Prof. Dr. Bozhidar Popov is a scientist and lecturer with many years of professional experience as a specialist in nutrition and dietetics. He graduated as a doctor at the Higher Medical Institute, Sofia. He worked as a research associate at the Institute of Nutrition at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (later included in the structure of the Medical Academy - Sofia). He specialized in St. Petersburg and Moscow, where he mastered modern methods for studying digestion. In this field he defended his PhD and doctoral dissertation, discovering and researching for the first time the so-called "Intercellular digestion". He is chairman of the Bulgarian Society of Nutrition and Dietetics. He has over 200 scientific publications and published several collections and textbooks under his editorship. He has participated as a lecturer in many scientific nutrition forums in Bulgaria, Europe, North America, Asia and Africa.


His book "Myths and Truth about Food, Nutrition and Diets" provides the most accurate and objective data on the most important areas of nutrition science.

Here are some of Prof. Popov's tips on how to eat healthily.

 

Snacks as one of the principles of healthy eating


Healthy eating occupies a significant place among the factors ensuring human health. It is believed that lifestyle , together with optimal physical activity , are crucial for health well-being. By healthy we mark this diet, which is adequate to the metabolic needs of the body , ensures good health and active longevity.
 

Optimal distribution of food during the day

It is known that the diet of the majority of our population is unhealthy, and in most cases breakfast is symbolic or skipped, lunch is insufficient, and dinner is plentiful and high-energy. However, the optimal distribution of food during the day should be at least 4 meals and they should be distributed as follows: breakfast - 20%, lunch - 40%, brunch - 10% and dinner - 30% at least two hours before bedtime . As an intermediate meal between breakfast and lunch, it is recommended to drink coffee, which tones the body. One of the most important principles in healthy eating that people need to know is that there are no harmful foods, there are only harmful amounts.

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Bulgarians often miss breakfast in the morning and have a hearty dinner. Both are harmful to health. In the morning, before going to work, it is necessary to recharge the body with energy and essential nutrients needed for optimal professional activities of each person. Eating plenty of food in the evening, especially before going to bed, which is unfortunately the diet of most Bulgarians, burdens the body with excess calories and has serious health risks. The reason is that the body can not burn calories during sleep and they are usually metabolized as reserve fat. Additionally, the cardiovascular system, kidneys and liver are damaged by unused nutrients. That is why the snack between lunch and dinner is so important. Let's recharge our batteries by eating fruit, yogurt, cereal cookies or a piece of cake for lunch,
 

Optimal distribution of food during the week

Is it better to make our diet plan day by day, isolated from the other days of the week, or to comply with them?

 

Nutritionists give specific recommendations for the optimal variety of products included in the daily menu. In other words, diets are based on a certain, small number of food groups that will not overload the human body and at the same time will provide the body with the necessary nutrients. However, there are schemes for daily intake of 7, 11 and even more food groups, following the logic that the intake of more products is associated with imports and more essential nutrients.

It is advisable to mark the needs of individual food products as weekly instead of dailyand the assessment of their optimal intake to be done every 7 days. This gives greater opportunities for variety in the diet on different days of the week and healthy optimization of food in the weekly menus. An example of a weekly food distribution is:

  • 7 days vegetables and fruits
  • 7 days of cereals in moderation, with recommendations to be whole grains
  • 5-6 days milk and dairy products
  • 2-3 days meat and meat products
  • 1-2 days of fish
  • 1-2 days eggs
  • 1-2 days legumes, nuts
  • 1-2 days vegetarian days, in which only fruits, vegetables, cereals, legumes or nuts are accepted.


The weekly balancing of food allows the body not to strain its digestive potential on a daily basis and to optimally utilize most of the nutrients, according to its metabolic needs. The products that should be present in our menu every day are fruits, vegetables, then milk, dairy products and cereals.

The presented recommendations for healthy eating are the most general principles for nutrition of people from adulthood - from 18 to 60 years. In adolescents and the elderly, as well as in certain physiological conditions or occupational characteristics, these principles have specific nuances.