We do not need white industrial sugar. The brain does not need sugar; the brain needs glucose, and this glucose can be extracted from fruits, vegetables, potatoes, which is starch, which we then break down. Industrial sugar is not necessary, okay? Sugar is now a hidden presence in charcuterie, ham, sauces, breakfast cereals, yogurt and drinking yogurt.
Free sugar, as the WHO says, behaves metabolically in an unsuitable and unhealthy way, not like if you eat an orange. Why is that? It is about fiber; if you eat an orange, you chew it and even as you chew, you are releasing intestinal neuropeptides that will prepare digestion. And when you eat an orange, an apple or a banana, which all have fiber, you feel full. That doesn't happen when you drink juice. Sugary drinks have been linked to weight gain and obesity — it is a very clear relationship. The WHO advises sugar should represent 5% of total calories, and a maximum of 25 grams. A can of a soda can be 30, and an orange juice of three oranges can have the same as a soda.
Diet myths we peddle. There is a myth that I would like to clear up — eating a wide range of food. You even see it written in serious books or on websites that seem serious. It originated in the 60s and means that if you eat fish, meat, cereals, fruits and vegetables, there is less chance that you will miss any essential nutrient because you eat from all food groups. But now, when you say eating everything, that includes hyper-processed products, croissants, juices, cookies and sugary cereals. You have to eat everything that is healthy. Not just everything. And in the pyramid, the tip is full of candy, croissants and processed meat, and says: "Sporadic consumption". Everyone can interpret that how they want, but the pyramid says that it is about healthy eating. That pyramid is currently highly criticized. And what do those in healthcare prefer when talking about nutrition? The Harvard plate.
The Harvard plate replaces the pyramid, because we eat on plates and not on pyramids. It says: fruit and vegetables, half the plate; whole grains, a quarter of the plate; and healthy protein, the other quarter. Healthy protein is not processed meat, even though it is there. Healthy protein is legumes, tofu, nuts, eggs, fish and white meat, better than red. And what the Harvard plate tells us is that processed meats must be avoided. We find that really difficult in our country, because pork and its derivatives are a big presence in our culture. And many moms still think that the cooked ham like medicine: "It's so mild. You're not feeling well, so have some cooked ham." No. It's not poisonous, but it's processed meat. The Harvard plate have healthy proteins: Eggs, fish, white meat, legumes; whole grains: brown bread, as we have said before, brown rice, and brown pasta is also better; and we don't stop talking about fruits and vegetables. This is the Harvard healthy plate.