Nutritionist Natalia Parulska, M.Sc.
Winter is a season that does not spoil with a variety of products, such as vegetables and fruits, for example. This period makes good habits related to the consumption of water, vegetables, fruits and the general variety of meals start to limp. Often we eat the same thing because we simply don't have an idea of anything else. However, it is worthwhile to make sure that we eat a variety of meals in winter as well, in order to provide ourselves with the maximum amount of nutrients with food.
Winter diet -what products to choose ?
Let's pay attention to frozen and pickled vegetables. Let's use not only sauerkraut or cucumbers in our menu. We can pickle virtually any vegetable, a suggestion for winter pickling could be beets. Due to the significant amount of salt, pickles should be used in limited quantities by people with high blood pressure.
Let's make sure that the menu is properly balanced, trying to use products from all groups: multicolored vegetables, to a lesser extent fruits, grain products (especially from whole grains, such as. groats, oatmeal, whole-grain pasta, wholemeal bread), lean meat, fish (especially fatty), low-fat, unsweetened dairy products, eggs, legumes (beans, soybeans, lentils, chickpeas), fats of vegetable origin (oils, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds).
You can enrich your menu with spices that exhibit anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial or simply warming up our bodies. This would include turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, cloves, cardamom, anise, oregano, nigella, but also our common horseradish and garlic.
In winter, due to the low temperature outside the window, we can increase the frequency of warm meals during the day. We usually eat a warm lunch, but a nice start to the day can be a warm first breakfast in the form of, for example, oatmeal, soft-boiled eggs or an omelet.
When planning meals, we can model the plate:
How to eat in order not to get fat?
When eating a winter diet, it is important to maintain a healthy body weight. If your BMI(Body Mass Index) exceeds 25 kg/m2 in the first place, eliminate empty calories from your diet, that is, products that provide a significant amount of energy without contributing almost any nutritional value:
- All kinds of sweets - cakes, cookies, bars, candies, jelly beans, etc.,
- chips, crisps, breadsticks, salty nuts and other snacks of this kind, also beware of seemingly "light" snacks - rice wafers, scones, rusks, andruts,
- Carbonated beverages, non-carbonated fruit drinks, nectars, ice teas, flavored waters, energy drinks, alcohol,
- Sugar added to sweeten beverages and other forms, such as brown sugar, fruit syrups, honey,
- sweet breakfast cereals, store-bought granolas and crunch muesli,
- Sweetened dairy products (flavored yogurts, homogenized cheese, flavored milks...),
- Fast-food and deep-fried foods, such as French fries, battered pork chops,
- Flour dishes, such as potato noodles, dumplings, and kopytka.
How to calculate BMI?
Diet during infection and senior's plate
If there are elderly people among our household members, let's make sure that their menu is varied. Above all, make sure it does not lack wholesome protein - from eggs, lean meat, fish or low-fat dairy products. Sometimes older people deliberately eliminate sources of protein due to difficulty chewing or swallowing food. Discomfort after consuming dairy may also increase with age. Try to facilitate the intake of protein-rich products by grinding meat before processing (preparing ground meat pulp, for example) or buying lactose-free dairy.
If we want to increase the caloric content of the meal without increasing its volume (lack of appetite), we can use nuts in ground form, which can be added to oatmeal or yogurt.
Let's make sure that dishes encourage eating, that is, they are served in an aesthetically pleasing way. It is worth supporting with color, use different colored vegetables and fruits, freshly squeezed juices - each color will provide different nutrients, for example, orange - carotenoids, purple - anthocyanins, green - folate, red - lycopene.
We should adopt the same strategy during an infection that progresses with appetite weakness, loss of smell and/or taste.