What, how and when to eat? The authors of the book Dietasalute answer

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Louise Hay
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Every interaction with food is a fundamental moment for our health and for taking care of ourselves, because every food choice affects the body, weight and our well-being. Food can be a real "medicine".


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Starting from this assumption, Raffaella Cancello e Cecilia Invitti they try to provide you with the Dietasalute book. Nutrition to lose weight, prevent, stay in shape (published by Sperling & Kupfer in collaboration with the Istituto Auxologico il your country) a compass to move in the current chaos generated by fake news and nutritional theories of dubious value, with goal of highlighting all the scientific answers regarding the most controversial doubts and proposing a calibrated and safe program without sacrificing the taste and pleasures of the table.


We have addressed your country to the authors, two doctors of the prestigious Auxological Institute, a center of excellence in the field of the treatment of obesity, metabolic diseases and related diseases, and to the co-authors Pierangelo Garzia, head of the Press Office of the IRCCS Istituto Auxologico your country, e Edoardo Rosati, graduated in medicine and medical-scientific journalist, some questions.


Here's what they replied.

Where did the idea of ​​“Dietasalute. Nutrition to lose weight, prevent, stay in shape "? What is the goal of this book?

The idea of ​​the book stems from the need to counter the false myths that circulate on the issues of food and nutrition, unfortunately well rooted in a little controlled and sometimes incorrect disclosure.


The research in the field of "dietetics & nutrition" is extensive, there is consolidated evidence, others uncertain that is still being worked on. The book, therefore, has in some ways a great responsibility: to make the general public understand that food science is in constant evolution and that it must be updated each time on the basis of new truths that emerge from studies.

The book does not advocate new "miraculous" diets. It does not exalt the "extraordinary" powers of this or that food. It explains with realistic simplicity what and above all how to eat in the light of the most modern scientific indications. The book intends once and for all to return to the term "diet" its ancient and authentic meaning ("lifestyle") and to spread the concept that we can all eat qualitatively and quantitatively better by marrying a Mediterranean-type diet, with fruit and vegetables. seasonal, extra virgin olive oil and whole grains, fish and legumes as protein sources.


Far from easy and fallacious fashions, we wanted to reiterate that nutrition is certainly one of the most controllable factors to guarantee us a good state of health. Eating food is a daily act, which requires science and conscience, starting with the shopping cart. And it certainly cannot be the improvised media gurus of the moment, without recognized scientific qualifications, who explain to us how to behave at the table.

What are the premises on which the Dietasalute Program referred to in the book is based? And what does this program briefly consist of?

Diet has a huge impact on health, so it is essential to provide everyone with the tools to understand how nutrition can help us to remove the risk of developing the diseases of our century (cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and cancers) .


An analysis of the Global Burden of Disease Study published in the Lancet (2019; 393; 10184, 1958-72) analyzed the consumption of 15 main foods in 195 countries, showing that improving diet quality can potentially prevent one in five deaths. . In Central Europe, the main erroneous behaviors that compromise the quality of life are the excessive consumption of sodium and red meat as well as the low intake of legumes; in particular, 38% and 27% of cancers of the colon and mouth-pharynx are due to what we eat, respectively. Eating healthy also affects life choices; it means that one is spontaneously led to reduce alcohol, to cut ties with the pack of cigarettes, to regularly practice a healthy dose of physical activity, to heal the quality of sleep and to cultivate social relationships. The Dietasalute Program therefore represents a purpose of "salutogenesis" - allow us this new word - which aims to obtain a condition of general well-being.


The Dietasalute Program is fundamentally based on the fourth Revision of the Reference Intake Levels of Nutrients and Energy for the population of your country (LARN 2014) and on the standards of care for obesity developed jointly by the specialists and experts of two important scientific societies national: ADI (Association of Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition) and SIO (Society for your country obesity). The goal is to wisely divide food throughout the day, satisfying hunger and taste at each meal with a complete and balanced range of all nutrients. All this, of course, in a physically active life context, which also keeps an eye on stress management and sleep hygiene.

In your opinion, what are the false myths / beliefs that more than others have negatively influenced the way we eat today?

Certainly the belief that carbohydrates (= bread, pasta, potatoes) always make you fat. Or that eating large amounts of high-protein foods is the only way to lose weight. Last but not least, the fact that our genes are totally responsible for body weight, forgetting that this factor is in our hands and depends largely on personal choices.


What are the most curious and / or interesting "discoveries" that you have had the opportunity to verify while writing this book?

Surely the fact that we have an "invisible organ", the intestinal microbiota (ie the trillions of friendly microbes residing in the gastrointestinal tract), which interacts dynamically and very deeply with the organism as a whole. In fact, not only the health of the intestine and the correct absorption of nutrients depend on it, but also the performance of our immune system and even the well-being of the brain. Just think that now the researches confirm the "hand" of the microbiota both in cognitive functions and in the genesis of mood disorders and even of certain depressive forms.

For the strictly dietary part, we report the very interesting results of a study published in the Lancet pages in 2018, which investigated the link between mortality risk and carbohydrate intake in a cohort of 15.428 adults followed for 25 years. The mortality risk was minimal in those who consumed 50-55% of carbohydrates, which is exactly the amount recommended by the LARN and present in the Dietasalute. Prevention always rhymes with information. Therefore we believe it is essential that the public learn to familiarize themselves with reliable and qualified online sources, away from dangerous fake news: the Ministry of Health and the Food and Nutrition Research Center (CRA-NUT) in our country, EFSA in Europe and the WHO at an international level are centers of reference on the issues of nutrition and nutrition from which everyone can draw correct scientifically validated indications.

What is the “future of nutrition”, a theme to which one of the chapters of the book is dedicated?

The future of food cannot fail to consider the impact of industrial production on the environment, the weight of additives and preservatives on our health, as well as the damage to the endocrine system (which regulates, for example, fertility, thyroid function and the accumulation of adipose tissue. ) by the materials and plastics used for food preservation. Last but not least: the way we cook food. We always focus on food in and of itself but in our book we also emphasize the importance of preparation, given that the quality of the food (and its action in our body) are greatly influenced by the chemical-physical transformations implemented in the kitchen. . Transformations that can act positively but more often negatively.

We believe that in the future simple food models will be successful, favoring the consumption of local and fresh products, without industrial processing. Moreover, the evidence that processed and ultra-processed foods increase the risk of developing diseases is numerous and solid. And finally, we believe that the extra taxes on foods with high energy density (the various sugar and fat taxes), to discourage consumption, will probably be useless. These are impositions that do not take you far. More farsighted and constructive is to intensify food education starting from school desks. It is only by learning the essential scientific bases of healthy eating at a very young age that it is conceivable to build a solid culture of prevention. Which can do great things: on the health of the individual but also on the sustainability of the National Health Service.

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