a Reunionese nutritionist invites us to return to traditional cuisine

22.4% of obese people in the French Overseas Territories, compared to 17.9% in mainland France. This is the observation made by the league against obesity in its latest study. However, Reunionese cuisine contains many ingredients that are good for your health! Hilarie, nutritionist, gives us some advice.

Who said that Reunionese cuisine was too rich? It’s not Hilarie, who will deny her culture to eat better. Quite the contrary. For the Reunionese, if the latest studies from The League Against Obesity note that overseas residents are more affected by obesity than their fellow citizens in France, it is certainly not traditional cuisine that is called into question.

“Reunionese people tend to demonize our diet because of the rate of overweight and obesity which is higher in the Overseas Territories, but that is a mistake. First of all, it is sugary drinks and fast foods that harm the health of Reunion Islanders. » Hilarie, a nutritionist for five years, very active on social networks, highlights péi cuisine in videos. Proud of the Reunionese diet, which she wishes to optimize for the health of all. “To this, we must add that for the majority of the population, we do not eat enough variety. And it is surely on this aspect that we can change our diet; “It is better to add food than to take it away”, that is the credo of the young Reunion Islander.

Old-fashioned cuisine

Yes, the famous chicken carry is on everyone’s plates. And even in Hilarie’s. According to the nutritionist, we should not abandon this delicious dish in favor of a flavorless green salad: “In our traditional diet, we are lucky to have a lot of spices that are very good for health, such as turmeric. or ginger, you have to take advantage of it! » Indeed, for example, turmeric would protect our cells from inflammation and damage, slow down the aging process, alleviate the symptoms of arthritis and even reduce the spread of cancer cells. Just that.

The young woman advocates above all quality ingredients and above all variety at the table. Like in his grammar school days. “When I talk to her, she explains to me that when she was younger, she ate a lot of chouchous and brede, vegetables that we eat less today; It’s a shame,” laments Hilarie. A perfect plate? Half vegetables, a quarter rice/grains and a quarter carry for example.

Far from wanting to make people feel guilty about their vegetable consumption, she admits: “it must be said that before, everyone had a neighbor or a friend who had favorites in their garden”. Today, to enjoy your péi vegetables, you often have to open your wallet, it’s true. In addition, “with the shortage of tomatoes or onions that we may have had, it’s complicated for people to eat a variety of foods,” adds the young woman.

For the professional, a good diet also involves a variety of meats: “boucané and sausages are good, but you shouldn’t eat them all week. We can vary it with fresh meat for example.”

Hash and pei vanilla

During her studies as a nutritionist in mainland France, Hilarie wanted to highlight péi cuisine; “At the time, I was told that eating meat, grains, rice and rougail was too much on one plate,” she recalls. Today, the young Reunion Islander is rather proud, since studies have since shown that combining grains and rice is very good for your health. Rougail, for example, is also a blessing on the plate; “The acidity lowers the glyceric index,” specifies Hilarie. Another Reunionese habit which is slowly disappearing: hachard. “It’s sad, because it’s very good for your health. »

For these patients who tend to sip syrups all day long, the nutritionist offers them a little tip: reduce, little by little, the dose of syrup, while the palate slowly adjusts to the lack of sugar. She adds: “vanilla or cinnamon are also very good substitutes for white sugar. » Perfect for those who love a gourmet coffee or tea. Another delicious drink in Hilarie’s recipes: a Bissap ginger, cinnamon and honey infusion. Sweet, but very good for your health!

In order to fight against excess weight, in addition to a varied diet, the nutritionist also recommends physical activity: “I’m not talking about sport, but simply gardening or climbing the stairs, that’s already good. » For the bravest, walks! “On our island, there are lots of beautiful landscapes to see! »


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