August 2018 - Wellness Katie

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What should we eat in the summer months and what foods are banned at this time of year? "The answer is not reduced to one, but has different nuances depending on each person and their habits," explains María José Tapia, a member of the Nutrition area of the Spanish Society of Endocrinology and Nutrition (SEEN):

10 Healthy Habits To Take Care of Your summer Diet


1. Be hydrated. This specialist reminds us that adequate hydration is essential and that is why we must increase our intake of water as well as of fruit and vegetables in the form of gazpacho or cold soups.

2. Follow the Mediterranean diet, also on holidays. "It could be summed up as using olive oil as the main fat of addition, eating fruits, vegetables, bread and other foods from cereals (pasta, rice and especially whole-grain products) or pulses on a daily basis, moderating the intake of red and processed meats by replacing them with fish and eggs, promoting the intake of unprocessed foods and dispensing with sweets and cakes," Tapia says. In his opinion, this nutritional pattern should be maintained because of its health benefits such as the prevention of obesity and cardiovascular disease.

3. Eat seasonal fruits and vegetables. At this time of year there are many fruits and vegetables that, in addition to hydrating us, are very low in calories. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon are good times to eat pieces of fruit such as watermelon or melon portions that despite their sweet taste are low in added sugars and suitable for people with diabetes.


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4. Eliminate caloric drinks. To control weight, calorie-containing beverages such as alcohol, sweetened soft drinks, and even those labeled as non-alcoholic products should be avoided altogether. The SEEN suggests replacing them with water and infusions.

5. Moderate meat consumption. It is advisable to eat more fish rations than meat rations per week, especially to limit red meat dishes. In particular, it is recommended to take fish five or six times, of which at least three should be oily fish.

6. Take care of the quantities. Try not to overdo the amount of food and avoid large meals. "We must control the intake of those foods that, although healthy, provide a lot of calories if eaten in excess such as fruits, vegetables, pasta or rice".

7. Choose simple recipes. In order not to increase the caloric intake, the way of preparing the dishes must be simple. Taking raw vegetables, for example, is the best way to take advantage of all their vitamins and minerals.

8. Do not abuse fats. The SEEN indicates that it is not necessary to eliminate them but to reduce the quantities and incorporate them into the diet through olive oil. In addition, the way of cooking directly conditions its consumption, so it is best to opt for grilled, juice or cooked dishes.

9. Eat ice cream occasionally. It is recommended to take them in a timely manner and knowing their nutritional composition. In the case of desserts or snacks, it is best to replace ice cream with fruit or dairy desserts. Experts remember that both sweets and ice cream are not essential foods in a balanced diet.

10. Increase physical activity. In order not to gain weight, it is important to do moderate or light physical activity at least four or five times a week. With the good weather, you can take advantage of it to do outdoor sports but always avoiding the central hours of the day.

The expert reminds us that once the summer is over, "we must continue to maintain a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle habits in order to maintain an adequate physical condition that allows us to resume our normal work activity and routines normally".

SEE ALSO: How I Lost 17 Unwanted Pounds

10 Healthy Habits To Take Care of Your summer Diet

Why do you have to be careful in summer when eating eggs or mayonnaise? In the summer months, mothers often repeat ad nauseam that you have to be careful with certain foods, especially if you eat away from home. The reason is simple, during this time food poisoning increases due to eating foods that contain toxic microorganisms.

What To Do in Case of Food Poisoning


Summer poisonings are more frequent for two main reasons.

"On the one hand, because natural causes favor it, since bacteria, which are present in the soil, air or water, grow faster in the hot months (they need temperatures between 36 and 37 degrees Celsius to live and reproduce) and on the other hand, there is a greater tendency to eat outdoors (barbecues, picnics, swimming pools, travel, etc.), where security controls are not the same as in a home kitchen."

Among the main mistakes that are made to increase the risk of intoxication, the specialist points out maintaining inadequate storage temperatures, undercooking food, improper hygiene and leaving products cooked at room temperature for several hours.

The severity of a poisoning and the symptoms a person has will depend on the amount of contaminated food ingested, the person and the type of organism causing the contamination.

The first symptoms usually appear between 2-6 hours after ingestion. The most common are stomach upset, diarrhea, fever, vomiting, abdominal cramps, dehydration, general weakness and headache. "The people who are most susceptible to this type of illness are children, pregnant women, the elderly and individuals with weakened immune systems, so we must pay special attention to these groups," he adds.

The foods that cause the most poisoning


Among the foods that most often cause food poisoning, we highlights:


Eggs
This food may contain the bacteria Salmonella, which causes diarrhea, vomiting and fever. The risk of intoxication is greater when consumed undercooked, with the yolk soft, or raw, in the case of mayonnaise preparation.

"A good option is to opt for pasteurized eggs, since this process eliminates possible bacteria."

Mayonnaise
According to the specialist, homemade mayonnaise is the ideal way to avoid poisoning, the problem is that the risk of contamination is great if there is a lack of hygiene and handling.

"You should never eat mayonnaise in packages or containers outside the refrigerator," he says. "It is preferable to take mayonnaise, served in individual disposable airtight bags."

Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables offered in buffet restaurants may contain hidden bacteria. The expert points out that in these cases it is not enough to wash them with water (unlike at home, where the product can be sanitized in this way), it is necessary to disinfect to eliminate microorganisms.

"Soak the vegetables for about 15 minutes in a solution of water and sodium hypochlorite. For every liter of water we need a spoonful of hypochlorite of good origin and without smell", he adds.

Meat
Meats may also contain bacteria such as Clostridium perfringens. The meat must always be kept at a temperature of less than 5ºC and, at the moment of consumption, it must be eaten well done.

What To Do in Case of Food Poisoning - Seafood


Seafood
Raw or improperly cooked shellfish may contain harmful viruses and bacteria. To avoid intoxication it is necessary to follow some handling and hygiene measures.

Thus, we should make sure that they have a good smell and a bright appearance (although the colour of the mussels does not always reflect the quality, but indicates whether they are female or male). In addition, the shells of clams, cockles, mussels and oysters must be hermetically sealed. If they are not closed it means that the animal is no longer alive. The liquid that sometimes comes out of the shells must be clear, abundant and smelling of the sea.

Sausages
The sausages must be removed from the original packaging and stored in containers with lids.

"When serving, use a fork to pick up individual slices, avoiding handling the food with your hands," he says before adding that it is best to eat it within two days after opening. "If you see that the sausage has a change in coloring, this is a sign that the bacteria are already present", he insists.

Canned products
Canned products have an internal varnish that preserves their contents; however, small bumps can break this protection. When opening a can, make sure there are no bubbles, as if it were fermenting.

"If we open a can and do not want to consume all its contents, it is best to remove it from the packaging and store it in another container with a tightly closed lid and consume it in up to three days," he says.

Hot Dog
Finally, the specialist points out that hot dog sausage can carry the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. To avoid eating sausages that are not refrigerated, they need to be cooked for five minutes.



How to treat food poisoning


In most cases, the poisonings are mild and symptoms disappear within two to three days, when contaminated food is completely eliminated.

"However, food poisoning can be aggravated, even leading to the death of the affected person, although these extreme and very rare cases are caused by Clostridium botulinum poisoning, which causes botulism, for example".

In general, the following steps can relieve symptoms of food poisoning and prevent dehydration in adults:

  • Drink plenty of fluids such as fruit juices, caffeine-free drinks, and broths to replace fluids and electrolytes.
  • Drink small sips of clear liquids or crushed ice if there is still a problem with vomiting.
  • Gradually reintroduce foods. We can start with soft, easily digestible foods such as rice, toast or bread, cereal, lean meat, applesauce and bananas and avoid fatty, sugary, dairy, caffeine and alcohol foods until full recovery.
  • Infants and children have special concerns. They are likely to become dehydrated more quickly from diarrhea and vomiting, so consult your pediatrician.
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What To Do in Case of Food Poisoning