Diet therapy: ten nutritional rules for a healthy eating style

ncrease the consumption of carbohydrates

Carbohydrates represent the clean energy of the organism: from their use derives only energy, water and carbon dioxide. The energy supplied by proteins, certainly essential to human life, involves an overload of work for the liver and kidneys, fatigued by the excess nitrogen that reaches them.

It is advisable to prefer unrefined carbohydrates, such as wholemeal pasta, which is richer in vitamins, minerals and fiber.

  1. Increase your portions of fruit and vegetables

The principles of the Food Pyramid are to eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables every day. It will help us to tackle the problem of oxidation and to contain an excessive and dangerous formation of free radicals in the body.

Free radicals accelerate cellular aging and cause tumor degeneration. It is the organism itself that counteracts this action, also with the help of antioxidant substances provided by foods from the plant world. Daily fatigue is often due to an unbalanced diet rich in proteins of animal origin (eggs, meat, fish, milk and derivatives) and poor in fruit and vegetables resulting in a deficit of micronutrients, ketosis and an acid pH. Since cellular enzymes do not work well at an acid pH, the body buffers it using bicarbonates that are partly supplied by the diet with vegetables. However, there are no acidic foods and basic foods but it is the overall diet that can induce a certain amount of acidosis.

Furthermore, vegetables and fruit provide an insignificant amount of calories and perform a double advantageous action: they reduce the sense of hunger, giving a feeling of satiety and maintaining the regularity of the intestine.

  1. Limit the use of cheeses

Cheese has a high nutritional value in consideration of the high percentage of milk proteins, due to the considerable presence of calcium and a fair presence of vitamins A and B. But it is also a highly caloric food, given the high content of lipids. It should therefore be served no more than twice a week. Recommended cheeses: fior di latte, mozzarella, fresh cow caciotta, cow ricotta, scamorza, stracchino, robiola, crescenza, fontina.

  1. Reduce the consumption of foods with high cholesterol content

Foods we are used to since childhood can have dangerous contraindications, such as an excess of cholesterol: egg yolk, butter, milk and cheese. Cholesterol is recognized as having a determining role in the atherosclerosis of the arteries with consequent alteration of the blood circulation of the whole organism.

  1. Increase your fish intake

Fish is rich in Omega 3, a fat capable of reducing the risk of cardiovascular, tumor, osteoarticular and neurodegenerative disease.

It is therefore good practice to eat fish at least three or four times a week, even those commonly considered fat. The long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids of the “Omega 3” family – which are rich in fish such as salmon, mackerel, squid, sardines, herring, tuna, mullet, plaice, swordfish – therefore play a particularly beneficial role for the body .

The fats of land animals are instead rich in saturated compounds which, unlike unsaturated ones, can facilitate the onset of diseases. The indications of the research organizations recommend limiting the consumption of meat to three meals a week, including, in this quota, red or white meat, sausages and cured meats.

  1. Increase the consumption of legumes

A peculiar characteristic of the legumes group (beans, lentils, peas, broad beans and chickpeas) is that of providing carbohydrates, fiber, mineral salts, iron and proteins in a few calories. Carbohydrates are mainly represented by starch with a very low glycemic index. Proteins are composed of amino acids that complement those coming from cereal proteins, for a combination of high biological value. Soy:legume of oriental cuisine. On the macronutrient front, soybeans boast an extra contribution of fats greater than about 20% compared to beans or peas compared to 2% of beans and lentils which certainly increases the calorie load but makes soy a complete food since it also adds a good protein content, typical of meat, to the virtues recognized to vegetables. From soy milk come cheeses (tofu), yogurt, ice cream and vegetable meat. Soy also contains vegetable fibers, isoflavonoids with a cholesterol-lowering action and phytoestrogens, which in women can act as partial substitutes for natural hormones, in situations of deficiency. The products derived from soy are tofu, tamari, temeh. The best known is the shoyu or tamari sauce to be dosed with caution because it is rich in sodium.

  1. Prepare food at home as much as possible

Modern rhythms, especially in urban areas, force us to consume meals outside the home more and more often, thus remaining without control over the quality of food and the amount of fat consumed. Eating meals at home (preparing them and not resorting to takeaways and hot tables), allows you to check the seasonings and choose the most suitable cooking techniques. It is absolutely necessary to avoid frying as the foods absorb oil and are therefore rich in fat. Furthermore, in frying the temperatures exceed 180 degrees and acrylamide is produced, a substance with carcinogenic power contained in different quantities in some foods and which is present in greater quantities if the food is cooked at high temperatures (roasting, frying). The research resulted in some general and practical recommendations applicable to both food industry, both in home cooking. In practice, therefore, it is better not to fry too much and not to eat the browned and crunchy parts of the food and not to toast the bread excessively. In fact, a toxic amount of acrylamide was found in the dark, roasted and tasty parts of foods with a high carbohydrate content. Furthermore, when foods are cooked at high temperatures as in the case of fried foods and foods cooked on the grill, AGEs (advanced glycation end-products) tend to form, which are substances that originate from the interaction between sugars, proteins and fats. These are toxic and irritating substances, capable of producing a low-grade inflammatory state, which has been associated with the presence of cardiovascular disease.

Meat and fish must be cooked in the oven, grilled, stewed, boiled or baked. Vegetables are best prepared in the oven, grilled, boiled or steamed. Soft-boiled, poached and scrambled eggs

  1. Knowing how to choose and dose condiments

Extra virgin olive oil is the most suitable condiment for all occasions. It provides our body with precious substances and acids that our body is unable to produce. It contains in an optimal ratio monounsaturated oleic fatty acid, linoleic and linolenic, antioxidant substances, such as vitamin E, which help to block the activity of free radicals; it also provides vitamin D and also has a good supply of vitamin A precursors.

But like all fats, oil is highly caloric and therefore also for the oil you have to follow the recommended daily dose (it is also preferable to add it raw after cooking).

Butter differs from oil essentially for one reason: it is of animal origin and therefore contains cholesterol and long-chain saturated fatty acids (palmitic and stearic acid). They are mainly used for energy purposes, they favor the increase of triglycerides and cholesterol.

Always avoid margarines, made up of a mixture of partially hydrogenated vegetable fats that are currently considered the least healthy. Cooking without salt and as a sweetener it is good to prefer honey.

You can safely make use of spices or common cooking aromas according to your tastes. Parsley, basil, rosemary and sage flavor the dishes and do not add calories; it is advisable to season with lemon, wine or apple vinegar, but not balsamic.

  1. Have 3 or 4 meals at fixed times and slowly

Eating regularly helps you feel good and provides the body with adequate calories throughout the day. Eating rhythm is essential because it allows you to control hunger much more than when you skip meals. Furthermore, concentrating all the food on a single occasion does not fully exploit the thermogenesis induced by food, that is a certain metabolic mechanism that determines in itself a certain energy consumption. Eating three times a day instead of once consumes more.

A good way to avoid gaining weight over the years is to shift more of your total daily calories to breakfast at the expense of other meals. It is important not to skip meals. The ideal number of meals in order to provide the necessary energy at the right time and thus avoid asthenia due to the use of reserve energy throughout the day is 3-4 meals (based on the physiological-pathological-working state ).

It is advisable to eat fruit before meals and when cooked and raw dishes are served in the same meal, it is the latter that should be eaten first. Time dedicated to meals  The philosophy of slowness is now a necessity. Stop running, change the rhythm of your life, starting with the time dedicated to meals is based on the awareness that speed has begun to do us more harm than good. We have to slow down, do everything as best as possible and not as fast as possible. By building stronger relationships with people, cultures and places by choosing a rhythm of life that favors human relationships and kindness. Wake up 5 minutes earlier for a leisurely breakfast and dedicate at least 20 minutes to meals. Do not engage in any other activity while eating paying attention to food.

To eliminate toxins, drink at least 2 liters of water a day, preferably between meals. Tap water will probably be fine too, but it’s always good to see your family doctor. Among the many mineral waters available, it will be better to identify the one that best suits your physical conditions, rather than choosing the quantity of bubbles. Unfortunately, there is no ideal water for everyone.

  1. Diet is not enough, you need to do physical activity

Diet is not enough to feel good, but you need to do sports or exercise to increase your calorie expenditure, choosing physical activity that suits your lifestyle. You need to keep fit without making excessive effort: regularity of daily movement is essential. Physical activity is essential for well-being because it serves to improve the use of nutrients and to lose weight better in quality. Physiologists have taught that about 30% of the daily energy expenditure in an adult should come from physical activity.

To obtain benefits from physical activity, however, it must be regular, for 40-50 minutes and at least three times a week ( effective dose of physical exercise) since with this frequency it is possible to create a sort of training also for the cardiovascular system and creates a condition of global physical well-being. Movement decreases insulin resistance, increases good HDL cholesterol and activates self-protective mechanisms. Daily physical activity decreases the risk of breast, colon and prostate cancer.

Even in normal weight subjects, movement is essential. It has been demonstrated that those who have a sedentary lifestyle even if they are of normal weight run a five times greater risk of developing chronic diseases compared to an obese who does even moderate physical activity. Physical activity therefore as an element of primary prevention.   

It is recommended to walk as much as possible and to walk up / down all the stairs encountered during the day.


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