Diet, the best of the week from 14 to 20 September

The tips, simple and full of taste, to start autumn in top shape

Autumn has begun. The days are getting shorter and shorter and, after finishing work, nothing is more beautiful than dedicating time to yourself, taking care of your health starting with food.

A good way to do this is to start a low-salt diet. Excessive intake of sodium chloride is dangerous for several reasons. As specified by the experts of the Humanitas group, doing so means predisposing the body to a greater risk of osteoporosis and hypertension problems.

Fortunately, there are many alternatives to replace salt at the table. From garlic – which, as demonstrated by this study published in 2010 and conducted at the University of Adelaide, can have positive effects on blood pressure regularity – there is no shortage of alternatives to limoone juice!

In autumn, various miraculous fruits arrive on our tables. Among these we can find the apple. Adding it to the diet is an excellent idea for controlling weight and blood sugar. As highlighted by the experts of Humanitas, the reasons are different and range from the fact that they are low-calorie fruits to the presence of fibers, in particular pectin.

These nutrients are essential to keep the absorption of sugars and cholesterol under control, with obvious advantages for managing blood sugar and maintaining cardiovascular health.

When implementing diet-related changes, it is important to be aware that thanks to what we put on our plate we can prevent various diseases, including Alzheimer's.

As revealed by a cross-sectional study published in the pages of the journal Neurology, the contribution of omega-3 fats is essential for strengthening memory. The aforementioned scientific work, which involved a team from Columbia University in New York, made it possible to discover that, in people who consume omega-3 fats, the plasma level of beta-amyloid protein, the main constituent of senile plaques that characterize the brains of those suffering from Alzheimer's (results obtained by monitoring a sample of 1,219 cognitively healthy subjects over 65).

Talking about healthy eating at this time of the year means, inevitably, mentioning a snack. What do the experts say about it? According to Dr. Maria Rita Speghini, nutritionist and pedagogist at the Bambin Gesù Pediatric Hospital in Rome, it is important to do it and put in the foreground an adequate balance between the various nutrients, paying attention to the presence of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, mineral salts, water, vitamins but above all fiber.

The snack, which should be moderate in quantity, should not contain excessive amounts of salt. Furthermore, it would be good to vary it during the week. Also interesting about this meal is the position of Doctor Giorgio Donegani, food technologist, who recalls how, from the point of view of the preparation method and ingredients, there is not much difference between industrial baked goods and home-made products.

No doubt about it: there are numerous tips to follow when it comes to consciously improving your diet. In this category it is possible to include attention to those foods that help from the point of view of longevity. A useful reference point is the Okinawa diet, a food pattern followed by the inhabitants of the Japanese island of the same name, included among the so-called blue zones of the world (i.e. those areas where the inhabitants live on average more and have to deal with a lower incidence of diseases chronic).

A low-calorie, protein-based and low-fat diet, the Okinawan one gives way to soy products, vegetables – from which 60% of the daily calorie intake should come – to pork, with cereals and seafood.

According to experts, the caloric restriction that characterizes this approach to nutrition affects longevity. As evidenced by this joint US and Australian study published in 2016, eating frugal meals would actually help you live longer.

To change your diet in the fall, a good idea is to make room for rice, which is very important for weight control and reducing the risk of diabetes. A recent study conducted by a team from the University of Bologna and published in the pages of the journal Evolutionary Applications did not analyze the benefits for the first time.

According to these experts – who monitored the conditions of 2,379 people belonging to 124 populations of South and East Asia – it is likely that in areas where a rice-based diet began several thousand years ago, there have been developed genomic adaptations capable of mitigating the damage caused by the excessive westernization of eating habits.

A proper mention in the area of ​​dietary advice to start autumn in the best possible way should be dedicated to foods that allow you to show off toned abs and a perfect waistline (obviously the diet must be associated with adequate physical activity).

Those aiming to improve these aspects should make room for fruit and vegetables – as shown by this review of 10 studies, eating four servings of vegetables a day positively affects the waist circumference – but also nuts and legumes.

We conclude by pointing out that before implementing these advice it is advisable to seek the opinion of your doctor.

Category: Welfare
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