Appetite for health
It's probably never been so easy to eat healthily as it is today. At the same time, an unmanageable range of - often only supposedly healthy - products, dietary trends and scientific findings makes it difficult for the individual to keep track of things. Below you will find tips on healthy nutrition as well as interesting facts from our STADA health report. Who cooks fresh meals every day in Europe? What do you think?
Germans Don’t Feel Like Cooking
Only 46 percent of Germans prepare fresh meals almost every day. In a Europe-wide comparison, only the Brits (43 percent) rattle pots and pans less often. However, people in other countries put much greater emphasis on homemade food. The Italians are frontrunners at the stove with nearly 80 percent. Nutrition is one of the hot future topics when it comes to health. Additionally, a healthy diet is considered an integral part of a healthy lifestyle. The representative STADA Health Report 2019 shows that there are significant differences between Europeans in this regard.
Food supplements on the rise
Vegan or not – 28 percent of Europeans do not want to risk a weak immune system due to a nutrient deficiency and therefore regularly take food supplements. Vitamins and co. are particularly popular in Poland, where 4 out of 10 people use such supplements. With 27 percent, Germany corresponds to the European average.
Five a day
- Bananas are rich in potassium and magnesium as well as good sources of energy because they contain a lot of carbohydrates. That is why they are a popular snack, especially for athletes.
- Carrots are not only popular with hares. In Germany, an average of 6.5 kilograms per person and year are consumed. A medium-sized carrot covers approximately the daily vitamin A requirement. Hence the statement that carrots are good for the eyes. Because a lack of vitamin A can lead to night blindness.
- On average, every German eats about 22 kilograms of tomatoes a year. The popular red fruit consists of 95 percent water. This makes it low in calories and also contains many vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, calcium and magnesium.
- Oranges and lemons are the best sources of vitamin C? Not true! Paprika is the winner. However, the vitamin C content depends on the colour and preparation. At around 140 milligrams per 100 grams, raw red peppers contain the most important nutrients, green, cooked fruits somewhat less.
- The apple is one of the most popular fruits in Germany. It contains many vitamins, most of which are in the skin or directly underneath. Regular consumption can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes or even cancer.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away!
Orientation in the nutrient jungle
Nutrition pyramids provide a good orientation through the jungle of nutrients. They show at a glance what belongs on the plate every day and what only occasionally. In addition to nutrients, many other things play a role: gender, age, weight, height, state of health and of course the degree of physical activity. People also differ in their metabolism. Therefore it helps to learn to listen to one's own body: What tastes good and what doesn't? What is good for you?
Nutrition pyramids - a valuable aid
We get the most power from starch, the carbohydrates. The brain draws its energy from them. They form the broad layer of the pyramid base. However, carbohydrates are not the same as carbohydrates. So-called complex carbohydrates are most favourable for the metabolism. These are multiple sugars often in combination with indigestible components, the dietary fibres. Complex carbohydrates are only slowly broken down in the intestine and therefore ensure a balanced blood sugar level. Potatoes, cereals, vegetables, legumes and fruit contain the complex "good" carbohydrates. In more recent nutrition pyramids, vegetables, pulses and fruit play the first violin in the carbohydrate concert before the classics bread and potatoes.
The upper third of the pyramid contains proteins. They are the basic building blocks for body cells, hormones and other vital components. High-quality proteins provide animals with their meat, eggs and dairy products. Cereals, potatoes, pulses, rice and nuts also contain proteins, but in a slimmed-down form. If you want to remove meat from your diet, you have to be careful to combine the different vegetable proteins. One floor above the proteins are the fats - valuable sources of energy and indispensable for numerous metabolic processes. However, excessive consumption has brought this power source into disrepute. The biggest culprits are the less favourable types of fat for the metabolism (saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids). Of all things, the majority of people consume too much of them. On the other hand, we are often undersupplied with the cheap polyunsaturated fatty acids: their proportion in the average diet is only 14 percent instead of the recommended 30 percent. Unsaturated fatty acids play such an important role because the body cannot produce them itself. They are found, for example, in fish, nuts, seeds, sunflowers and wheat germ oil.
At the very top of the pyramid, chocolate & co. are enthroned - all the comforts that sweeten the lives of almost all of us. As a literal icing on the cake on a well-balanced meal, which is served pro rata from all floors of the pyramid, they cannot harm our health. Because a healthy diet should be about one thing above all else: enjoyment. In addition, since our body consists of 70 percent water, we need a lot of fluids every day. But sweet soft drinks and lemonades - even the supposedly healthy organic lemonades - have no place here.
Vital substances - man does not live from bread alone
In addition to carbohydrates, protein and fat, our body needs vital substances: vitamins and minerals. A balanced diet usually provides you with everything you need. However, there are situations in which it may be necessary to obtain vital minerals and trace elements with the help of dietary supplements. Especially from the age of 50 the energy requirement usually decreases. However, the need for vital substances remains the same. Food supplements can help to secure the supply of vital substances without gaining weight.
Five nutrition myths
1. raw food is healthiest
Not necessarily. The body cannot always break open plant cell walls. Only by heating valuable vital substances become usable, for example the beta-carotene in the carrot.
2. late meal makes thick
Not true as far as science goes. The following applies: When losing weight, the calorie balance is decisive, not the time of eating.
3. chocolate makes you happy
Too good to be true! There is no scientific evidence that chocolate actually makes you happy. But: Cocoa contains caffeine, theobromine, which can cause intoxication-like states, and a component of the happiness hormone serotonin. But there's not enough of it in chocolate to make you feel really happy - the low concentration is not enough.
4. a schnapps for digestion
After the meal first a small schnapps for better digestion - unfortunately not true. In the short term the stomach muscles relax, but at the same time the digestion is delayed by the alcohol. The food is then digested even more slowly and the feeling of fullness lasts longer.
5. fat burner chili
Yes, the chilli pod is one of the foods that cause increased energy consumption. However, the effect is so small that it does not carry weight.
The yo-yo effect - the constant ups and downs
The tricky thing about diets is that it is not enough to keep them up until you reach the weight you feel good about.
Healthy cooking with children - not so difficult at all
Cooking yourself is a great experience for children, which brings them closer to the awareness of a healthy diet.
Magnesium - a vital mineral
Substances such as magnesium are essential and make a major contribution to our health and performance.
Vitamin D and K - a strong team
Expert interview on the "sun vitamin" D and its important partner - vitamin K.