how to eat during the war – Ukraine –

More than 53% of the internally displaced are women.

According to the UN, as of May 2, 2022, about 6 million people have left Ukraine. Another 3.4 million Ukrainians have been internally displaced, according to the Ministry of Social Policy.

This is reported by the Center for Public Health.

At the same time, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that nearly 6.5 million people have been internally displaced in Ukraine as a direct result of the war. The IOM data show that 13.5% of the displaced have already experienced displacement in 2014-2015.

Many of the displaced are particularly vulnerable groups: pregnant and lactating women, the elderly, people with disabilities, people with chronic illnesses and people directly affected by violence. More than 60% of the surveyed households have children.

More than 53% of the internally displaced are women. According to the research, the most urgent needs of the displaced can be described as follows: medicines, medical services, access to food and financial resources.

Changes in eating habits caused by migration often lead to reduced consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts, while increasing the consumption of foods rich in sugar, fat and salt. This is the main problem

One way to overcome the negative health effects already suffering from the stress of war is to improve eating habits. To adjust your diet, you need to follow simple recommendations for a healthy diet.

How to eat to stay healthy in a war

  • Strive for a healthy weight, check the calorie content of your food. Immigrants often experience a protein-calorie imbalance, which leads to overweight. This happens more often in young and middle-aged people due to the high consumption of sugar and starchy foods – bread, pasta, etc.
  • Be physically active every day. Even in times of war, you can find a way to stay active.
  • Use the beginning of the dish for healthy food. Remember that protein, carbohydrates and fats are equally important, but the diet must be balanced.
  • Include a variety of cereals in your daily diet. At least half of the carbs should come from whole foods. Instead of pastries, choose a variety of whole grains. Oatmeal, for example, is easy to make and will provide you with carbs and fiber.
  • Try to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Half of your daily diet should be plant foods. Eat 5-6 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. A serving of fruit can consist of a medium apple or a tangerine. A serving of vegetables includes a tomato or two small carrots or a cup of chopped fresh white cabbage. It makes sense to buy cheap seasonal vegetables and fruits. Eat apples, cabbage, carrots, beets and other plant foods available in your area.
  • Choose fruits and vegetables of different colors. Do not forget to include greens in your diet. Plants of different colors have different composition. If you include them in your diet, you will be protected with a variety of micronutrients (vitamins, trace elements, biologically active substances).
  • Follow food safety rules, including personal hygiene. If you can not wash your hands often with soap and water, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Wash vegetables and fruits before eating or wipe with an antiseptic wipe. Do not store openly canned and processed foods out of the refrigerator. Avoid buying home-made canned food, prefer industrial canned food. A swollen lid, turbidity or discoloration of the contents of a jar of canned food means that they should not be consumed. Drink water only from safe sources.
  • Follow a diet low in animal fats and moderate in total fat. Fat can quickly make you feel full, but it will not provide the body with everything it needs. For example, replace canned meat with fish. Canned fish do not contain saturated fats, but they do contain vegetable oils that are added during cooking and fish oils that contain vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Try replacing some of the animal protein with vegetable protein. Instead of canned meat, opt for canned beans. For example, canned beans, pea soup concentrates, etc. If you can cook, lentils are a great choice, they are quick and easy to prepare and high in protein. Reduce consumption of red meat (beef, pork, lamb, etc.), replace with poultry and fish.
  • Dairy products are an essential component of the diet at any age. Increase your intake of skimmed or low-fat milk and dairy products such as kefir, cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc. If it is not possible to add dairy products to the diet, an additional source of calcium can be obtained from pharmacy calcium preparations, however, before using such tablets, you should definitely consult your doctor.
  • Eat a variety of protein foods, such as seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products, unsalted nuts and seeds.
  • Maintain a total fat intake of 20-35% of total calories – this is 30-70 grams per day. Most of the fat should come from plant sources.
  • Drink more clean water, prefer sugary drinks and foods to reduce your sugar intake.
  • Choose and cook foods with less salt. Consume no more than 5 grams – this is about 1 teaspoon of salt a day.
  • Eat foods high in potassium, dietary fiber, calcium and vitamin D. These foods include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, milk and dairy products.

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