There are a series of very interesting foods from a nutritional point of view that have been traditionally demonized, both because they are related to certain pathologies and because they are excessively caloric.
Eggs, avocados or nuts are avoided by many consumers without knowing that not only can they be consumed daily, but their intake is highly recommended, since they provide essential nutrients for your body.
However, fortunately there is no essential food. "The human body has an enormous capacity to adapt and is capable of obtaining the essential nutrients from different foods, so we can always find alternatives if there are some we want to avoid, either by taste, by circumstances or due to some pathology," explains the dietitian-nutritionist of Nutrihabits, Daniel Ursúa.
He agrees with the expert coach in healthy habits, Natàlia Calvet, who reminds us that "there is no single way to eat, the important thing is that everyone finds the one they enjoy. The only essential foods in the day to day are essentially fruits, vegetables and greens, the more varied and with more colors the better".
The expert points out, however, that it is not necessary to become obsessed with the intake of a particular fruit or vegetable, as long as these represent approximately 50% of daily food consumption. "Curiously, for a long time it has been believed that cereals should be the basis of food, however, the latest scientific evidence indicates that they are not even essential. Vegetables are," recalls Calvet.
Ursúa insists that "we must understand the lifestyle as something global. We cannot analyze each food or each nutrient in isolation. We have to focus on eating mainly foods of vegetable origin, reducing processed meats and avoiding alcohol consumption". There are, however, some foods that could be consumed daily to have a healthy lifestyle thanks to their multiple properties, despite the fact that some of them are preceded by a dubious reputation.
It is not that we should necessarily consume it daily, but we should not avoid it as has been believed until a few years ago. Calvet reminds us that we can eat up to one egg a day, "because it is a source of healthy fats, proteins and interesting vitamins for the body. Even the Spanish Heart Foundation has changed its recommendations and points out that egg consumption is not related to an increase in cardiovascular risk and that it is not necessary to restrict its consumption in healthy people".
Including the egg in the diet means always having within reach many different recipes, as it is one of the most versatile foods. "We can prepare scrambled eggs with vegetables for breakfast, or a sweet omelette with egg, cocoa and cinnamon. Vegetable cakes with eggs are also a good way to introduce vegetables into the diet of the little ones: they mix egg, milk, cream and chopped vegetables and are cooked in the oven. It's a recipe that is usually very popular," explains the expert.
2. Dry fruits
For a long time they have been demonized by their high heat load. Although it is true that nuts, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts and other dried fruits have a high caloric content, it is also true that "they are foods that help a lot in satiety, so they work very well at breakfast, although they can be consumed throughout the day," explains Calvet.
The coach reminds that there are several scientific studies that confirm that there is no relationship between the consumption of nuts and the increase in weight. One of these studies, carried out jointly by the University of Navarra and the University of Harvard and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, points out that the consumption of nuts and dried fruit is not only not associated with greater weight gain, but that women who consumed nuts and dried fruit at least a couple of times a week had a lower weight gain than those who did not.
The study also included a recommendation to health professionals to encourage frequent intake of these foods, which are associated with lower cardiovascular risk.
"The avocado, like nuts or olive oil, is rich in essential fatty acids, which are those that must be obtained through the diet," explains Ursúa. Miguel López Moreno, nutritionist and researcher at the Food Science Research Institute (CIAL), a research center shared by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM), points out that many people tend to eliminate avocado from their diet when they try to lose weight, given its high caloric contribution.
It is an error, since "although it is certain that it has many calories also it is that it contributes cardiosaludables fats and that is very satiating, thanks to its high content in soluble fiber, much more satiating than the insoluble fiber present in cereals".
The doctor and nutritionist Núria Monfulleda, from the Loveyourself center in Barcelona, recommends eating salmon regularly, despite the fact that "it is still one of the most notorious fish because it is one of the fattest". Monfulleda recalls that its fats are polyunsaturated and therefore heart healthy, so that, although it is indeed more caloric than some white fish "it is time to stop counting the calories of food and look more at their nutrients and their role in the overall diet."
Another food that has gained an unjustified bad reputation in recent years is milk, which has been losing ground to vegetable drinks. Despite the fact that for some time there has been a tendency to associate the consumption of milk with obtaining calcium in the diet, this is by no means the only source of this mineral, as had been believed until now.
"Calcium is, in fact, a fairly ubiquitous mineral, so it is not essential to consume dairy products, as there is calcium in foods ranging from almonds to green leafy vegetables. It is not usual, then, for there to be a deficit of calcium, but of vitamin D, which together with the lack of physical exercise can increase the risk of osteoporosis," explains Calvet.
The unpopularity of milk is due, among other reasons, to its high content of saturated fatty acids, although in this case they are short-chain. According to the dietitian-nutritionist and food technologist, Angela Moreno, "the fatty acids present in milk have between two and five carbon atoms, among which butyric acid stands out, one of the main sources that nourish the colonocytes and therefore beneficial for intestinal health."
Calvet adds, in this sense, that it is a mistake to relate the consumption of animal fats with a bad health and to think that the vegetables are always beneficial. "It is much more complex than all this, since it has been shown that saturated fats present in dairy products or eggs can be beneficial, while the vegetable fat found in certain oils can have inflammatory effects," recalls the nutritionist, who insists that in addition to eating a balanced diet it is essential to exercise regularly and maintain good sleeping habits if we want to be healthy.