Excess does not go (nearly) well, even when it comes to food and energy supply. Healthy foods, which are important for the health of our body, can cause some problems if consumed in excess. Dr. Manuela Pastore, dietician in Humanitas, spoke about it in an interview with Corriere della Sera.


Spinach and beet: oxalate

Spinach and beet contain oxalates, compounds which, when combined with calcium, can lead to the formation of kidney stones. In the western world, in the majority of cases of kidney stones, the typical dishes are made up of calcium oxalate.

Oxalate is also found in kiwis, cocoa, rhubarb, whole grains, black tea and red fruits. Anyone who suffers from kidney stones is therefore advised not to exceed the consumption of these foods.


Harmful fish and seafood: methyl mercury

Swordfish, tuna, shark, blue shark, dogfish, marlin and pike as well as seafood may contain methyl mercury, an organic compound present in the environment. The Ministry of Health’s recommendations emphasize that children, pregnant and breastfeeding women of childbearing age should consume no more than one portion per week of 100 g of these fish and no more than two portions of tuna.

It is allowed to have – even several times a week – less contaminated fish such as sardines, mackerel, sea bass, sea bream, sea bream, sole, trout, mullet, salmon and freshwater fish such as perch and white fish.


Dried fruit, attention to calories

Almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts are very caloric; 100 grams of walnuts contain 689 Kcal. Although dried fruit is a source of minerals, antioxidants and vegetable fats, it is very calorie-rich and rich in fiber, so be careful, especially if you are overweight or have irritable colon. It is advisable not to exceed 15 grams per day.


Legumes and vegetables and abdominal bloating

Broadleaf vegetables and legumes should be consumed in moderation by those who tend to accumulate air in the belly; even the avocado could cause meteorism, swelling or diarrhea. Legumes, brassicaceae (turnip, savoy cabbage, cauliflower, cabbage), artichokes, thistle, chestnuts, dried fruit are the most responsible for meteorism.

Furthermore, it is best to chew slowly and carefully, in order to facilitate the work of the stomach and intestine and avoid the risk of meteorism. This disorder is also linked to the consumption of sparkling drinks, chewing gum, candy and other sweetening foods with polyalcohols such as sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol.


The need for water

LARN (Levels of Nutrient and Energy Reference Assumption) stipulate that the daily water requirement is 2 liters for women and 2.5 liters for men. The right amount of water can be calculated by multiplying the kilos of one’s own weight by 30 (milliliters).

Drinking too much water can affect the balance of mineral salts present in the body, with the risk of reducing the concentration of mineral salts.

Excessive water consumption can be harmful to the kidneys, especially if the water you drink is hard, i.e. rich in calcium and magnesium salts, which can favor the combination with oxalates.