Nutrition: Tips for healthy eating
- During pregnancy, avoid excessive weight gain and be careful to cover your needs in protein, calcium, iron, folate and water.
- In particular, during the entire fertile age, care must be taken that folate intake covers the needs in order to reduce the risk of alterations of the neural tube (spina bifida) in the fetus.
- During pregnancy, do not consume raw or undercooked foods of animal origin and do not drink alcoholic beverages.
During breastfeeding the nutritional needs are even higher than those of pregnancy: a varied diet, rich in water, fresh vegetables, fish, milk and derivatives, will help to feel good and to produce a milk that is completely suitable for the needs of the newborn. In the period of breastfeeding, those foods that can give unpleasant odors or flavors to the milk or trigger allergic manifestations in the infant should be avoided. Avoid alcoholic beverages and use products containing nerve substances (coffee, tea, cocoa, cola-based beverages, etc.) with caution.
Children and young people of school age must:
- Eat breakfast, divide your diet appropriately throughout the day and choose vegetables and fruit more frequently.
- Avoid exceeding the consumption of sweet foods and carbonated drinks, and consuming the typical American fast-food dishes too often.
- Devote at least 1 hour a day to physical activity and movement (walking, playing outdoors, etc.)
- Avoid adopting – beyond all control – particularly unbalanced and monotonous eating patterns, just because they are “in fashion”.
- Pay particular attention, especially girls, to cover their increased needs in iron and calcium: follow some trends in vogue among young people that lead to excluding from the diet foods such as meat and fish (excellent sources of iron) and milk and derivatives (excellent sources of calcium) makes this coverage and that of vitamin B12 very difficult and finds no scientific justification.
Women in menopause
They should try to take advantage of the possible increased availability of free time to practice greater physical activity and to take care of nutrition should:
- Learn to never unbalance the diet and always keep in mind that, since each food has its own specific role in the context of daily nutrition, one should never indiscriminately eliminate entire food groups in favor of others.
- One should not overdo it with milk and cheese, despite their high calcium content; if necessary, prefer skimmed milk and, among the cheeses, choose those with a lower fat and salt content.
- Consume fresh fruit and vegetables in abundance every day.
- Preferably use extra virgin olive oil.
- Be convinced that even in menopause, overweight and obesity, sedentary lifestyle, constipation, cigarette smoking and alcohol abuse are important risk factors.
Elderly persons should:
- Strive to systematically consume a varied and palatable diet.
- Avoid too frequent use of cold meals, pre-cooked or reheated dishes.
- Choose foods based on the conditions of your chewing system, also to facilitate digestive processes that are less efficient in the elderly, and prepare them appropriately such as: mincing meats, grating or crushing ripe fruit, preparing soups, purees and smoothies, choose a soft bread or soften it in liquid etc.
- Avoid heavy meals and it is very important to divide the diet on several occasions throughout the day.
- Have a good breakfast including milk or yogurt.
- Maintain an acceptable body weight, continuing to maintain, if possible, a good level of motor activity and avoiding the abuse of fatty condiments and sweets.
- Reduce animal fats, frequently choosing fish and alternative meats (chicken, turkey, rabbit, etc.), do not overdo it with cheeses.
- Often consume legumes, fruit and fresh vegetables.
- Do not exceed with the consumption of alcoholic beverages and with the addition of table salt.
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