How not to gain weight in summer: 4 recipes to try

    How not to gain weight in summer: 4 recipes to try

    «Summer is a happy time. We want lightheartedness, aperitifs and dinners with friends. Especially this year, after the many months of "distancing" imposed by the Covid emergency. But the desire for freedom leads us to loosen control over what we eat and drink". To say it is the doctor Anna Villarini, graduated in biological sciences and specialist in food science who for years has been working as a researcher at the Istituto dei Tumori in Milan, where she coordinates projects on healthy nutrition and the prevention of diseases, in particular breast cancer. In his book The total diet (Cairo, 19 euros) gives advice and recipes to better face all seasons of the year. Starting from the summer.

    Here is our interview with Anna Villarini.

    Why do people tend to get fat in the summer?

    Our diet is often unbalanced: too many proteins and fats from cured meats, cheeses, ice creams, which we consume in quantity when we do not feel like cooking or because of the heat; too many sugars, contained in sweet drinks, ice cream; sometimes, too, too much alcohol, because the opportunities to drink an iced beer with friends or a cocktail in this period multiply. Let's not forget that in summer, due to high temperatures, we need fewer calories: our body does not have to burn energy (obtained from food and drinks) to fight the cold, as happens in winter.

    What should we eat to keep weight under control?

    Lots of vegetables and whole grains. Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, courgettes, green salads and all seasonal vegetables satiate with very few calories, as long as you don't overdo the oil, which must be extra virgin olive oil (tastier and a source of good fats from the action anti-inflammatory). Vegetables, being very rich in water, are essential to compensate for the liquids we lose with sweat. Good hydration is good not only for the skin, but also for the brain. Without water, neurons function poorly and attention and concentration skills and even memory can be affected. Not least, seasonal vegetables provide us with vitamin C, beta-carotene and many other antioxidant substances, useful for protecting our skin from the sun's rays. It is better to consume a large portion of carrots, tomatoes and green leafy vegetables, rather than resorting to supplements.

    Important scientific studies have shown that an excess of beta-carotene, taken in pills, increases the risk of lung cancer in smokers, while the same substance, supplied by food, reduces it. To promote the bioavailability of beta-carotene I recommend briefly blanch vegetables or chew them for a long time, so as to favor the rupture of the cell membranes within which this precious element is contained. Whole grains, on the other hand, are a treasure trove of fibers, which slow down the absorption of fats and sugars, keep hunger under control and, more importantly, nourish the intestinal microbiota. We now know with certainty that having a healthy intestine is the fundamental condition for staying healthy, because it is precisely here that the first barrier of our immune defenses is concentrated. THE Whole grains, in particular rice, contributing to the balance of bacterial flora, play a very important role in counteracting chronic inflammation (cause or contributory cause of many diseases, from diabetes, to tumors, to autoimmune diseases) which in summer risks increasing due to excessive heat.

    In his book he says that salads should be prepared with only one protein source. Because?

    To avoid getting too much protein. The World Health Organization recommends eating about 0,8 g per kilo of body weight. Basically it means that if a person weighs 60 kilos they should not exceed 48 g of protein per day. Considering that a hectogram of meat or fish provides on average about 20 g, that an egg contains 8 g, like 100 g of cooked chickpeas or beans, that a 50 g piece of cheese has between 10 and 15 g proteins are also present in cereals, pasta, milk and yogurt, which is why I suggest using only one type at a time. In this way there will also be more space in our bowl for fresh vegetables, which in summer are the food to be preferred, to counteract the heat, protect the skin, reduce inflammation and limit sugars: the main challenges of this season .

    And what about fruit?

    Like vegetables, it is an excellent food to hydrate, refresh, fill up on vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. However, fruit has a flaw: it brings sugars. We cannot think of using it as a meal replacement, as sometimes happens. We should limit their consumption to 200-300 g per day, including in this quota also the smoothies and trying instead to limit the extracts and juices, due to their high sugar content. To quench our thirst, there is nothing better than simple water: we try to drink 2 liters a day. We can enrich its flavor with a slice of lemon or use it to prepare a fresh ginger herbal tea without adding sweeteners of any kind. Always remember that an excess of sugar is one of the main causes of weight gain in the summer.

    So no even sorbets, ice lollies and ice cream?

    Exactly. Unless we decide to prepare them ourselves, with healthy and light ingredients. For example, we can make excellent popsicles by simply blending fruit with lemon juice. Or make creamy ice creams, using rice, almond or soy drinks with no added sugar instead of the classic milk and cream. Both the figure and the health will gain. These ingredients of animal origin are a source of saturated fat and cholesterol. Not only. Milk has been a hotly debated topic in science for years. Is it good or bad? Certainly not good for the bones. Furthermore, its excessive consumption has been linked with an increased risk of developing breast or prostate cancer. Better therefore not to abuse it (in adults).

    Finally, how should we deal with alcohol?

    It is necessary to consume them in moderation. A glass of prosecco or white wine or a small beer per day are allowed. Let's not forget that alcohol, in addition to being implicated in the development of many diseases (from cardiovascular ones to tumors), provides a lot of calories.

    • CHALLENGE 1: curb inflammation

    The recipe: Bowl of quinoa and curry sauce

    Ingredients for 4 people: 320 g of quinoa of different colors, 800 g of carrots (orange, yellow, red), 1 white onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 3 dl of unsweetened coconut drink, vegetable broth, 1 level spoon of curry powder, 1 teaspoon of nigella seeds (optional), 100 g of valerianella, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, salt.

    Preparation: Wash the quinoa, drain it and put it in a saucepan. Add water equal to 1 ½ times the volume of the beans, salt and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover with a lid and continue cooking for 15 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed. Peel the carrots, first cut them lengthwise into 4 or 6 parts, then into logs. Transfer them to a pan with a ladle of water and a little salt and let them simmer over medium heat and the container partially covered. When the water has almost completely evaporated, add 1 tablespoon of oil and turn off. Fry the sliced ​​garlic and onion in a pan with the remaining oil, wet with a ladle of vegetable broth and cook until the onions are tender. Combine the curry and coconut drink and thicken the sauce over low heat. Take 4 bowls. Distribute the quinoa, carrots sprinkled with nigella seeds and valerianella in each one. Serve with the sauce in a small separate container.

    • CHALLENGE 2: save your skin

    The recipe: Endive boats with carrot cream

    Ingredients for 4 people: 4 large carrots, 4 heads of Belgian endive, ½ teaspoon of kümmel (or cumin, to taste), 2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, smoked chilli powder, salt.

    Preparation: Peel the carrots, cut them into slices and steam them for about 15 minutes (they must become soft). Blend them with 2 tablespoons of water taken from the base of the steamer and the kümmel (or cumin). Add the vinegar, salt and blend again pouring in the extra virgin olive oil. Finally, season with salt and season with the smoked chili powder. Separate the leaves of the Belgian endive, wash them and dry them. Arrange a teaspoon of cream in each and bring the tasty and super-vitamin "boats" to the table.

    • CHALLENGE 3: don't gain weight

    The recipe: Fruit popsicles

    Ingredients for 4 people: 250 g of raspberries, 300 g of ripe peaches, 1 lemon, 3 dl of water.

    Preparation: Wash the raspberries and blend them. Sieve the puree to remove the seeds, then mix it with the filtered juice of half a lemon and 1,5 dl of water. Pour the mixture into 4 popsicle molds or 4 small glasses and place in the freezer. When ice begins to form, insert a wooden stick into each container. Repeat the same process with the peaches. Wash them, cut them into small pieces without peeling them and blend them about 2/3 until you get a creamy mixture. Add the remaining third and blend again, quickly, so that a few pieces of visible fruit remain. Combine the filtered juice of half a lemon and 1,5 dl of water and mix. Divide the mixture into 4 molds or 4 small glasses and transfer to the freezer.

    • CHALLENGE 4: win the heat

    The recipe: Melon and mint smoothie

    Ingredients for 4 people: 1 melon of about 700 g, 1,5 dl of unsweetened apple juice, 4 sprigs of fresh mint, ice.

    Preparation: Blend the melon pulp with 1/3 of the juice, pour it into a jug and place it in the refrigerator. Then blend 4 mint leaves and 1 ice cube with the remaining juice until you get a creamy consistency. Take 4 glasses. Place 2 ice cubes on the bottom of each, cover with the mint sauce and top with the melon smoothie. Garnish with the mint sprigs.

    add a comment of How not to gain weight in summer: 4 recipes to try
    Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.