The basics of healthy eating

    This article is an excerpt from the manual that was given to my father at work. About a healthy lifestyle, dumbbells and how to keep fit, a lot was said on Habr. I suggest you familiarize yourself with nutritional recommendations.

    Particularly curious can see the full version (pdf, ~ 770Kb).

    Digestive Overview

    The digestive system includes a number of interconnected and interdependent organs, providing continuous and coordinated work of the gastrointestinal tract.

    The functions of the digestive system include the mechanical and chemical processing of food products, the absorption of nutrients and water into the blood and lymph, the formation and removal of undigested food residues, as well as participation in the body's immune defense.


    The stomach is a muscle organ with a capacity of 1.5-2 l, intended mainly for the mechanical processing of food and the breakdown of certain proteins using hydrochloric acid and enzymes secreted by it. Depending on the nature and method of preparation, food may be in the stomach from 4 to 10 hours. The longest time in the stomach is fatty foods and less fluid.

    Stomach likes:

    Mode.At least three, and preferably four meals a day in small portions at about the same time. This allows the stomach to tune into the rhythm of food intake and timely produce the necessary amount of gastric juice. Ritual. It is important to take food carefully, without haste and in a good mood. This will improve the digestive process, and attention will allow you to monitor the quantity and quality of food taken.

    Meru. The extra piece would not be good for him. Rising from the table, you should feel a slight feeling of hunger, which in a few minutes will be replaced by a feeling of fullness.

    Stomach does not like:

    Overeating.The stomach does not like it when its owner constantly overeats, swallows food in huge chunks or has a tight dinner right before going to bed. A stomach filled with food does not physically manage to process the gastric juice and digest a large amount of food, especially taken at night. Untreated food enters the small intestine, but since the digestion process has not been completed, the food cannot be fully absorbed and half of it is wasted. If such gluttony is repeated day after day, the ligamentous apparatus of the stomach does not withstand the load and stretches to an incredible size. So a person becomes a slave to his stomach. For lovers of food, it is often stretched to 10 liters or more! It is possible to get the muscle apparatus of the stomach to shrink only with incredible efforts of the will, and often this problem requires medical intervention.

    Stress. As a rule, in response to strong excitement, adrenaline is released in our body, which has an inhibitory effect on the center of hunger in the brain. But if this system fails or weakens, then a reverse reaction occurs and the slightest excitement only arouses a person's appetite.

    In a hurry. Food on the go does not bring the necessary pleasure and satiation. Snacking along the way, a person, as a rule, ceases to control not only the frequency of meals, but also its quantity.

    Hunger strike. Starving yourself is just as undesirable as overeating - any extremes are harmful to a balanced system. If you still decide to starve, it is advisable to do this under the supervision of doctors.

    Smoking. The stomach will react negatively to a cigarette after dinner, but smoking in the morning on an empty stomach can seriously harm health, provoking a whole range of diseases.


    The intestine consists of two sections: thin (5-7 m long) and thicker (1-2 m long) superior in diameter. In the intestine, water, trace elements, proteins, fats and carbohydrates break down and absorb into the blood and lymph. Digestion time in the small intestine takes from several hours to several tens. The maximum physiological time spent by food in the large intestine is up to 24 hours. The intestine can process about 4 kg of food per day.

    Warm food. Cold or excessively hot dishes and drinks irritate the intestinal mucosa.

    Fiber-rich foods.Fiber is only partially digested by our body and therefore plays an important role in the process of excretion, as it enhances the motility of the large intestine. The richest fiber is porridge (buckwheat, pearl barley), fruits (apples, plums), dried fruits (especially prunes), vegetables (carrots, beets, cabbage, greens).

    Dairy products. Kefir, yogurt, cottage cheese and other dairy products have a beneficial effect on the intestines, supporting a healthy microflora and inhibiting the development of putrefactive processes.

    Early dinner. Reception of easily digestible food no later than 19:00 will allow you to have a good rest during sleep, not only for you, but also for your intestines, which also need sleep.

    Morning Awakening.The intestine, accustomed to emptying in the morning, works much better during the day and does not create a feeling of excess weight. This is facilitated by a glass of warm water drunk on an empty stomach or an apple eaten before breakfast.

    The intestines do not like:

    Irritating foods. Irritating foods include spicy, greasy, spicy and smoked foods and alcohol. When used systemically, these products lead to inflammation of the intestinal mucosa and constipation.

    Overfat fats. Fats and oils left over from previous cooking should not be reused! From such "economy" putrefactive microflora blooms in the intestines.

    Poorly cooked food.Unwashed fruits or poorly peeled vegetables will also not give the intestines pleasure, as well as poorly cooked or, conversely, overcooked meat or fish. The intestines are a great specialist in the quality of cooked food.

    Excess fiber and sugar. Despite the fact that the intestines "loves" foods rich in fiber, it is necessary to know their measure in them. Overeating foods high in fiber and sugar (sweets, fruits, berries, nuts and raw vegetables) can lead to the development of fermentation and bloating.

    Antibiotics.More than 400 species of beneficial bacteria (in the amount of about 1013) constantly live in the human intestines. Healthy intestinal microflora is involved in the synthesis of many vitamins, helps to better absorb food, but, unfortunately, is very sensitive to all types of antibiotics, the intake of which often leads to the development of dysbiosis.

    Dehydration. The intestines are especially sensitive to a lack of water in the hot season. Violation of the water balance makes peristalsis difficult and leads to constipation.

    Pancreas and gall bladder

    The pancreas is the main "cook" in the digestive process. Almost 800 g of pancreatic juice, necessary for the enzymatic breakdown of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, is produced in her “kitchen” per day. Digested into simpler compounds, nutrients are absorbed in the small intestine. With a violation of the pancreas, the entire digestive system suffers. But the pancreas is not the only organ that breaks down nutrients. No less important in digestion is the role of the gallbladder, in which bile produced in the liver accumulates. The gall bladder has an oblong shape and reaches a healthy size with a small chicken egg. The role of bile is mainly in the breakdown of fats, stimulation of the pancreas and increased intestinal motility.

    The pancreas and gall bladder love:

    Mode. These organs prefer to eat fractionally 4-6 times a day in small portions at the same time. Fiber-rich foods. Vegetables, fruits, cereals, bran are products that normalize intestinal motility and gall bladder. They also reduce the prerequisites for stone formation, but it is advisable to use them after pre-treatment.

    The pancreas and gall bladder do not like:

    Irritating substances. Such products include alcohol, sweets, fried fatty foods (smoked meats, sausages, seasonings). Raw foods. It is not recommended to consume raw fruits and vegetables in excessive amounts, especially in the cold season.

    To summarize. Basic principles of good nutrition:

    1. Try to limit the amount of animal products in your menu: fatty meats and fatty dairy products. Lard, sausages, sausages, sausages, butter, sour cream and cream is best not to use at all or in small quantities and as little as possible. Cook with vegetable oils, but be reasonable in quantities, as a rule, cooking vegetable oil requires very little.
    2. Try to eat balanced, eat at least 4-5 times a day, adhering to the proverb: "Eat breakfast yourself, share lunch with a friend, and give dinner to the enemy." Science has confirmed folk wisdom: the body best assimilates and uses morning meals, and a light dinner 2-3 hours before bedtime will protect you from being overweight. IMPORTANT: get used to not eating at night, remember that not only you, but also your organs want to sleep.
    3. Eat small meals. It is not at all rational to endure hunger all day in order to eat both the first, second, and third in one sitting - this will not only complicate the digestion of dissimilar food, but also stretch the walls of the stomach excessively, which in the future will require more and more from you more food. It is enough to eat a small plate of porridge for breakfast, for lunch only a portion of the second or soup, and for dinner - salad. In the intervals between main meals, for example, you can drink a glass of milk or dairy products.
    4. Your food should be complete in composition, contain all the necessary proteins, fats and carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and its calorie content should correspond to your energy costs. This means that in the daily diet must be present fruits, vegetables, herbs, they are the main sources of vitamins. Do not exclude natural products from the diet, replacing them with low-calorie semi-finished products. Eat nutritious food, but pay attention to its quantity: are you overeating?
    5. Eat sweets as little as possible, try replacing sugar with fructose or honey. First of all, sugar is not the best helper on the path to health. Secondly, it is a mistake to count on sweets to cut off your appetite: carbohydrates are absorbed very quickly, and hunger will return to you faster than you have time to spend the calories you eat. Be reasonable: your body will be much better if you learn to eat not three cookies, but one, for example, or replace it with a piece of cheese.

    The basic principles of a balanced diet will allow you to lead a full life and maintain lightness in the body and good spirits.

    Full version (pdf, ~ 770Kb)

    PS I just want to add from myself: “Be healthy!”.

    UPD: At the request I post another “Flu and SARS” (pdf, ~ 700Kb)

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