The basis of our diet
Therefore, to adhere to the dietary basics and get enough of each of these nutrients, vitamins, minerals, etc., you need a complete diet.
A complete diet
The dietary pyramid makes it possible to understand which foods are to be incorporated into our diet and which should be preferred.
Hydration is essential for our body. It is recommended to drink at least 1.5 L of water per day.
Fruits and vegetables
They should form the basis of our diet as they are rich in fibre, vitamins and minerals. Their benefits for the body are numerous: they promote intestinal transit, participate in the hydration of our body, have (for the most part) a low glycaemic index*… Their high fibre content allows a feeling of satiety and thus prevents snacking throughout the day if you’re feeling peckish.
According to WHO recommendations, it is necessary to consume at least 400g of fruits and vegetables per day.
Pasta, rice, bread, semolina, etc. can be eaten every day. To maximise nutrient intake, opt for whole grains. They are much richer in fibre and we know now that fibres contribute to the health of our body!
To vary your diet, starchy foods can be replaced by pulses (lentils, chickpeas, beans, etc.).
There are three types: milk, cheese and yoghurt. It is recommended for adults to consume two dairy products per day in order to have sufficient calcium intake. Dairy products are good for our bones and teeth, as well as our muscles and nervous system.
They may be of animal origin (meat, fish, eggs, etc.) or plant origin (oilseeds, legumes, tofu, etc.).
It is important to consume protein. On the other hand, we need to be vigilant about food and quantities. It is therefore better to eat poultry than red meat. This should be limited to 500 g per week. For meat, choose the least fatty cuts; for fish, it’s the other way round. Oily fish provides us with omega-3, which is important for the proper development of our brain and the proper functioning of our vision.
Lipids are essential for our bodies, so we recommend eating polyunsaturated oils such as vegetable oils, seeds and oily fish, which are rich in omega-3 and omega-6. However, it is important to limit consumption of the saturated fats found in the majority of industrial products, as these increase the risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease.
Tips for healthy eating
1 - Beware of sugar
Carbohydrates are present in our diet in various forms (glucose, fructose, sucrose, etc.). It is important to consume it because they are a supply of energy to our body. However, it is necessary to favour complex carbohydrates with a low glycaemic index* and to banish food with added white sugar (biscuits, fruit with syrup, sweets, etc.) and sugary drinks (soda, fruit juice, syrup, etc.).
2 - Limit salt intake
As with carbohydrates, salt contains essential nutrients for the body, but it should not be overused. Too much salt encourages the development of high blood pressure and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
3 - Avoid processed dishes
This third piece of advice follows on from the first two, since most processed foods contain too much sugar and salt. In addition, since the foods contained in these industrial dishes are so processed, their consumption is to be limited.
4 -Varied eating
Over the course of a day, it is important to eat fruit and vegetables, one portion of starch, one portion of protein, one portion of dairy products and a little fat. This makes it possible to assimilate as many nutrients as possible and thus exploit all the benefits of the diet on our body.
It is also a good idea to vary the foods you eat so that you obtain sufficient quantities of nutrients, and also to respect your own rhythm and the sensations of hunger and satiety sent by your body.
5 - Eating in season
Eating seasonal food is an excellent habit to get into for a number of reasons. Fruits and vegetables often meet our nutritional needs, which are different in each season. (For example, vitamin C deficiency caused by lack of sunshine in winter can be compensated for by citrus fruit, which is very rich in vitamin C). Eating seasonal means eating fruits and vegetables with a more pronounced taste and thus enjoying them all the more. It also makes it possible to discover new foods, to vary pleasure and therefore nutrient intake.
*Glycaemic index (or GI) is used to classify sweet foods according to their effect on blood sugar levels.
– Organisation Mondiale de la Santé, Alimentation saine, 2018 https://www.who.int/fr/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/healthy-diet#:~:text=Un%20r%C3%A9gime%20alimentaire%20sain%20est,du%20riz%20brun%20non%20transform%C3%A9s
– ANSES, Les lipides, 2021, https://www.anses.fr/fr/content/les-lipides#:~:text=Commun%C3%A9ment%20appel%C3%A9s%20%C2%AB%20graisses%20%C2%BB%2C%20les,contribuent%20%C3%A0%20l’apport%20%C3%A9nerg%C3%A9tique.
– ANSES, Les protéines, 2013, https://www.anses.fr/fr/content/les-prot%C3%A9ines
– ANSES, Sucres dans l’alimentation, 2018, https://www.anses.fr/fr/content/sucres-dans-l%E2%80%99alimentation
– Mangerbouger, Les recommandations alimentaires pour un adulte, https://www.mangerbouger.fr/manger-mieux/a-tout-age-et-a-chaque-etape-de-la-vie/les-recommandations-alimentaires-pour-les-adultes