Everyone can increase their health, physical performance and well-being through nutrition, exercise and other healthy lifestyles, says Jan Sundell, chief internist, docent and fitness athlete, in his new book The Battle of Hippocrates - Dr Body’s Struggle for Muscle Fitness and Medicine (Docendo).

In the book, she provides guidelines for full-weight and weight-promoting nutrition and also deals with individual foods.

Sundell also explains what three foods many avoid in vain.

1. Margarine

“Margarines are often demonized for no reason, especially on social media,” Sundell writes.

He notes that the bad reputation of margarines has a historical background: in the 80s, margarines contained trans fats, while today the amount of trans fats is small.

- The omega-6 fatty acids in margarines are healthy, and because of the trans fatty acids, they do not need to be replaced by butter.

A good way would be to dip the bread in olive oil in a Southern European way.

- But since olive oil does not really belong in Finnish table culture, another convenient way to add vegetable oils to the diet is to use vegetable oil margarine.

Sundell recommends choosing a product that contains at least 60 percent fat and forgetting light spreads.

- Margarine fat should be derived from vegetable oils and should not be high in saturated fat (less than 30%) nor salt (less than 1 g / 100 g).

An alternative to margarine is to spread ripe avocado on bread.

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2. Milk

- From a health point of view, milk, especially skim milk, is mollusked too much, Sundell says.

- It is claimed to cause whatever ailments and diseases.

There is usually no scientific background to the claims.

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According to the book, milk appears to be neutral or slightly beneficial to health because it contains lime, protein, and vitamin D.

Skim milk is not a worse source of nutrients than whole milk.

- Of course, you can do without milk, as long as you take these nutrients into account in your diet.

3. Bread

The third dish to be demonized in vain is bread, according to Sundell.

Refined or white grains should not be eaten, but the use of whole grain products reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

- Whole grain fibers bind cholesterol, which further reduces the risk of heart disease.

Some of the grain is dietary prebiotics, or indigestible food components which enhance the growth of bacteria in the colon preferred.

Studies show that eating whole grains reduces the risk of bowel cancer and possibly other cancers.

“From a health perspective, whole grains are a valuable part of a health-promoting diet and regular consumption can reduce mortality,” says Sundell.

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Source: Jan Sundell: Warrior of Hippocrates - Dr. Body's Battle for Muscle Fitness and Medicine, Docendo, 2021