The Scientific Committee of the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition ( AESAN ), an organization attached to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, has presented the Report on sustainable dietary and physical activity recommendations for the Spanish population , a document that updates the guidelines for carrying out a healthy diet.
The report aims to adopt a balanced, healthy and sustainable diet pattern . These recommendations, in addition, contemplate for the first time the environmental impact generated by the consumption of food.
For the Minister of Consumption, Alberto Garzón , this report is not only “a useful tool for professionals and families in achieving better life habits”, but it will also allow “a transition towards more sustainable food systems” and will help to achieve a good state of health that allows “reducing the risk of chronic diseases”.
Vegetables, legumes, salt or meat
After analyzing “the most current scientific evidence available”, the report recommends the following consumption habits:
– Vegetables : the AESAN proposes consuming 3 servings of vegetables every day as a priority. It is not worth that they are potatoes, since their consumption must be ‘moderate’.
– Fruits : the same happens with fruit, although in this case it is more permissive. Therefore, the recommendation ranges between 2 and 3 pieces of fruit daily. However, the scientific committee recalls that fruit juices do not replace fruit pieces.
– Olive oil : it is recommended that all main meals contain olive oil daily, either in their cooking, or in their dressing (when necessary).
– Legumes : considered to be the main source of plant-based protein, and the ones with the least environmental impact, the AESAN considers that their consumption should increase progressively from 4 weekly servings to daily consumption. “This is intended to reduce the intake of animal protein and, in particular, of those that generate a greater environmental impact such as red meat,” argues the committee.
– Meat : Regarding meat, the update reduces its recommendation to between 0 and 3 weekly servings. In addition, it recommends prioritizing poultry and minimizing red and processed meat.
– Dairy products: the same thing happens to dairy products, since the report lowers their consumption in its recommendation. Thus, consider that it should be consumed between 0 and 3 times a day, always without added sugars.
– Fish and shellfish : for this group of foods, AESAN recommends consuming 3 servings a week, mostly oily fish.
– Eggs : the committee limits their consumption to 4 eggs a week.
– Cereals : another of the foods that should form the basis of a healthy diet. Thus, its consumption should be between 3 and 6 servings a day, prioritizing those that are integral and whole grain compared to refined ones.
– Nuts : for this group, the AESAN points out that their consumption can be increased progressively to the point of reaching an intake of one daily ration as long as they are natural, without salt, fat or added sugar.
– Salt : its use should be reduced as much as possible during cooking. Also, one should tend to eliminate ultra-processed foods rich in fats and sugars from the diet.
Diet and physical activity
The report, in a complementary way, also promotes physical activities aimed at different population groups, with the aim of incorporating healthy habits that can be integrated into work, sports and recreational activities or when traveling, as well as in daily and domestic tasks .
Thus, it recommends the entire adult population between 150 and 300 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week (fast walking, cycling, light dancing, etc.) or the equivalent in vigorous activity (fast climbing stairs, fast running, swimming, etc.), reducing the time to between 75 and 150 minutes.
For the child and adolescent population , the Scientific Committee proposes a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity per day and at least three days of vigorous physical activity per week (playing sports, for example) and another minimum of three days Weekly activities that stimulate bone growth (those that have impact or jumps, games that require carrying your own total or partial body weight).