Winter diet - what you should know
Nutritionist Natalia Parulska, M.Sc.
Winter is a season which does not spoil us with a wide variety of products, such as fruit and vegetables. This period means that good habits related to the consumption of water, vegetables, fruit and a general variety of meals start to fall by the wayside. We often eat the same thing because we simply cannot think of anything else. However, even in winter, it is worth making sure that meals are varied so that you get the maximum amount of nutrients from your food.
Winter diet -which products to choose ?
Look out for frozen and pickled vegetables. Your menu should not only include sauerkraut or cucumbers. You can pickle practically any vegetable, beetroot can be a suggestion for winter pickling. Due to a considerable amount of salt, pickles should be used in limited quantities by people with hypertension.
Make sure your diet is well-balanced and try to use products from all food groups: vegetables of different colours, fruit to a lesser extent, cereals (especially whole grains, e.g. groats, oatmeal, wholemeal pasta, wholemeal bread), lean meat, fish (especially fatty fish), low-fat, unsweetened dairy products, low-carbohydrate, low-sugar dairy products, low-fat, unsweetened dairy products, etc. Make sure your diet is well-balanced and try to use products from all groups: colourful vegetables, to a lesser extent fruit, cereals (especially wholemeal, e.g. groats, oatmeal, wholemeal pasta, wholemeal bread), lean meat, fish (especially oily ones), low-fat, non-sugar dairy products, eggs, pulses (beans, soya, lentils, chickpeas), fats of vegetable origin (oils, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds).
You can enrich your menu with spices which show anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial properties or simply warm up our body. These include turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, cloves, cardamom, aniseed, oregano, nigella, but also our common horseradish and garlic.
In winter, due to the low temperatures outside the window, we can increase the frequency of warm meals during the day. We usually have a warm lunch, but a warm first breakfast such as oatmeal, soft-boiled egg or omelette can be a pleasant start to the day.
When planning meals, we can model the plate:
How to eat without getting fat?
With a winter diet it is important to maintain a healthy body weight. If yourBody Mass Index (BMI) exceeds 25 kg/m2, eliminate empty calories from your diet first:
- all kinds of confectionery - cakes, biscuits, bars, sweets, jelly sweets, etc,
- Beware of apparently 'light' snacks such as rice cakes, scones, rusks and wafers,
- carbonated drinks, still fruit drinks, nectars, ice teas, flavoured waters, energy drinks, alcohol,
- sugar added to sweeten drinks and other forms, e.g. brown sugar, fruit syrups, honey,
- sugary breakfast cereals, store-bought granolas and crunchy muesli,
- sweetened dairy products (flavoured yoghurt, homogenised cheese, flavoured milk, etc.),
- fast-food and deep-fried foods, e.g. Chips, breaded cutlets,
- farinaceous dishes, e.g. potato dumplings, gnocchi, kopytka (potato dumplings).
How to calculate BMI?
Diet during infections and the senior's plate
If you have elderly people in your household, make sure you have a varied menu. Above all, make sure they get plenty of wholesome protein - from eggs, lean meat, fish or low-fat dairy products. Sometimes older people deliberately eliminate sources of protein because they have difficulty chewing or swallowing food. Discomfort after consuming dairy may also increase with age. Try to facilitate the intake of protein-rich foods by grinding meat before processing (preparing minced meat pulp, for example) or by purchasing lactose-free dairy products.
If you want to increase the calorific value of a meal without increasing its volume (lack of appetite) you can use ground nuts, which can be added to oatmeal or yoghurt.
Let's make sure that dishes encourage us to eat, i.e. they should be served in an aesthetically pleasing way. It is worth supporting yourself with colour, using various coloured vegetables and fruit, freshly squeezed juices - each colour will provide different nutrients, e.g. orange - carotenoids, violet - anthocyanins, green - folate, red - lycopene.
The same strategy should be adopted during an infection with a loss of appetite, smell and/or taste.