread is darkened with malt extract or caramelized sugar. It makes the bread darker, but it contains few extra nutrients.
If bread is really whole grain, this will be stated on the label for packaged bread.
Eat few products made from white wheat flour, such as white bread, cookies, biscuits and pretzels.
Legumes every week
Eat legumes every week, such as kidney beans, soybeans, lentils or chickpeas. Legumes contain protein, a lot of dietary fiber, iron and other useful nutrients.
Choose healthy fats
- Choose products with healthy (unsaturated) fats more often. Such as olive oil, low-fat margarine, oily fish and nuts.
- Less often choose products with unhealthy fats (saturated fats and trans fats). Such as cookies, chips, snacks, sausage or salami.
The type of fats you eat is more important than how many fats you eat. Only if you are overweight, it is better to eat less of all fats.
You can use dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese) as usual. It keeps you healthy. The dairy does not necessarily have to be semi-skimmed or lean. You can also choose full-fat dairy.
Be careful with salt
All foods naturally contain some salt. So no need to add salt. Opt for other seasonings as much as possible, such as (fresh) herbs and spices. Examples are:
- green herbs, such as basil, chives, dill, lovage, thyme, oregano, parsley, rosemary
- spices, such as cinnamon, curry, cloves, nutmeg, pepper, and cayenne pepper
- other seasonings such as ginger, coriander, onion, garlic, mustard seed and lemon
- roasted seeds and kernels, such as pine nuts, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds
Up to 6 grams of salt per day is good. Note: There is often a lot of salt in ready-made meals, sauces and snacks. Check the package to see how much salt it contains.
Choose to drink without sugar and without alcohol
Your sense of thirst will automatically ensure that you drink enough. If you ‘listen’ to this carefully, you will automatically drink about 1.5 liters per day.
Write down how much you normally drink in a day. Do you clearly drink less than 1.5 liters? For example, start the day with an extra glass of freshly squeezed fruit or drink an extra cup of tea in the afternoon.
For example, drinking enough is important for the functioning of your intestines.
- Choose water, tea and coffee without sugar, or milk.
- For tea, choose green or black tea and drink filtered coffee (filter coffee, coffee pads, instant coffee).
- Drink little or no drinks with sugar, such as fruit juice, soda, chocolate or sports drinks with added sugar.
- No alcohol is best for your health. Are you drinking? Do not drink more than 1 glass of alcohol a day and not every day. 1 glass of alcohol every day is not good for your health.
Do not drink alcohol at least 2 days a week. This prevents drinking from becoming a habit.
Don’t eat all day long
3 meals a day are a good basis to feed your body with all the nutrients. Do not take small snacks more than 4 times in between.
Take for example:
- raw vegetables, such as cauliflower florets, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, radish, celery and carrot
- unsalted nuts, such as walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds. Nuts are high in fat, but the right kind of fat.
Vitamin pills or not?
- Do you have light skin? If you eat healthy and get outside enough every day, then vitamin pills are not necessary.
- Do you have tan or dark skin? Then it is important that you take extra vitamin D every day .
- Women who want to become pregnant have extra folic acid required.
- Vegans need vitamin B12 .
Wash your hands regularly with soap and water. At least for cooking and eating, if you have touched raw meat and if you have been to the toilet. Take a clean dishcloth every day and always use clean knives and cutting boards.
Always keep leftover food in the refrigerator and no longer than 2 days. It is better not to keep leftovers from takeaway meals.
Good nutrition helps to feel good about yourself and to feel healthy. But don’t overdo it. Eating is above all a cozy and relaxed occasion.
Contact with the doctor about good nutrition
- It is important that with the advice you choose food that suits you well: with your daily life, your faith and what you can and want to pay. Are you able to choose your food with the advice for good nutrition? Then you know that you are eating healthy.
- If you have any questions about proper nutrition, please contact your GP or practice nurse.
- Your GP, practice nurse or dietitian can help you adjust your diet step by step.
You choose the food that suits you best. Then it is best to stick to it.
- You decide together with your doctor what is best for you.