Since the time of Hippocrates it has been clear that our health depends strictly on the diet we adopt. Food can poison or detoxify us, strengthen or weaken us, make us fat or strengthen our muscles.
Numerous researches show that proper nutrition helps prevent numerous diseases including heart attack, stroke, hypertension, neurodegenerative diseases , diabetes, obesity and oncological diseases. These are even defined as civilization pathologies to underline how their emergence is linked to a lifestyle characterized by too much food and insufficient physical movement .
Therefore, if we want to prevent many diseases and live longer, the first thing to do is to correct the daily diet.
What does it mean to have a healthy diet?
It is well established that you need to eat well to live well. Nutrition and health are closely linked as are nutrition and disease. So it’s all a matter of choices, habits which, repeated over time, determine different metabolic and cellular responses. But what exactly does it mean to have a healthy diet?
Faced with this question there are numerous scenarios and an infinite number of answers , many of which have little scientific value. In reality, before worrying about which is the most valid nutritional approach (determining it could require very complex, expensive and time-consuming research and at the moment there is no certain answer) it is much more important to define which are the fatal errors that we must avoid. to commit.
Once we understand the mistakes we could adopt different habits even in respect of different tastes and food cultures. In short, it does not matter so much if you eat broccoli, cabbage or turnip as that you choose one of these foods more often than french fries or sweets! Changing habits is not easy, but possible. Find out how with the Potential Nutrition course.
There are some mistakes that have been linked to numerous diseases that affect us and correcting them is the first step we can take to prevent disease and extend our life expectancy.
- Excessive glycemic load : we eat too much sugar and too many refined grains. Sweets, drinks, sugar in coffee, pasta, bread, rice, bread sticks, crackers have invaded our tables and destabilize blood sugar. This in turn leads to surges in insulin production which causes numerous metabolic alterations. The solution is to reduce sugar consumption and replace refined grains with whole grain versions.
- Composition of fatty acids : the typical Western diet provides an excessive amount of omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids which are inflammatory and harmful. This is linked to the high consumption of sunflower oil (present in many industrial products) and the abundance of foods rich in arachidonic acid such as cheeses and meats. Our body, on the other hand, needs a greater intake of omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids from fish and monounsaturated fatty acids such as those contained in extra virgin olive oil. Small doses of saturated fatty acids such as those found in butter are acceptable.
- Composition of macronutrients: the ratios between macronutrients have changed compared to the past and today we consume a greater share of carbohydrates than fats and proteins. But above all, these carbohydrates are largely provided by cereals instead of vegetables and fruits. Their presence must be resized according to the physical activity performed: if you do a lot of sport, you can take in larger quantities of carbohydrates than those who don’t.
- Density of micronutrients: the high amount of refined and industrial foods reduces the intake of vitamins and micronutrients. The first step is to increase the consumption of wholesome foods and in particular fruit and vegetables and the second is to consider using a multivitamin supplement.
- Acid-base balance : the excessive amount of cereals and foods of animal origin leads to a tendency to acidosis that must be compensated by activating the body’s buffer systems. It is important to ensure an adequate intake of alkalizing foods, especially vegetables.
- Sodium / Potassium Ratio : The consumption of salt in the modern diet is disproportionate and this provides the body with too much sodium compared to potassium. The latter is instead taken in small quantities because it is mainly present in fruit and vegetables. Reducing the consumption of salt, paying attention to salty industrial foods and increasing the consumption of vegetables helps restore a correct balance.
- Fiber content: the introduction of massive doses of refined foods and the reduction in the consumption of vegetables, fruit and whole grains leads most people not to reach the threshold of 25 grams of fiber per day considered healthy. This increases the risk of intestinal diseases in particular as well as negatively affecting the sense of satiety. We need to increase vegetables and fruit and use whole grains.
What to eat to prevent cancer
Foods that protect against cancer
Talking about foods that protect against cancer is an extreme oversimplification and in some ways misleading. What protects against cancer is an overall healthy lifestyle made up of 4 fundamentals: nutrition, food supplementation targeted if necessary, physical training and inner work aimed in particular to stress management .
No food in itself has the ability to prevent tumors also because the body’s optimal functionality is allowed by a complete and balanced diet and not by the presence of specific foods.
On the other hand, it should be remembered that our body daily manages the elimination of cancer cells that develop as a natural consequence of the aging process. Only in certain circumstances, when the body loses this ability to dispose of diseased cells, does a clinically relevant tumor develop.
Some aspects of this immune protection are exercised in the gastrointestinal tract also thanks to the presence of the microbiome and therefore are also indirectly connected with the eating style.
The anti-cancer diet
While there is no doubt that diet has a strong influence on the possibility of developing even serious diseases such as cancer, there is no single vision on which is the best anti-cancer diet. We know that there are some foods that should be avoided such as processed meats , overcooked meats, sugars and excess alcohol. We also know that there are foods that have protective actions such as vegetables and in particular crucifers, spices, fiber and legumes. The reduction in the consumption of the former and the increase in the consumption of the latter, in the context of an overall balanced diet, offers the highest chances of prevention.
Cancer relapse prevention diet
Patients who have had to deal with cancer should pay particular attention to lifestyle and nutrition . In these cases, it is ideal that, in addition to the oncologist, the patient receives the support of a nutritionist who provides a personalized approach to nutrition. Obviously, the patient must avoid foods that promote cancer and in this sense processed meats, burnt or overcooked meats, alcohol and sugars should be placed at the top of the list. Obviously, even in this case it is not the one-off exception that creates a problem but the regular use of foods that can promote the reappearance of the tumor.
Overall we can say that nutrition plays an important role in promoting or preventing the onset of diseases, for this reason I suggest you follow the video course “Potential nutrition”!