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Overcome the Yo-Yo Diet

Por Eleazar Lara-Pantin, MD, MSc. -

Stop the yo-yo dieting. Instead, adopt an active lifestyle in which you make choices according to basic scientific principles, such as:

  • Variety in the selection of your food
  • Healthy cooking techniques
  • Moderation in serving size

No single food can provide all the nutrients the human body needs. Include a variety of foods in your meals so that the nutritional content of one complements the deficiencies of the others.

A dish of boiled potatoes, roasted chicken, and a colorful salad can contain the carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals the body needs. You can also apply the principle of variety to each of these food groups.

Although any cereal or starchy vegetable provides a good source of carbohydrates, each one contains different amounts of other equally important nutrients. Potatoes contain more vitamin C than rice, for example. And cassava (yucca) contains more fiber than potatoes. All fruits and vegetables provide significant amounts of vitamins, but the specific amounts they contain vary considerably from one fruit or vegetable to another.

Healthy cooking techniques

The way you prepare your food is a key element that determines how healthy your diet is. For example, potatoes can be prepared in many ways. There’s a huge difference between eating a large oven-baked potato with the skin on and eating a serving of french fries. The oven-baked potato is very high in fiber and vitamin C.

We don’t take full advantage of the benefits of baked potatoes when we add butter, sour cream, cheese, and bacon bits. Watch how much fat and oil is used in the kitchen so that fat consumption doesn’t become a risk factor for increasing the chance of suffering from chronic diseases.

Moderation in servings

The amount of food on our plates, the type of foods we eat, and the food preparations methods we use play a critical role in our health. In eating, more than in any other area of life, too much of a good thing can be bad. For example, olive oil is an excellent source of unsaturated fat, which is recommended for a healthy cardiovascular system. However, if your intake is excessive, instead of being good for you, it can cause weight gain and all its related problems. Eat a diet based on the three principles mentioned above and maintain a healthy lifestyle.


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