The holiday season is coming to an end and people will have likely consumed their fair share of traditional foods, but Bayern Munich star Thomas Müller recently dished his own take on what people should eat.
In an interview covered by Abendzeitung, Müller discusses his journey with food and cooking, detailing his love for his mother’s homemade food, lessons from nutritionists, and what people should be doing differently when it comes to their eating habits.
Despite being interested in food from a young age, it wasn’t until later in life after having moved out of his childhood home that Müller really started getting into the world of food. Müller explains this change saying, “I started cooking when I was in my early 20s. Over the past few years, my interest in nutrition, food and cooking has increased significantly.”
Continuing, Müller states that, “At 18, I didn’t know what coriander was. I learned to understand what the body really needs. What’s in food? This isn’t really taught in our society, there’s a lot of catching up to do, even at school.”
By placing more emphasis on the role food plays in health at a younger age and in education systems society can hope to tackle food-related issues by providing a base level of nutrition knowledge, as “people usually don’t know what they’re putting in their bodies.”
Müller recognizes that there are benefits of food that span beyond meeting nutritional needs, saying that “food is something beautiful, it brings everyone together.”
However, he also acknowledges that “you can put 500 calories into your body very quickly, but in order to work off them you have to do a lot. For me it’s about being aware of it, what impact nutrition can have on our lives, both short and long term.
“Everyone struggles with the symptoms of aging. Diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases are a big problem in many countries.” These are issues that Müller believes a greater societal focus on food and nutrition can help fix.
Addressing the issue is only the first step in solving a problem— what can people do to improve their health through their eating habits? Müller suggests focusing on “leaving out highly processed foods that contain little that the body can really use for its nutrition, and replacing them with something that contains more.” For example, the German international replaces a chocolate bar with a bit of linseed oil and nuts.
When it comes to his own diet, Müller looks to diversify his sources of nutrients, following the idea that everything he consumes should come in moderation. This allows him to avoid completely cutting out some foods, as “if you eat a balanced diet, you don’t have to go without anything.”
Müller likes to try a variety of different vegetables and sources of protein from multiple foods such as legumes or meat along with a healthy amount of carbohydrates as well.
A unique ritual Müller has is to start every day with a handful of walnuts, half a liter of water, and three spoonfuls of olive oil, as he says “it protects the heart and [he] really like[s] it.”
To recap Müller’s main point, educate yourself. Know what’s in your food and how much of specific nutrients you actually need in a day and try to eat healthy foods that provide those nutrients.
Going further with the topic of food education, try and look at where your food is coming from and the environmental impact it might have as well. Red meats like beef don’t only have negative health implications including heart issues, but also have absurd carbon emissions associated with its production.