Eating habits are part of everyday choices. Substituting meat, rice, beans and salad for a fast food meal at lunchtime may become a habit for some people.
Like this example, these habits are not always healthy and can lead to long-term health problems. Therefore, it is essential to understand what eating habits are and how they affect our health.
Next, understand better what can harm food, how to make it healthier and also how Brazil finds itself in this scenario.
What are eating habits?
Eating habits are behaviors that a person adopts in relation to their food that is, they are the choices she makes in relation to the foods she eats on a daily basis.
An eating habit usually includes what to eat, when to eat it, and how to prepare food.
They can also vary greatly between people and between different cultures and regions of the world.
In addition, they can be influenced by several factors, such as personal preferences, cultural values, food availability and nutritional information.
What is harmful to eating habits?
Food customs don’t just come out of nowhere. Because it’s a habit, they are created over time.
Therefore, it is necessary to understand what can harm good eating habits: skipping meals, not drinking water and dieting without follow-up are some of them. Understand better below.
The habit of skipping meals, often with the aim of eating less, can be very negative for eating. Especially if the person is hungry.
This process means that, at the next meal, the source is much larger and, thus, the person ends up eating anyway – which he would not have done if he had eaten normally before. In addition, it can overload the digestive system.
Another eating habit that can be harmful is eating too fast. This practice causes the person to eat larger pieces of food, which results in slower intestinal transit.
So it’s important to take your time to eat and chew it well. The risk of poor digestion also increases, because without correct chewing, the stomach will work harder to digest.
Not including healthy foods
Healthy eating habits also involve the types of food you choose. If the diet only has industrialized and ultra-processed products, this will also harm the person.
This is because these foods do not have enough nutrients for the proper functioning of the body.
In addition, they also tend to have higher levels of fats, sodium and sugars, which can lead to health problems.
don’t drink water
Hydration is essential. It’s water that helps with food digestion, nutrient absorption, body temperature control and elimination of toxins. Without it, you cannot maintain good eating habits.
It is worth remembering that the human body is made up of 60 to 70% water, so this level needs to be maintained properly. The ideal amount of water can vary according to sex, age, physical aspects, air humidity and temperature.
Dieting without professional supervision
Maintaining good eating habits also involves the need for a nutritionist. Therefore, those who do diets without professional follow-up can not only reach their goal but also harm themselves.
As they are not nutritionists, people do not always know the basic need for nutrients that they must ingest daily to maintain a healthy diet.
Food based only on one food group generates nutritional deficiency.
How to create healthy eating habits?
Understanding what is harmful to creating healthy eating habits, here are some tips on how to create better eating habits.
Have a balanced meal plan
Balance is the way to create good eating habits. With the help of a professional, it is possible to create a balanced plan, with proteins, carbohydrates, fibers, cereals and good fats.
One scientific study conducted in France on the subject concluded that planning meals is associated with a healthier diet and less obesity.
Be careful with restrictive diets
Restrictive diets can get in the way of maintaining eating habits. Many times, diets that cut carbs, the lack of nutrients can make you feel tired and irritable.
By radically restricting the consumption of sweets, for example, the desire increases.
Therefore, it is necessary to seek health without sacrificing yourself. Aggressive diets can generate opposite effects, such as food compulsions, precisely because of the great deprivation.
Chew food well
The biological mechanisms that control our appetite are complex and need various stimulations to activate the feeling of satiety.
For that reason, eating regularly, slowly and paying more attention can be a natural and balanced way to control how much you eat. By chewing food longer, concentration increases and so does satiety.
Hydrate yourself during the day
As we said, hydration is a basic practice to have healthy eating habits, the only difference is how much a person will drink per day.
For some people, drinking two liters of water a day may be enough; others needed 3 or even 4 liters — as is the case with athletes.
Insert more vegetables, fruits and vegetables in meals
O Food Guide for the Brazilian Populationfrom the Ministry of Health, recommends the consumption of natural or minimally processed foods within eating habits.
But in addition, he indicates that he has a habit of eating varieties of plant origin as the basis of his diet. Therefore, good food planning should include more vegetables, fruits and vegetables.
Try to understand product labels
Nutritional information should also be a point of attention for anyone who is concerned about eating well.
In October 2022, the Nutrition Facts Table underwent significant changes to make it easier to read.
Product labels inform the nutritional values of a portion of the food, bringing not only the calories, but the amount, in grams, of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, sodium, among others.
eat on time
Also according to the Food Guide for the Brazilian Population, meals that take place at similar times every day favor the digestion of food and also avoid eating more than necessary.
Often, the need to “snack” and eat outside of a meal — or when you’re hungry — arises due to a visual stimulus. Therefore, it is important to avoid the disposal of these foods, especially when they are ultra-processed.
How are the eating habits of Brazilians?
Brazil occupies the 7th position in the healthy food and beverage market in the world . And the demand for Brazilian healthy foods has increased strongly with the pandemic.
According to the International Euromonitorthe sector grew 33% between 2015 and 2020. And the expectation is that by 2025 it will grow another 27%.
Despite the high demand, there are still studies that show that eating habits were also damaged during this global crisis.
The study “Habits and eating behavior during the covid-19 pandemic in Brazil” showed a worsening in lifestyle, food choices and frequency of physical activity in the last year.
When evaluating more basic aspects, such as food security, capable of enabling a healthier diet, the scenario is more complex.
The 2022 Food and Nutrition Security Outlook showed that 20% of people do not have access to healthy food in Latin America and the Caribbean.
That is, one in five people cannot buy or consume foods such as vegetables, fruits, grains and cereals. There are 131 million people in this situation, 8 million more than in 2019. Of this total, 57% are in South America.
Regarding Brazil, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) revealed that the prevalence of severe food insecurity reached 15.4 million Brazilians (7.3% of the population) between 2019 and 2021.
Why is it important to maintain good eating habits?
Maintaining good eating habits is essential to ensure a healthy life. Our food is the main source of nutrients and energy for the body, and a balanced diet is essential to keep the body functioning properly.
In addition, healthy eating habits are directly related to the prevention and control of various diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and even some types of cancer.
A diet rich in essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber can help improve immune system health, prevent chronic disease, and improve overall quality of life.
According to this study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, people who carefully followed healthy eating patterns were less likely to die from cancer, cardiovascular, respiratory and neurodegenerative diseases.
To summarize what we talked about on the topic, then:
- Eating habits involve the choices and behaviors that people adopt in their daily lives in relation to food;
- skipping meals, not drinking water and dieting without follow-up can impair the quality of your food;
- Avoiding restrictive diets, chewing food well and including vegetables, fruits and greens in your diet help you to be healthier.
- Maintaining good eating habits is essential to ensure a healthy life, avoiding illness and ensuring a longer life.
Source: CNN Brasil
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