Protective foods: Keys to a healthy diet

Written by: Dra. María Dolores Arenas Jiménez
Published: | Updated: 17/11/2018
Edited by: Top Doctors®

In recent years, medicine has begun to focus on the relationship between diet and the development of some diseases such as cancer or cardiovascular disease. Similarly, it has also been found that certain foods have a "protective" function for example, fruits and vegetables prevent some cancers. Therefore, specialists in Nephrology advise following guidelines to carry out a healthier diet.


Keys for Healthy Eating


Some keys to lead a healthier diet are:


  • Reduce consumption of fats, saturated fats change unsaturated and eliminate trans fatty acids. There are different types of fats have different effects on the body. Saturated fats and trans fatty acids raise LDL cholesterol ( "bad") cholesterol and lower HDL ( "good"), which increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and other health problems. This type of fat that should be avoided are: butter, cheese, whole milk, ice cream, cream, fatty meats and in some vegetable oils, such as palm oil and coconut oil which are solid at room temperature , they are also found in fried foods, commercial baked goods (donuts, cookies, and crackers), processed foods and some margarines. Unsaturated fats help lower LDL cholesterol and are beneficial. Most vegetable oils that are liquid at room temperature have unsaturated fats (olive oil and canola, safflower, sunflower, corn and soybean).


  • Reduce consumption of refined sugar. Refined sugars are not directly related to cancer risk, but obesity. It is recommended to prefer natural sugars (such as fruit), limit soft drinks and sweet desserts or just eat a couple of times a week, and in small portions.


  • Do not overdo red meat. You have to choose lean cuts and remove visible fat. Is recommended three times a week to eat fish and beef only once or twice a week, if possible baked or boiled.


  • The cooking method is important. When foods are cooked at high temperatures over an open flame, such as charcoal grilled or broiled meat molecules are modified and thus generate aromatic hydrocarbons are carcinogenic. You have to be moderate in the consumption of this type of cooking and avoid overcooking the meat.


  • Cold cuts and smoked. These processed foods usually add them nitrites and nitrates that are harmful. Smoked health risks presented by the cooking method.


  • Alcohol. Alcohol increases the risk of oral cancer, larynx, esophagus, lung, breast, colon and liver. It is recommended to limit consumption to one drink per day for women and two for men. The measures are given as an indication 355 ml beer, 150 ml wine or 45 ml of liquor.


  • Fruits and vegetables. It is the main dietary strategy to reduce cancer risk. It must be incorporated into the diet, five servings per day of fruits and vegetables. WHO recommends a minimum intake of 400g of fruits and vegetables daily (excluding potatoes and other starchy tubers).


  • fibers. Reduces the risk of colorectal cancer by reducing the time that waste which often have cancerígenas- substances travel through the colon. They can be included in the diet as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. It is better that the entire juice to provide more fiber and less calories fruit.


  • Dairy products. Nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D, are effective against colorectal cancer. What we do recommend is that they are fat-free, to avoid adding fat to the diet.


  • Reduce consumption of salt and ensure that salt is iodized consumed. The salt is associated with increased blood pressure can promote or enhance some diseases. 


How can you reduce salt intake?


Reduce daily salt intake is possible:

1. Choosing foods with little salt (natural foods, fruits and vegetables).2. Replace salt with herbs and healthy condiments s (lemon juice, garlic, pepper and oregano).3. Reduce progressively rations of salt to a maximum of 3 grams of salt a day.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Dra. María Dolores Arenas Jiménez

Dr. Arenas Jimenez is a medical doctor and expert nephrologist in the diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases. It has more than 20 years dedicated to her specialty and service as Chief of Nephrology and Internal Medicine team Vithas International Hospital Perpetuo of Alicante. Also actively involved in research and the dissemination of advances in nephrology being leader of opinion within their specialty. He emphasizes his human and close relationship with the paciente.Su brilliant career makes her a first-rate doctor.


*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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