In cold weather, our body needs more energy to maintain constant body temperature. Does this mean that you need to eat more satisfying than in summer? asked about it chief nutritionist of Antonin Starodubov.

Butter for soup

“In urban conditions, we don’t spend that much time directly in the cold – we are mostly in heated rooms and vehicles,” the doctor answers. “In addition, in bad weather, most of us, unfortunately, lose the desire to leave the house once again, as a result of which physical activity and energy consumption during the day decrease. That is why for the vast majority of people any significant increase in the energy value of the diet with the onset of cold weather is not justified.

And yet, in autumn, the body needs additional energy. In order to better endure bad weather, every breakfast, lunch and dinner should include at least one hot meal or hot drink. In the cold season, hot first courses will be especially useful: vegetable soups, vegetarian soups with the addition of cereals made from whole grains. “It is recommended to season the first courses with vegetable oils, mostly cold-pressed, adding them to an already prepared dish,” says A. Starodubova. — Cold-pressed vegetable oils are an excellent source of vitamins and unsaturated fatty acids, which have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels and protect our cell membranes. But the consumption of saturated fats (fatty meats, poultry, smoked meats and sausages) should be limited. This also applies to fatty rich broths and soups. Even healthy people are advised to cook first courses on secondary broths from low-fat varieties of meat or poultry and give preference to soups on vegetable broth.

Warm drinks with the addition of fresh or dried berries, aromatic herbs, spices (ginger, anise, cloves, cardamom) will also help to warm up. The main thing is not to add too much spices and it is better to give up sugar. In the absence of contraindications, you can put a little honey. “Take this drink with you for a walk through the autumn forest,” the nutritionist advises. – But it must be borne in mind that spicy, and even more so sweet drinks do not quench thirst well. Drinking water is best suited for this, it is due to it that the main loss of fluid in our body should be replenished, so keep water on hand both at home and at work, and, of course, when playing sports. Fluid loss depends on a number of factors – ambient temperature, physical activity and individual characteristics of the body. Focus on your passion.”

Should I go to the pharmacy for vitamins?

According to Antonina Starodubova, the division of the diet by seasons in a modern metropolis, when fresh vegetables and fruits are on store shelves all year round, is not justified. However, she cites the latest data, in some Russian regions the problem of insufficient intake of vitamins and minerals is relevant. For example, residents of large cities lack some vitamins, in particular vitamin D. “Vitamin-mineral complexes can be recommended for the prevention of hypovitaminosis, they are used for 1–2 months 1–2 times a year,” the nutritionist believes. – But we are talking about complexes in which vitamins are contained in amounts from 50% to 100% of the recommended intake (on the label you will always find a table with the dose of vitamins and RNP percentages). These are doses that will not lead to the development of hypervitaminosis. Preparations containing vitamins in higher doses can only be prescribed by a doctor.

We are interested in whether nutritionists have a recommendation to introduce some kind of fruit, vegetable or other product into the diet, which should always be on the table in autumn. “No product, no matter how beneficial it may be, works alone. Only a balanced diet that meets the principles of healthy eating has a positive effect,” the expert is sure.

Our body should be provided with proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals in the required quantity and ratio. “Make sure that in your diet there are at least 400 g of various vegetables and fruits daily, sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber,” she elaborates. “Pay attention to vegetables, fruits and berries rich in natural antioxidants vitamins C and A: such as pumpkin, broccoli, carrots, white and cauliflower, onions, garlic, cranberries, lingonberries, apples, plums, citrus fruits.” Country blanks will come in handy, because you can use frozen and dried vegetables. And it is better to refuse pickles and marinades, since these products contain a large amount of salt, the excessive use of which leads to the development of arterial hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.

“Choose whole grain breads, cereals, cereals and pastas as a source of slow carbohydrates, they will not only provide energy for a long time, but also contain the vitamins and fiber we need,” the nutritionist continues. “At the same time, it is recommended to limit the consumption of products made from refined flour and refined cereals, especially sweet pastries, as well as sugar, confectionery, sugary drinks, including carbonated drinks.” It is equally important to maintain good immunity sufficient protein intake. It is worth giving preference to low-fat varieties of meat and poultry (chicken, turkey, rabbit), dairy and sour-milk products, regularly include fish in the diet.

It is also very important to follow a certain regimen: three main meals, which can be supplemented with two small snacks a day.