Healthy eating helps protect against all forms of malnutrition, as well as non-communicable diseases including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
Poor diet and lack of physical activity are the main health risks worldwide.
Healthy eating habits start at a young age: Breastfeeding promotes healthy growth and improves cognitive development. It could also have long-term benefits, such as reducing the risk of overweight, obesity, or non-communicable diseases over the course of one’s life.
In terms of energy, the intake (in calories) must be adapted to the expenditure. To avoid excessive weight gain, fat should not exceed 30% of total energy intake (1,2,3).
Limiting free sugars intake to less than 10% of total energy intake (2.7) is part of a healthy diet. It is suggested to go even further and fall below 5% of total energy intake to increase the health benefits (7).
By keeping salt intake to less than 5g per day (which corresponds to a sodium intake of less than 2g per day), we help prevent hypertension and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. in the adult population (8).
Whom the Member States have agreed to reduce salt intake by 30% of the world’s population and to halt the rise in diabetes and obesity in adults and adolescents, as well as overweight in children. children, by 2025 (9.10).
Adopting a healthy diet throughout life helps prevent all forms of malnutrition, as well as a large number of noncommunicable diseases and conditions. Yet the increasing production of processed foods, rapid urbanization, and changing lifestyles have caused a change in eating habits. People are now consuming more high-calorie foods high in fat, free sugars, or salt/sodium, and many are not eating enough fruits, vegetables, and dietary fiber, such as those provided by whole grains.
The exact composition of a diverse, balanced, and healthy diet will vary depending on individual needs (e.g. age, gender, lifestyle, and exercise), cultural background, locally available foods, and habits. food. But the basics of what constitutes a healthy diet remain the same.
A healthy diet consists of the following:
fruits, vegetables, legumes (for example, lentils and peas), dried fruits, and whole grains (for example, unprocessed corn, millet, oats, wheat, and brown rice).
at least 400 g (or 5 servings) of fruits and vegetables per day (2); potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava, and other starchy roots are not fruits and vegetables.
less than 10% of total energy intake from free sugars (2.7), or the equivalent of 50 g (or about 12 level teaspoons) for a person of normal weight consuming about 2000 calories per day; Ideally, for better health, this share should be less than 5% of total energy intake (7). Free sugars are added to foods or drinks by the manufacturer, cook, or consumer, but they are also found naturally in honey, syrups, fruit juices or fruit juice concentrates.
less than 30% of total energy intake from fat (1,2,3). Unsaturated fats (found in fish, avocado, and nuts, as well as sunflower, soybean, rapeseed, and olive oils) should be preferred over saturated fats (found in fatty meat, butter, palm and coconut oil, cream, cheese, clarified butter, and lard ) and trans fatty acids of all kinds. There are industrial trans fatty acids (found in baked and fried foods as well as in snacks and prepackaged foods, for example, frozen pizzas, pies, cookies, cookies, waffles, or cooking oils and spreads), as well as trans-fatty acids from ruminants ( found in meat and dairy products from ruminant animals such as cows, sheep, goats, and camels). It is proposed to reduce the intake of saturated fat to less than 10% of total energy intake and that of trans fatty acids to less than 1% (5). Industrial trans fatty acids, in particular, cannot