GUEST COLUMN: Dr. N Prabhudev
Bengaluru, May 21: There’s not a medical school that properly teaches nutrition. Among the 130 or so medical specialties and sub specialities – that we now have, not one is called nutrition. So, here’s a problem. The professionals who are supposed to be offering us their services in the area of health care, and not been taught the one subject – Nutrition, that is the most important, in my view, of all.
The first half of the 20th century witnessed the identification and synthesis of many of the known essential vitamins and minerals and their use to prevent and treat nutritional deficiency related diseases including scurvy, beriberi, pellagra, rickets and nutritional anaemia.
In – 1950s to 1970s: fat versus sugar and the protein gap was understood. The relative role of total calories and protein in infant and child diseases such as Marasmus and kwashiorkor—“the protein-calorie deficiency diseases and Support for the “protein gap” concept led to extensive industrial development of protein enriched formulas and complementary foods.
1970s to 1990s: diet related chronic diseases and supplementation was the focus.
Nutrition Renaissance is needed to deal with most diseases!
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Nutrition, when done right, can create more health than all the pills and procedures combined. I know this is a big startling idea but I really mean that. If we do it right, if we eat the right food, we get away from drugs and its side effects and we can be healthy.
We should eat whole foods. Whole foods, not the individual nutrients and food fragments within them. Nutrient supplements- is a huge industry- multi-billion dollars a year. Fifty percent of the population uses nutrient supplements as a means to nutrition. Nutrients taken out of the food and out of the context, do not do exactly the same thing that they do when they are in food. When you take it out and use it separately, we get a different response than the whole food.
If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you smoke, quit for good. Quitting smoking lowers your risk of heart disease, lung cancer, and other smoking-related illnesses. More than 60% of adults who were smoking cigarettes have quit. Nearly 8 million smokers quit smoking by dying!
Eat Healthy. You are what you eat. Eat with heart In mind!
Reduce the Intake of Salt and Sugar- For a healthy diet, sugar should ideally represent less than 10% of total energy consumption. Reducing further to about 5% will result in additional health benefits. For children Good nutrition during the first 2 years of life is vital for healthy growth and development.
Physical activity is one of the best ways you can improve your health now and in the future. Everyone can get the health benefits of physical activity—no matter their age, abilities, shape, or size.
Aerobic physical activity—that gets you breathing harder and your heart beating faster.
Meditation: 4×4 breathing, breathe in through your nose as you slowly count to four in your mind. Be conscious of how the air fills your lungs and stomach. Hold your breath for a count of four.Exhale for another count of four. Hold your breath again for a count of four. Repeat.
Millions of people are suffering from different forms of malnutrition. In India, 1.9 billion adults are overweight or obese while 462 million are underweight. Among children, 52 million under-fives are suffering from wasting, where they have a low weight for height.
Good nutrition and healthy weight, lowers risk of chronic diseases. By taking steps to eat healthily, you’ll be ensuring that you have access to the nutrients your body needs to stay active, healthy, and strong. As with physical activities, making small changes in your diet can go a long way, and it is easier than you think!
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