As diet fads come and go, it is important to know which ones work and which ones don’t. We sat down with Dr. Adele Fantoni, a doctor of nutrition among other things, who told us everything we need to know about the keto diet and why it’s good for you.
LUXOS: Tell us a little bit about yourself
Dr. Adele Fantoni: I studied medicine at the University of Milan because I have always felt like taking care of people. I have been practising ever since 1983 and hope to keep doing this for the rest of my life. Based on my four specialisations (dentistry, orthodontics, nutrition and aesthetic), my objective is to prevent illnesses caused by bad lifestyles. Diseases often come as a result of eating too much sugar or not keeping our body “clean” by consuming low-fiber foods, drinking alcohol, smoking and more.
L: Tell us how you came to know about the Ketogenic diet and why you became a supporter?
AF: Doctors have been aware of the Ketogenic diet ever since 1920, but this has only been reintroduced recently. This nutritional plan reduces the level of carbohydrates (sugar) and avoids insulin’s storage, which is the reason behind people keep feeling hungry throughout the day. In fact, the keto diet is particularly helpful for those who want to lose weight without feeling hungry, or reducing their muscles and bone structure. I consider the keto protocol an adaptable and easy diet to follow; It is good also for celiac patients (like me) who don’t want to give up on the Mediterranean lifestyle.
L: What is Keto Diet? And why is it good for you?
AF: Keto diet is a low carb, normo-protein, slightly hyperlipidemic diet. Many believe that by following a Ketogenic diet, it is possible to prevent deadly illnesses and burn fat quickly.
Related article: Best Places to Run in London
L: How is keto different from all other diets?
AF: Keto is not very different from the Zone diet, Atkins diet or Doctor Dukan’s. Basically, it refers to a low carb diet.
L: While sugar and trans fats are harmful, the biggest problem is the lack of healthy foods in our diet, what are the foods to eat when on the keto?
AF: So many that you can't imagine! Eggs, meat, fish, seeds, nuts, butter, oil, yogurt, green vegetables, coffee, tea, herbs, avocado.
L: And those to avoid?
AF: Sugar, bread, cakes, pasta, pizza, crackers, honey, fruit, beans, rice, quinoa, amaranto, chocolate, candies, coca cola, wine, spirits, fruit juices.
L: Cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes are only a few of the pathologies that can be prevented, stabilized and treated with specific nutritional plans. When will people start perceiving healthy eating as a necessity more than a trend to follow?
AF: Just a few days ago the media reported the introduction of an experimental protocol of the Ketodiet to treat cancer at the University of Milan. Coordinated by Saverio Minucci, Chief of General Pathology at the Milan University and director of New Drugs program of I.E.O, in collaboration with Marco Foiani, phd of Molecular Biology and scientific director of FOM, together with other researchers, discovered that low carb diets reduce cancer cells because of starvation. Currently, they are waiting to receive authorisation to proceed with other clinical trials. This study has been published in the Cancer Cell magazine and I believe the media has the great responsibility of informing people correctly about the true benefits of following a healthy nutritional plan as a form of prevention. Most deadly illnesses are caused by an excess of carbohydrates and sugars. As soon as people realise the harm behind certain foods, hopefully they will start adapting a healthy lifestyle for themselves and not the latest trend.
L: What are you favourite healthy restaurants in Milan?
AF: I’d rather go for the healthy choice, not the restaurant. If you consider that keto food keo is mainly fish, meat, steamed vegetables, green salad, eggs and bacon, they are not that difficult to find in restaurants. I love cooking and admire the work starred chefs put together. Fulvio Pierangelini, Director of Food in Rocco Forte Hotels throughout Italy and Europe, is a good friend of mine. He inspired me to create keto recipes and snacks for my patients, like Amelia Freer does in London. She is a famous nutritionist and Fulvio recommended her books to me a few years ago.
Related article: Mantra
L: What improvements do you hope to see between nutrition and medicine in the future?
AF: I hope agriculture will become more sustainable and organic. I believe this is the first step for a better future. It will come as a result of what we grow, how we grow it, how we feed animals and the conditions they live in. Water and air also play an important role and of course they’d better be clean. Thanks to genetics and psychoneuroendocrine immunology (pnei), [we doctors] hope to improve the knowledge we have about the individual DNA’s characteristics in order to tailor specific nutritional plans, based on the individual patient’s needs and their predisposition to certain diseases.
For more Lifestyle ideas, visit our Page.