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The adventure of diets

NEW YORK Last night I went to dinner with three American friends. One asked fried eggs with bacon eggs; another, a steak for two with creamed spinach, and the third input pate and cheese followed by rack of lamb with sauce. We toasted with vodka in the (very abundant, naturally) bar. Ah !, and all three are dieting.

What is happening in New York, and what to speak in London and hundreds of cities in continental Europe? The enemy is no longer the traditional bright pancetta oil; on the contrary, for many, is welcome. Now, it seems that the real villain is the breadbasket.

Recently, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States changed its recommendations: now more fat allows (up to 35% of total daily calories, when it was previously forbidden overcome the barrier of 30% for a body healthy) while the minimum percentage of carbohydrates to be ingested dropped from 55 to 45 percent.

Habitués diets often say that healthy food has no taste. However, according to doctors, you can eat well ... and rich
Habitués diets often say that healthy food has no taste. However, doctors say, you can eat well … and rich. Photo: Focus

This is because a series of investigations brought to light that people with certain metabolic profile may benefit from fewer carbohydrates (bread, cereals, vegetables, flour, beans, rice, pasta) and monounsaturated fats (found in olive oil, almonds, avocado). However, it was considered a major victory for the millions of fans of diets such as Dr. Atkins and his successors, such as the South Beach Diet, cardiologist Arthur Agatston, the fury of the moment for weeks is firmly anchored in the bestseller list across the country.

The fervor for these diets that allow almost unlimited protein consumption, but eliminate restrict carbohydrates and fruits and vegetables, he came to the point that in New York even the most sophisticated restaurants changed their menus.

In Britain, this summer the last reprint of the Atkins diet has published more than thirty years ago outsold Harry Potter. Not that these diets use them only local celebrities as Catherine Zeta Jones and the Spice Girls. Such is its influence on the population in recent years altered the national consumption: the sale of eggs and meat (these diets favor) increased by 10%, while breads, potatoes and pasta which prohíben- fell.

However, among his bitterest enemies it is nothing less than the American Heart Association (AHA). “The only thing they are good these diets is that they eliminate processed sugars that have calories but not nutrients declared to the magazine Lisa Cohn nutritionist, spokesperson of the institution. But nothing more. The theory that one can eat everything you want from a group of foods such as fatty meats, is sabotage against oneself. ”

In Britain, the Medical Research Council Human Nutrition Research Centre, Cambridge, in research funded by public funds was a step further. Susan Jebb, head of the Nutrition Department of the institution, not twirled about the Atkins diet, mother of all that are fashionable.

“The evidence of potential risks is incomplete, but stronger than the evidence for his safety said. We have no results on what happens long term regarding osteoporosis and cancer. But we can ensure that if one removes all a food group like carbohydrates, one removes dietary vitamins, minerals and nutrients. the results of epidemiological studies on hundreds of thousands of people who eat a high proportion of carbohydrates show that they are less prone to heart problems. and high fiber diets also reduce the risks of cancer and cholesterol level. Thus, these advantages are lost, “he said in a massive press conference.

However, the debate continues. Lisa Melton, a researcher at the Wellcome Institute in London, for example, recalls that while always alarms sounded about Atkins and his followers, the studies do not suggest that there is a real problem: “The wicked lipids do not increase, so do not would he assures objections. Furthermore, from the evolutionary point of view, for our ancestors, fats and proteins would be the dish of the day “.

But beyond the spin, or non-fats, other official changes comes from the hand of the famous food pyramid prepared by the United States Department of Agriculture.Acknowledging for the first time that 64% of Americans are overweight and a sedentary lifestyle (something that repeats itself increasingly in the rest of the world), it went on to recommend a daily intake of 1600 to 1800 calories for adult women, and 2000 2200 for men. So far, the recommendation was about 600 calories in each case.

In the old pyramid, which shows the food groups and servings per ingest them daily, it is placed on the base grains, and oils, sugars and fats at the tip to be eaten with discretion.This will not change, but the recommendation that fiber and vitamin E is ingested be included, and that half of the grains are unrefined, which before was not specified.

“The basic message is that men and women have to eat much less,” said Marion Nestle, chair of the Department of Nutrition at the University of New York.

Meanwhile, an alternative that is advertised as the new revolution in diet is a spray that helps control oral anxiety. Offered with several names, although Slender Mist is the most common, provides essential nutrients that help ward off the desire to eat something at that moment. Users explain it is like a cigarette when you’re hungry, just not doing wrong. Costs about $ 30 and once in the mouth (comes in chocolate flavor, mint, cherry or tropical fruits), 90 percent of nutrients in the aerosol passed directly to the capillaries, so the relief is immediate.

Good for something? According to Clive Spratt, nutrition researcher at the University of Bath, “the desire to put food in your mouth is the result of a mixture of biological needs and psychological associations. If you can take something that is a distraction from the emotional trigger that leads eating at the same time is an injection of nutrients, it should help. the only way to lose weight is to eat less and choose more healthy food. anything that helps probably a good thing. ”

However, Toni Steer, the Medical Research Council in Cambridge, was not so sure. “I am skeptical that an aerosol can alleviate the psychological reasons for the desire to eat. Anyone who wants to lose weight should rethink your diet. Only permanent changes ensure permanent results.”

But not all dieters to lose weight: cholesterol care today is as common as control kilos.The good news is that the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that there is finally a phen375 diet that lowers cholesterol in a similar way of pills.

Call the Diet Portfolio and based on soy protein, fiber, rye and almonds (foods that have known properties that lower cholesterol) presents for lunch, for example, tofu with eggplant and onions, and for dessert a fruit with glass of soymilk.

According to the American Heart Association, the Portfolio diet is consistent with its basic recommendations except for one thing: they insist on eating fish twice a week because it is good for the heart and this diet is a vegetarian.

But the real problem is that very few people could endure such a strict regime. In fact, the study found only 40% of the food offered acceptable.

So the big question is whether there will be people who are willing to do it for a long time. However, the results are encouraging not only for those who do not want to take the remedies for cholesterol, but for those who can not because they bring side effects and for those who are too expensive. Obviously, for now the diet is too extreme and few could adhere to it, but it is a field of research that could soon bring a little more palatable surprises.

For that, however, they would only accept a diet that involves eating like a gourmet, you have to look across the Atlantic. Precisely to Paris, where the comment is forced Karl Lagerfeld, who has seen and who sees you. After years of being a recognizable estampita in all fashion weeks for traditional Japanese fan and wide and dress, Chanel designer is so thin that says it needs more fan herself. After losing 42 kilos, he wrote with Jean Claude homeopath Houdet a book is best seller in France, the best regime. It is based on a strange combination: highly sophisticated recipes and low fat alternating with traditional shakes that give the feeling of satiety and became a must in the world of palates.

Lisa Cohn says that to the AHA, traditional diets that you buy in a book and follow to the letter are “out, dead, are negative”.

Indeed, one of the most famous worldwide, the Mayo Clinic, “does not exist or never existed; it is purely an urban myth,” he told the magazine Carol Chaffin, a spokeswoman for the institution. The latest of the latter is, however, called Wellness Centres or Wellness Centers, in which the consulting nutritionist mixed with the benefits of a spa and psicológica.Una care visit Cohn, former director of the Department of Nutrition Children’s Hospital of Columbia-Presbeteryan New York, presides over the elegant Park Avenue in Manhattan often involves massage, acupuncture and reflexology along with a detailed analysis of customer eating patterns. Cohn, according to the parameters of the AHA and the Mayo Clinic, touts a series of simple tips when eating to lose weight and keep it off.

“You have to eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables five half-cup servings a day, and not to forget the good oils found in fish, avocado or olive Replace refined flour for whole grain;. Eliminate processed fats and sugar like cakes, “sums. The key, he says, is to go to the market and choose very fresh. Learn to cook and enjoy food. Put various types of food on the plate, different colors, even in small quantities. Taking a glass of wine with a morsel of chocolate every now and then. And above all, keep the humor.

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