Healthy eating: diet and sample menus

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Planning what to eat during a whole week is not only the best way to have a healthy and balanced diet , but also an excellent ally of the line. However, it is important to know some basics in order to plan a healthy scheme and be able to eat healthy .

How many meals do you do a day?
To start planning a menu, first of all you need to balance the nutrients . Basically, every person needs 50-60% of calories from carbohydrates, 20% of calories from proteins and 20% of calories from fat on a daily basis.

In reality, the proportions can change according to the objectives : for example, the sportsman will need more protein, so as those who want to lose weight will have to give a small cut to fats and carbohydrates.

The first thing to consider daily is the number of meals to be taken during the day. In fact, skipping meals, or spending many hours on an empty stomach, is never advisable, either because you may be lacking the energy needed to cope with daily activities, or because you can develop an appetite so strong that it overdoes the next meal.

The ideal is to distribute the food in 4-5-6 meals a day, and the general rule is to not allow more than 5 hours to pass without complete fasting. These meals should include a breakfast, a mid-morning snack, a lunch, a snack, a dinner and, for those who dine too early or need to “pamper themselves” before going to sleep, a very light pre-sleep snack.

How to organize a healthy menu and what to eat
Once the daily meals are set, creativity can be unleashed .

But what do you need to have a complete diet? First of all, starchy foods and cereals , even better if they are whole: then bread, pasta, rice, biscuits, rice cakes, crackers.

Then, again, there are the proteins , which in the case of vegans are of vegetable origin only (therefore, for those who do not know them, they are soy, wheat gluten, beans, chickpeas, lentils, dried fruit, legume flour), in the case of omnivores and lacto-ovo vegetarians also come from animals (for vegetarians eggs and cheeses, for omnivores also meat and fish).

Not to be overlooked are “good” fats , or extra virgin olive oil , nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, oil of flax seed . The vitamins and minerals found in varying amounts in all foods, but especially in fruits and vegetables, which are distributed in the famous how important five portions a day. And to drink? Better to avoid alcoholic beverages, especially consuming water , herbal teas, juices and fruit juices, taking tea and coffee with moderation.

Example of a balanced weekly menu
Breakfast

For breakfast , the ideal is to take vegetable milk, such as rice or soy , even if you were not a vegan: in fact, in the early morning this type of milk is very digestible, unlike the vaccine that can create some problems. So go ahead with a cup of soy yogurt with oats, bananas and nuts, all accompanied by an orange juice, or even a cup of soy or almond milk with cereals and / or rusks.

Snacks
For snack and snack , the ideal is to refer to healthy snacks, such as fruit, centrifuged, some dried fruit or toast with jam. These mini-doughs should not contain too many calories, just so as not to weigh down the body and give it just the right sprint to reach the next main meal without excess hunger.

Lunch
The lunch should have the right mix of starchy foods, protein and vegetables: green light, therefore, at first with pasta and vegetables, and a second as a dish of spinach and pine nuts, perhaps with the tofu with tomato sauce. Or again, you can choose a single dish, such as whole grains, legumes and cooked vegetables.

Dinner
The dinner may be similar to lunch, but slightly decreasing the flour (so, if at lunch you eat 80 grams of pasta, dinner to limit yourself to 50 grams for example). Be careful not to eat bread if you have also eaten pasta, or take half a portion of both: they are equivalent, so doubling the doses can only be harmful for the number of calories to be introduced daily.

Tips for seasonings
To season, always better to use the healthy and very Italian extra virgin olive oil, even better if raw. But how to distribute the various dishes in a week? Simple: proteins should be taken ‘in rotation ‘: if you are a vegetarian, for example, and you ate cheese on Monday lunch, opt for legumes for dinner and for eggs the next day (being careful to limit as much as possible the fats derived from cheese and eggs, limiting the consumption of these foods once a week in the case of eggs and twice in the case of cheeses).

Omnivores should be alert to excessive consumption of protein from meat, as well as to harmful substances with which animals are too often fed before becoming food, so watch out for both frequency and quantity. Vegans can alternate classic legumes with soya, with various soy derivatives (soy, tempeh, soy medallions) with seitan (to be avoided if you are celiac, because it is wheat gluten).

As for vegetables , do not always focus on a couple of varieties: there are so many, so make up your mind with seasonal vegetables, cooking them in all ways and in all ways! Also, do not always cook in the same way: if you plan a cold first course one day, the next day opt for a soup, or for a second with plenty of potatoes. The way food is cooked is also part of the so-called ‘variety’.

So sit down at the table, and create a personalized scheme of things that you like and that give you a smile without weighing you down, follow the rule of variety and rotation, and draw up two or three different weekly menus, alternating them.

Plan a healthy weekly menu: what not to forget
To plan a healthy menu with excellent results, we must not forget:

Buy everything that has been included in the weekly menu, so as not to be without ingredients when cooking.
Use seasonal foods , so that meals are qualitatively better from a nutritional point of view.
Vary the cooking methods, limiting the fried to one or two times a week.
Cook two portions and freeze one, so as to make our work easier for the next time and save time, energy … and gas!
Check every day what there is to eat the next day: in this way you can remedy any missing ingredients.
With these tricks you can plan a healthy scheme, improving the quality of your diet , time and also controlling the economic cost.
A food scheme was deliberately not written in this article: the choice of food is fundamentally personal, and for this reason we prefer to give ‘indications of any kind’ on which each of you will be able to give life to a table always based on your own tastes and own preferences, without forgetting the principles of health.

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