NUTRITION AND HEALTH
Base your diet on foods rich in carbohydrates. Most people do not eat enough foods such as bread, pasta, rice, other cereals and potatoes, which in addition to carbohydrates provide protein, B vitamins, iron and fibre. Brown bread and rice or other cereals also increase fibre intake.
It is very important that our diet is varied, because there is no food that contains all the essential nutrients for our body. Thus, each food contributes in a distinctive way for our nourishment and each nutrient has specific functions in our body. To enjoy good health, our bodies need all of them in adequate quantities.
SAFE AND HEALTHY COOKING TECHNIQUES
We already know that the heat of cooking destroys some of the nutrients in vegetables and greens and also that water dilutes the vitamins and minerals. It is so important we consume raw vegetables, at least once a day, in addition to those that we eat cooked.
It is also better to consume fruit raw and, where possible, with skin or peel, washing them well in plenty of fresh water.
Dried pulses (chick-peas, lentils etc.) need to be soaked for 6 to 12 hours and should be cooked enough to have a good texture and be soft. It is always best to soak the pulses in cold water, since if done in hot water they may lose some of their vitamins.
As for eggs, one should bear in mind that it is essential cook them thoroughly. On one hand because the protein is coagulated, which makes their digestion easier. On the other hand and very importantly because it destroys micro-organisms such as salmonella, whose ingestion can cause serious poisoning.
When using different types of meat (beef, chicken, mutton and pork), we know that there are micro-organisms from the animal itself in raw meat that can cause stomach infections and that the vast majority are destroyed by the heat of cooking. It is important to take into account that currently the consumption of raw or nearly raw meat is increasing (Carpaccio, Sushi, raw Kubbe, etc.). Before cooking meat the connective tissue fibres can be softened by hitting it with a rolling pin.
Fresh, skimmed milk and yogurt have the lowest levels of saturated fat and cholesterol. In pasteurized milk all pathogenic germs and almost everything that can taint the milk are eliminated. This treatment ensures the preservation of milk for, approximately 48 hours, and it should be kept in the fridge.
BUY SMARTLY AND HEALTHILY
When buying meat, choose preferably lean cuts of meat (low fat). The cuts from the back muscles, for example, the chops and loins are always more tender than those from the most active muscles, for example, the shoulders, belly and legs. Pork is considered fatty because it is associated with the consumption of (smoked) bacon, sausages etc. However lean pork (loin, chuck, chops) contains only small amounts of fat.
In fish quality features should be sought, which are firmness, bright, no wrinkles or stains, retaining the particular colours of each breed and with a slight odour.
Egg shells should be clean and intact without cracks, breaks or stains.
Both fruit and vegetables should be seasonal; the quality and the prices are better.