You need to eat to live, but you need to eat WELL to live well. It is now a proven scientific fact that the quality of our food influences not only our health but also our well-being.
The hectic lifestyle of our modern era has turned the essential rule of a healthy and balanced diet upside down. Eat a healthy, balanced diet:
This good advice is familiar to anyone who cares about their well-being. Nevertheless, the hectic lifestyle of our modern era has turned this essential rule of life upside down. With their voluntary privations, restrictions and meal substitutes, the 1980s and 1990s were a cruel era.
Crash diets, toxic appetite reducers and starvation diets did more harm than good to a great many people and spread the idea that nature alone could not satisfy our needs; our food had to be controlled, supplemented and processed. However, the substantial damage caused and the debilitating delayed effects finally showed that the promised miracles were nothing more than hot air, as those who had been taken in opted for a greater dose of wisdom on their plate.
A new perception of food
The 21st century promotes a return to nature, and so much the better for food aficionados. With seasonal vegetables, all kinds of cereals, organic markets and slow-cooked dishes, taste is making a comeback. It is done with dehydrated meals and long life stews rich in flavor.
Dr. Heini, Senior Doctor at Clinique La Prairie, is a specialist in the field of nutrition. “We need to rediscover foodstuffs and the pleasure in tasting them,” states Dr. Heini with a broad smile. During his thirty years of experience, he has seen many of the ways in which food can conflict with health. “The different methods tested have proven that natural foodstuffs are the most beneficial. Even if they contain amounts of vitamins and minerals which would once have seemed insufficient to us, we have now realized that a balanced diet does not require a single synthetic supplement.”
Called into question, high doses of food supplements are no longer recommendable. It is therefore possible to gain sufficient sustenance from natural products alone.
Food is an ally
“Food is an ally, it is not an evil to be kept in chains; on the contrary! Eating disorders are often caused by diets which are too restrictive.” Eating is the foundation for life. It is a social act full of emotions, a sharing process that develops closer ties and even love. By eating, we also take care of ourselves, our body, our health and our morale.
The great discovery is that it is possible to manage your weight while eating your fill and making dining a highly pleasurable experience. “It is important to realise that not all excess weight is unhealthy. If, however, tests show that it is advisable to lose weight, it is important to take long-term action. “Miracle cures do not exist,” states Dr Heini.
“Unfortunately, a restrictive diet only keeps its promise in the short term. However, we obtain incredible results by improving the quality and diversity of the food we eat and by reducing portions gradually over time.”
There is not one single diet.
It is up to each person to discover over the years what suits them best and to find a balance between pleasure and well-being. Foods which are suitable for one person can have radically different effects on another. That is why you need to rely on your own experience.
Among the myriad of healthy products available to use, our travels and culinary traditions offer us a chance to discover cooking methods, types of seasoning and associations which provide us with both energy and a high level of emotional resilience. “Nature is rich. We have to learn to find our own path within it.”
Certain people, for example, can only eat cooked onions while others couldn’t eat sweet peppers any other way but raw. And if you’re a fan of fondue, it won’t hurt you to enjoy it once a year, and that comes straight from the doctor! “The occasional deviation is quite acceptable as the body is entirely capable of eliminating what it doesn’t need, as long as it is in reasonable amounts.”
“Without” only when necessary
“At Clinique La Prairie, we prioritize a varied, balanced diet based on natural products which requires no unnecessary, radical controls,” states Dr Heini. Consequently, neither gluten nor lactose – nor any other component of basic staple food – is deemed harmful without proof to the contrary.
Control very often leads to a loss of control.
“We carry out highly reliable tests which serve to detect any intolerances.” In the event of a proven intolerance, patients are given help in identifying and preparing a balanced diet capable of preventing fibre or calcium deficiencies, for example. They can also find substitutes for proscribed products in order to satisfy their little cravings. “There is always a risk in depriving oneself of foodstuffs. Too strict a diet leaves little room for variety and thus for pleasure.”
The human body needs fatty acids to store energy and promote the formation of cell membranes. Vegetable oils are rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids or vitamins E and K in their own special way. It is therefore important to vary the consumption of these ingredients which are vital for our cells and our health.
Unfiltered extra virgin oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and protects against cardiovascular problems, but can become toxic at too high a temperature. When cooking at more than 100°C, a refined oil is better suited.
Rape seed oil
This boasts a perfect balance between omega 3 and omega 6, but its precious lipids are sensitive to heat. When cooking, it is advisable to use HOLL rape seed oil.
Rich in unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E, it is adversely affected by heat. With its subtle taste, it is perfect for salads and vegetables.
Rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants, this oil is not recommendable for cooking but is an excellent aromatic asset for all types sof preparation.
The specialist’s advice
Consumption of processed industrial products should be limited as far as possible. Rich in sugar, salt, preservatives, additives and unhealthy fat, factory-produced food is not good for your health. We can’t stress it enough: nothing can beat a balanced diet with a good meal cooked with natural products.
This article was first published in INSIDE The magazine of Clinique La Prairie.