Applying magic formulas to the skin, undergoing cosmetic procedures, drinking the ideal amount of water and sleeping well daily make up the list of habits capable of benefiting health and preventing aging. But, following the motto “we are what we eat”, food can be the key for the body to function well, in addition to serving as a fountain of youth. It is known that fruits, vegetables, vegetables and grains should be consumed every day, however, there is a doubt about the opposite: which foods are classified as a poison to the body?
In order to answer the question, Column Claudia Meireles interviewed doctor Pedro Andrade, a specialist in healthy aging. Expert in precision medicine and nutrition, the professional works at a clinic of the same name, located in São Paulo. Among the specializations of the vast curriculum, he brings extension courses in nutrigenetics from the University of North Carolina, in the United States.
Upon request, Pedro cited six foods considered the worst villains for health, often consumed by Brazilians. Check out the dangerous foods below and try to replace them as soon as possible!
1 — White flour
As the doctor explains, the use of white flour is associated with several health problems, such as an imbalance in blood sugar levels, an increase in inflammatory processes and an imbalance in pH. Pedro warns that the food can cause an increase in the levels of bad cholesterol in the bloodstream, LDL. This is due to the rapid rise in blood sugar and increased fat storage.
The aging specialist clarifies that product manufacturers usually label it as enriched white flour with the addition of some vitamins and nutrients. However, the added substances do not make up for those lost in refinement. “Usually, 4 or 5 nutrients are added at the cost of 10”, explains Pedro Andrade.
The doctor recommends replacing items made with white flour with wholegrain. The exchange naturally conserves the original nutrients and fiber in the food. “With great negative points regarding the ingredient, there are other types of the product on the market, which can be used instead”, he emphasizes. Pedro lists coconut flour, capable of improving intestinal function; flaxseed, rich in antioxidants and prevents high cholesterol; and quinoa, a source of proteins and essential amino acids for the proper functioning of the body.
2 — Refined sugar
“We all already know that sugar is bad for health, but refined sugar, due to the production process, can be even more harmful”, emphasizes the expert. According to Pedro, those who consume large amounts of the ingredient tend to have their memory and ability to concentrate altered in a very short time: “It causes irreversible damage”, he guarantees. The doctor compares food with narcotics: “Sugar is as addictive as cigarettes, alcohol and drugs”.
As it has a high caloric potential, the component causes serious health problems, for example, blood pressure dysregulation, metabolism imbalance and liver dysfunction. Not only that. The heart is at the top of the “ranking” of the organs most affected by the exaggerated intake of sweets and drinks with a high concentration of sugar. “The risk of developing heart disease is very high, so the importance of eliminating this food from the diet”, advises Pedro.
Anyone who loves to taste sweet treats will be scared by the warning of the aging expert: “Consumption of refined sugar in excess can shorten life by about 20%”. The doctor advises to extinguish the food plan product as soon as possible. As there are people who need to feel the sweet taste, the expert advises making substitutions that are less harmful to health. He suggests honey, stevia, xylitol and coconut sugar as alternatives.
3 — Sausages
The sausages are not part of the healthy items that make up a nutrient-rich diet, on the contrary, they are practically lethal to the body. Pedro emphasizes that these foods cause the most known diseases in the world, such as cancer, hypertension and cholesterol. “In its composition, it contains excess salt, fat and substances harmful to health”, he maintains.
Components used in the preparation of sausages, preservatives are harmful to the proper functioning of the body. Toxic and highly carcinogenic, they aim to increase the durability of products. These foods also accumulate substances used to improve taste, smell and textures, which can cause allergies and intolerances.
4 — Margarine
Developed in the 19th century as a cheaper substitute for butter, margarine is a mixture of hydrogenated vegetable shortening, coloring and other additives. “The trans fat present in the ingredient is among the worst health villains, as the body cannot process it as it would with natural foods”, reinforces the doctor. The professional warns that the consumption of the ingredient tends to cause imbalance in the body.
According to the expert, the consumption of trans fat generates health imbalances. Here are some of them: immune dysfunction, liver damage, digestive disorders, heart disease, and an increased risk of heart attacks and cancer. As if the previous problems were not enough, food intake is related to disorders in the metabolism of bad cholesterol. This is the case with the elevation of the LDL rate.
“So that margarine doesn’t harm your health so much, try replacing it with butter”, Pedro Andrade’s recipe.
5 — Soda and juice box
Pedro emphasizes that, in recent years, medical studies have brought more and more information about the damage caused by artificially sweetened beverages. Soft drinks and canned or boxed juices are on the dangerous list. Research by the European Society of Endocrinologists has shown that due to the stimulant effect, both regular and zero soda can potentiate the risk of developing diabetes.
The expert argues that regular consumption is linked to decalcification of bones and teeth, in addition to awakening digestive problems. “Those who do not dispense with a carbonated drink, however, should opt for versions that have natural sweeteners, such as xylitol and stevia, or mix fruit in sparkling water”, proposes the specialist.
6 — Instant noodles
Do you usually prepare instant noodles when there is no rice and beans ready in the fridge? After reading the doctor’s explanation, you will surely change your mind. “Frequent consumption of food leads to the emergence of several changes in health over time. Increase in weight, blood pressure and stomach acidity are just some of the disorders resulting from ingesting the product.
In the long run, the body can develop metabolic syndrome and even kidney problems. “It is recommended to avoid the consumption of this type of food as much as possible, opting for healthier foods and, if possible, prepared with little salt. Choose fresh salads and cooked vegetables,” says the expert. Finally, a doctor’s addendum: instant noodles have a large amount of fat, and are the enemy of those who want to lose weight.
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