The experts in nutrition they always tell us that the most important thing for our diet is to follow a varied and balanced diet. That there is no prohibited food as such (unless medically indicated) but products for which it is better to reduce your consumption and eat occasionally and exceptionally. No more no less. But how is this done? The truth is that it is much easier than we think.
Hand in hand with the professor of Public Health and Preventive Medicine Miguel Ángel Martínez-González, principal investigator of the Center for Biomedical Research Network of the Pathophysiology of Obesity and Nutrition, CIBEROBN, we will know how to eat in the healthiest and most balanced way possible, also following the Mediterranean diet pattern who has such a good reputation around the world. This is fundamentally characterized by the consumption of olive oil, fruits, vegetables and nuts.
And is that Martínez-González is behind the famous Predimed study one of the most important in the last decade: the Mediterranean diet has a protective effect on cardiovascular health but also in other diseases like breast cancer.
Olive oil, fruits and vegetables
“The main thing is follow a high quality diet pattern, of great nutritional quality, “says Martínez-González to EL ESPAÑOL. Therefore, it is important to recommend three things.
First, the use of olive oil for most culinary uses. So much so that, recently, Martínez-González, together with other CIBEROBN researchers and in collaboration with Harvard University, have just published an article in the journal of the American Society of Cardiology showing that “olive oil effectively reduces myocardial infarction and is recommended as an ideal model for culinary fat. “
Second, ensure the consumption of three pieces of fresh fruit daily and third, also make a daily consumption of two servings of vegetables, one of them in salad. “With these three tips, the body’s defenses are fairly assured,” says the expert.
Currently, and with the state of alarm in which we live for the Covid-19, it is very important to take fresh fruit and vegetables daily. For this, and in the specific case of fruit, he advises that it is better to buy those that last longer in the fridge so you don’t have to go to the supermarket so much. In fact, Martínez-González recommends buying online so that you do not have to expose yourself to possible contagion. For example, citrus fruits like oranges, or pears and apples that usually last a long time in the fridge. “Fresh fruit as a dessert is essential, and should be the norm for both lunch and dinner,” says the scientist.
Fish, eggs and legumes
On the other hand, to maintain a healthy, varied and balanced diet, the consumption of fish is key, at least three times a week and ensuring that one of these portions, at least, is blue fish (sardines, tuna, mackerel, salmon …). The meat you have to consume it less times a week than fish, and always choose white meat. Red meat, for occasional consumption.
Likewise, the legume consumption at least three times a week, and the egg 3-4 times a week. Nuts are also more than recommended, and are also one of the keys to the Mediterranean diet. Raw or roasted nuts. And not fried nuts, sweetened or with a lot of salt, “those are not recommended,” he says. “Further, it is important to note that nuts (raw or roasted) not fattening because, among other things, they tend to substitute less healthy ones as snacks, such as potato chips, “says the expert.
Reduce consumption of some foods
And finally, let’s go with the foods that should be consumed occasionally, that is, consume more or less once a month. “There are no prohibited foods, but there are some that must be reduced in consumption”, insists the scientist. Thus, we should reduce processed meat such as hamburgers, sausages, cooked ham or sausages; and also cookies, industrial pastries and sweets that come already packaged and are bought ready-made. And finally, it is essential to reduce the salt and sugar in our meals. “To sweeten, instead of taking the sugar bowl, better add dates or raisins, which is a very healthy way to sweeten dishes,” Martínez-González concludes.