And how should we follow these recommendations?
By making our meals as varied as possible. Meals are occasions when we eat relatively large quantities of food, normally at certain times during the day.
We usually eat between 3 and 5 meals a day: breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack and dinner, which in some cases also includes supper.
Just knowing which groups of foods should be included in each meal will help us follow these recommendations. That is why it is important to know that:
> Breakfast: 20%
> Mid-morning snack: 10-15%
> Lunch: 25-35%
> Afternoon snack: 10-15%
> Dinner: 25%
Remember to make the magic triangle for breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day; our body has been fasting for many hours and even though we have been sleeping, we have been expending energy that must be replaced when we get up in order to be at our best physically and mentally during the day.
A good breakfast should always consist of three groups:
Group 1_Bread or Cereals: baguette, sliced bread, toast, breakfast cereals...
Group 2_Dairy products: milk, yoghurt, cheese...
Group 3_Fruit: fresh fruit, fresh fruit juice...
3 food groups with a lot of possibilities:
And as an afternoon snack?
You can follow the same system as for breakfast, or choose two of the groups and ring the changes.
Choose one option for lunch and dinner
These meals should include the following food groups:
Carbohydrates: these should be as varied as possible, choosing wholemeal cereals whenever possible.
Vegetables: vary between raw and cooked vegetables.
Proteins: vary between oily fish, white fish, white meat, red meat, pulses and eggs.
Fruit: choose seasonal fruits.
You can also eat a dairy product. If you eat fruit as a snack, you can have a dairy product as dessert.
To ensure that meals are balanced, you can follow different options:
OPTION 1 - 1 course: This option combines all the food groups in a single dish. It could be a good choice if you need to lose weight; seeing a plate with such a variety of food on it enhances the sensation of fullness and helps you watch what you're eating.
OPTION 2 - 2 courses: This option is indicated for children, very active people and anyone who is not overweight. As the carbohydrate content is higher, it is recommended to choose this option for lunch.
OPTION 3 - 2 courses: This is the best option for less active people. The high fibre content of the vegetables group will enable improved appetite control. Consequently, it is recommended to choose this option for both lunch and dinner.
What is the difference between lunch and dinner?
The two meals' structure must be the same and must include all the food groups. The difference is in the quantity. Dinner should always be lighter, cooking the food in ways that are easier to digest, for example, steamed or grilled.
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