‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food’, a popular saying by the Greek physician Hippocrates, indicates the healing power of food and good nutrition on our body and mind. With the rise in modern medicine, the connection between nutrition and food is depleting. People are increasingly looking for instant solutions to their problems rather than addressing its root cause.
As a public health nutritionist, I always guide people about healthy eating, through balanced diets, portion size and lifestyle changes. Eating a well-balanced diet can have numerous health benefits and provide optimal health, if followed consistently.
Dietary changes involve a change in lifestyle over a relatively longer period of time, for the better. However, in a world that is increasingly becoming accustomed to getting quick solutions, motivating people for a long-term change that does not achieve instant results is challenging. Results are often the best motivator but getting to that stage is the first hurdle.
Healthy Eating advice is not as simple as it looks. Advising patients about healthy eating especially if they are suffering from any chronic disease like Type 2 Diabetes, Obesity, Anaemia, Menopause, Coronary Heart Disease or IBS could be very different. Each condition needs the inclusion or exclusion of certain types of foods that are beneficial or needs to be avoided. Often conditions are interlinked as our body is one system as a whole and needs to synchronise organs together to work optimally. The dietary advice should be backed by proper research and patients should be given informed choices as opposed to having decisions imposed on them, they should accept the changes willingly without any pressure.
Behaviour change is one of the major issues that we are facing as nutritionists. People do understand that certain foods should be avoided but sticking to the routine is challenging. I have often seen people who are committed can reverse their conditions by making positive changes to their lifestyle. For instance, people who take regular medication for Type 2 diabetes have successfully weaned out of medication through dietary changes and regular exercise. All they need is determination and understanding which types of food provides them good quality nutrients.
For sustainable dietary advise many factors need to be taken into account – including the personal preferences of the person, availability of food, allergy and food intolerance, inclusion of all food groups, macro, and micronutrients. The emphasis should be given to seasonal and local products where possible as they retain maximum nutrients.
Alongside a nutritionist, I am an enthusiastic chef too. I am fond of experimenting with my ingredients and produced many healthy recipes, which are accessible at www.Nutrition2Wellness.com. I also provided educational and healthy cooking workshops in schools and workplaces. I found this to be a very engaging way to teach healthy eating to different generations.
It is good to see the work Nutritank is doing by providing a platform community for young doctors to understand the link between Nutrition and Health. Enable them to learn more about Nutrition and provide consultations that incorporates healthy eating and nutrition advice