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These are the 12 points that a healthy diet has in common

MADRID, 18 Mar.

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These are the 12 points that a healthy diet has in common


A real, healthy diet, after all, is one that is based on real food, real food, that can be bought in the markets, found in the fields, in the orchard, at sea or in the sea. river. They are local, local and seasonal products.

This is how the Finnish doctor and specialist in Internal Medicine and microbiota, Dr. Sari Arponen, defends it in an interview with Infosalus, who has just published 'In the Kitchen with Dr. Arponen' (Alienta Editorial), a manual in which he reveals What are the 12 points that a healthy diet has in common?

In general, according to this expert, there is always much talk about the Mediterranean diet as the healthiest, but she maintains that the location and geography of the products must also be taken into account.

"Following the Mediterranean diet in the Baltic, where I come from, does not make much sense; there are local, ancestral diets from each site, which may be optimal, so it is true that within the healthiest diet patterns, Local, fresh products must be fundamental pillars, with also traditional cooking forms and with an important base of vegetables and fruit," he maintains.

For this reason, Arponen defends that "there are many ways to eat healthy" and if we wanted to find some general rules, the most important thing to emphasize is what is not good for us: ultra-processed products, added sugar, alcohol, tobacco, and eat less in quantity and frequency.

In his opinion, a healthy diet must be appetizing, "only in this way will we ensure permanence", but also bearable over time, both from an economic point of view, and from the way the recipes are prepared.

With this, this doctor in Biomedical Sciences and expert in Microbiota maintains that the 12 basic points on which to base our diet are:

1.- Eat fresh, seasonal and local food, or well-preserved to keep its characteristics in optimal conditions, as may be the case of frozen, canned, fermented, or dehydrated products.

2.- Vegetables, fruit, mushrooms and nuts in general should be the basis of a healthy diet.

3.- Spices and aromatic herbs contain concentrated healthy compounds and turn cooking into a feast of flavors and aromas.

4.- Legumes in a variety of ways, applying soaking, with adequate cooking and germination, are generally associated with good health results.

5.- Cereals and pseudocereals should not be the basis of the diet in general, but if a person's energy expenditure is very high, they are a cheap source of energy: however, a very healthy diet can be maintained without the need to consume cereals, if these are consumed it is preferable that they be integral and that they be processed properly, and for example making bread from sourdough or long fermentation.

6.- If dairy products are consumed, priority should be given to fermented products (yogurts and cheeses), ideally from organic production, including those made from small animals (goat or sheep); Consuming dairy is not necessary for a healthy diet and in certain parts of the world its consumption is low.

7.- Fish, crustaceans, and mollusks are an excellent source of complete proteins and healthy fats.

8.- Of the meats, organically produced poultry is generally preferred to meat from mammals, which should be grass-fed and organic as well; organ meats are an extraordinarily nutrient-dense food and many are very affordably priced.

9.- Eggs can be included in the diet without problems: there are many studies that show that they are not a problem within a healthy eating pattern.

10.- Olive oil is a healthy fat that can be used as the main fat; and in certain contexts, butter and coconut oil may have a place.

11.- The variety of healthy foods increases the diversity of the microbiota and the intake of micronutrients such as bioactive phytochemicals.

12.- Fermented foods are a healthy way to lend a hand to our microbiota.

Now, when asked about how we Spaniards eat, this microbiota and internal medicine expert stresses that cereals tend to predominate in our diet, and this is often not ideal due to our lack of physical activity. "With the sedentary life that we lead, it would not be necessary to eat so many products with such a low nutritional density, as is the case with cereals. We should always prioritize the intake of vegetables and fruits as the main element of our dishes, if we are not mistaken" warns Dr. Arponen.

According to statistics, he regrets that we Spaniards do not eat very well because "a third or more of what is eaten in Spain are ultra-processed products and this is a lot", while another third maintains a very clean and healthy diet, so there is no balance.

"In the particular case of children, this is especially striking, and you see them in a snack based on cookies and pastries. Fruit should be recovered in snacks, an excellent option, or nuts, or a bread sandwich of sourdough or quality, and it is that in the end the children should move more", defends this microbiota specialist.