“The body itself tells you how hungry or full you are” – Science – Kommersant

How to eat so as not to gain excess weight and at the same time not deprive yourself of the most essential things? Do you need meat in summer? How is diet different in a pandemic era? Can you recover if you eat right? And get sick if you eat wrong? The correspondent of Kommersant-Science Natalia Leskova talked about all this with Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Viktor Tutelian, scientific director of the Federal State Budgetary Institution of Science of the Federal Research Center of Nutrition and Biotechnology, and the chief nutritionist of Russia.

– Summer is in full swing. What is the right way to eat at this time of year? Do I need to eat meat or enough vegetables and fruits?

– In summer, especially in the heat, it is necessary to facilitate the work of the gastrointestinal tract as much as possible, to give up red meat, smoked meats, sausages. And easily digestible and healthy food should be diversified as much as possible. To replenish protein, you need to eat fish and dairy products, preferably fat-free.

No bad products

– And the barbecue, without which summer is not summer?

– I always say – there are no bad products. Quantity and frequency are important. Well, you can’t live in the summer without a barbecue – allow yourself a barbecue. You cannot deprive yourself of all gastronomic pleasures. This creates stress, and stress leads to depression and other painful conditions.

But not more often than once a week, and not pork, but better chicken or turkey. Don’t overeat, eat three or four slices and that’s enough. You can eat as many vegetables as you like – there will be no harm.

The most important thing here is to comply with the laws of nutritional science. The first law is that the energy value and caloric content of the diet should be in balance with energy consumption.

Move a little – eat a little. If you want to eat more, go to the stadium and play sports. You cannot deceive nature.

Any imbalance is fraught with disease. Either you don’t eat anything, you are exhausted and die – or you overeat, get fat and get a bunch of cardiovascular and endocrine disorders, again you get sick and die. And in order to be healthy and ensure healthy longevity, you must observe this law.

– How to observe something? Count every calorie?

“Not at all necessary. The body tells you how hungry or full you are. If you allowed yourself a little more today, then the next day you need to deny yourself something and move more. Fortunately, summer is rich in vegetables, fruits, berries, herbs, and you can come up with a lot of light vitamin dishes, from which you will never recover, but you will feel great. Fruit and berry fasting day without meat is a great help to the body!

Vitamins all year round

– Do I need to take vitamins in the summer – or are there enough vegetables and fruits?

– This is where the second law of nutritional science comes into effect. In the summer, when we eat more vegetables and fruits, we must remember that first of all we are talking about vitamin C. And we need to get 170 different chemical compounds every day, of which about 40% are irreplaceable. And only some of them we get with food. We physically cannot eat enough to provide ourselves with everything we need, so we need multivitamins all year round, without interruptions.

– Which ones to prefer?

– There is no significant difference here. Their composition is approximately the same, they are bottled from neighboring “barrels”, and it does not matter whether they are imported vitamins or domestic. All are good.

– Well, what about vitamin D3, which is also called the “sunshine vitamin”? Do we need it in the summer or do we have enough sunshine?

– Needed. Especially now, in a pandemic, when its high efficiency in the prevention of severe disease has been proven, I would recommend continuing to use it in the indicated dosages – 1500-2000 IU per day.

You need to force yourself to eat

– Let’s talk about nutrition in the covid era. How is your recommended diet now different from what it was before the pandemic?

– It is very important that the diet is complete in terms of animal protein – so that antibodies that support immunity can be synthesized. A complete set of vitamins and minerals is equally important, as I have already said.

Don’t overeat – but never go hungry, as proper nutrition is an important part of a healthy life.

Life shows that even in extrasecular conditions, only 10-12% of Russians regularly consume these vitamin and mineral complexes, and this is one of the factors in the development of alimentary obesity, which has become a real epidemic of our time.

Of course, the duration and quality of life are determined not only by nutrition, but also by genetics and environmental factors, but it has been proven that with regular consumption of vitamin-mineral complexes, the level of alimentary obesity and the diseases caused by it decreases markedly.

And now all this has become even more important. The stress factor increases during a pandemic, the body needs to be supported. Therefore, it is so important to have a balanced diet and vitamin and mineral complexes.

– Let’s say a person gets sick, sits at home. He lost his appetite. Do I need to force myself to eat or can I refuse food?

– You need to force yourself to eat. If you don’t want anything, you need to switch to specialized nutrition – enteral medicinal mixtures, which allow you to achieve the desired balance of nutrients in the body. This is a complete food in the form of powders that are diluted in water. This includes the protein we need and the whole complex of vitamins and minerals. For many years we have been developing such food for athletes and astronauts, and now – for those who are undergoing rehabilitation after an illness.

You can’t recover without adequate nutrition.

– I heard that you have developed a number of guidelines for nutrition in the current pandemic. This is true?

– Yes it’s true. We have developed guidelines for all occasions – on nutritional support for patients with coronavirus infection, on prevention and rehabilitation through proper nutrition, a collection of specialized diets for children and adults who are in self-isolation or quarantine at home, recommendations on preventive measures to avoid foodborne transmission of the new coronavirus infection … All of this is publicly available on our website. Each stage requires a special approach, and the stage of convalescence, that is, recovery, is especially important. Here, proper nutrition plays the role of a separate factor leading to faster and more successful recovery from illness.

– What is the difference between human nutrition during the rehabilitation period and the usual diet?

– The principles are the same – observance of the laws of nutritional science and getting everything you need with food. The only difference is that at the stage of recovery after an illness, complete protein nutrition and a vitamin-mineral complex play a particularly important role. Without this, one simply cannot recover.

– How to protect yourself from food contamination? Wash all packages with soap and water?

– Our recommendations are not only for consumers, but also for product manufacturers and sellers. If we talk about consumers, about you and me, then the rules are not complicated: being in the trading floor, you must avoid crowding, keep your distance. If the store is crowded, it’s best to go to another store. Be sure to use masks and gloves, skin antiseptics for handling pens and bags.

Do not touch food that you are not going to buy, especially without packaging. If you purchase products remotely, which is very popular now, try to order contactless delivery and pay for the goods contactlessly.

Upon receipt of the order, check the integrity of the packaging, labeling of expiration dates.

It is better to treat the delivered packages with antiseptics or alcohol, fruits and vegetables must be washed with boiled water. Well, hand washing remains an immutable rule – this significantly reduces the risk of any infection, not only coronavirus.

Thinking about a diet – it’s already good!

– How do you feel about diets? Someone chooses kefir, someone – buckwheat diet, someone buys herbs and weight loss fees …

– In general, I have a positive attitude to diets. If a person is looking for a suitable diet for himself, it means that he is thinking about how to become better, more perfect, to get in shape. He understands that he needs to do something. And this is very good. Another thing is how much this diet, firstly, is harmless and, secondly, is suitable specifically for him. Herbal mixtures and slimming teas sold in “health shops” are often harmful to the body. They contain laxative charges, which can lead to certain diseases, such as bowel dysfunction, when it refuses to work on its own. Diet pills often cause gastritis and stomach ulcers, so you need to be very careful with the use of such drugs.

Our organisms are not the same. Some people do just fine without meat. Someone can only eat buckwheat and feel great.

If you feel that your body does not accept such a diet, you do not need to harass yourself.

Such prolonged abstinence leads to breakdowns when you overeat, feel unwell, get better, and instead of benefit, only harm is obtained.

Among those who go on a diet, only a few of those who observe it strictly. And if it is a one-sided, mono-diet, then surely there are big disadvantages. Therefore, it is better to consume foods that you like in moderation, plus a multivitamin. Although, again, the very fact that you are thinking about a diet, I like it, because it is a powerful motivation. This means that sooner or later life will lead to proper nutrition. But early is better.

We must not forget that we are now talking about healthy people. And there are also people with different diseases, when specialized diets are needed. And their observance is a powerful factor in the recovery or maintenance of the body in a state of stable remission. Here, no doubt, the help of a specialist is needed.

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