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Interview with Clara Llorens, dietician and nutritionist

Interview with Clara Llorens, dietician and nutritionist

Today we talk to Clara Llorens Guillem, nutritionist and food technologist, with experience in clinical and sports consultations, and in continuous training to provide a good service in a sector that is constantly advancing. Clara is committed to a healthy lifestyle, with its nuances, and where the trinomial of food/cooking, sport and rest can be enjoyed to the maximum.

In terms of stable nutrition "We should prioritise aspects such as flexibility, adherence, comfort, etc. Look for the goal realistically and by learning, not struggling in the process".


  1. Nowadays there is more knowledge about how to eat a healthy diet.
    Why do you think the obesity rate remains surprisingly high?

It is true that there is an increasing awareness of what healthy eating should be, but despite this, the rates of overweight and obesity (which could already be considered an epidemic in our society) continue to rise. This is mainly due to the fact that we live in an increasingly sedentary world, that we eat more than we spend in our daily lives, and that we may have information about what is healthy and what is not, but this is not enough, nor does it reduce the bad habits that are still ingrained in our society and the problem is no longer so much the excess weight per se, but the associated pathologies such as metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes....

  1. Why do people who try to take care of themselves fail to stick to their plans?

Because in most cases, trying to take care of oneself is associated with "dieting" and that dieting is a sprint in which only time and speed matter, and that is where the mistake lies. We must prioritise aspects such as flexibility, adherence, comfort, etc. Realistically pursue the goal by learning, not struggling in the process.


  1. What should be prioritised in a balanced diet?

To be balanced it must be varied and healthy, in which we do not restrict any nutrient (both macro: complex carbohydrates, fibre, quality proteins, healthy fats; and micronutrients: vitamins and minerals) but we introduce them in correct proportions, and within prioritising these nutrients and making a good choice of foods that contain them, to be balanced it must also be flexible, it must have that small percentage (during your week) of less healthy foods that allow you to stay within this balanced diet for a prolonged period of time.


  1. What foods should you eat every day?

I think I would say that everything I include in my breakfast, as it is the only thing I never vary. It would be a good coffee, fruit (I love all of it), bread with good ingredients (toast for breakfast is sacred), a variety of quality proteins (Iberian ham, scrambled eggs...) and seasoned with a good EVOO.


  1. Which foods should we prioritise if we feel swollen?

To begin with, it would be interesting to ensure a good intake of omega-3, which is an essential polyunsaturated fatty acid with anti-inflammatory and protective properties for cardiovascular health. We can consume it in the form of oily fish (better if they are small, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, tuna, wild salmon, etc.), chia seeds, flax seeds and sesame seeds. In addition, ensure a good intake of monounsaturated fats, which we find in extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), the
avocado, natural nuts, pure cocoa... We should increase our daily consumption of fruit and vegetables. In terms of fruit, red fruits and grapes would be interesting for their antioxidant and polyphenol (resveratrol) content, others such as papaya, mango, pineapple for the digestive enzymes they contain that help digestion, but above all whole fruit, without juices or smoothies. And vegetables, both cooked and raw, increase the intake of green leafy and cruciferous vegetables, as well as garlic and onion. We cannot forget about pre- and pro-biotics, probiotics such as fermented dairy products, pickled vegetables... and prebiotics such as fibre, which can be found in whole grain cereals (best cooked the day before and eaten reheated), legumes, vegetables...

And, to accompany it all, spices such as ginger, curry, turmeric, pepper, saffron, cinnamon...


  1. What is the role of healthy fats in meals?

Fats, together with carbohydrates and protein, are an essential macronutrient that we must include in our meals, because apart from being a source of energy, they are necessary for the correct functioning of our organism as they form part of our hormones, facilitate the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, etc. Adding fats to our food will make the dish more palatable, thus allowing us to maintain our appetite by making our dishes more appetising. Of course, although they are healthy, they must be controlled in our daily diet, as their energy value is double that of the rest of the macronutrients.


  1. Is EVOO the fat par excellence?

It certainly is, it is not called liquid gold by chance, and we are lucky to live in the country of origin. It is also one of the basic pillars of the Mediterranean diet.


  1. What are the benefits of EVOO for our digestive system?

It is a healthy fat rich in fat-soluble vitamins, with very beneficial properties for our body.

It is mainly composed of monounsaturated fats, mainly oleic acid, and antioxidant and antimicrobial compounds. It has cardiovascular properties, as it helps us to improve our lipid profile and the parameters of bad cholesterol (LDL).

In addition, its anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to have a protective effect on inflammatory diseases and to help reduce oxidative stress.

On a digestive level, it stimulates intestinal transit, reducing constipation, as well as reducing gastric acidity, especially if consumed raw, and is an ally in gastritis, compared to poor quality fats.

  1. What about women's hormonal systems?

Fat is closely related to a woman's hormonal system, both too much and too little of it can affect a woman's hormonal environment. Fats, like cholesterol, are necessary for the synthesis of female sex hormones (oestrogen, progesterone and oestradiol).

They also play an important role through the hormone Leptin (the satiety hormone) which is secreted by fat tissue and is important in energy regulation, playing an important role as a link between adipose tissue and the reproductive system, influencing processes such as menstruation, pregnancy, breastfeeding... as it is a marker of the woman's nutritional reserves.

  1. What 3 essentials do you recommend to feel more energy in our daily lives? day?

The trinomial: complex carbohydrates (in the form of fruit, vegetables, whole grains...), quality protein (eggs, dairy products, meat, fish, soya and pulses) and healthy fats (EVOO, nuts, seeds...), and the more variety we introduce of these 3, the more we will be sure to cover all our energy and vitamin-mineral requirements.

Thank you very much Clara for so much quality information, we keep it all and especially the importance of trinomials. Follow us on @verdesmeraldaolive and visit the profile of @clear_nutrition !

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