How to prepare a healthy and balanced vegetarian dish

How to prepare a healthy and balanced vegetarian dish

Which food groups to include? What are the ideal portions? The suggestions of the experts of the Scientific Society of Vegetarian Nutrition

Each of us eats over half a ton of food in a year and drinks liters and liters of beverages. We spend about 15 years of our waking life eating, we sit at the table at least a hundred thousand times in the course of our existence.

But what do we feed on? "Since the Second World War – reads the website of the Scientific Society of Vegetarian Nutrition, SSNV – the eating habits of Italians have changed a lot: from the traditional Mediterranean diet, essentially plant-based, with a very low consumption of animal foods, switched to the Western diet, based largely on animal foods (meat, fish, dairy products, eggs), with a low consumption of plant foods and, those few, mostly processed ”.

Lack of fiber, of various vitamins, of phyto-compounds, too high consumption of proteins, saturated fats, cholesterol, iron, etc. are some of the consequences that we can face with a diet of this type.

The benefits of a vegetarian diet

In recent years, scientific research in nutrition has amply demonstrated that low-fat (low-fat) vegetarian diets, in combination with other healthy lifestyle factors, are associated with a lower risk of ischemic heart disease. hypertension, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers.

Learning to set one's diet on plant foods is therefore a gift that everyone can give to themselves for their own well-being both immediately and in the long term, assure the experts of the Scientific Society of Vegetarian Nutrition.

But what (and how much) to put on the plate?

However, "Veg" does not mean putting vegetable food indiscriminately. A healthy and balanced veg dish is made up of 6 food groups: cereals, protein foods, vegetables, fruit, nuts and oil seeds and finally fats. To these are added the foods rich in calcium. Variety, then, remains the watchword.

  • Cereals. We can choose grains such as rice, barley, corn, wheat, spelled, kamut, oats, rye, millet, quinoa (cooked 80 g, raw 30 g) or pasta, couscous and bulgur (cooked 80 g, raw 30 g ). Bread, or crackers, rusks and wholemeal breadsticks (30 g) are also good. Those who prefer them can use potatoes which, even if they are vegetables, are assimilated to cereals, when consumed several times a week (120 g). For flours, popcorn and cereals ready for breakfast, the ideal portion, on the other hand, is 30 g.
  • Foods rich in protein. Not only of animal origin, such as milk and derivatives or eggs. Among the protein-rich foods appear
  • Also legumes (cooked 80 g, raw 30 g), tofu and tempeh (80 g). For foods based on wheat gluten in combination or not with soy or legume flour, the serving size is 30 g.
  • Vegetable. The amount of cooked and raw vegetables is 100 g. Among these, there are some particularly rich in calcium such as rocket, turnip greens, chicory, thistles, broccoli, artichoke, radicchio and endive. If you want to consume vegetable juice, however, you need to calculate 100 ml.
  • Fruit. The veg dish can then be enriched with fresh or cooked fruit (the portion is 1 medium fruit / 150 g), while if you choose the dried one the ideal quantity is 30 g. Yes also to a good juice (150 ml) in place of fruit.
  • Dried fruit and oil seeds. They can be added in the form of creams or as they are. The portion is 30 g.
  • Fat. Finally, to flavor, green light with oil, mayonnaise or soft margarines.
  • But don't overdo it (5 g is enough). Because, as always, moderation is the real key to health.

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