The Food Science Report was prepared by AESAN, the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, headed by Alberto Garzon. It contains nutritional advice related to areas of sustainability, becauseas Dr. Wuhue Fresan pointed out, “It is no longer enough to recommend a healthy diet, it must also be sustainable.”

One of the highlights of the science report was about rough recommendations for food groups. Of course, these recommendations are general and in special cases, such as allergies and food intolerances, they must be adapted:

  • 5 daily servings of fruits and vegetables, of which 3 belong to vegetables and 2-3 to the group of fruits. Fruit juices are not a substitute for whole fruits.
  • 3-6 servings of cereal per daydepending on the level of physical activity. It is advisable to give preference to products made from whole or whole grains, and to minimize the use of refined flour.
  • 4-7 servings of legumes per week, as they contain proteins with great nutritional value and slowly digestible carbohydrates. Legumes have little impact on the environment. It is recommended to give preference to plant foods as the main source of protein in the diet.
  • 3 or more servings of fish per weekpreferring blue fish to white.
  • 0-4 eggs per week.
  • 0-3 servings of dairy products per day maximum, avoiding added sugars and high salt content. Reduce more if other animal products are consumed.
  • 0-3 servings of meat per week at the most, favoring lean meats such as rabbit and poultry. It is recommended to minimize processed meats as well as beef and lamb due to their high environmental impact.
  • 3 or more servings of nuts a week.
  • Water as the main drinktap if possible.

Fewer animals, more vegetables

The most interesting innovations included in this report relate to the relationship between nutrition and exercise, two key variables in maintaining a healthy state. With regard to dietary recommendations, much attention is paid to reducing the consumption of animal products and opt for plant-based protein sources. We can see this in the recommendation to eliminate “zero” portions of foods such as meat, dairy or eggs, implying that they are not staples in the daily diet, and relying entirely on a plant-based diet.

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This communication strategy of reducing animal products in the diet has been enforced by the Ministry of Consumption for a long time, leading to some past controversy regarding macro farms and some statements by Minister Alberto Garzon himself. However, as annoying as it may be to certain sectors, the truth is that reducing the consumption of meat and animal products is necessary not only for health reasons, but also for sustainability. And science continues to prove it.

More sustainable food to fight climate change

This was confirmed by Minister Garzon himself with his statements related to current consumption patterns and changing of the climate. “Summer, as unusually warm as it has been lived, has a direct bearing on our individual activity and the activity of society. The recommendation to consume locally is important not only for nutritional reasons, but also for social and environmental reasons.”

Isabelle Peña-Rey, director of AESAN, also focused on high rates of childhood overweight that Spain, close to 40%. “The release of this report required a huge effort, but necessary from a public health standpoint. Some notable innovations are the incorporation of cooking methods and physical activity to improve our health. In addition, the report also highlights the fight against climate change through our food choices.”

The Importance of Physical Activity for Maintaining Health

The other scientists who submitted the report were Susana Aznar, PhD in Physical Activity and Health Sciences, and Esther Lopez, report coordinator and professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid. Each of them offered different recommendations in their areas. For physical activity and sport Guidelines were introduced according to age groups, something completely new besides food, along with other key points:

  • Physical activity can be integrated into both work and everyday tasks without complicating it. We must make activity easy.
  • Physical activity is good for your heart, body and mind.
  • Any movement is better than nothing, the more we do the better.
  • Any physical activity is taken into account: climbing stairs, walking, walking around our area.
  • Strengthening muscles is very necessary for increasing body weight, especially in old age.
  • Sedentary lifestyle is the great plague that we must fight. All people can benefit from physical activity and reduce sedentary lifestyles.
  • The famous “10,000 steps a day” may not be enough: the intensity of sports is much more important. However, you must “add steps to life”.
  • An increase of 1000 steps per day significantly reduces mortality.
  • Every movement counts, move, because all this gives us great health.

Source: Hiper Textual

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