Dr. med. Interview with Petra Bracht
Strict diets don’t work in the long run. According to the British Medical Journal, this has just been confirmed by a new analysis of studies examining the diets of over 21,000 people. Many of the 14 diets tested resulted in improved blood pressure and an average weight loss of around five kilos after six months. However, after a year, most of these benefits disappeared – except for the so-called Mediterranean diet. Nutritionist Dr explains what makes this type of nutrition stand out. med. Petra Bracht (“plain text nutrition”) in an interview with the news agency spot on news.
What makes the Mediterranean diet stand out from other diets, why is this diet particularly healthy?
Dr. med. Petra Bracht: This Mediterranean food tradition has developed in the regions of the European Mediterranean coasts. It was examined for the first time in the remote areas of the working rural population in Crete, which belongs to the regions of the “Blue Zones”, in which the healthiest and most centenarians of the world live. Vegetable foods are mainly eaten here, such as plenty of fresh fruit, nuts, fresh vegetables, legumes, lots of spices, olive oil, sufficient whole grain cereals and fish in the coastal regions. On the other hand, meat, sausage and dairy products are handled very sparingly. Usually only seasonal and regional food is used.
How does the Mediterranean diet work?
Bracht: Due to the high proportions of plant-based foods in the daily diet, it is extremely rich in all important nutrients, secondary plant substances, antioxidants and vitamins. On the other hand, this diet contains fewer calories compared to the normal German average diet. Not to mention the additives, sugar, too much salt, saturated fats, cholesterol, hormones, purines and AGE’s such as acrylamide, which are largely responsible for the development of our diseases of civilization.
How well is this diet suitable for people who want to lose weight?
Bracht: Perfect, especially if you still do without the fish, which was also practiced by many residents of the Mediterranean region who did not live directly in the coastal region. Back then, the coasts were avoided by many because they were constantly exposed to attacks and raids. Then, in my opinion, it is one of the best diets to stay healthy and then permanently slim during the desired weight loss. There is no feared yo-yo effect and success is guaranteed.
You can top this Mediterranean diet by completely omitting meat, sausage and dairy products, so opting for the purely vegetable variant. The high proportion of fiber and fibers prevents hunger. In addition, there are no nutritional deficiencies, as is the case with most diets. Due to the large selection of dishes and no restrictions, it can be carried out permanently. In addition, it is possible to vary them by adding influences from Asian cuisine, in the spirit of “Mediterrasian”.
How do you benefit from the Mediterranean diet beyond losing weight?
Bracht: It is a delicious tasting and varied and – especially if the fish is still missing – a very healthy diet with a high fiber content for a healthy microbiome (intestinal flora) and thus a guarantee for a well-functioning immune system. Because healthy fiber, which can only be found in plants, nourishes the good intestinal bacteria and the bad ones – which would become more numerous with an increasing proportion of animal food – must starve.
The large amounts of phytochemicals, which are also not found in any animal products, are absolutely necessary to maintain health, but also to get well with existing diseases. In some cases, they work more efficiently than some medications and without any side effects. These phytochemicals are probably the most valuable health enhancers in our diet and serve to protect plants against sunburn, insects, bacteria and also viruses. It is precisely these functions that they also perform in our bodies. But be careful: conventionally grown plants contain much less of it, since they are sprayed with all kinds of insecticides, etc. and the plants treated in this way no longer build up their own protective mechanisms. Therefore, the plant foods should best be organically grown.
Is the diet suitable for the procurement of fresh ingredients in this country for the whole year?
Bracht: Definitely. In the meantime, there are already offers in the conventional supermarkets both from regional areas and with indications of seasonality. What I am particularly pleased about is that more and more value is placed on controlled organic cultivation. And if you love markets, you can get the right food here all year round.
Can people who are inexperienced in cooking cope with it?
Bracht: This kitchen does not take place at the star level, but always had to function simply and quickly and fill many hungry mouths and bellies and also be inexpensive. Therefore, it is ideal for everyone who wants to get started, but also for those who love cooking. Because it’s an honest kitchen that tastes like what’s on your plate.
In your new book “Plain Text Nutrition” you promise clarification in the food jungle, how do you do that?
Bracht: Claus Leitzmann and I are pooling our knowledge of about 75 years together on the topic of healthy eating. He from his scientific point of view, I from my practical experience. We have seen the “ups” and “downs” from a wide variety of dietary recommendations and diets, some of which have significant health effects. Exaggerated promises, disappointments, weight gain and the development of diseases, everything was there. It is not without reason that most people die from cardiovascular diseases, which are to a large extent (70-80%) nutrition-related. Obesity is the visible result of poor nutrition and the onset of most diseases.
People are unsettled because they have never learned what to look for in a healthy diet. That is why we set out in our book “Plain Text Nutrition” to create clarity and to write in a way that everyone can understand. It would be our greatest wish if the subject of nutrition were finally taught not only during medical studies, but also to all students during school time.
About Dr. med. Petra Bracht
Dr. med. Petra Bracht has specialized in the areas of nutrition and pain for over 30 years. Her work “Plain Text Nutrition”, which she collaborated with Prof. Dr. Claus Leitzmann has just appeared. On Wednesday, June 3rd at 7 p.m., a live reading / discussion with Petra Bracht and Claus Leitzmann will take place on the YouTube channel of Liebscher & Bracht.
spot on news