The diet if you eat away from home

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Joe Dispenza
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For almost half of the villagers have lunch or dinner outside the home it is no longer an exception reserved for special occasions, but rather a daily habit.

According to the latest "Catering" Report of the Federation of the country of public businesses (Fipe), there are in fact 13 million of the villagers who eat at the bar, fast food or restaurant 4 to 5 times a week. With the risk of following aunhealthy and balanced diet.



According to an English study, meals consumed in public places lead to the intake of higher quantities of junk food: 2 and a half times more than when you enjoy dishes at home. While research from Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore shows that eating out increases the odds of have high blood pressure.

But are they really inevitable consequences? Absolutely not according to Dr. Federico Francesco Ferrero, a nutritionist in Turin, who suggests in his new book L'apericena non exists (Cairo) the foods to order and those to stay away from to stay in line (and healthy) despite breakfasts at the bar, lunches at fast food and business dinners at the restaurant.

Here are yours advice for every occasion, from morning to evening.


At breakfast no cappuccino and brioche

Six out of ten villagers (Fipe data) eat their first meal of the day at the bar. Cappuccino (or coffee) and brioche is the classic combination ... but it is better to give up.



“Provides a excessive amount of simple sugars, which are assimilated very quickly by the body, cause the blood sugar to rise rapidly and cause a peak of insulin production (the hormone involved in the regulation of blood glucose levels), with the result that within a couple of hours hunger returns to be felt. In addition, the industrial croissants contain trans or hydrogenated fats that harm the health of the arteries, "warns Dr. Federico Francesco Ferrero.

And don't think about making this menu healthier by drinking one freshly squeezed fruit juice: «You would further increase the sugar load», continues the nutritionist. "Better then order a wholemeal sandwich with a teaspoon of honey and a yogurt. In this way you fill up on fiber and low glycemic index carbohydrates, which they offer slow release energy and they don't spike insulin. However, the ideal would be to have a savory breakfast: a “dark” sandwich with a slice of ham or salmon, milk or yogurt and a coffee. Giving away more protein and healthy fats (not hydrogenated), it has a greater satiating power ».

Then look at the buffet breakfasts (especially on business trips or on vacation): the enormous availability of food pushes you to taste everything and, perhaps, to do an encore. “My advice is to take an egg, better soft-boiled than scrambled, with a slice of toasted wholemeal bread, and maybe half a cup of sugar-free whole white yogurt e water at will with a grapefruit or lemon peel, ”says Dr. Ferrero.


As for the best time, the first meal of the day should be scheduled within one hour of waking up. "The longer you wait, the higher the sense of hunger, the acid secretion of the stomach, the insulin response to the introduction of food and consequently the likely to put on a few pounds», Specifies the expert.



At lunch, go ahead with whole grains

If breakfast is the best time for take in fats (allow you to arrive at lunchtime without overstretching), lunch is the right occasion for take complex carbohydrates (provided by whole grains) which are able to gradually release their energy.

«In fact, around noon, the thyroid gland increases the production of substances that activate the metabolism, counteracting the action of insulin ”, explains Dr. Ferrero. "They go anyway avoid fast-absorbing foods (such as white pasta, rice or bread), because otherwise the anti-icing effect of the thyroid hormones is not sufficient to block the transformation of sugars (the result of digestion) into fat. Instead of the classic spaghetti dish, the right choice for a healthy lunch is to order one portion of unrefined barley, rye or spelled».

If you have lunch at the restaurant and it is on the menu card, ok also to fresh pasta prepared with a mix of ancient grain flours: they contain less gluten, are more nutritious and have a less fattening power. As a "fast" alternative, a wholemeal sandwich with seasonal vegetables, also recommended in salads because they are rich in minerals, vitamins, fibers and antioxidants.


«To assure yourself of all their virtues you should however make sure that they do not come from intensive cultivation. Several scientific studies have indeed shown that some pesticides can act like sex hormone regulators, especially estrogen, making you gain weight », adds our nutritionist.


Stay away from fixed price menus

«As captivating as they are for the wallet, these solutions inevitably lead you to eat more than you should and in many cases they offer poor quality dishes, seasoned in excess, ”observes Dr. Ferrero. «Instead, it is better to order à la carte, excluding the dishes that are more nutritious. For example, combine carbohydrates and proteins, which activate different enzymes, slows down digestion ».


Then avoid precooked dishes: «They have a reduced nutritional content, especially in vitamins. Furthermore, as highlighted by several studies, their consumption increases the risk of obesity», Specifies the expert.


Don't overdo it with aperitifs

Remember that the closer evening comes, the less efficient your metabolism is. «Evening aperitifs should therefore be reserved only for special occasions and not become an indispensable fixed appointment», says the nutritionist. "Pretzels, pizzas, croutons, savory pies, bruschetta, which often show off at the buffets of city bars, are made up of refined flours for 80% of their weight, which in a flash they are transformed into sugars and absorbed at the gastrointestinal level ".

But there is more: «Le raw material with which the snacks are prepared, as well as being generally of poor quality, they also hide a lot of fats, including hydrogenated ones, of which the frozen bases of leavened products are particularly rich. As if that weren't enough, it adds to that the high load of calories and sugars due to alcoholic or non-alcoholic fruit-based cocktails ».

And don't think about preventing damage just drinking, not eating anything. "The emptiness of the stomach, combined with the expectation of food caused by the afternoon fast, favors the immediate absorption of every single sugar and alcohol molecule, with harmful effects on the liver and brain and fat accumulation ”, explains the expert.

«During the aperitif it is better then to opt for fresh vegetables, a tomato juice or a sugar-free soft drink or, alternatively, if you skip dinner, ok to a good glass of wine (without sulphites and low alcohol content), which unlike drinks does not contain sugars, ea a plate of raw vegetables accompanied by 2 slices of raw ham ».


Don't think about food at business dinners

Consider restaurant appointments with bosses or colleagues like an opportunity to talk about work and socialize more than a time to eat.

«To keep calories under control try to don't get to the restaurant hungry»Says Dr. Ferrero. "Focus on the relationships instead of the menu, and when the waiter arrives, ask for a protein dish: a portion of meat or fish to accompany fresh seasonal vegetables ».

Instead, limit your consumption of wine. «The energy content of each glass, when added to that of food, can greatly increase the energy ingested. Not only that: the alcohol digestion it immediately generates the production of triglycerides which, in an instant, are deposited in the arteries and in the "critical points". In order not to overdo the quantities, divide the contents of a glass into 4 glasses to be sipped slowly: in this way the "toxic" load decreases and prolongs the pleasure ».

Finally, also the fizzy drinks: «In addition to modifying the flavor of what is eaten during the meal, they have a high sugar content»Concludes our expert.


Weight-saving tips if you're at a party

1. Avoid soft drinks: 2 glasses, alone, can cover the entire daily sugar requirement, equal to 60 grams if you are a sedentary woman.

2. Stay away from sandwiches & Co. They are prepared with white bread, with a high glycemic index, and - if of industrial origin - they can also contain several additives.

3. Fill a glass of good wine and make it last for the whole party, while you munch on fresh vegetables and dedicate yourself to social relationships: if you talk, you don't eat or drink.

4. Stay away from bag fries: 100 grams provide on average 500 calories (more than 1/4 of what you need) and 38% of fat. In addition to an overdose of salt.


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