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Nutrition in mental work


In case of mental labor and weak muscle load during off-duty time, energy expenditures do not exceed 377-460 kJ (90-PO kcal) per hour and amount to 9623-10042 kJ (2300-2400 kcal) per day.
Hypokinesia, insufficiency of motor-visceral reflexes, overeating, overweight and early development of atherosclerotic changes in the body have a great influence on the health of persons with intellectual labor and their performance.
By hypokinesia, low motor activity and the almost complete cessation of any physical work are understood. An actively functioning muscle system is a factor that ensures the normal functions of other body systems, primarily cardiovascular and nervous, and contributes to the normalization of metabolism.
Insufficient muscle load in conditions of relatively high-calorie nutrition inevitably leads to a progressive increase in body weight. The adverse effects of excess nutrition on the background of low physical activity suggest that one of the main principles of rational nutrition in intellectual work is to reduce the calorie intake of food to the level of energy costs. It is also necessary to change the diet by increasing the number of meals of small amounts of food to 4-5 per day. Since moderately limited nutrition is designed for long-term (sometimes lifelong) use, it must be balanced and complete, ensuring that all the needs of the body are satisfied and exclude any elements of malnutrition and nutritional deficiency.
Moderately limited nutrition provides a high variety using a wide range of foods. When building a daily diet, it is necessary to be guided by the following provisions.
1. The energy value of the diet in the range of 10 042-11 460 kJ (2400-2500 kcal), of which 5021-5858 kJ (1200-1400 kcal) should be provided from carbohydrates, 3012-3389 kJ (720-810 kcal) -for account of fats and 1674-1925 kJ (400 - 460 kcal) - due to proteins.
2. On average, with a moderately limited diet, the daily norm of protein is 57–69 g, fat - 63–77 g and carbohydrates - 300–350 g.
3. The amount of protein of animal origin should be at least 50% of the daily allowance, and half of this amount should be provided by milk protein.
4. it is advisable that one quarter of the fatty part of the diet is butter, the other is vegetable oil, and the third and fourth are the fat contained in the food itself and kitchen fats (margarine) used for culinary purposes.
5. Of the total amount of carbohydrates, sugar should account for no more than 15%. It is desirable that at least 25% of the total amount of carbohydrates (about 80-100 g) is provided due to carbohydrates of potatoes, vegetables, and fruits.

With low physical activity, carbohydrates, especially low molecular weight ones, are subject to restriction. The existing ideas about the need for increased sugar consumption during a period of intense mental activity need additional study, refinement and revision. Increased sugar intake with pronounced inactivity associated with prolonged mental work, inevitably leads to weight gain and obesity.
In the nutrition of people of mental labor, particular components that have lipotropic and anti-sclerotic properties are of particular importance. Such lipotropic substances include the amino acid methionine, the source of which has long been recognized as cottage cheese. For mental work, the source of methionine and other sulfur-containing amino acids can be cheeses, chicken, fish (salmon, cod, herring, etc.), in which the content of sulfur-containing amino acids is almost 1.5 times higher than in cottage cheese. Among plant crops, legumes and rye, which are a good source of sulfur-containing amino acids, should be noted.
With mental labor, the body needs primarily vitamins that stimulate redox reactions. Almost all vitamins possess this property, but especially vitamins B1, B6, C, P, PP. Vitamins with lipotropic and anti-sclerotic effects are no less important for people with mental labor. These include choline, inositol, vitamins E and B12, folic acid and vitamin F. For people with mental labor, the prevention of latent forms of vitamin deficiency is of great importance. The latter do not have clearly defined symptoms, however, a number of general disorders are known, in particular a decrease in working capacity, especially mental.
In the development of atherosclerosis and hypertension, hidden forms of vitamin deficiency play an important role and often contribute to the progression of these diseases.
The most rational for persons with mental labor is a four-meal diet, in which the best digestion of food and the highest assimilation of nutrients is achieved. In this mode, the intervals between meals do not exceed 4-5 hours, as a result of which a uniform load on the digestive apparatus is created, the most complete processing of food by juices with full digesting power is ensured. To restore the normal activity of the digestive glands, they should have a daily rest (10-11 hours). Late dinner deprives the secretory apparatus of rest, which leads to overstrain and depletion of the digestive glands. In this regard, dinner should be no later than 3 hours before going to bed. With four meals a day, 25% of the daily diet is recommended for breakfast, 15% for lunch, 35% for lunch, and 25% for dinner.
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Nutrition in mental work

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