The most common dietary mistakes are going too long without eating, consuming too much meat and soft drinks, eating too little fiber and not reading food labels. These poor eating habits increase the risk of diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer, but there are strategies that can help prevent these changes.
Having a healthy and balanced diet helps to control weight and improve the body's metabolism, reducing the production of fat and free radicals, which are the main substances that cause illness and premature aging.
1. Skipping meals
Going without food for a long time is one of the most common eating mistakes that contributes most to weight gain. Many people say that they don't have time or that if they eat they will always put on weight, but having snacks between main meals is essential for the proper functioning of the body and to avoid putting on weight.
The intestines of those who skip meals frequently prepare to absorb as much nutrients as possible, while the rest of the body starts to conserve energy. The end result is that you burn fewer calories throughout the day, and when a person overeat at a meal ends up saving extra calories more easily.
How to solve it: Eating every 3-4 hours helps control blood glucose, avoid overeating in large meals and maintain a high metabolism in the body.
2. Exaggerate meats
Eating a lot of meat is a common habit that brings harm to health, such as increased cholesterol and uric acid. Meats, especially red meats, are rich in fats and their preparation usually takes even more fats such as oil and butter, in addition to wheat flour and eggs to make breaded.
Bacon and sausage meats such as sausage and sausage are the worst choices, as they not only contain more fat and salt, they are also rich in preservatives, dyes and flavor enhancers, additives that are toxic to the body and can irritate the intestines.
How to solve it: prefer white meat and fish, and eat about 120 g of meat per meal, which corresponds to the size of your palm.
3. Drink soda
Soft drinks are drinks rich in fructose, a type of sugar that increases the risk of insulin resistance and diabetes. They are also rich in acids that demineralize tooth enamel, favoring the appearance of caries, and in gases that cause abdominal pain, intestinal gas and gastritis.
Additionally, these drinks contain sodium and caffeine, which causes changes in blood pressure and fluid retention.
How to solve it: prefer natural drinks such as unsweetened juices, teas, water and coconut water.
4. Consume little fiber
Fiber is mainly present in fruits, vegetables, seeds and whole foods, but these foods have been replaced by industrialized products rich in carbohydrates, salt and fat, such as tortilla chips and stuffed biscuits.
A low-fiber diet increases the feeling of hunger, encourages constipation and increases the risk of diseases such as colon cancer. In addition, those who consume little fiber also have a diet low in essential vitamins and minerals for the prevention of diseases such as cancer and premature aging.
How to solve it: eat at least 3 fruits a day, add salad to the main meals and prefer whole foods such as bread and rice.
5. Not reading food labels
Processed foods are rich in fats, sugars and salt, as these ingredients are cheap and help to increase the shelf life of the product. By not reading the labels, people do not know the ingredients used and do not realize that they are eating unhealthy foods.
A diet rich in fats, sugars and salt favors the appearance of diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and atherosclerosis.
How to solve it: read food labels to identify the presence of fats, sugars and salt.
Most common eating errors among the elderly
Eating errors made by the elderly further harm health, as at this stage of life the immune system is weaker and it is easier to have diseases and complications such as infections and dehydration, for example. In general, the main eating mistakes made at this stage of life are:
- Drinking little water: the elderly no longer have control of their body water and no longer feel the sensation of thirst, which is why dehydration is common in the elderly, which can cause dry skin and lips, dizziness and fainting.
- Skipping meals: due to tiredness or lack of ability, it is common for the elderly not to have snacks and not eat well, which leads to weight loss, muscle weakness and a greater risk of having infectious diseases such as the flu and pneumonia.
- Adding too much salt to meals: Elderly people experience less of the taste of food, so they tend to put more salt in their food to compensate for the lack of taste, which favors an increase in blood pressure.
Thus, the elderly should always have water or liquid foods within reach, so that they can hydrate themselves through small sips throughout the day, and should have main meals and snacks even when they are not hungry. They also need to have herbs at their disposal to use as cooking spices, replacing salt, and whenever possible an adult should supervise their eating to ensure the elderly person has adequate nutrition.
(Reference - https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/5-mistakes-that-will-sabotage-a-healthy-diet, https://makeyourbodywork.com/17-healthy-eating-mistakes/, https://www.sharecare.com/health/diet-nutrition/slideshow/6-everyday-eating-mistakes)
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