However, we each have unique dietary needs depending on where we live, our health, and personal preferences. GlobMed can guide you through the process of finding the right professionals and dietary guidelines for your circumstances.
Why Are Diet And Nutrition Important?
We really are what we eat. The quality of your diet can affect how long you live, your mental health, your quality of life, and your risk of disease. Nutritional deficiencies and excess calories and nutrients can have a negative effect on our health.
Unhealthy diets and insufficient physical activity are global health risks.
How Do We Know What A Healthy Diet Entails?
Everyone seems to have an opinion on what qualifies as a ‘good’ diet, and the goal-posts are always shifting. Social media, the internet, and print media are always sharing recommendations on healthy eating and nutrition, often creating unrealistic standards.
It can be difficult to learn to eat in a way that is best for your body and lifestyle - especially if you have no support.
GlobMed has access to a network of specialists who can help you cultivate eating habits that optimise your unique health needs.
Healthy eating should be achievable and sustainable, rather than overwhelming. We all have unique needs depending on our health, finances, access to various foods, culture, and personal preferences. Food is our fuel, and it should be used to get the most out of our body’s functioning and immunity.
What Are Nutrients And What Does The Body Use Them For?
Nutrients are the basic building blocks of our bodies. We obtain them through what we eat and drink.
- Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are the body's primary source of energy. Opt for complex carbohydrates found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, which provide essential fibre, vitamins, and minerals.
- Proteins: Proteins are the building blocks of our body tissues and play a vital role in growth, repair, and immune function. Include lean sources of protein such as poultry, fish, beans, lentils, tofu, and dairy products.
- Fats: Healthy fats are crucial for brain function, hormone production, and the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. Focus on sources like avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and fatty fish, while limiting saturated and trans fats.
- Vitamins: Vitamins are essential for various biological processes, including metabolism, immunity, and cell function. Consume a diverse range of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to obtain a wide spectrum of vitamins.
- Minerals: Minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, and magnesium are vital for strong bones, oxygen transport, immune function, and numerous other physiological processes. Incorporate foods like dairy products, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and lean meats to ensure adequate mineral intake.
What Is Medical Nutrition Therapy?
A nutrition plan created for your individual needs can improve your medical condition and lower the risk of new complications.
Medical nutrition therapy is one of the tools used to manage chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, digestive disorders, and kidney disease.
This treatment should only be considered after an evaluation by a registered dietician.
Which Diseases Can Be Managed With Nutrition?
Some conditions are directly related to our diet. Changing what and how much we eat is an important part of managing the disease.
Obesity and Weight Management
Obesity is a growing concern associated with various health problems, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. A balanced diet, combined with regular physical activity, can help with weight management. A registered dietitian can provide personalised strategies and support.
A diet high in saturated and trans fats, along with excessive sodium intake, can increase the risk of heart disease. Choosing healthy fats, incorporating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and limiting processed foods can support heart health. Additionally, reducing salt intake and managing blood pressure are essential.
Proper nutrition is vital for managing diabetes. Balancing carbohydrate intake, monitoring portion sizes, and choosing low-glycemic-index foods can help regulate blood sugar levels. Registered dietitians who specialise in diabetes can provide individualised meal plans and education.
Conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), coeliac disease, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can significantly impact diet and digestion. Working with a registered dietitian experienced in gastrointestinal health can help identify trigger foods, develop tailored meal plans, and manage symptoms.
Food Allergies and Intolerances
Allergies and intolerances to certain foods require careful dietary attention. Registered dietitians can help navigate food restrictions, ensure adequate nutrition, and provide guidance on alternative food choices and label reading.
Who Can Help Me With My Diet And Nutrition?
If you have specific dietary concerns, health conditions, or weight management goals, a registered dietitian or nutritionist can provide invaluable guidance. These professionals are trained to assess your individual needs and tailor a personalised nutrition plan to help you achieve your goals safely and effectively.
Frequently Asked Questions
A registered dietician is the only qualified health professional that can assess, diagnose, and treat dietary and nutritional problems at an individual level and a wider public health level.
They are regulated by law and work in various areas, from the NHS to private practice, from education to public relations, from government to NGOs. Dieticians need to complete a minimum of a postgraduate degree in the field of dietetics.
Nutritionists are not required to register in order to work. However, the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritions allows nutritionists who meet certain standards and qualifications to call themselves Registered Nutritionists.
Some nutritionists do work within the NHS alongside dieticians, and they can play a role in health policy, working with government and NGOs. Nutritionists cannot offer medical dietary interventions in a hospital setting without a dietitian supervising.
While a healthy diet cannot guarantee the complete prevention of chronic disease, it plays a significant role in reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and certain cancers.
Emerging research suggests a link between nutrition and mental health. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats may support brain health and help reduce the risk of mental health conditions.
Additionally, a well-nourished body can positively impact mood, energy levels, and cognitive function.