Fad diets, confusing advice, one-size fits all solutions! You might have tried one or all of them and still struggle with health or weight problems. What do you do when you feel lost in the nutrition jungle and need help?
Nutritionist and Naturopath Jill Dumas talks to My Healthy DXB about the benefits of consulting a professional nutritionist when you want to find out what health goals and food targets are just right for you.
All nutritionists are experts in food and nutrition and advise people on what to eat to lead a healthy lifestyle or achieve a specific health-related goal.
My background in naturopathy gives me a specific focus on how my clients can improve their wellness and prevention disease through healthy eating. I work holistically with the whole person – and take into account the physical, mental, emotional, genetic and environmental factors. The purpose is to identify and treat the root cause of a health problem rather than only the symptoms.
Absolutely. Macronutrients are the three types of food we eat – protein, fat and carbohydrates. There are healthy and unhealthy sources in each of these groups. Cut out the unhealthy, damaging foods such as refined grains, processed foods, unhealthy vegetable oils (like corn oil, soybean oil or canola oil) and trans fats. Eating more clean protein, a variety of complex carbohydrates (fresh vegetables, whole grains and whole fruit) and healthy fats will improve anyone’s health.
I also advise my clients to eat more dark green, leafy vegetables! They’re a great source of fiber and nutrients such as folate, vitamins A, C, and K, iron and calcium. One big serving at each meal is ideal.
Finally, most of us eat too much sugar. There are hidden culprits everywhere, in so-called ‘healthy’ breakfast cereals or fruit juices, sauces and even wholegrain breads. Too much sugar in the diet can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
Latest research shows that nearly all chronic diseases (heart disease, asthma, cancer and diabetes - type 2 and type 3) are preventable through a healthy lifestyle, nutrition and exercise. Eating a diet based on whole foods and living a healthy lifestyle should be viewed as a long-term health program to improve your quality of life. In the short-term it will give you more energy, improve your mood and control your weight.
What should I buy when I want healthy food?
Go for fresh vegetables, fruit, meat and dairy, buy local and organic. There are a lot of airfreighted ‘fresh’ foods from countries around the world, but they won’t have the same nutritional content as locally grown food. Plus, local food is usually cheaper when it’s in season. There are some brilliant local farms and organic food shops in Dubai – and most of them deliver to your door, even better!
Always read the food label and ingredients list. Don’t be fooled by health claims on packaging, as they can be deceiving. The shorter the ingredient list is, the better! If you don’t know what all of the ingredients are, don’t buy it!
People see me because they want to lose weight, because they have low energy, skin problems or digestive issues. Usually, the underlying conditions are hormonal or blood sugar imbalances, microbial imbalance in the gut or food sensitivities. I also have clients who want to manage lifestyle diseases – type 2 Diabetes, high cholesterol or heart disease - through diet and nutrition.
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Your body rely on you to get vital nutrients from the food you eat. Your body takes care of millions of biological processes every day. Each process depends on certain components and building blocks - which you can only get from fresh, nutritious food, prepared in the right way.
Processed and industrialised prepared food does not give your body what it needs. It is not real food - it cannot give your body fuel to the millions of vital processes to function optimally. Poor quality food does not feed your body well - it only fills your stomach!