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What is a good diet? Here in LatinAmerican Post we tell more about it so you can break diet myths and improve your food habits
A study published by The Lancet magazine showed alarming results about eating habits in 195 countries around the world. According to the study, food has a large impact on health in the long term, so they say that, between 1990 and 2017, the years that lasted the study, millions of deaths could have been avoided if a healthy diet had been taken. Specifically, the study says that in 2017 11 million people died due to factors related to bad diets.
The reason is that bad habits are a cause of the development of many chronic diseases, which deteriorates health. Cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and type 2 diabetes are some of the diseases that can be derived from it.
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El Diario quotes Christopher Murray, one of the researchers, when he says that "this study affirms what many have thought for years: that a deficient diet is responsible for more deaths than any other risk factor in the world." This is how the study showed that 1 out of 5 deaths is related to these unhealthy diets. He also states that it could have even more deaths than those caused by tobacco use.
Two main problems were found in the study: excess of salt and lack of nuts. Also, the high consumption of sugary drinks and processed meats.
Lina Noriega, a Colombian nutritionist, in dialogue with LatinAmerican Post, tells us how to have a healthy diet to avoid developing these chronic diseases that can have serious consequences in the future.
LatinAmerican Post: What should be the ideal diet?
Lina Noriega: An ideal diet should have all the micro and macronutrients, carbohydrates, proteins and fat in their right proportion. And well, the idea is that all foods are as natural as possible, avoid everything processed and try to get them from the earth. Fats, for example, try to get them from vegetable origin, although the saturated ones cannot be set aside because the body also needs them. The protein in turn must be present at all meal times. Obviously include a lot of water and antioxidants, which come from fruits and vegetables, consume them not processed, that is, not juices but whole. It is supremely important to limit some nutrients that do not help, such as refined sugars, sodium, and eat them only for occasional consumption.
LP: What is the worst damage you could do to your body regarding food habits?
LN: The worst damage that can be done to the body is surely to have a very restricted diet. Today it is believed that having many limitations is the way to lose weight, there are people who really eat only shakes and 'miracle diets' with only green juices and smoothies. This really does not do any good because they are processed things, it does not come from nature but from something made by man, with proteins that are created by industry and have a lot of unhealthy chemicals and components. They end up being foods with empty calories.
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LP: What is the relation between an unhealthy diet and chronical diseases that can become something worst?
LN: They are deeply related. Starting because most people do not have established meal times, they eat only when they are very hungry and whatever they find on the street. This ends up raising triglycerides, cholesterol, which in the long term can make plaques in our arteries that create chronic inflammation, that is what makes us start having high blood pressure and that leads to cardiovascular diseases.
This is called having an inflammatory diet, it is because of having many processed foods: lots of cow's milk, pastry, desserts, sugars in excess, few fruits and vegetables and lots of fast food. Also the lack of exercise affects a lot. It can also lead to damage to the pancreas, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, abdominal obesity.
LP: Which myths about food you think must be broken?
LN: There are many myths. For example regarding eggs: they say it must not be consumed because the yolk has a lot of fat and has a lot of cholesterol. Actually, eggs are a protein of very good quality and it helps a lot to the feeling of satiety during the day, people are able to control more their appetite.
Another very big myth is that of 'I can not consume fats because fats will make me fat'. Not really. Our body needs fat for many functions. It is simply a matter of knowing what types of fats to consume. Nuts, olives, olive oil, all that can be consumed. In addition, fats of omega 6 oils.
LP: What is the best way to create healthy eating habits?
LN: An effective way to create good eating habits is to educate. Totally. People should know what each food does in their body, clarifying the myths that exist. In my case, I treat in a consultory and patients come and they are given nutritional education, so that they know how to eat well, they are taught a normal pattern of feeding depending on their profile, because everyone has different requirements. I also think that communications media is an effective strategy.
LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Suarez
Translated from "Aprende a comer: ¡rompe los mitos sobre la alimentación!"