Isma Prados
04 May 2012 0 comments Lídia Penelo

Isma Prados: “The best diet is a healthy nutrition”

For years, chef Isma Prados (Sabadell, 1976) has claimed, through his television shows and books, that lack of time or to live alone, is not enough reason to neglect your diet. His latest work is a manual of modern cuisine titled iCook. That’s why we wanted him to reveal some of his secrets for us like how to choose the best products or how can we take care of our health while we eat what we like.

Where do you go grocery shopping?

Depends on how much time you have in your hands. But usually for fresh products I go to the market, and when I need pasteurized products, dairy products and preserves I go to the supermarket. For bread, I prefer to pay a visit to the bakery.

Where do you go grocery shopping?

Depends how much time you have in your hands. But usually for fresh products, I go to the market and when I need pasteurized products, dairy products and preserves, I go to the supermarket. For bread, I prefer to pay a visit to the bakery.

Which are the best value supermarkets?

Those that supply local products because are collected when they are ripe and don’t have to travel long distances to get to the store. Every step that a fresh product takes from its point of collection makes it more expensive, be it distribution, storage or transportation. And it also affects its quality, of course.

What products are the most attractive during spring?

All. A spring with late rains will delay the tomato but it’ll extend the season of beans, peas and artichokes, and will coincide with the first cherries before birds get the best of them and the strawberries already protected from the snails. The excellent Catalan lamb’s quality is guaranteed by these spring rains be it from Ripollesa breed or Xisqueta breed. Now we are in full blast of the season, although hail perhaps might have damaged the first batch of fruits of the season from the Tarragona area.

With a shoestring budget can we afford fresh produce?

Cereals, bread, legumes, vegetables, dairy, fruit, canned fish, small doses of animal protein are the pillars of our diet. They have allowed human race get to where we are today. I can’t see why purchasing with common sense can make us go over budget.

In your new book you talk about modern diet. How would you say we have improved?

In the history of the Western world, we had never had such a great access to food for almost everyone as we do today. If the modern era has witnessed the “industrialization” of human diet, I dare to label the current era as “post-modern” because it’s shifting the focus. We are more conscious about, really. There is an ongoing concern about the origin of what we are eating. The term organic has become a trend. In the coming years we’ll be talking about nutrigenomics and personalized nutritional profiles with the same precision than now we do regarding the decoding of the genetic code.

How can we improve our diet?

Discarding unnecessary supplements. It shows in your pocket and your health. Pay attention to your shopping cart from this perspective and take out everything superfluous. You can also pay in two separate bills to calculate the impact on your pocket of the dispensable products.

There are lots of recipes out there, all at the tip of our fingers. Any advice to guide us through so much material?

Select the recipes based on food you have to cook trying to buy as little as possible. The kitchen is as valid as any other space to unleash your creativity.

What do you like cooking for your family?

Anything fresh and quick that we can all share in the kitchen.

If you had to go on a diet, which one would you choose?

I don’t believe that when you say ‘I want to lose weight’, you have to add: ‘so I’m going on a diet”. Sometimes, it is only necessary to reduce the amount of salt to avoid liquids retention, other times it’s a matter of being too sedentary. In which case you’d only need to change the motorcycle for a bike or a simple walk.

For me the best diet is a healthy and varied diet based on fresh products. In any case, it is best to get the advice of a nutritionist. The combination of factors that affect food is complex and connects fields such as medicine, our genetic heritage or the environment. Extreme dieting without the supervision of a professional is like self-medication, it’s like a lottery.

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