The truth and myths of healthy eating

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Despite the fact that all her childhood, Angela Moreno hated vegetables and wanted to become a veterinarian, she became a nutritionist. Angela was educated with a degree in Food Production Technology and works as a nutritionist. She admits that the training itself did not arouse her real interest in work and research. Her first clients really inspired her: she realized that she needed to constantly learn something new and keep up with the times in order to be able to help everyone.

In her work, which she devoted eight years to, she most of all likes to observe changes at each repeated examination of patients. It is not so much about their physical condition, but about their new eating habits. “They choose the right diet, give preference to wholesome food and read what is written on the labels to understand what they are actually buying,” the nutritionist explains.

When working with patients with certain pathologies (Angela specializes in digestive pathologies, and 70% of her patients come to her with this problem), she is most pleased when the symptoms that worsen their quality of life disappear.

She currently works in a private clinic (the reception is conducted in person at the clinic and remotely) and is engaged in research at the Institute of Nutrition and Food Technology of Jose Mataix Verdu, University of Granada, where he is engaged in the verification and updating of the Spanish database of product composition. In addition, it works helping restaurant owners develop the most useful menu.

We talked with Angela Moreno in the context of the COVID-19 epidemic, because now more than ever it is important to be able to separate the grain from the chaff in matters of proper nutrition.

ABC: Tell us about the most common nutritional myths.

Angela Moreno: I think it will be faster to tell the truth than to list the myths related to nutrition … Unfortunately, this branch of medicine is relatively young, which is why for many years now people without relevant education have been engaged in our work. Today, thank God, people are increasingly turning to professional nutritionists. However, the media is still full of celebrity miraculous diets and outdated and unscientific advice on nutrition from doctors whose specialty is not related to dietetics at all.

Among the most famous myths: the use of water with lemon on an empty stomach, eggs raise cholesterol, milk is unhealthy, from a combination of certain products (for example, salad and tomatoes) you get fat, and carbohydrates in general are evil … As you can see, the list is very long. I could talk about them for hours, but I won’t. Health is more expensive.

– What about diets?

– Due to the fact that before going to a nutritionist, many people visited many places (mainly centers that sell special foods and provide a weight loss system), they have false ideas about what a diet should be. For example, that from this food you get fatter, there is a lot of sugar in these products, that drinking water while eating is harmful, and so on. Therefore, at such moments, I have to use heavy artillery, infographics to dispel all these myths.

– What should I start to lose weight?

– The first and most important thing is to eat good quality products. The diet will be useless if the products from which we prepare dishes are of poor quality. This increases the likelihood of uncontrolled snacks during the day. For this, between the first and second consultations (while I am compiling a personal diet for them), I give them leaflets so that they can start buying high-quality food and, thus, “lay the foundation” for a healthy diet. In general, the main rule is this: if you do not want to eat something, do not buy it!

– What foods would you recommend buying, and what cooking habits do you find most useful?

“I help my patients identify the most nutritious foods and offer healthy alternatives to the foods they’re used to.” The point is not to ban a product, but to replace it with a more useful option, to change one food for another, so as not to ban any products.

For example, if the patient has breakfast cereals, it is recommended to replace them with oatmeal, or if he likes salted nuts, it is recommended to replace them with ordinary nuts. The most important thing for me is to negotiate with clients. If they have breakfast with cookies one day a week, and breakfast with oatmeal or toast with fresh cheese on the other six days, this is a positive development for me. Over time, the patient will get used to the new diet.

– Why do you think we refuse to eat healthy?

“I think the whole thing is misinformation.” Until recently, everyone listened to the opinions of stars and other people without special education, which is why so many myths about “proper nutrition” were generated.

– What is more important for losing weight: stick to a diet or do exercises?

“It seems to me that you cannot choose one thing.” The answer most likely depends on the specialist you ask. After many years of consultation, I believe that there is no point in comparing people who, in addition to diet, play sports and those who are not involved in physical activity.

– How to understand that it is time to change eating habits?

– Chronic fatigue, an increase in the amount of visceral fat (which is concentrated in the abdomen), digestive problems, joint pain, skin problems … In the end, health depends on food, so any health problem can be in one way or another degree related to our eating habits.

– Have there been more cases of food allergies and intolerance to certain products in recent years?

– Sure. In addition to patients with already established diagnoses, clients often turn to me with complaints of digestion, which indicate possible allergies and intolerances. As with obesity, there are several causes for these disorders. Western food is largely to blame (an excess of refined flour and sugars, deep processed products, low consumption of fruits and vegetables, etc.). Although the modern lifestyle contributes (chronic stress, smoking, high alcohol consumption, a sedentary lifestyle …). As a result, sooner or later, the intestinal mucosa is irritated, due to which the patient has an allergy and intolerance to certain products.

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The article is written and prepared by our foreign editors from different countries around the world – material edited and published by Ordo News staff in our US newsroom press.