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NUTRITION ENGLISH FAT OR

NUTRITION ENGLISH FAT OR SUGAR? What makes us (un)happier? Is sugar actually dangerous? Does fat really make you fat? Can too much fruit really be unhealthy? We all have probably asked ourselves these or similar questions at some point. How to keep up a semi-healthy diet in everyday life? And, above all, how much of certain things can you eat or drink without regrets? Foto: Christopher Williams_unsplash.com WHAT DO I NEED SUGAR FOR? Sugar is primarily used to generate energy, but it is also a popular comforter for the soul, because food containing sugar increases the concentration of the happiness hormone dopamine in the brain. In fact, in order to function optimally, our brain needs to be supplied with sugar on a daily basis. Great, you might think! Just add lots of sugar to the body and the brain and all other cells are full of energy and live happily! Unfortunately, of course, that‘s not true at all. Because most Germans consume far too much sugar. The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends 25 to 50 grams of sugar per day - that‘s about half a bar of milk chocolate or a 0.5l bottle of cola. In Germany, however, we use almost two to four times the recommended amount, around 95 grams per day on average. That makes 34.8 kilograms of sugar a year or the equivalent of 11600 sugar cubes! That is definitely too much and will damage our health in the long term. Excessive sugar consumption can cause obvious effects such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, digestive problems, a weakened immune system, headaches or migraines, lack of energy and drive, acne, cellulite, tooth decay and even a fatty liver. And so the soul soother becomes a problem. 24 CHECK NRW #1

NUTRITION LESS SUGAR! BUT HOW? Even supposedly harmless foods can be a trap: a glass of orange juice (200 ml) contains almost 20 grams, a fruit yoghurt (150 ml) around 15 grams and even deli meat contains sugar. This breakfast initially appears healthy, but add a slice of bread and you have already had your daily sugar allowance. As a consequence, lunch and dinner should be completely sugar-free - bon appetit! Around 70 percent of processed foods contain sugar, so avoiding hidden sugar is more than difficult. In order to get a feeling for foods that are not obviously sweetened but still contain a lot of sugar, it is definitely worthwhile to just take a closer look at the contents of the refrigerator, including the vegetable drawer. WHAT DO I NEED FATS FOR? Fats are used by the body to generate and store energy. They are important for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and the body heat balance. They form a major part of the nerve sheath, play a role in hormone formation, calcium absorption in the bones and much more. Unlike sugar, where most types of sugar have a negative effect on the metabolism in high doses, with fats one can at least partially differentiate between „good“ and „bad“. So there are definitely fats that are very useful for the body. THE RIGHT OMEGA-6/3 RATIO A good omega-6/3 ratio is particularly important here. Our body cannot produce these polyunsaturated fatty acids itself. But they are vital and must therefore be ingested through food. Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and are important for cholesterol levels, blood lipid levels, brain function, eyesight, the heart and our blood pressure. Omega-6 fatty acids, on the other hand, promote inflammation and are important for cell membranes and are required for growth and repair processes. They promote inflammation as part of the immune system. Because omega-3 is anti-inflammatory and omega-6 promotes inflammation, it is important to pay attention to the ratio. The omega-6/3 ratio should be 2.5: 1 if possible. TRANS FATS Trans fats are unsaturated fatty acids that are formed during the partial hardening of vegetable oils. They are of no use to the body. However, excessive intake has been shown to have a negative effect on the metabolism. Fat metabolism disorders, elevated cholesterol levels and an increasing risk of coronary heart disease are the result. Trans fats are contained in baked goods such as croissants, cakes, biscuits, donuts, ready-made products for baking or roasting such as French fries, pizza, burgers, frozen chicken and fish fillets and snacks such as potato chips, popcorn, crackers and granola bars. It is therefore also worth taking a closer look at the nutritional table for the fat content when shopping. EVERYTHING IN MODERATION Both sugar and fat are nutrients that our body needs on a daily basis. But the type and amount that we ingest determines the effect they have on us. And the more unprocessed foods we consume, the fewer hidden sugars and fats we need to track down. If we keep an eye on our daily sugar intake and give preference to “good” fats, we can keep our bodies fit - and that makes us happy. (edits: sw) GesundBar Warschauer Str. 26, 10243 Berlin Phone: +49 30 29350283423 gesundbar@bezirksapotheke.de Michael Dolfen is a prevention manager, health advisor and manages the Gesundbar in Berlin- Friedrichshain. CHECK NRW #1 25

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