A healthy and varied diet, paying attention to calories and physical activity: we see everywhere this is the theoretical recipe for living well, even if it’s not always easy to follow it and put it into practice, as we all know.
How often do greed and lack of motivation get the better of good intentions? Bad habits and the wrong lifestyle - in the long term - risk compromising our health, unless we keep them under control.
Everyone has an opinion, you can find all sorts of advice and traps online, but there are lots of opportunities to live healthily and to eat good food. Particularly, this includes choosing correct information that is based on scientific evidence. For example, more recent studies have highlighted the role that protein plays in diet. This may be helpful to people with weight problems. (www.nutrition-foundation.it).
Protein: a dietary ally.
Why protein? It has been demonstrated that food with a high protein content increases the sense of feeling satisfied in the hours after eating, regardless of how it is consumed. For obese and overweight people, increasing the protein content of their diet from 15% to 30%, compensating for this through small adjustments in the carbohydrate and fat content, results in weight loss by reducing appetite and caloric intake. This effect may contribute to weight loss, especially in diets with low carbohydrate content, associated with regular physical activity.
Also, substituting part of the carbohydrate content with protein, as part of a hypocaloric diet with low fat content, may improve body composition and lower cardio-vascular risk.
What makes me feel full?
The full feeling that you get from a meal, and more generally from dietary habits, doesn’t just depend on the number of calories consumed, but also on the quantity and quality of macronutrients that make up the diet. Protein, for example, seems to have a greater ability to make you feel full than carbohydrates and fats, which have a lesser influence on the appetite than is generally believed. Digesting protein “consumes more calories” than digesting carbohydrates and fats, which, in turn, improves overall caloric balance.
Balance is key
Protein may therefore prove to be an ally in the fight to control weight. However, it’s important not to overdo quantities. Indeed, we can’t overlook the importance of fruit, vegetables and cereals, preferably whole grain cereals, as essential components of a healthy and balanced diet, as well as unsaturated fats, like extra virgin olive oil, the cornerstone of a Mediterranean diet. It is also advised not to make radical changes to your diet without first seeking advice from a doctor or nutritionist. This way, we can follow a proper dietary plan and a healthy lifestyle.
Would you like a light recipe that is tasty and healthy? Here we have a selection of culinary advice direct from our #Ricitterio recipe vaults!