Healthy nutrition and regular exercise are the best way to control weight in the general population, and also in people with dual diagnosis, who are at increased risk of becoming overweight and developing heart disease early.
What are healthy principles of nutrition? Choosing foods that are fresh, as much as possible free of pesticides and additives and not processed, plenty of daily servings of vegetables and fruits, weekly low mercury fish consumption, avoiding processed sugars ( much sweetness can be obtained from fresh fruits!). Some nutrients seem to be especially valuable, especially omega three fatty acids and probiotics, which are found in fish and yoghurt, respectively. O3FA seem to contribute to controlling blood lipids, decrease depression, joint pain and have beneficial effects on heart health. Probiotics were shown to have protective effects against developing upper respiratory infections, and there is even a recent suggestion from early research that they might contribute to modulating anxiety.
But it is not only food choices, but also how to eat that makes nutrition healthy. The body needs in general small frequent meals (3 main meals and 2 snacks); small portions, easier to achieve when using small plates; recognizing hunger and replacing emotional eating with healthier coping with emotions (such as physical activity or relaxation).
As part of a healthy lifestyle, establishing the principles of healthy nutrition, as opposed to a certain diet, and maintaining regular, daily physical activity can have benefits beyond stabilizing or decreasing weight- in building physical and mental stamina and protecting to a certain extent to development of disease.
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