Sandra Moñino: “Sugar inflames our organs and promotes premature aging”

Popular on social networks such as @nutricionat_ –on Instagram alone she has almost 500,000 followers–, the dietitian and nutritionist Sandra Moñino is characterized by explaining in a very close way what the essential anti-inflammatory habits are to support healthy aging.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
14 May 2024 Tuesday 04:29
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Sandra Moñino: “Sugar inflames our organs and promotes premature aging”

Popular on social networks such as @nutricionat_ –on Instagram alone she has almost 500,000 followers–, the dietitian and nutritionist Sandra Moñino is characterized by explaining in a very close way what the essential anti-inflammatory habits are to support healthy aging. She also stands out for the recipes she uploads, which help make anti-inflammatory eating part of our routine without major problems.

To reach more people, Moñino decided to write Goodbye to Inflammation (Harper Collins), whose main objective is to make people understand that “through an anti-inflammatory diet we can reduce inflammation in our body and thus be able to lose weight, treat, prevent and improve pathologies, and delay aging, gaining quality of life.” After several weeks as the best seller on Amazon, his book is now in its fifth edition. In it, the dietician, in as clear and simple a way as she usually discloses, explains why maintaining chronic inflammation can damage our body and cause, in addition to worsening our intestinal health, even our skin to be affected and premature aging to occur. .

What is the relationship of inflammation with the aging process?

Inflammation is a natural response of our body to damage, or what it interprets as damage. For example, when we hit ourselves we notice how the affected area begins to swell, redden or turn purple, and this is something positive and necessary, since thanks to the acute inflammation, we recover. The problem is chronic inflammation, which occurs because our immune system also considers the consumption of foods such as sugar, refined flours, hydrogenated fats... or the fact of having unhealthy habits as an attack. So, in the same way, our intestine becomes inflamed. But by constantly exposing ourselves to these products, it becomes chronic. If we suffer chronic intestinal inflammation, other organs in the body will also become inflamed, causing them to weaken and age prematurely. On the other hand, the skin is the mirror of our intestine and, if you are not healthy inside, that will be represented in a negative way in our skin.

What are the main dietary and lifestyle factors that can contribute to inflammation in middle age, that is, the ones we should avoid?

Among others, continued exposure to foods such as sugar, sweeteners, refined flours, vegetable oils such as sunflower, palm... We should also avoid being sedentary and having an imbalance between omega-3 and omega-6 in our body. And it would be advisable to take metabolic breaks to take care of the liver, the most saturated organ in the body.

How can older people adapt their diet and lifestyle to control inflammation and improve their quality of life?

It's easier than we think. We simply must organize ourselves well and give importance to food, being aware of the benefit it can bring us and the improvement in the quality of life that we can obtain. If you think that healthy eating is only important to be thin, you will feel unmotivated and without desire and you will give priority to already prepared meals...

What foods or food groups would you recommend to reduce inflammation and promote healthy aging?

Foods rich in protein of great biological value such as meat, fish, eggs... to avoid the loss of muscle mass, and thus continue to have great mobility and so that our bones have protection. Healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil, avocado, coconut, nuts, goat or sheep cheese... will give us energy and will also help our hormones to function correctly, in addition to promoting the synthesis of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin D, which is very important for health. Vegetables and vegetables are essential for a high consumption of fiber, vitamins and minerals. You should not miss at least two servings of vegetables a day.

And of all those foods, which would be the most powerful in terms of anti-inflammatory properties that you would recommend including in the daily diet, for a healthy middle age?

Oily fish seem to me to be one of the best foods for aging in a healthier way, since they are very rich in omega-3, which is a fatty acid with anti-inflammatory properties. On the other hand, I would highlight fruits rich in vitamin C, which are a perfect antioxidant for our cells and, with this, cellular recovery is enhanced. For example, lemon, orange, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or kiwi.

As for sugar, what role does it play in inflation and healthy aging?

Sugar feeds the bad bacteria we have in the intestine and thus causes our microbiota to be in poor condition. This will have an impact on our intestinal health. And, as we have already mentioned, intestinal health is related to the vast majority of pathologies and cellular and organ damage. On the other hand, sugar also causes spikes in blood glucose to be generated that in the long run could cause insulin resistance, that is, pre-diabetes, causing that sugar to become fat and accumulate in the form of visceral fat. This will cause our organs to become inflamed and damaged, weakening us and promoting premature aging.

And we don't talk much about hydration, but what role does adequate hydration play in managing inflammation in middle age?

Hydration is very important at all stages of life, but especially in old age. We should drink at least one and a half liters of water daily.

What role does physical exercise play in inflammation management and healthy aging? In adulthood, what would you recommend in this regard?

Physical exercise is essential at this stage and also regulates the inflammatory processes in our body. Above all, strength exercise, so that muscle development is constantly worked on, since in old age we tend to lose muscle mass. The ideal would be to combine it with movement, but this would have to be assessed by a professional in the sector.

What is your opinion on the impact of stress on inflammation and how can you recommend managing it to promote healthy aging?

Stress inflames and inflammation enhances stress. This is a whiting that bites its tail. Therefore, solving inflammation through an anti-inflammatory diet would be a way to break that feedback loop.

And finally, what practical advice would you give to readers who are looking for an anti-aging approach and want to reduce inflammation in their body to stay healthy as they age?

To reduce inflammation as they age and aim for a healthy old age, I would start by encouraging them to expose themselves to sunlight throughout the year to be able to absorb vitamin D. Of course, do physical exercise daily, each within their own time. possibilities, but move every day. This is fundamental and is not negotiable. In addition, it is advisable to get used to letting our body take metabolic breaks and not constantly snacking and eating. Also include the anti-inflammatory foods that we have mentioned and reduce the pro-inflammatory foods. Another of my recommendations is to take cold showers. If you can't stand them, at least finish with a minute of fresh water on your body. Increasing contact with nature and sleeping between seven and eight hours a day are also very beneficial tips. Improving self-care should be our main objective.