It is now well known that eating healthy is the best strategy to prevent cancer and stay healthy. Unsuitable eating habits are among the risk factors defined as modifiable, as it is up to us to remove them in favor of a correct and balanced diet, with an eye to the balance and body mass index, a necessary premise of a healthy and balanced body. in shape.
Obviously, there is no miracle food that, alone, can protect us from the risk of contracting diseases and cancers, but it is often the teamwork of multiple foods that makes the difference. The recommendation is to be wary of quick solutions, often proposed by self-styled nutrition experts who, not infrequently, turn out to be fake news and also empty our wallet.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) cancer prevention guidelines are based on three main recommendations: follow a healthy eating pattern at all ages, achieve and maintain a healthy weight for life, and be physically active. With Leone Arsenio, endocrinology and metabolic diseases specialist and nutrition expert, we focus on nutrition.
«The first recommendation is to follow the Mediterranean diet, which must include: foods rich in nutrients in an amount that allows you to reach and maintain an adequate body weight; vegetables in a balanced and varied way, of all colors, from dark green to red to orange; legumes rich in fiber and proteins; fruit, in particular whole and of all colors; whole grains, particularly useful because the fiber they contain is associated with micronutrients, for example, folate ».
Which foods to limit or avoid?
«Red and processed meats, sugary drinks, highly processed foods and refined grain products. Ready-made ultraprocessed foods are often chosen because of their convenience, ease of preparation and resistance to spoilage due to the presence of additives, which often turn out to be harmful to health. Sugary drinks, such as soft drinks, fruit-flavored, sports and energy drinks, represent the main source of added sugars in US diets and 12% of the population drinks more than three a day ”.
Is a glass of wine allowed?
“Of course, but with some care: for alcoholic beverages, never exceed the thresholds of 10 grams per day (1 alcohol unit) for women and 20 grams per day (2 alcohol units) for men, that is about 1 glass of wine 10-11 degrees for women and 2 glasses for men “.
Is there a food that absolutely must not be missing in the diet?
“A typical food of the Mediterranean diet, often underestimated or forgotten, is extra virgin olive oil (Evo), traditionally used in Italian cuisine, which should not be confused with olive oil, which, instead, is obtained from a blend of refined olive oil and virgin olive oils. Evo is the product obtained by mechanical extraction from the fruits of Olea Europa, while olive oil is obtained, among other things, also through the deodorization process which aims to correct analytical and sensory defects through chemical processes. and physical and deprives it of its vitamin and antioxidant content ».
What are the effects on the body?
«Regular consumption of Evo correlates with a better glycemic and cardiometabolic profile and reduces the frequency of cardiovascular and tumor events. Extra virgin olive oil is a mine of antioxidants, including vitamin E, tocopherol and several phenolic compounds. Furthermore, the history of the olive tree and of the Evo is very ancient: in Ebla, in the north of Syria, tables of the third millennium BC that refer to them have been found. Also in the Bible there are many quotations: after the flood the dove brings an olive branch to Noah ».
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