Lipophilic diet: what it is and how to do it

7 April, 2021
This article has been written and endorsed by el nutricionista Saúl Sánchez
We present the lipophilic diet, a dietary model based only on the consumption of fresh food that has not been handled or packaged by the industry.

The lipophilic diet is a model of eating that is expanding little by little and that consists of the consumption of fresh food, without any type of industrial processing. It promises to generate a series of health benefits derived from an adequate supply of nutrients and the absence of toxins that compromise the functioning of the body.

It is clear that the wide spectrum of ultra-processed foods that we can find today poses a danger to public health. Most of these products contain high amounts of sugars, trans fats and additives, which impair the body’s homeostasis.

What is the lipophilic diet?

This dietary model rejects the consumption of any food that is not natural, regardless of its degree of processing. In this sense, it also discards pickles or packaged ones, considering that in many cases they contain large amounts of salt or sugar.

This eating pattern attaches great importance to natural and fresh foods. He argues that from these products we can obtain all the nutrients that the body needs to function optimally, and that it is not necessary to resort to industry to increase their useful life.

On the other hand, the lipophilic diet restricts the intake of modified fats, added sugars and toxic substances such as alcohol. It also does not allow the consumption of soft drinks, beverages capable of affecting metabolic health due to their high content of sweeteners and additives. For all these reasons, we are facing a restrictive diet, not suitable for everyone.

The lipophilic diet seeks to avoid ultra-processed foods.
Although consuming food processed by the industry in excess can have negative effects on health, its occasional consumption is not contraindicated.

Benefits of the lipophilic diet

Despite limiting the intake of certain food groups, the lipophilic diet has a number of health advantages. First of all, it should be noted that the consumption of fresh food has been linked to a lower risk of developing pathologies in the medium and long term.

Especially the intake of vegetables has been shown to be capable of reducing mortality from all causes, thanks to the micronutrients and antioxidants they contain.

On the other hand, it is clear that many additives pose a health risk. An example of them are artificial sweeteners, capable of modifying the composition of the microbiota. This interaction can generate metabolic problems in the medium term related to obesity, according to a study published in the journal Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences.

Similarly, some preservatives added to food can also cause long-term health problems. This is the case of nitrites, capable of increasing the risk of developing cancer, according to various current investigations.

This is the basis of the evidence that links the intake of processed meats with a worse state of health, and one of the reasons why its consumption is preferred without going through the industry first.

Finally, it should be noted that the absence of soft drinks and alcohol in the diet is a plus when it comes to talking about health.

Graduated drinks, consumed in any quantity, are capable of affecting the proper functioning of the body’s physiological reactions. For this reason, experts recommend avoiding its consumption, even restricting it.

Lipophilic diet problems

Despite the many positive points of this type of diet for health, there are certain drawbacks to its implementation. The first of these is the general cost of it, since fresh foods are more expensive than those subjected to industrial processes.

For this reason, not everyone has the ability to regularly access this class of products.

Second, it presents certain scenarios that today are quite utopian. Total alcohol restriction, for example, while desirable, is difficult for many people.

The consumption of spirits or wine is part of the routines of a large part of the population, and restricting it suddenly can lead to problems with adherence to the diet or even a negative reaction. The same happens, for example, with bread.

On the other hand, there are foods that have passed through the industry and that do not represent a health hazard, such as pickles or canned fish.

Labels should always be read to avoid purchasing those that contain sugar or additives, but many of these foods are made up of only natural ingredients and the level of processing only serves to increase their shelf life.

Restricting them completely can make the diet less practical, since it forces to always have fresh food for the elaboration of the menus.

Nor can we forget the social conflicts that following a diet of this type can generate. When it comes to eating out, with friends or family, having so many food restrictions can be a point of confrontation, an issue that also ends up determining adherence to the dietary guideline.

How to plan a lipophilic diet?

When it comes to creating a menu of this style, it must be borne in mind that all kinds of packaged foods are prohibited, which complicates the preparation of breakfast and snacks.

Breakfast

The best for breakfast is to prepare some scrambled eggs. They can be accompanied with different vegetables, although not with sausages, since these would escape from the allowed foods. The fatty portion can be secured with avocado.

Preparing an infusion (without sugar) is a good way to ensure an extra supply of antioxidants.

Food

At noon it is usually advisable to opt for simple recipes, grilled, baked or steamed. The preferred options are fish or meat.

In this sense, you have a lot of variety, since the lipophilic diet does not suggest which of these two food groups should be consumed in greater proportion. We advise you to prioritize the intake of fish over that of meat, so that in this way you can control the caloric intake.

As an accompaniment you can prepare salads, vegetable creams or any type of steamed vegetable. It is also possible to opt for a carbohydrate, although in this case it must always be a tuber, since it is neither processed nor packaged. The potato and the sweet potato will be your greatest allies.

With regard to dessert, the consumption of yogurts is not allowed. This is another of the negative points of the lipophilic diet, since dairy products are recommended to guarantee the supply of calcium and probiotics that ensure intestinal health.

However, at this time you will have to settle for eating a fruit. The lipophilic diet advises avoiding those pieces with high sugar content, so the best option will always be an apple.

One of the advantages of the lipophilic diet is that the consumption of fruits and vegetables is favored.
As the options are somewhat limited, the consumption of fruit is ideal after a meal.

Snack

In this case you can peck nuts, although these have to be consumed naturally, without roasting and without salt. Although they usually come packaged, it is also possible to find them in bulk, so the eating plan is permissive with them.

We recommend that you vary the nuts you consume, so that in this way you can ensure a varied supply of nutrients. Thanks to these foods, you will incorporate high-quality proteins and fats into the diet.

Dinner

At dinner time you can prepare dishes similar to those at noon. The egg is always an option, as well as the meat or the grilled fish.

At this time, it is best to reduce carbohydrate intake, since carbohydrates are not metabolized optimally at night. Unless you do physical exercise on a daily basis, it can be beneficial to be restrictive in this regard.

Therefore, the protein portion must be accompanied with vegetables. Add those with bright colors to your recipes, to ensure a significant antioxidant supply.

Remember that these substances are capable of reducing the incidence of complex pathologies and slowing down aging. Also keep in mind that variety when choosing vegetables is always a positive point.

For dessert, we recommend that you consume a handful of red fruits, such as blueberries, raspberries or berries.

Regarding the consumption of oil, there is disagreement, the strictest currents recommend not using it because it is packaged. Therefore, if you choose to restrict it from the diet, include avocado and oily fish frequently to provide fatty acids of the omega 3 series.

The lipophilic diet, a strict regimen inadvisable

Although the lipophilic diet can provide health benefits because it prioritizes the consumption of fresh foods and vegetables, it is not a generally advisable plan.

It presents a lot of restrictions that can condition adherence to the eating pattern, while generating deficits of essential nutrients.

Any nutrition professional considers that eliminating ultra-processed foods from the diet and alcohol has a positive impact on health. However, restricting healthy food groups such as dairy, oils, pickles, and preserves is of no benefit, quite the opposite.

For this reason, if your goal is to lose weight or improve your health, we recommend that you opt for another type of diet that is more balanced and less restrictive. It is possible to include foods from all groups in the diet and this does not translate into an increased risk of illness.

Remember also that the practice of physical exercise is essential, and that sport must be present in daily life in order to improve the functionality of the body.

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