Što Hrvati jedu i kako se hrane?

What do Croats eat and how do they eat?

[Food signals - Introduction]

Food represents one of the most important aspects of life, it is a basic human physiological need and without it there is no life. Croatian nutritionist, Ph.D. Ignac Kulier said, " It absolutely does not matter what you put in your stomach three times a day, and in that choice lies the secret to good health and a long life ."

Food is medicine, or isn't it?

Scottish physician James Lind was the first to conduct a clinical trial on how food affects health and investigated scurvy in sailors. In the 20th century, deficiencies of vitamins and minerals in the body were investigated, and it is an interesting fact that until the middle of the 20th century, doctors prescribed natural medicines from food and medicinal plants in addition to chemical medicines.

In the fifties of the last century antibiotic becomes widely available and displaces herbal medicines and food into the category of " quackery ". Antibiotics together with operations become a superior tool compared to food and medicinal plants, which we see today represents a major epidemiological problem. Of course, antibiotics are a revolution, good surgeries too, but it is obvious that antibiotics, surgeries, herbs and healthy food must work in synergy to provide a person with optimal health care. On the other hand, the development of the industry increases the production of fast and ready-made food full of trans fats, additives, salt and sugar. Accordingly, we have stopped seeing food and medicinal plants as medicine, and their connection with health is becoming unscientific.

However, in the seventies of the last century, scientists were alarmed, there was a huge increase in chronic diseases. The high rate of growth in the incidence of cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases is driving scientists in a new direction - research into the impact of food on health. The world is facing an epidemic of chronic non-communicable diseases and they are the main cause of mortality in the world . The World Health Organization estimates that 68% of deaths in the world in 2012 were caused by chronic diseases, the most deaths were from cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and malignant diseases, and unipolar depressive disorder. Predictions are that in the next 10 years, 52 million people a year will die prematurely from these diseases if they continue with an unhealthy lifestyle.

Many diseases and disorders that affect our body originate from what and how we eat

Industrial society is a generator of chronic diseases, because the diet that dominates in industrial society contains too many calories, excess salt and sugar, excess protein and fat of animal origin, a large presence of additives and chemical agents from agricultural production, and a lack of fiber. The nutritional picture of Croatia is not the best, a large number of obese people, and a large number of deaths from cardiovascular diseases and cancer are especially related to an unbalanced diet. Croats eat much less fruit and vegetables and fish compared to Western EU countries, and this is a consequence of poor information, mentality and lifestyle.

It was found that we consume more carbohydrates than the recommended amount , the share should be 30%, and here women consume 53%, and men 49%. The consumption of proteins and fats is higher , and the most common choice for proteins is pork, and for fats, animal fats and vegetable oils. Only 4.6% of Croatian citizens are vegetarians or vegans.

What we see through our work and what we can recommend for the purpose of improving nutrition, and what is at the same time HZJZ recommendation :

  • Include as many fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet as possible
  • Choose vegetable and animal proteins with as little fat as possible
  • Include as many fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your diet as possible
  • Choose vegetable and animal proteins with as little fat as possible
  • Choose a variety of seasonal food from your surroundings
  • Use good fats - hemp , walnut , wild flax oil or olive
  • Include nuts and dried fruits in the diet
  • Use spices and teas
  • Move regularly for at least 30 minutes a day
  • Drink 1.5-2 liters of water a day

Avoid or reduce:

  • Full-fat dairy products
  • Animal products
  • Sugar, salt and white flour
  • Fried, processed, ready-made, fast food and sweets
  • Trans fats, additives, colors and preservatives
  • Smoked food
  • GMOs
  • Alcohol

🌱 Matičnjak advises: The Republic of Croatia does not invest enough effort in educating and informing citizens about health protection, so it is important that you take responsibility and control over your own health. Step by step, little by little, adopt healthy eating habits and live a healthy, productive life, not the alternative.

In the next blog, you will learn what kind of signals food sends to our body and why science views it as a hormonal cocktail for our body.

=> Omega-3 as a hormonal cocktail (1/6)

Blog "Signals from food"

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