Are doctor's the right people to give you nutritional advice?
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Time to Read: 6 Minutes
We consider doctors to have solution to almost every health issue and what they conclude is the last word. Our nutritional advise often come from doctors rather than nutritionists, but we tend to forget that doctors really only receive 8- 10 hours of formal nutritional coaching through their medical career.
No better way to put this message across than that by Prof. T Colin Campbell in the book Whole- Rethinking the science of nutrition.
He talks in his book about a relatable senario with grass. Imagine you forget to water your lawn for a while. In a few weeks, the grass will start to go brown. Would the solution then be to paint the grass green? Technically, it solves the problem. You wanted green grass and now you have it. But what about when it rains and the paint starts wearing off. What is even worse is that due to the green chemical you paint over the grass, no birds, insects want to come to the lawn. You have probably destroyed the natural fertilisers of the soil, making it impossible to ever grow grass again. Advise form a doctor is like this. It is like putting a band- aid over a wound without trying to understand what caused the wound in the first place. Had you taken the time to nurture the soil, water the lawn and expose it to sunlight, the grass would eventually go back to being healthy. A nutritionist takes time to understand what caused the wound and what to do to prevent this from happening in the future. Just taking medicines to solve a problem leads to superbugs and decreased immunity. It may also cause massive hormonal fluctuations like taking contraceptives to regularise periods for people with PCOS/D. Something to think about when…
Doctors take a good comprehensive approach to cure the underlying problem instantly with medications. Their approach revolves around the human body and how diseases manifests within it, they response via medicines and other surgical treatments. Some might argue that there is nothing wrong with this method, but do you want to reverse your disease or resolve your symptoms alone?
Nutrition originally focuses on integrating foods whilst modifying our lifestyle. All of the nutritional science converges into one primary goal i.e. to eliminate the illness and stop you from developing one. Reversal of a diseases is possible by right nutrition, even when scientifically incurable.
There are diseases which can be not only prevented but also reversed with right nutrition even today, they are:-
The elimination of Type 2 Diabetes through exclusion of unhealthily refined foods and consumption of plant based foods in proper concentrations. Research proves avoiding animal proteins and fats and consuming food high in fiber can increase insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar to healthy levels.
A nutritionist will work with a diabetic patient and inculcate the following changes to reverse the disorder:-
- Drop pasteurised dairy.
- Drop oxidised meat.
- Drop saturated fats.
- Include physical activity to improve insulin sensitivity.
- Controlling stress hormone- cortisol.
- Avoiding processed snacks made with high fructose corn syrup.
- Include vegetables like okra, aloe vera, bilberry extract, bitter melon, fenugreek, ginger.
- Include botanicals like curcumin (turmeric).
- Switch to whole food options such as brown rice vs bread (flour).
- Supplemented with antioxidant rich foods like blueberries, strawberries, gogiberries, pecans, kale, red cabbage, beans, legumes, bananas.
Blood pressure plays an important role in a human body from governing attitude, stress and determining cardio vascular health.
Lactovegetarian diets have pioneering evidences in stabalising blood pressure levels. A nutritionist might include the below list as part of the plan:-
- Whole grains (principally maize).
- Wild greens.
- Fruits, especially tomato, orange, apricots, bananas, berries, avocado, kiwi, watermelon.
- Vegetables like leafy greens, cabbage, kale, fennel, swiss chard, rocket leaves.
- Exchanging eggs and meat for plant based foods such as tempeh and tofu.
- Lose on extra pounds and watch your waist line, even losing a few kgs can significantly reduce malfunctions arising due to hypertension .
- Reduce your caffeine intake which cause a spike in blood pressure, excessive caffeine consumption might even block a hormone responsible to keep your arteries widen.
Besides these dietary monitoring with moderate salt intake, increase potassium intake, reduced alcohol, saturated fats and transfat intake are some effective strategies for lowering hypertension and renal diseases.
Vegetarian diets by themselves prove to be good but strictly plant based diet may do better.
A significantly vital master gland that secretes two major co-ordinating hormones : thyroxine and calcitonin helps with ossification of bones, regularizing glucose, maintainig optimal mineral balance and basal metabolism of the body. This in turn supports the health of every organ system.
Doctors primarily prescribe steroids to affected individuals that is to be continued throughout their life but such an approach is not addressing the core of the hormonal imbalance its only meant to artificially surpress the hormone function.
The disruption of hormonal imbalances is predominantly due to its over or under secretion.
A nutritionist might curate your plan based on the following changes: -
1.Iodine consumption: Remember the fact that iodine is an effective ingredient in the production of thyroxine as per the amount needed by your body.
2.Limit your intake on sugar loaded foods/ desserts that can progressively increase your inflammatory reaction and cause goitre, low metabolic function and myxoedema [generalised swelling of the body].
- Supplements such as probiotics and curcumin can work miraculously to correct your thyroid malfunctions
- Indulge In Integrative therapy such as acupuncture. This works at stimulating your pituitary gland to secrete hormones that indirectly produce calcitonin and tetraiodothyronine.
- Limit your intake on iodine rich foods, sea foods, dairy supplements, poultry, egg yolks, beef and high amounts of grain products like bread pasta and
- Foods that can heal hyperthyroidism are rich in selenium and include nuts and grains. Consumption of lemon balm and bugleweed are botanicals that also have a healing effect on the body.
Read this blog for all you need to know about PCOS.
This is once again a hormonal issues, symptoms of which can easily be managed without the need to take any drugs. A good nutritionist will help you understand the root cause of PCOS and how best to manage symptoms.
AGE’S (Advanced Glycation End protein) food’s are what causes PCOS, which is a type of protein or fats that when exposed to heat and sugar changes chemically, causing chronic disease. Higher AGE’S levels have been found in women struggling with PCOS.
Know what not to eat
- Animal derived foods are high in AGE’s and fats which are prone to AGE formation through cooking.
- Table sugar.
- Processed food.
- Fried foods or foods cooked with high heat.
- Butter, margarine and oils.
- Full fat dairy.
The body naturally gets itself rid of harmful AGE’s, but it does not eliminate them effectively when higher amounts are ingested into the body through food. Know that you are just in primitive stage of the issue and it is reversable.
All it takes
- Modifying cooking methods, baked instead of fried or grilled (atleast doing it less frequently brings in a change). Boiling, steaming, stewing and poaching are all great options.
- Diet rich in plant- based foods, fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, millets and smoothies.
- Choose anti-oxidant rich and fresh whole foods, natural vitamin C,flax seeds, dark fruits like grapes, blueberries, may likewise help and have shown to hinder AGE’s formation.
- Get moving, an inactive lifestyle can cause PCOS to skyrocket. So, contrast your rich plant based with regular exercise regime.
Our modern lifestyle, homes, workspaces and diets are contributing to extreme conditions in our body, which cannot be healed by itself. Our bodies are remarkable at healing itself. It is our bad lifestyle choices that keep getting in the way.
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