Easy Tips For Better Nutrition, Healthier Eating

Discussion in 'Dietetics' started by Mahmoud Abudeif, Oct 5, 2019.

  1. Mahmoud Abudeif

    Mahmoud Abudeif Golden Member

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    Although incredibly important, nutrition is often glossed over by physicians—not only with patients, but also at home. But, a new report from the World Health Organization (WHO) may have you thinking twice about the importance of nutrition. Nutritional experts at the WHO found that 3.7 million lives could be saved globally if governments focused on healthier eating.

    In a UN news release, Naoko Yamamoto, MD, PhD, Assistant Director-General of Universal Health Coverage/Healthier Populations at the WHO, said that to achieve the goal of universal healthcare “nutrition should be positioned as one of the cornerstones of essential health packages.”

    Let’s take a closer look at the scope of the obesity problem worldwide, and what can be done in your daily life to eat healthier.

    Obesity here and abroad

    According to the latest WHO report, the number of children who are obese worldwide went up from 4.8% in 1990 to 5.9% in 2018. When the global adult population was factored in, this number rose significantly to 13%—a trend that is virtually universal.

    Bringing this closer to home, across all states and territories in the United States, more than 20% of adults are obese, according to the latest data (2016-2018) from the CDC—with nine states having reported overall adult obesity prevalence rates of ≥ 35%. In 2015-2016 alone, approximately 93.3 million American adults were affected by obesity. Moreover, among US children and adolescents (2-19 years of age), the childhood obesity prevalence rate is estimated to be a staggering 18.5%, with 13.7 million youth affected. And among those aged 12-19 years, the rate is even higher at 20.6%.

    Tips on healthier eating

    As a physician, you may not be able to control worldwide obesity, but you can control your own patterns of eating and advise those of your patients. Here are some tips to help lose or maintain a healthy weight, as well as prevent heart disease, diabetes, and other serious weight-related health conditions.
    1. Never eat trans fats
    2. Eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, legumes, lean poultry, lean meats, and oily fish
    3. Eat less salty foods, sugary foods and drinks, tropical oils (eg, coconut and palm), full-fat dairy, processed meats, and refined carbohydrates
    4. Keep note of your calories, with the goal of consuming fewer than you burn off—a food diary can keep you on track
    5. Eat modestly-sized portions—and if you’re eating out, save some for later
    6. Prepare your own meals, and dine out only occasionally
    7. Always read the nutrition labels, and use this information to make healthy choices
    8. Swap out less healthful ingredients for healthier alternatives; for example, opt for vegetable oil instead of butter
    9. Partition vegetables and other foods that may appear unappealing into single, see-through containers, which can increase the likelihood of consumption, according to the results of one study
    Finally, among various other intriguing findings, the WHO report also noted that lowering salt intake to recommended levels of < 5 grams per day could prevent 1.7 million deaths worldwide.

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