How to cure your injuries

Not only falls and collisions endanger the health of a skier.

E in unnoticed progressive wear in the joints painful forms may take a few years. Well-developed muscles as well as sports such as swimming, cycling and running stimulate the build-up of cartilage material in joints such as the knee and thus provide the best protection against damage.


Osteoarthritis: Anyone who still suffers from osteoarthritis should try preparations such as collagen hydrolyzate (available in pharmacies as CH-Alpha drinking ampoules, for example). After absorption, it accumulates in the joints and stimulates cells to perform at their best when building cartilage mass. According to a study by the University of Tübingen, osteoarthritis-related pain decreases by more than half within 24 weeks if patients take 10 grams of collagen hydrolyzate every day.


Nothing is lost: In the case of severe joint damage, the cartilage is so badly damaged that it is no longer possible to regenerate it on its own or with preparations. But nobody has to end up being a sports invalid. “The surgical methods are now so good that any kind of winter sport is still possible,” says DSV sports medicine specialist Hocketer.

It doesn’t matter whether you prefer snowboarding, cross-country skiing or carving skis. The surgeon even sends patients with artificial joints back to the slopes after the operation. A knee prosthesis has an average shelf life of 16 to 17 years. As long as you avoid icy mogul slopes, the risk of another injury is low.

Sleep better

You lie awake at night and cannot fall asleep? We put twelve myths under the microscope so that you can sleep better in the end. Good night!

“I can still sleep when I’m dead.” With this quote from the director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, some people emphasize that they could do much more productive things than lounging unconscious under cozy blankets for hours.

However, Fassbinder died at 37, so maybe he should have paid a little more attention to his night’s rest. Because sleep is anything but unproductive. One of the nightly jobs is to consolidate what has been learned and learned from the day in the long-term memory, to produce growth hormones for cell renewal and wound healing and to heat up the immune system to hunt viruses and bacteria.

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“Contrary to what many people think, the body’s energy consumption during sleep is almost as high as during the day – the difference is exactly the equivalent of a slice of toast,” says Professor Jürgen Zulley, head of the Sleep Medicine Center at the University of Regensburg. Let an expert tell you about sleep – so that you can distinguish fairy tales from real bedtime stories.

Sleep Myth 1: Morning Sleep

“Good sleep, all splendor unfolds before midnight”

Correct! However, only if you really mean the “middle of the night” by this – which is closer to around 3 o’clock.

“This is the real witching hour of the biorhythm,” says Zulley. Those who then have to be awake are restless, frozen and in a bad mood to the point of sadness – one of the reasons why you should never wallow in problems at night. In the particularly restful deep sleep phases, you almost only dive into the first 4 hours of sleep and before biological midnight. You will collect most of the deep sleep when you regularly go to bed at 11 p.m. “The body can catch up on missed deep sleep the following night,” says Zulley. So take it easy!

Sleep myth 2: morning grouch

“Who is tired and weak in the morning and slept badly at night?”

Not correct! Often the alarm clock just went off at the wrong time. “In fact, the state of awakening does not allow any conclusions to be drawn about the quality of sleep,” explains Zulley.

This is because the night’s rest is divided into stages in which you sleep at different depths. Those who are torn from deep sleep are completely off the trail, while getting up is easy when they are naturally on the threshold of awakening. Neither of these says anything about whether you have already recharged enough energy for the next day. Sleep researchers therefore assess whether someone sleeps too little or even suffers from a sleep disorder based on whether they are fresh most of the day or nod off immediately when it gets boring or comfortable. If you want to get out of bed more easily in the morning, you should let the alarm go off in a light sleep phase.

You can calculate it as follows: The 1st cycle takes about 60 minutes, the following about 90 minutes. Added to this is the time it takes to fall asleep, most of them around 15 minutes. The optimal wake-up times are 5:45, 7:15 and 8:45 hours after “lights off”.

Sleep myth 3: A bit of sleep

“A couple of hours every night made everyone fresh”

Not correct! Ignore people like Thomas Edison, inventor of the lightbulb, who boast of getting by on 4 hours of sleep a night. Because these people often supplement their sleep with various naps during the day and thus achieve completely normal sleep amounts overall. Even if not, how much sleep you need to be relaxed and stay healthy in the long term is largely genetically determined.

“Most people need 7 to 8 hours of sleep,” says Zulley. You can find your own optimum by going to bed at the same time for a while (not too late!) And getting up in the morning as soon as you are awake. Make a note of the hours you slept, then after a while you will recognize your personal average.

Sleep Myth 4: Sleep Disorder

“Who always wakes up at night is not really ticking under the roof”

Not correct! “Not sleeping through the night is not a sleep disorder; it is completely normal,” says Zulley. Anyone who sleeps 7 hours wakes up about 28 times a night, but in most cases they don’t remember because they fall asleep again immediately.

Sleep research has shown that you only become aware of the waking phase (and stay in your memory) if it lasts longer than 3 minutes. However, according to Zulley, conscious awakening only becomes problematic if the person concerned is annoyed or worried about it: “In this case, stress hormones are released that actually rob you of sleep.”

Those who cannot fall asleep again should check whether they are still physically relaxed. Then it is advisable to lie still and concentrate on your breath. Consciously breathe in deeply and slowly and then exhale even more slowly. If, on the other hand, you are only tossing restlessly from side to side, then you’d better get up. Make sure that your body does not get cold and do some quiet activity that arouses positive thoughts in you and that you can stop at any time when the heaviness of bed returns.

Sleep myth 5: bedtime ritual

“If you go to sport late in the evening, do you fall asleep immediately afterwards”

Not correct! Pushing yourself to the limit of your performance doesn’t make you bed heavy, but increases the production of the stress hormone cortisol – and that keeps you awake for the time being.

You should therefore be through with highly demanding training units by the afternoon at the latest. “However, the assumption that late exercise generally disrupts sleep is outdated,” says Zulley, recommending regular, calm exercise.

If you are tied to late training times, you can turn the shower into a sleep ritual afterwards: the warmth and the massaging water jet help you relax. You have to try whether a sauna or a hot bath have the same effect, some react rather exuberantly.

Sleep myth 6: nightcap

“Anyone who drinks wine and beer in the evening will sleep like a marmot”

Not correct! Sure, you’ll fall asleep faster, but the sleep structure gets mixed up and prevents the night from becoming really restful. The important deep sleep in particular suffers.

In addition, the relaxation created by the alcohol also loosens the tissue in the throat: “Even 1 glass of beer significantly increases the likelihood of snoring,” explains Zulley. This disturbs sleep for several reasons: You do not get enough air from the slack tissue and you wake up more often from your own noise level. Or because your partner is constantly ramming her elbow in your side.

Sleep myth 7: back sleeper

“Lie on your back asleep, the sleeper likes to saw”

Those who lie on their back are more likely to snore.

The likelihood that slack throat tissue will obstruct airflow is greater in the supine position than in other positions. Sometimes, however, a higher pillow helps, in more severe cases you can lie down in bed with a so-called supine position prevention vest (from the medical supply store). “Looks like Quasimodo, but it works,” says Zulley.

Equipment with which the nostrils are to be opened wider are useless. According to Zulley, many operations to clear the airways are often unsuccessful, so you should only consider them if the recommendation is made by an ear, nose and throat doctor who is experienced in snoring. They are available, for example, in specialized sleep laboratories; the addresses can be obtained from the German Academy for Health and Sleep (DAGS) on tel. 09 41/9 42 82 71.

Incidentally, one of the most effective measures against snoring is to permanently rid yourself of extra pounds.

Sleep myth 8: lunch

“If you are tired after Vespers, you probably eat the wrong thing at lunchtime”

Not correct! Eating too rich and too high in carbohydrates may aggravate the midday slump, but it is not to blame. The cause lies in the biorhythm, so it is innate.

Give in to the body’s natural need for rest instead of struggling with fatigue. A nap is rewarded with a significantly higher performance curve in the afternoon. “After a nap, performance is 35 percent greater,” says sleep researcher Zulley.

Caution: If you rest too long, you will fall into deep sleep and will not get going well afterwards! To prevent this from happening, set an alarm clock and close your eyes for a maximum of 30 minutes. This is relaxing even when you don’t fall asleep.

Sleep myth 9:00

“If you often have to go to the bathroom at night, maybe it’s because of the apnea”

Correct! If you regularly have to go to the toilet more than twice a night, this can be a sign of sleep apnea, i.e. nocturnal breathing pauses.

You won’t suffocate, but they are life-threatening in the long run. Because your body is not getting enough oxygen and is constantly alarmed. That’s why you often wake up briefly to gasp – possibly several hundred times a night.

The lead tiredness on the following day permanently kills all zest for life, drastically increases the risk of accidents of all kinds and stresses the cardiovascular system. Such pauses in breathing usually, but not always, occur together with heavy snoring. The pressure on the bladder at night can be the only sign warning you of the danger. It occurs because the falling oxygen levels in the body increase blood pressure. To reduce this, the kidney is stimulated to excrete more fluid – the bladder fills.

Sleep Myth 10: Night Walk

“Sleepwalking is a rumor, because whoever sleeps does not sin”

Not correct! There are sleep disorders in which those affected – men only – live out dreams and do crazy things in their sleep without even knowing it the next day.

In doing so, they not only endanger themselves, they can also hurt their partner, for example if they are attacked in a dream and defend themselves. There is also the more common sleepwalking, in which those affected are active in deep sleep.

Where are the disturbances coming from? The sleep of the brain and the rest of the body are normally controlled and synchronized separately. If it works, you are largely paralyzed in the dream phase; occasional twitching or speaking is normal. The fact that the coordination of body and brain is sometimes more seriously disturbed can have various causes: hereditary predisposition, stress or permanent confusion of biological rhythms, such as through shift work. In addition, fever, mental illness, alcohol and other drugs promote so-called somnambulism.

The proverbial sleepwalking security is a myth: Time and again, people in deep sleep fall out of the windows they thought were doors.

Sleep myth 11: party prep

“Do you want to party in the evening, sleep well, stay longer”

Correct! And that by reducing a possible sleep deficit. It would be ideal to get enough sleep the week before a long night. On the day of the event, a midday nap will reduce pent-up fatigue, and you can beat yourself on the ear even in the early evening.

The naps are only relaxing, however, if you observe the sleep architecture mentioned above: Either you snooze for a maximum of 30 minutes or you take a break of 3 hours, in which you then manage 2 cycles including deep sleep.

Sleep myth 12: A bright start

“If you don’t wake up in the morning, only one thing helps: bright light!”

Correct! But it has to be really bright – from 2500 lux upwards. Room lighting only reaches 400 lux (sunlight: over 100,000 lux).

Spending an hour outside in the morning is an unmatched pick-me-up. If you have to go in the dark, you can sit in front of a light therapy device (e.g. above). Two hours before 2500 lux wake you up, at 10,000 lux 30 minutes are enough. The lamps also help to endure night shifts better. But be careful: it never replaces a good night’s sleep!

Pain-free thanks to acupuncture

Whether migraines or sports injuries: the needle treatment works for numerous complaints – without any side effects.

K Headache

It is not always the ideal solution to throw in a tablet to silence the headache. Especially in the case of long-lasting, severe pain, it can be more beneficial to tackle the symptoms with needles. “Acupuncture can reduce both the intensity and the frequency of headaches,” says expert Tepp. There is very little fat under the scalp. Therefore the needles are inserted very carefully from the side. The acupuncture points are directly on the surface. “This is how headache is treated preventively and in acute cases,” says complementary medicine specialist Linde. “Usually the patient receives six to 15 treatments.”

The chance of recovery is great. “In the case of migraine and tension headaches, the results are at least as good as those achieved through the use of medication,” says Dominik Irnich, senior physician and head of the interdisciplinary pain clinic at the Ludwig Maximilian University Hospital in Munich.


During an attack, the muscles in the airways cramp and the mucous membranes swell. The patient gasps and panic. There are different causes, for example allergies or stress. But smoking or a dragged on cold can also trigger asthma. Whether asthma can be cured by acupuncture always depends on the form of the disease and the overall condition of the patient.

“Asthma is often treated supportively with acupuncture,” says senior physician Irnich. The swimming professional Thomas Rupprath also had severe asthma and got it under control with the help of acupuncture. Before that, his bronchi were narrowed and his breathing function was restricted as a result. “Thanks to acupuncture, I’m doing very well again. I have been drug-free for two to three years,” says Rupprath. “I took the acupuncture sessions as needed – depending on how high the athletic stress was and how good I was breathing.”

At first he was skeptical, but when it began to work, he believed in it. Rupprath: “Immediately afterwards you don’t feel like you have been reborn; the effect only sets in when you go to meetings more often. It helped me in any case.” In addition to the belief in self-healing powers, other components are important, such as the way in which the practitioner asks you, how intensively he turns to you. Pain specialist Irnich recommends: “Make sure that he takes as much time as possible for you.” This is another hallmark of a good acupuncturist.

Stress and depression

Imagine you have to give a presentation to the entire team. Many stress such a situation. Have you ever had the idea to get a prick beforehand? Probably not, but it’s worth a try. “When there is high tension, acupuncture helps to loosen up and improve concentration,” says alternative practitioner Ansuhenne. “You work more effectively, have more energy.”

The same applies if you feel down or something is troubling you, such as losing your job or having an accident. “You can also try acupuncture for mildly depressed moods,” says Ansuhenne.

In the case of depression, needle treatments alone are not enough; talk therapy is then indispensable! Acupuncture makes the patient more open, however, it is easier for him to think positively. Ansuhenne: “By stimulating certain points, happiness hormones such as serotonin are released.”

stomach problems

The small needle pricks can also release basic tension in the body. This plays an important role in the treatment of gastrointestinal complaints. “Heartburn is often due to stress and poor nutrition,” says alternative practitioner Ansuhenne. “In these cases, acupuncture tries to prevent overproduction of gastric acid.” It can also restore balance in the case of irritable bowel syndrome.

Do not be surprised: in the case of gastrointestinal problems, needles are not only inserted into the trunk, but also into so-called distant points on the extremities. Often they even trigger a stronger reaction than on the stomach because there are more nerve endings in a small space. This also applies to stomach upsets. “Studies on nausea and vomiting show that acupuncture works well in these cases,” says senior physician Irnich.

Back pain

You may know that: The working day doesn’t want to end, you’ve been sitting in the office chair for six hours, the typical pulling in your back is heralding. At some point you get into the car, drive home, and the lumbar spine discomfort becomes even worse from sitting in the car.

Even in such a case, acupuncture can help to enjoy the well-deserved evening. The psyche plays an essential role in this. “The times when back pain was understood purely physically are over,” says Irnich. “Neither physiotherapy nor acupuncture alone can help with chronic back pain. The attending physician can, however, use acupuncture as a support in connection with other therapies.” As part of an overall concept, acupuncture can relieve pain. If you have acute back pain, you should go to an orthopedic surgeon, osteopath or chiropractor (not to be confused with a chiropractor!) As soon as possible and have yourself examined there first.

It has been scientifically proven that acupuncture works, but how exactly this effect comes about has not yet been clarified. Researchers suggest that acupuncture improves blood flow to tissues. Treatment with the needles may also influence pain receptors in our brain, so that the body’s own happiness hormones are increasingly released, which then act as pain killers.

It may seem a bit unsatisfactory that the success of acupuncture has not yet been fully scientifically explained. However, that shouldn’t prevent you from benefiting from their effects. As the saying goes: He who heals is right.

Sports injuries

Athletes often swear by acupuncture, for example for meniscus damage or injuries to the foot that result from jogging. The treatment helps the body recover faster. “Acupuncture is increasingly being used in sports medicine and professional sport, including for broken bones,” says pain doctor Irnich. “There are points that stimulate the increased formation of bone substance”, explains alternative practitioner Ansuhenne.

According to the theory of acupuncture, increased blood and lymph fluid flows to an injured part of the body. This improves the supply of minerals, vitamins and hormones. The treatment also helps in preparation for competitions. “After I had tried acupuncture, I had very good results in the regeneration phase,” says swimming world champion Thomas Rupprath from Rostock. “Especially after a hard workout, my muscles were able to recover and relax better.”

Every illness has its time

Illnesses have their own daily rhythm. Those who know it can protect themselves from it at the right time.

4 a.m.: Asthma
In asthma, the bronchi are narrowed, making it difficult to breathe out. If the old air remains in the lungs, there is not enough space to inhale new air. The result is shortness of breath. Anyone who suffers from severe asthma is sick all day. However, most asthma attacks happen between two in the morning and six in the morning. The bronchi are particularly narrow at around 3 p.m. – at 3 p.m. their diameter is greatest.

If you are prone to asthma, it is best to do sports in the afternoon. To prevent asthma attacks, medication should be taken exactly as planned. Medicines that dilate the bronchi should usually be inhaled again before going to bed. The sometimes necessary cortisone works optimally if it is taken in the afternoon. In the case of typical asthma symptoms such as an insatiable dry cough, however, it cannot be avoided to see a doctor as soon as possible.

6 o’clock in the morning: Depression
Not everyone who gets out of bed in a bad mood and listless in the morning is immediately sick. However, as soon as this condition persists for more than 14 days, doctors speak of depression. Depressed people often wake up between four and six in the morning, lie brooding on their pillows and cannot go back to sleep. After getting up, they are often completely depressed for hours. Those who are depressed and still get fairly active through the day often feel more relaxed in the evening. But only to sag again the next morning. Waking up early can be used therapeutically: controlled sleep deprivation is one of the most successful treatment approaches for depression, along with modern psycho-therapeutic methods and the use of medication.

8.30 a.m.: Toothache
Pain is strongest at night and in the early hours of the morning. This is especially true for toothache. So wait a little longer – if possible – before fighting the hammer pain with a hammer tablet. In just a few hours, you may feel better on your own. The pain also has a daily rhythm. At noon and in the afternoon, the human sensation of pain is lowest. Painkillers also develop their greatest effect during this time. The desirable effect of local anesthesia then lasts for a particularly long time, around 30 minutes. In the morning you have to expect to feel pain again after just twelve minutes. So if you have to go to a dental treatment in the near future, then you should insist on an appointment at noon or in the afternoon.

10.30 am:
Heart problems According to statistics, most heart attacks in men happen between breakfast and lunch. Angina pectoris, the extremely painful, seizure-like precursor of the infarction, also occurs particularly frequently in the morning. Reason: At night the body is set to rest. However, that changes when you get up. This sudden switch to action can drive the blood pressure of heart patients so high that the risk of heart attack increases immediately. The expert tip: If the individual medical history allows, high blood pressure patients should take their medication before getting up.

3 p.m.: high blood pressure
At 3 p.m. the blood pressure has its highest values. In the vast majority of cases, it cannot be said why this is so. It is crucial for the diagnosis that the blood pressure is measured correctly: in a daily profile with several individual measurements, from which the mean value is calculated. If the blood pressure is too high during the day, it should drop to normal levels at night. Otherwise the blood vessels will become calcified and further medication will be required.

4 p.m.: Muscle injuries
It sounds paradoxical at first: At 3 a.m., your muscles show the highest endurance values. At the opposite time, at 4 p.m., you have a clear low in terms of your continuous output. Exactly the opposite is the case with the maximum strength of the muscles. For you that means: watch out! It has not been proven that muscle injuries occur particularly frequently around 4 p.m. But a connection is very likely. Incidentally, the endurance peak around 3 a.m. is a result of sleep. Without sufficient recovery, the muscles become slack. This rhythm is also the reason why night work is unusually stressful for us.

10 p.m. in the evening: Joint
inflammation Inflammation has its peak late in the evening and at night. The pain is then greatest. In the morning the joint is stiff and it is time for medication. With the exception of cortisone, which has a stronger effect when it enters your body after 3 p.m. Because the body’s own production of the anti-inflammatory is lowest between 6 p.m. and midnight.

11 p.m. in the evening: Colds
A cold that you have under control during the day robs you of sleep at night. Your nose is blocked, your breathing sounds like a steam engine, and you just can’t calm down. The main cause is your position. When lying down, the nasal mucosa swells for static reasons. Therefore: sleep with your upper body slightly elevated. The body temperature is also highest in the evening. You are only really healthy again when the temperature is normal in the evening. The morning measurement is by no means sufficient.

2 a.m.: stomach pain
After 9 p.m. the stomach produces most of the acid. Symptoms that point to a stomach ulcer often report at night. Light bed-treats such as yogurt buffer the excess acid. And don’t drink coffee or alcohol before going to bed. If you sleep with your upper body slightly elevated, stomach acid does not get into the esophagus.

3 a.m.: kidney stones
Kidney stones are also found in young people. Their formation depends on the specific weight of the urine, its acidity and the dissolved substances (for example uric acid, magnesium, calcium and phosphate). The more of these substances there are, the greater the likelihood that small kidney stones will form over time. The concentration is highest at three o’clock in the morning – and with it the risk of starting stone cultivation almost unnoticed. If you are prone to kidney stones, you should check the whole thing regularly: With special test strips, which you can get in every pharmacy, you can measure the crucial substances in your urine. To get correct values, however, you should set your alarm clock to three in the morning – and then pee straight away.

The right food for a cold

Have you been ailing for days and want to sip something other than soup to strengthen your immune system? We tell you which food is really good for you if you have a cold.

Vitamins for the immune system: Eat yourself healthy

J ow it’s official! Men really suffer from a cold more than women. Genes and hormones are to blame, as researchers at Stanford University of California found

In the experiment, the defense reaction after flu vaccinations was measured in women and men. It turned out that men produce fewer antibodies – and are therefore more blown away. So that it doesn’t get that far this year, it is all the more important to counter this with healthy vegetables. Bake, grill or cook green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach or Swiss chard, so the many positive effects can be ideally combined with a warm winter meal. While fresh food is limited in winter, there are plenty of green leafy vegetables. To keep the immune system ready and colds at bay, the body needs sufficient vitamins and minerals.

Another important ingredient makes the greens a real health booster: chlorophyll. With the help of photosynthesis, the plant pigment converts light into carbohydrates and thus provides the necessary energy for the plant. The power substance unfolds even further in people. It neutralizes acids in the body, which means that the tissue is better supplied with blood and the cells receive more oxygen. Viruses and bacteria don’t like that at all.

So: better to bite into the green than into the grass! Here come the best recipes with the green fodder!

Swiss chard pan with egg, onions and tomatoes

Even the ancient Romans valued leafy vegetables. Swiss chard contains a lot of fiber, which improves digestion and helps to bind and eliminate toxins in the body.

Ingredients for 2 serving (s)

  • 250 g cherry tomato (s)
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 kg of Swiss chard
  • 2 medium onion (s)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 4 medium egg (s)

  1. Halve or quarter the cherry tomatoes, mix with the red wine vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Cut out the chard stalks, place the leaves in a bowl with cold water, wash thoroughly, pour into a colander to drain and then roughly chop. Then wash and dry the stems and cut them into narrow strips. Peel the onions and garlic, dice both finely.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large pan with a lid on medium heat. Add the stalks of the chard together with the onion cubes and sauté for about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat, add the garlic and sauté everything for one minute while stirring. Then add the chard leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the hotplate on the highest setting and wait, stirring constantly, until the leaves have collapsed.
  4. Reduce to medium heat and use the back of a spoon to make 4 hollows in the vegetables. Slide 1 egg in each. Cover the pan and let the eggs set for about 4 minutes.
  5. Pour vinegar tomatoes on top and serve immediately.
  • Calories (kcal): 420
  • Fat: 26g
  • Protein: 29g
  • Carbohydrates: 16g

Nutty kale

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees. Wash the kale, remove the hard stalks, and spread on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil, then sprinkle the other ingredients on the leaves. Massage the whole thing well into the leaves, then bake in the oven for 20 minutes on the top shelf until crispy (after 10 minutes slide the tray onto the middle shelf).

Ingredients for 1 tray (s)

  • 200 g kale
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sesame (toasted)
  • 0.5 tsp sea salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.
  2. Wash the kale, remove the hard stalks, and spread on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil, then sprinkle the other ingredients on the leaves.
  3. Massage the whole thing well into the leaves, then bake in the oven for 20 minutes on the top shelf until crispy (after 10 minutes slide the tray onto the middle shelf).
  • Calories (kcal): 147
  • Fat: 10g
  • Protein: 10g
  • Carbohydrates: 7g

Baked kale with lemon

4 ingredients, 25 minutes and 100 percent taste: try this delicious clean eating recipe

Ingredients for 1 tray (s)

  • 200 g kale
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 0.5 tsp sea salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.
  2. Wash the kale, remove the hard stalks, and spread on a baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil, then sprinkle the other ingredients on the leaves.
  3. Massage the whole thing well into the leaves, then bake in the oven for 20 minutes on the top shelf until crispy (after 10 minutes slide the tray onto the middle shelf).
  • Calories (kcal): 152
  • Fat: 11g
  • Protein: 9g
  • Carbohydrates: 8g

Citrus salmon on spinach salad with ginger

Healthy fatty acids from salmon, hardly any carbohydrates and a taste explosion on the tongue: The citrus salmon recipe from “Deutsche See Fischmanufaktur” has a lot to offer

Ingredients for 2 serving (s)

  • 320 g salmon (fillets)
  • 5 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 medium orange (organic)
  • 1 medium lime (s) (organic)
  • 150 g baby spinach
  • 1/2 bunch of radishes
  • 1/2 medium-sized bell pepper (yellow)
  • 1 medium shallot (s)
  • 1 ginger
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar

  1. Prepare the salmon, because the longer the essential oils of the citrus peel are allowed to act, the more aromatic it tastes. First, wash the orange and lime and dry them well.
  2. Now brush the fillets on both sides with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and then rub the peel of the oranges and limes directly onto the fish, as this will retain more of their fresh scent. Then salt and pepper the fish and – while you prepare the salad – let it steep.
  3. First wash the spinach, radishes and bell peppers. Cut the radishes into slices, finely dice peppers, shallots and garlic. For the salad, pluck the larger spinach leaves a little bit smaller, leave baby spinach whole. Then carefully mix the spinach in a bowl with the radishes, bell peppers and the shallot.
  4. For the dressing, squeeze the orange and the lime, measure 2 tablespoons of orange and 1 tablespoon of lime juice and mix this with finely chopped ginger and white wine vinegar. Then slowly beat in 2 tablespoons of oil in a thin stream and season the dressing with salt and pepper.
  5. Now fry the salmon in the remaining olive oil for 3–4 minutes on each side until it is completely through but still tender. Fold the dressing under the salad at the very end and serve the salad and fish together. Serve with crispy baguette or ciabatta.
  • Calories (kcal): 768
  • Fat: 66g
  • Protein: 37g
  • Carbohydrates: 8g

Grilled romaine lettuce with oranges, gorgonzola and orange vinaigrette

With a water content of 92 percent, romaine lettuce is very low in calories, but still provides a considerable amount of vitamin C and B vitamins.

Ingredients for 2 serving (s)

  • 2 medium orange (s)
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 0.5 tsp honey
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 1 pinch of pepper
  • 2 heads of romaine lettuce
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 125 g Gorgonzola

  • For the vinaigrette:
  1. Squeeze oranges.
  2. Whisk with olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, sea salt and pepper.
  • For the salad:
  1. Peel the oranges with a sharp knife so that no white skin remains on them. Remove the fillets from the separating skins and set aside. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Remove the stems from the heads of lettuce so that the leaves are still sticking together. Remove dead leaves and cut the heads in half. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush the lettuce halves with the vinaigrette on both sides (save the rest) and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Place on the tray with the cut surface facing down and slide into the oven. Grill on both sides for 1 to 2 minutes, until brown spots appear and ends start to darken. Take out and arrange on a plate.
  4. Crumble the Gorgonzola, sprinkle over the salad and top with the orange fillets. Drizzle over the rest of the vinaigrette and season with freshly ground pepper.
  • Calories (kcal): 752
  • Fat: 58g
  • Protein: 24g
  • Carbohydrates: 34g

Celery and spinach shake

A heart chases around 7,000 liters of blood through the body every day. The amount doubles for athletes. Drink this shake so that the pressure and thus your training performance never decrease

Ingredients for 1 serving (s)

  • 1 medium-sized apple
  • 1 medium pear (s)
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 100 g spinach
  • 3 sprigs of parsley (smooth)
  • 3 tbsp oat bran
  • 300 ml of water

  1. Quarter the apple and pear, remove the core and put the fruit in the blender.
  2. Thirds the celery and add. Then roughly shred the spinach and parsley and add to the rest.
  3. Scatter oat bran on top, pour in water and mix until there are no more pieces. Finished!
  • Calories (kcal): 484
  • Fat: 7g
  • Protein: 20g
  • Carbohydrates: 84g

Pan-stir fried pak choi with shiitake mushrooms

Pak Choi is a real Asian secret weapon that not only tastes delicious, but also scores with low calories (14 kcal per 100 grams) and lots of folic acid, iron, calcium and beta-carotene. We like it!

Ingredients for 2 serving (s)

  • 5 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 0.5 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 cm ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 200 g shiitake mushrooms
  • 800 g pak choi
  • 1 medium-sized bell pepper (red)
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 120 g rice, raw

  • For the sauce:
  1. Whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Eliminate.
  • For the vegetables:
  1. Toast the sesame seeds in a pan without fat until golden brown. Peel and finely chop the ginger and garlic. Slice the mushrooms, pak choi and peppers into thin strips.
  2. Heat the ednut oil in a wok or large pan, fry the garlic and ginger for a minute while stirring. Add the rest of the vegetables and stir-fry for 2 more minutes. Pour the sauce over it and cook for another minute.
  3. Sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds on the dish and serve immediately.
  • Calories (kcal): 459
  • Fat: 14g
  • Protein: 15g
  • Carbohydrates: 75g

The big meat check: how much you can eat and how you can prepare it healthily

Givers of strength with essential vitamins and protein or cholesterol bombs loaded with antibiotics – the subject of meat is hotly debated. FOCUS Online names the most important facts about the individual types of meat – and shows what “healthy” fat traps are.

The hunger for meat in Germany is great. Every inhabitant eats around 60 kilograms per year. Around 750 million animals are therefore slaughtered every year. Meat consumption has been falling for years, but only in the single-digit range. However, statistically speaking, every citizen still consumes around 1,100 animals in his life, including mainly chickens, but also just under 50 pigs and four cattle, as the BUND’s last meat atlas in 2018 calculated.

Meat causes a lot of CO 2 , but provides the best protein

Meat is therefore undoubtedly one of the staple foods. However, it is left out of the picture that meat consumption is devastating for the climate balance: Through animal production, a meat eater pollutes the atmosphere with a good 1,800 kilograms of CO 2 per year and thus heats the climate catastrophe, vegetarians only make up about half of this.

Aside from that: nutritionally, meat offers a lot of positives. “Meat is definitely a high-quality food because it provides us with protein in particularly good bioavailability,” says Antje Gahl, press spokeswoman for the German Nutrition Society ( DGE ).

Animal protein, i.e. from meat and dairy products, can be used so well by our body because the composition of the amino acids is very similar to that of human protein. Animal protein usually contains all of the essential amino acids that we need in sufficient quantities, while plant-based foods often do not have the full spectrum of these amino acids. The body can therefore produce protein from animal protein particularly quickly and appropriately – for the muscles, for example.

In addition, meat is also characterized by other valuable ingredients:

  • readily available iron,

  • Selenium and

  • zinc

– all minerals and trace elements that are indispensable for blood formation, immune system, cell health, fertility and much more. Another unique feature is the high proportion of B vitamins, including vitamin B12 , which is only found in sufficient quantities in animal foods such as meat, eggs, milk and dairy products.

Preserving nutrients through proper cooking

To ensure that these nutrients are retained as well as possible during preparation, the expert recommends steaming and slow frying, preferably with little fat. Some B vitamins are sensitive to heat, such as vitamins B1, B2 and B6 – vitamin B12 a little less.

The way in which meat and meat products are prepared determines how many vitamins are destroyed and how undesirable pollutants are formed. Therefore, everyone should consciously pay attention to high temperatures such as when grilling or the duration of heating. The longer and hotter it is cooked, the more pollutants are created or parts of the valuable B vitamins are destroyed.

Also read: Living more sustainably: What do we hide? – Our diet has immense environmental and climate effects – we can do that

Even so, barbecuing is particularly popular . An important tip from the expert for grilling: “Dab the marinade before you put the meat on the grill.” Otherwise it will drip into the embers, burn and, among other things, produce polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. PAHs are strongly suspected of increasing the risk of cancer.

Meat is healthy when prepared correctly. But is it also an indispensable food? “No”, says the qualified ecotrophologist. Apart from vitamin B12, which is also contained in milk and dairy products, each of these nutrients can be obtained from plant-based foods – even if not in the ideal composition and high quality that is given with meat.

The “dark side” of meat: cholesterol, purine and arachidonic acid

However, meat is also the main source of cholesterol. In high amounts, cholesterol is a risk factor for arteriosclerosis and thus heart attack and stroke. It is not only present in the visible fat in the meat, but also in low-fat pieces. 100 grams of lean meat provide around 50 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams. 300 milligrams per day is the maximum limit for the intake of cholesterol per day for healthy people, i.e. without a lipid metabolism disorder.

In addition, meat, especially offal, contains purine, i.e. uric acid, which supports gout. Arachidonic acid plays a role as the third negative, natural ingredient in meat. The body creates inflammatory substances from this fatty acid. Diet suggestions for diseases with an inflammatory character such as rheumatism are therefore always meat-free or strictly reduced in meat.

“Most of the cholesterol and purine ingested with food actually comes from meat and meat products such as sausage and ham, a particularly large proportion of which have offal,” confirms the scientist. Nevertheless, cholesterol is an indispensable substance in the body because it takes on important tasks in building cells and nerves. “But our body also produces cholesterol itself and is therefore not dependent on the intake with food,” she explains. Anyone who then eats a lot of meat and sausage quickly absorbs high amounts of cholesterol.

Red meat vs. White meat

However, not all meat is created equal . When it comes to health, a distinction is made between red and white meat. Red meat, i.e. beef, pork, lamb, sheep and goat, is considered particularly unhealthy because it is said to favor diseases.

“Anyone who eats a lot of red meat and especially processed red meat has a higher risk of colon cancer, as many studies indicate, according to the current state of knowledge, consumption of white meat (poultry) is not related to cancer,” says the qualified ecotrophologist. Overall, however, the quality, quantity and method of preparation of the meat are decisive in contributing to a healthy diet.

Pork is leaner, chicken is fatter than expected

But the animal from which the meat comes also plays an important role. How about pork, the most popular meat in Germany and the other types of meat consumed in this country?


Depending on the fat content, pork provides between 100 and 250 kilocalories per 100 grams, 70 milligrams of cholesterol. It also has a high content of vitamins B1 and B6.

So pork is surprisingly low in calories, but provides more cholesterol than, for example, beef. “Reach less for high-fat parts,” advises Antje Gahl, “but because of its vitamin B1 and B6, zinc and iron content, pork can make a contribution to a wholesome diet.”

Pork is popular because of its fine taste and can be used in many ways, quickly prepared and is particularly suitable as pan-fried meat (schnitzel) or roast with a crispy rind.


In terms of calorie content, beef is comparable to pork, depending on the fat, has around 150 to 200 kilocalories per 100 grams and 50 milligrams of cholesterol. It scores with high levels of vitamin B12, zinc and iron.

The strong taste of beef is particularly appreciated by many meat eaters. Because of its long fibers, beef lean meat must be specially prepared; apart from the fillet pieces, it requires a longer cooking time.


White, tender meat and a nutty taste are the characteristics of chicken, duck, turkey and goose. Because of the layer of fat under the skin, poultry meat provides a relatively large number of calories, around 270 kilocalories per 100 grams. If you choose a skin-free steak, you only get around 160 kilocalories. The fat content is around 25 grams per 100 grams of poultry meat.

In addition, poultry meat is particularly rich in protein, so it provides a lot of energy. Zinc, potassium and B vitamins make poultry meat particularly healthy.

But be careful, the crispy skin of chicken and duck contains lots of purines, so it can increase the risk of gout. This is particularly relevant for those who already have elevated purine levels, warns the expert. However, poultry is safe for healthy people in this context.

But: “Poultry meat contains significantly more cholesterol than is generally assumed, namely around 90 milligrams per 100 grams,” she adds. Chicken may be low in fat, but that doesn’t mean it’s low in cholesterol, as is often assumed.


The tender, dark meat with its strong taste is not one of the Germans’ favorite varieties. However, it contains many B vitamins as well as iron and has a high proportion of valuable protein. What is surprising, however, is that on average lamb provides more calories than pork, almost 200 kilocalories per 100 grams of fresh meat, as well as 70 milligrams of cholesterol and many saturated (unfavorable) fatty acids.

Particular attention should be paid to the fatty acid composition with many saturated fatty acids in lamb. Like chicken, lamb is not fundamentally unproblematic when it comes to fat – as is often assumed.


It looks different with game meat. Saddle of venison, venison ragout, roast venison and wild boar are rarely served in Germany, although the meat is actually very low in fat, rich in protein and rich in vitamins B1 and B2, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc and selenium – and therefore healthy. Depending on the variety, it provides only 100 to 160 kilocalories per 100 grams of fresh produce, with less than ten grams of fat, around 60 milligrams of cholesterol and hardly any purine.

However, game meat should only be enjoyed well cooked because it can contain parasites, as the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment ( BfR ) warns. The radiation exposure of venison can also be high, depending on the region. “In wild boars, values ​​are still occasionally measured today that exceed the limit value for marketing 600 Becquerel per kilogram by more than ten times,” reports the Federal Office for Radiation Protection BfS .


Horse meat is also controversial, although it is very healthy with a high content of minerals, vitamins and protein, but low in fat (around two grams per 100 grams of meat) and low in cholesterol. Here there are more psychological reasons why the meat of the popular sport animals is frowned upon, in contrast to France , where it is coveted as a delicacy.

You can eat that much meat

Meat is therefore quite healthy. “Nobody has to go without meat in principle, because it is a valuable part of our diet,” says the expert. However, it depends on the amount, and the following applies: less is more.

The DGE recommends that people who eat meat do not consume more than 300 to 600 grams of meat and meat products per week. That goes for adults. So it’s practical: eat meatless for a few days, then a meat dish. A portion of meat can weigh 100 to 150 grams, a slice of cold cuts 15 to 25 grams, depending on the type.

“Meat makes perfect sense in a wholesome diet because it covers the need for many important nutrients with a single food. Even these small amounts are sufficient for this. It is best to choose predominantly plant-based foods and supplement them with animal-based foods, ”emphasizes Antje Gahl.

Of course, that doesn’t mean everyone has to eat meat. Those who prefer a vegetarian diet can supply these nutrients through a targeted selection of different types of vegetables and fruits, whole grain products, legumes, nuts and dairy products.

Organic meat or meat from conventional farming

Meat consumption in moderation is therefore quite healthy. It is not necessary to weigh one type of meat against another. Variety as well as personal preferences, taste and, last but not least, religion are important, emphasizes the qualified ecotrophologist. For more and more people, the ecological balance of rearing and animal welfare also play a role, keyword antibiotics, but also manure pollution and thus nitrate in the groundwater.

In organic animal husbandry, even fewer antibiotics may be used than in conventional farming, although there has also been a reduction in these recently. It is different with manure, regardless of whether it is organic or bulk, every animal produces just as much of it.

The best advice: eat less animal foods and more plant-based ones. In this way, fewer resources are used, the environment is less polluted and CO 2 emissions would be significantly reduced. Because meat production in particular produces a lot of the climate gas methane, which is many times more harmful to the climate than CO 2 .

Halve meat consumption

But as mentioned at the beginning: With 60 kilograms of meat consumed per person per year, Germany is far from the moderate recommendations of the DGE, which make up at most half of this amount. Accordingly, healthy meat consumption should hardly exceed around 30 kilograms per year – for the benefit of health, animals and the environment.

The truth about natural cosmetics: how natural is your cream?

Just because it says “organic” doesn’t mean “organic” – but how do you recognize genuine natural cosmetics? Hardly anyone knows what exactly is behind it and how natural natural cosmetics are. But it is also confusing: every second cream is now adorned with the words “bio”, “natural”, “eco” or “vegan”. The manufacturers have a pretty free hand and you have to know:

Natural cosmetics are not a protected term

Natural cosmetics first of all refer to products that consist of natural, near-natural or so-called nature-identical ingredients. That doesn’t mean that your cream or lotion contains only natural substances, they can only make up half or a small part, they can be more synthetic than natural – anything goes. So there is no official demarcation between conventional cosmetics and organic cosmetics that has been approved from above. In addition, one must not forget: Cosmetics per se are not natural, because the substances have to be chemically processed in order to make a good cream out of them. You don’t squeeze an organic apple into a tube and then sell it as a cream.

How do I recognize real natural cosmetics?

Since the legislature did not do it, manufacturers joined forces a few years ago and developed standards for “controlled” or “certified” natural cosmetics. The result is various seals and labels that are bearing more and more brands.

These are the most important standards

  • vegetable raw materials are used and these come from certified, ecological cultivation
  • Animal products and animal testing are excluded, but animal testing for ingredients in cosmetic products has been prohibited in the EU since 2013 .
  • no substances such as silicone or mineral oils (paraffin)
  • no preservatives like parabens – but of course the products still have to be preserved, otherwise they will go bad. Natural cosmetics manufacturers therefore rely on natural or nature-identical preservatives, such as ascorbic acid, better known as vitamin C.
  • no synthetic / artificial substances, for example synthetic colors or fragrances

These are the most important seals

The “Controlled Cosmetics” seal of the BDIH and the Natrue label adhere particularly closely to this guideline . For a better overview, there are also three levels at Natrue:

  • Natural cosmetics
  • Natural cosmetics with organic content
  • Organic cosmetics

Depending on the level, the requirements are less strict. Those who want their cosmetics to be as “real” and “natural” as possible should look out for the highest requirements. Good to know: Only the individual product is certified, never the entire brand.

The manufacturers determine what natural cosmetics are

Everyone who uses natural cosmetics should know that too. No government agency, no scientific institute sets these standards: the manufacturers have given them to themselves. That is praiseworthy – but it is worth thinking about what these rules are good for, which companies adhere to them and which just write “organic” or “natural” on the packaging. The products from “The Body Shop” – the  organic cosmetics brand from the very beginning, one would think – for example, do not have any of the labels mentioned above. In addition to natural ingredients, they also contain synthetic ones. The accusation of “greenwashing”it is not far, namely that some brands simply give themselves a “green image”, but actually conceal conventional cosmetics. Interestingly, these are mostly brands that belong to large companies. The Body Shop, for example, (still) belongs to L’Oreal.

Is my product also vegan?

Of course – if it’s not tested on animals, it’s also vegan! Or not? I also thought and wrote in the first version of this article that it would be quite superfluous to write “vegan” on a product if it does without animal substances and animal testing anyway. But that is a bit too short-sighted: Cosmetics often contain animal raw materials, such as milk, honey or beeswax. Therefore, the label “vegan” naturally makes sense if you want to do without animal ingredients in your cosmetics. So natural cosmetics are not automatically vegan. At PETA Germany , the differences between vegan, cruelty-free and cosmetics are well explained.

Not every skin can tolerate natural cosmetics

Natural products = gentle on the skin? The assumption is obvious, but the calculation is not that simple. Normal, healthy skin gets along well with pretty much any cream and reacts negatively at most if the product is too rich or does not contain enough moisture. However, if the skin itches or burns, the cream may not tolerate it. If your skin is very sensitive and cannot tolerate every product per se, you should also only test organic cosmetics carefully, for example with a small amount in the crook of your arm. You should also be careful if you suffer from neurodermatitis or another skin disease. It may be that natural cosmetics are then not right for you – it’s best to ask your dermatologist.

Why I use natural cosmetics

There are more and more natural cosmetic products in my bathroom. Firstly, for a very banal reason: I think many of them are pretty great now. For me, the creams used to be mostly greasy preparations that smelled intensely of rose. That has long since changed. Second, I know for sure that certified natural cosmetics do not contain ingredients such as silicone, mineral oils or microplastics. Microplastics, what is it anyway? The plastic particles are tiny (less than five millimeters), but a major problem for the environment. Cosmetics often contain microplastics in solid or liquid form (for example, abrasives in toothpaste or peeling granules) and that doesn’t have to be. Microplastics enter our rivers and lakes and even the sea via wastewater.At Bund Naturschutz you can download a shopping guide that lists many cosmetic products that contain microplastics .

Soy, rice, almond: that’s how healthy the milk alternatives are

Many people no longer drink cow’s milk. They are switching to substitute products based on soy, rice or almonds. Some simply cannot tolerate milk, others think the alternatives are healthier. The FOCUS online comparison shows how healthy the herbal alternatives are.

Whether soy, rice or almond milk: All vegetable drinks are cholesterol-free, purely vegetable and very low in fat. They contain more unsaturated fatty acids than regular milk. With the exception of soy and nut drinks, they have no allergenic potential, but they also contain significantly less protein. Antje Gahl from the German Nutrition Society (DGE) adds: “The nutritional quality of vegetable proteins is also lower than that of animal protein, due to the lower content of essential amino acids.”

The milk substitutes in comparison

Our overview shows what products are in:

Soy drink

Nutrients: If you replace milk with a drink based on soybeans, you have the most comparable alternative to cow’s milk. The proportions of protein, fats and calories are similar.

Calories: about 40-50 kcal / 100 ml

Sugar content: 2-4 g / 100 ml

Fat content: about 2 g / 100 ml

Proteins: 3-4 g / 100 ml

Suitable for Soy-based products are suitable for vegetarians and vegans as well as for those who suffer from lactose intolerance.

Unsuitable for whom? What speaks against soy milk is that it can cause allergies in sensitive people .

Rice drink

Nutrients: Rice drinks are gluten-free .

Calories: 48 kcal / 100 g

Sugar content: 6.7 g / 100 g

Fat content: 0.1 g / 100 g

Proteins: 0.1 g / 100 g

Suitable for Those who suffer from gluten intolerance or celiac disease can, for example, eat their muesli with rice milk. In addition, products based on rice are suitable for vegetarians and vegans as well as for those who suffer from lactose intolerance.

Unsuitable for whom? According to the expert, rice drinks are also unproblematic for allergy sufferers, as they are the lowest allergenic milk substitutes.

Almond drink

Nutrients: The almond variant of the milk alternative is very low in fat, but in contrast to cow’s milk contains hardly any protein. The exact composition differs depending on the manufacturer.

Calories: about 25 kcal / 100 ml (47 kcal / 100 g)

Sugar content: about 3 g / 100 ml

Fat content: about 1 g / 100 ml (3.5 g / 100 g)

Proteins: about 0.5 g / 100 ml (1.4 g / 100 g)

Suitable for Almond-based products are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Almond milk is also a good alternative for those who want to eat lactose or gluten-free.

Unsuitable for whom? Almond drinks usually contain hardly any almonds, namely only two percent. But this milk alternative is still not recommended for almond and nut allergy sufferers.

Cover calcium needs without cow’s milk

Milk and dairy products are important for a balanced diet, says nutritionist Gahl. The body can also lack iodine, vitamins B2 and B12 if milk and milk products are not consumed.

If you still want alternatives to milk, you should make sure that calcium is added (120 mg / 100 g), which the body needs for bone structure. Alternatively, you can cover your calcium needs with other foods. Good nutrient suppliers are here:

  • Calcium-containing mineral waters
  • Almonds, hazelnuts
  • Kale
  • spinach
  • broccoli
  • legumes

9 facts: What it means for your health if you cut out meat

Vegetarians and vegans are no better people. But mostly they are slimmer and healthier than meat eaters. New scientific studies have now found further differences – they even affect the psyche.

The latest news from German slaughterhouses have certainly given the vegetarians and vegans community a new boost. In addition to animal welfare and ecological aspects, avoiding meat is usually also based on the desire for a healthy diet. What does science say

1. Consensus: little meat is okay, but not really necessary

Every German eats 150 grams of meat and meat products on average every day. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it clearly exceeds the maximum 600 grams that the German Nutrition Society per week finds acceptable. Many consumers are also significantly higher. It is these “meat eaters” who are mentioned in the studies on the harmful effects of meat consumption.

But even with those who eat a lot of meat, there are differences: because those who eat a lot of unprocessed meat, and at the same time high in fiber and low in sugar, have a low risk of disease. This is the case, for example, with the Paleo diet.

Experts consider the Mediterranean diet to be the best nutritional method in the world, and it has been for two decades. In 2019 she was once again named the best diet of the year by “US News” . A lot of vegetables, fish and olive oil end up on the plate, but little meat and processed foods.

In comparative studies, it is not vegetarians and vegans who do well, but people who eat little meat.

But you can also say with a clear conscience to Tilmann Kühn, nutritional epidemiologist at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg: “If you eat wholesome vegetarian food, your body is fine. On the contrary, according to scientific findings, a vegetarian diet is actually very healthy. ”With one small caveat:“ Less meat ”only makes sense if the calorie advantage is not topped up with pizza, biscuits or meat imitations.

2. Those who do not eat meat also live more healthily in other ways

Numerous studies have shown that the biggest meat fans usually do not have good eating habits. Even if you neglect the nutritional value of individual foods, a diet high in meat and sausage as well as sugar, white flour and saturated fats from ready-made foods is unhealthy. Because healthy foods such as vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole grains or nuts are definitely neglected.

3. meat or plant? Nutritional studies are conditionally meaningful

In the laboratory, it is possible to determine how certain nutrients affect human cells. Studies with humans don’t work like that. The health comparison “meat eaters versus vegetarians” is only possible in observational studies. Their conclusions are only an approximation of reality. Too many factors play a role in health for the question to be reduced to schnitzel and tofu . For example: is a chain-smoking vegan healthier than an athletic meat eater?

Epidemiological studies can never conclusively prove that meat consumption is unhealthy. And it is also not conclusively clear which individual ingredients are harmful to health.

4. When it comes to meat, it depends on the color

Beef, pork, lamb or sheep provide the so-called red meat. It is said to cause cardiovascular diseases and problems with the blood vessels.

For US researcher Stanley Hazen from the Cleveland Clinic, a metabolic product of the carnitine contained in red meat is responsible for this. To prove this, he had 113 test subjects eat 250 grams of steak a day for four weeks. A two-week break was followed by four weeks with a correspondingly large amount of (white) poultry meat and, at the end, a meat-free month.

The result , published in the “European Heart Journal”, showed a significant 3-fold increase in the TMAO plasma concentration during the steak weeks. TMAO is produced during the metabolism of carnitine and is a risk marker for hardening of the arteries in the blood vessels. The diet with poultry and vegetables led to a decrease in plasma concentrations in the test subjects.

Red meat is also directly or indirectly involved in the development of cancer.

For example, studies by the DKFZ have shown that people who eat a lot of red meat have increased biomarkers of certain roasting substances, such as those produced during roasting and grilling, swim in the blood. These people were at an increased risk of developing colon cancer.

In the large-scale EPIC study across Europe, 519,000 test persons were examined to find out the connection between diet and cancer .

The results show that red meat can increase the risk of colon cancer. Accordingly, the risk of the disease increases by almost 50 percent if the daily consumption of meat is 100 grams above the recommended amount. The same amount of sausage products increases the risk by as much as 70 percent.

The risk of stomach cancer is also said to be related to heavy meat consumption. In people infected with the Helicobacter pylori bacterium, the risk increases by a factor of five.

5. Theory 1: Iron makes meat unhealthy

There are various theories about why red meat is so problematic. The so-called iron load hypothesis is based on the fact that red meat contains a comparatively high amount of iron. This so-called heme iron has a high bioavailability, unlike iron from plant food, and thus enters the organism in larger quantities.

It has long been suggested that high levels of iron in the blood increase the risk of cancer . However, this theory has not yet been proven by studies.

6. Theory 2: BMMF make meat unhealthy

Scientists working with Nobel laureate Harald zur Hausen believe they have found another cause: a previously unknown class of pathogens is responsible for the increased risk of colon cancer .

These “Bovine Milk and Meat Factors (BMMF)” enter the human intestines through the consumption of meat and dairy products from European cattle. There it comes to a chronic inflammation, which indirectly promotes the development of colon cancer.

7. Avoiding meat protects the intestines

Vegetarian foods contain fiber, which has a positive effect on the microbiome in the gut. Vegans have a particularly large number of them. In addition to fruit and vegetables, lactic acid foods such as yogurt also support the intestinal flora. Vegetarians often consume these. Researchers from the University of New York have confirmed that vegans and vegetarians have more protective types of gut bacteria than meat eaters.

Meat also poses a cancer risk through its preparation and processing: for example, when meat is heated up, several potentially harmful substances are formed at the same time, including so-called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); curing also produces nitrosamines. These substances can promote the development of cancer, and above all they increase the risk of colon cancer. Methods such as curing and intense heating are particularly used for industrially processed meat, such as sausage and ham. Accordingly, processed meat products are particularly unhealthy.

8. Avoiding meat makes you slim

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Neurosciences (MPI CBS) and the Leipzig University Hospital examined almost 9,000 people, what connections there are between body and mind on the one hand and not consuming animal products on the other. regardless of age, gender and level of education. The study was published in June 2020 in the specialist magazine “Nutrients”.

The result of the physical impact: the less food of animal origin was on the menu, the lower the average body mass index (BMI) and thus the body weight. “Products that are excessively high in fat and sugar make you fat. They stimulate the appetite and delay the feeling of satiety. If you do without animal foods, you eat fewer such products on average, ”explains Evelyn Medawar, first author of the work.

9. Avoiding meat and the psyche

With regard to the psychological effects of the meatless diet, the Leipzig study found no particular susceptibility to neuroses in vegetarians. The study director Veronica Witte says: “Previous analyzes had found that more neurotic people generally leave out certain food groups more often. We focused solely on avoiding animal products and could not observe any correlation. ”No connection was found between a predominantly plant-based diet and depressive moods. There was evidence of this in previous studies.

However, the researchers found a difference in one of the determining factors of personality: the extroversion or introversion. People with predominantly plant-based foods on the menu are more introverted than those who eat primarily animal products. The study authors have not yet found an explanation for this.


From low carb to DASH diet: these are the 5 most effective methods of losing weight

Bad mood, constant hunger and ultimately surrender to strict rules. Most diets fail and make you fat rather than slim in the long run. But there are some that are actually successful – and even suitable for everyday use.

Slimming diets can be a real mood killer, as a study by the Helmholtz Center in Munich showed. That being said, most diets are far from successful. Many people who had lost a lot of weight at the beginning put back as much weight after a year as they did before the start of the slimming diet, if not more (yo-yo effect). The cause is stress hormones, which the body can produce in excess due to the diet .

Counting calories creates stress and is the beginning of the end of many diets

However, there are also slimming programs that usually do not have any of these side effects, are practicable and enable a long-term normal weight, as an analysis of several studies at Harvard University showed.

The following five slimming programs are particularly recommended, all of which get by without the greatest stress factors – namely calorie counting and food cravings.

1. Mediterranean Diet – Mediterranean diet for gourmets

This is a change in diet that is best made for life. The simple rules: Lots of fresh fruit, salads and vegetables, fish, olive oil and nuts. A glass of red wine is also allowed. Sausage, red meat and high-fat dairy products, on the other hand, should rarely be on the menu.

Sweets also play a subordinate role in Mediterranean cuisine. Tiramisu, the most typical Italian dessert for many Germans , is only served on holidays in their home country – so it is rather the exception. In everyday life, an apple or pear with a few nuts rounds off the meal and also satisfies the hunger for sweets.

With the Mediterranean diet , you won’t lose two kilograms in the first week. However, four to eleven kilograms within the first year are quite possible, as the meta-analysis shows. This weight loss is permanent if this diet is followed.

2. Low carb has been shown to make you slim

No bread, no pasta, but more meat, vegetables, cheese, eggs. Low-carb is quite simple and successful, as the Harvard study also underscores. Four to ten kilograms can be lost in a few weeks. And if you then make sure to save carbohydrates in the future, you can keep your new dream weight.

The explanation: digestive enzymes break down carbohydrates into simple sugars (such as glucose, fructose and galactose). The blood sugar level rises and the body produces insulin in order to lower it again. However, this slows down fat burning. In addition, insulin triggers the “hunger” signal in the brain. Those who eat a diet rich in carbohydrates often eat more than they actually need. This is one of the reasons why carbohydrates promote obesity.

However, if carbohydrates are largely avoided, the body automatically burns more fat and thus also attacks fat deposits. With low-carb the body converts its metabolism to fat loss .

With carbohydrate blockers, low carb is easy

However, this only works if carbohydrates are actually largely cut. However, this is not that easy in everyday life. Because our typical side dishes are bread, rice and pasta. They provide large amounts of carbohydrates, as do alcohol and some fruits, such as bananas.

However, the metabolism of carbohydrates can be prevented with natural active ingredients such as beans or grape marc. So-called carbohydrate blockers, calorie blockers or carb blockers contain these active ingredients. They reduce or inhibit the activity of the enzymes that break down carbohydrates in the body. In this way, these nutrients leave the body unused, so they do not provide any energy, cannot be stored as fat pads and the body has to attack fat reserves.

3. Intermittent fasting – hardly eat anything for a day

The principle of intermittent fasting is regular, short-term avoidance of food, then feasting again as you please . Depending on whether the version 5: 2 or 8:16 is selected, you can eat normally on five days, fast on two days with only 500 (women) to 600 calories (men) – or eat normally for eight hours and then for 16 hours without solid food.

8:16 in particular now has many fans, because this variant allows an almost normal eating rhythm: early risers can have a hearty breakfast at eight o’clock and have their last meal of the day in the late afternoon. And if you can’t get out of bed in the morning anyway, you can start the day at eleven with an opulent breakfast and then have dinner at 7 p.m.

With this method too, excess weight can be quickly lost and the body quickly gets used to the fasting breaks in between. An additional advantage of this simple diet: the blood pressure has been shown to decrease and with it the risks for secondary diseases such as arteriosclerosis, heart attack and stroke.

4. Low Fat – it depends on the percentage of fat

Not eating fat at all is not advisable. Because the body needs certain amounts for many functions, such as digestion, healthy cells, the formation of hormones, as a carrier of fat-soluble vitamins and much more.

But too much fat makes you fat, that is undisputed. Because fat has the highest energy value of all nutrients: 9 kilocalories per gram, carbohydrates and protein on the other hand only 4 per gram.

The low-fat diet therefore relies on sensible fat reduction in food. The Low Fat 30 method is particularly successful . It means that a maximum of 30 percent of the total calories of the day can come from fat. As a rule, this is around 60 grams of fat with a daily amount of around 2000 kilocalories.

Of course, these should be healthy types of fat, i.e. unsaturated fatty acids, such as in olive oil, rapeseed oil, nuts, avocados and cold water fish. Saturated fatty acids such as in butter and cheese are unfavorable, especially trans fats. They arise when unsaturated fatty acids are strongly heated or hardened. Chips, fast food and sweets often contain trans fats and are therefore not useful for low fat.

5. DASH – a health program with a positive side effect

This type of diet was actually developed to treat high blood pressure. The acronym DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension . The initiators included scientists from Harvard University. In practice it turned out that this diet not only lowered blood pressure , but also reduced excess weight gently and permanently.

At DASH, the composition of the nutrients is as follows: A good 50 percent can be carbohydrates, just under 30 percent fat and 20 percent protein. The carbohydrates should come primarily from foods rich in fiber, i.e. whole grain products, vegetables and fruits. In addition, salt consumption should be reduced.

Diets must have a feel-good factor

So there are good diets after all – and they don’t have to be difficult to carry out. But regardless of whether you decide to reduce fat or go for low carb, supported by carbohydrate blockers: It is important that you feel comfortable and do not put yourself under pressure. So just try out which diet is easiest for you.