In our third and final episode on nutrition for seniors, we discuss the topic of fat, sugar and salt. Three elements that we find in our diet and that we consume every day.
Indeed, fat, salt and sugar are found in all the foods we eat every day. And if not properly managed, these elements can sometimes be dangerous for our health, especially for seniors. Again with Louis Sirois and Josée Thibodeau, co-author of the book “Au menu des 65 ans et plus”, we address in this video on nutrition the properties of these three elements and how to incorporate them into our diet.
Fat, sugar and salt: our enemies?
In our third episode, we will see that it is not sugar, salt and fat that pose a problem for our health, but their excessive quantity in industrial and pre-prepared foods. We have indeed become accustomed to consuming these foods in excess and without restraint. Josée Thibodeau will explain to us how to get used to eating less fat, less sugar, less salt with tasty alternatives, good for your body and simply better for your health.
Hello Louis Sirois, with Josée Thibodeau, we are in nutrition for our seniors aged 65 and over. And these are the three elements that are in the minds of most people who want to eat well: fat, salt and sugar.
So Josée, educate us because these are controversial items! So start with the one you want. Actually, I think we’ve been focusing a lot on fat. We may have forgotten about sugar in some of the discourse, but we are now readjusting because we may have a little bit less need to eliminate fat, but really, we are not.
We are now readjusting because we may have less need to chase fat, but we really need to attack sugar because it is omnipresent and hidden everywhere. And the effects on health are quite important. Except for pleasure, it doesn’t really provide any nutrients.
Fat, on the other hand, is a different story. So let’s talk a little bit about fat. Let’s maybe try to say, “I’m not going to shun it so much. I don’t need to go on 0% everywhere, especially if I don’t really need any particular health issues to address.
So I think we could give ourselves a little bit of a break on the fat and still go for quality. However, it’s obvious that we go after the good fats first and we pay attention to the ones that are a little less appreciated.
So, by good fat. Oil, the queen of oils: olive oil. We put some, we do not hesitate, we consume it, we love it, we take it as we want. The nuts, the seeds. Yes, it contains fat, but it is good fat.
We are not afraid of nuts and seeds. On the contrary, we take them as snacks. Avocados are excellent in a recipe, in a salad, cut into pieces a drizzle of lemon juice. We are not afraid of avocados either.
They are good fats in our plate. The ones we really need to be more careful about are obviously the trans fats. They are the bad guys. And that’s something that’s been established for a long time. They are still found in cake mixes and fried foods.
Obviously, we have to be a little more careful. As for saturated fats, they should be eaten with balance and moderation. I don’t think we need to attack them head on, as long as they take a balanced place in the menu.
from cheese, meat, etc. We are thinking in particular of people who eat the famous bacon. The one that everyone can panic. You can eat it, but you can’t have it every day. That’s exactly it. Red meat, you can have red meat, but it’s not every day, but there’s no problem having it.
but there is no problem to have it. It covers us on the fat portion. Now, are we talking about salt? Are we talking about sugar? Let’s talk about sugar, because we attack it more head-on. In fact, the WHO, the World Health Organization, has recommended that we really attack it.
Why do they do this? Because it is hidden quite a bit everywhere. There is far too much of it in our food. We need to reduce it. Now, let’s take a look at the different sugars. Of course, when we eat a piece of fruit or drink a glass of milk, there are sugars.
There is lactose in milk, there is fructose in fruit, but it is a sugar that is accompanied by other nutrients and that doesn’t mean that those are the ones that we should necessarily discard. On the other hand, if I want to choose between an orange or an orange juice, I have to go for the orange because it gives me
a certain satisfaction in consuming it. The glass of juice, on the other hand, passes quickly. The entry of sugar into the bloodstream is much faster. It is what we call a free sugar which has a less interesting effect on our glycemia.
And since we have a little less capacity to manage our blood sugar. It is perhaps better to be more careful. After that, all the hidden sugars are added everywhere and there in the prepared foods.
There are so many of them, unfortunately, you have to read the labels, you have to spot them. They talk about corn syrup, malt syrup, dextrose, maltose, fructose, sugar. So you have to look for them in the list of ingredients and also in the nutritional value table to see how much
of added sugars. I would say if you want to wean yourself off, because it’s also a question of habit. Sometimes, and I can be like that too.
It has to end with a little sweetness. But when you finally wean yourself off saying, this is absolutely a cake or a cookie and replace it with fruit. You also learn how great fruit can be.
To me, raspberries are candy. You eat a few raspberries and the flavor explodes. So we also need to think more about fruit as our source of desserts, to kind of round out our meal and have that feeling there.
There’s the little square of dark chocolate too, which is not bad. Right, but it’s dark chocolate, not milk chocolate. But it is a drug, this famous sugar. Sometimes you have to treat yourself.
That’s okay. It’s so easy to have it in the cupboard and when it’s there. You reach out, it tempts you and you fall into the cookies and everything else. It’s not being a purist.
But you have to be careful, insulin secretion and so on. It’s really damaging. Then, as you mentioned at the outset, there’s no benefit to having sugar. There isn’t. It’s an easy source of energy, yes, but there are no nutrients that come with it.
And there, yes, there are trace elements in honey. But it’s not a source of vitamins and minerals. It’s really just sugar. It has the same effect of sugar intake on people.
So if someone says, “I put brown sugar in,” it’s the same impact. It’s scure, it’s still the same impact on blood sugar. “I found a supplement that replaces sugar,” no! For fake sugars, it’s a complex issue, but until now, they have not proven their effectiveness.
Proven to be effective. Fake sugars have been introduced mainly for weight management issues. When you look at the United States, Canada as well, it has not solved the problems of obesity. So, it’s a bit of a red herring, like those famous fake sugars.
I think we should try to go back to the basics and say how I am trying to wean myself off gradually. Not necessarily overnight, but look at what you have on your menu. Then, between the pop, the juice, the ketchup, all the different sources of hidden or added sugars, let’s sort it out by trying to
reduce the amount to have less of it. Speaking of salt, now, the famous salt. We like salt. Sodium is important for the body. Yes, with iodine and everything, we take too much of it though.
Again, because there is a lot of it in prepared foods. We’ve also gotten used to having a salty taste. As much for sugar as for salt, it is also to play on other elements when we prepare our dishes so that there is still some flavor.
One thing I find is that we don’t cook with fresh herbs often enough. But a little bit of fresh mint in a fruit salad. Suddenly it’s a dessert and it’s not just a fruit salad that’s ordinary.
Dill in a salad. It brings another dimension. And maybe also play with herbs, fresh herbs, but also spices to season our dishes a little more, so that we don’t have to salt as much.
But one of the important sources of salt is really the salt that is added in the prepared foods. And those, we have to crackers and so on. You have to be careful with your plate and with the menus that are already prepared.
We see the display. If the plate contains more than 500 milligrams of sodium. It would be better to switch to something else, as a choice of dishes. But in the strategy of reducing salt, there is another element that we don’t hear about, that is potassium, which brings back a certain balance between sodium and potassium.
So, sometimes, to say in my plate, I make sure to have potassium, and where do we find it, you will see it is still in our winning foods, in vegetables, fruits, in whole grains, in dairy products.
We have potassium that we add, so we also make sure that we have interesting nutrients on our plate to counterbalance a meal that is a little too salty. That’s the portion I didn’t know about. So, Josée.
Thank you very much. In conclusion, the three foods, sugar, salt and fat. Fats. We want to have good quality fats, like olive oil, canola oil and many good oils. You don’t want to have saturated fats or as little as possible, but definitely no trans fats.
We can’t touch that. When we fall into sugar, be careful, we have to indulge once in a while, but there’s way too much sugar for us in all the elements and the sugars that are
brown, honey and all the kinds where we think “It’s okay, it’s natural”. It’s the same thing. It’s sugar and it’s not good for us. Then after that, we fall into salt, but we like it.
But you can replace it with a multitude of other things that will make the taste enhanced. Be careful, you have to have some in your diet. Look at the dishes you buy that are already prepared. If there are some that have 500 milligrams of salt, try switching to something else.
Be careful with your soy sauce, tamari sauce. Put in one, but not a lot. So be careful. And then there may be more capsules in the future, but for now focus on these three capsules here. It’s going to give you a really good idea of how to have a good diet for yourself, for your parents and Jose,
I keep thanking you, but buy this book because I discovered a lot of things in it. So thank you very much to all of you.