Eat this, forego it. Diet recommendations sound like the Ten Commandments: rigid and demanding. Even small steps bring a lot.

The usual recommendations for a healthy diet are demanding and they just seem to follow the principle of “all or nothing”: eat large amounts of vegetables and fruits every day, drink several bottles of water, and always pay attention to the fat. Nutritionists try to pour the rules into crisp slogans (“5 a day” for fruit and vegetables). For many, however, they are not suitable for everyday use. In the current National Consumption Study, for example, just under 88 percent of those questioned did not reach the recommended daily amount of 400 grams of vegetables, and just under 60 percent missed the 250 grams of fruit.

Only a minority eat according to the textbook

It doesn’t look much better with further recommendations for a healthy life: A study by the Sport University Cologne in 2010 came to the conclusion that only 14 percent of 2500 respondents achieved all five criteria for a healthy lifestyle: they eat varied, exercise enough , do not smoke, drink little alcohol and practice adequate stress relief. For 86 percent there is more or less room for improvement.

A little more, a little less

Fortunately, even small changes bring a lot. Because the common nutritional advice is useful even if you only partially follow it. As part of the so-called CORA study, scientists from the University Clinic Hamburg-Eppendorf examined diet as a risk factor for heart disease in women. Study leader Eberhard Windler came to the conclusion: “The effect of nutrition is much stronger than all other known risk factors. In our mathematical model, the most unhealthy diet carries 24 times the risk of a heart attack than the healthiest. But: Even every small step towards healthier eating habits reduces this risk. “

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