In honor of World Health Day, observed each year on April 7, Anna Popova, the head of Russia's health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, gave her best tips for leading a healthy life.
Here's our summary of Popova's interview with Rossiiskaya Gazeta published Monday.
For breakfast, eat wholegrain porridge based on water (not milk) and a cup of coffee with honey.
2. A Balanced Diet, Not a Diet
"As a doctor I think, that what's most important is a balanced diet. The body needs a required amount of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. I am not a fan of diets, unless prescribed by a physician."
"The media are always promoting some kind of 'extra healthy diet.' And many people just launch themselves from one extreme into another."
"Everything is good, in moderation. You need to listen to your body, not to fashion tips."
3. No Junk Food in Schools
Healthy eating habits start from childhood. Soda, chips and other unhealthy foods should be excluded from schools. Rospotrebnadzor is tightening regulations for what is served in schools and kindergartens, Popova said, adding a warning:
Avoid all those imported products listed on the Rospotrebnadzor website.
4. Lunches: Scrap Pirogi
Potatoes, white flour products and sugar are overused in traditional Russian cuisine and should be on their way out.
Instead, replace pirogi with vegetables, fruit, and dairy products of which Russians consume too little.
5. Be a Demanding Consumer (Read Food Labels)
Consumers should be aware of what they are eating. Right now, it practically requires a magnifying glass to read food labels, but Rospotrebnadzor is looking for new labeling formats, Popova promised.