Diabetes inhibits the human body from making or properly using insulin and this ends up in high blood glucose or sugar levels in the blood. Balanced blood sugar levels, possible with nutritious foods and physical activity, is key for diabetes management. Once diagnosed with diabetes, seek the help of an RDN at www.firsteatright.com to provide medical nutrition therapy to help you fight the disease while maintaining your nutrients intake.
What is Medical Nutrition Therapy?
Medical nutrition therapy includes:
Registered dietitian nutritionists are food and nutrition experts who have undergone multiple levels of training established by esteemed dietetic institutes. Most of the RDNs are generalists who cater to different nutritional requirements, but some of them are specialized in certain nutrition domains or own an advanced credential such as Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE). Such CDEs possess the skill set to help educate people with diabetes on managing the condition and improving the outcomes. A consultation with a CDE is highly recommended for people with complicated medical schedules, individuals on insulin pump or those who use a continuous glucose monitor to manage diabetes.
What Do Dietitians Do?
Before prescribing a diet chart, your dietitian will elaborate you on the positive effects of food and nutrition on your body to manage diabetes. Dietitians formulate a healthy diet plan keeping in mind individual food preferences, physical activity levels and the patient’s lifestyle and work hand in hand with the individual to set nutrition goals to improve health. All this is done after your dietitian thoroughly reviews your medications, blood sugar levels, recent hospitalizations, height and weight and blood pressure levels.
What Should I Expect?
Every client takes different time duration during his/her visit. The first visit may vary anywhere between 45 min and 90 min. Three to four subsequent visits are needed over the next three or six months depending on the medical condition or the weight concern of the person. After this, annual follow-ups are suggested to help the client regarding concerns about blood sugar management and eating habits. Don’t worry and leave it to the dietitian to fix appropriate follow-up schedules.
The goal of a dietitian’s treatment program for diabetes includes:
Though vitamins do not supply the body with energy, they are needed to convert food into energy. Some research suggests that intense activity level of athletes might increase their vitamin needs but medical institutes do not make any additional vitamin recommendations restricted to athletes. Vitamins do not improve your performance but reduced level of these nutrients will definitely affect your activities.
Further discussed are the role of vitamins and their Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI).
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Thiamine is responsible for the breakdown of carbs and proteins to produce energy. It is better to consume the prescribed amount of this vitamin as consuming more than the DRI does not appear to improve performance.
Riboflavin is indispensable for energy production and also takes part in red blood cell formation. Athletes need the DRI of this vitamin.
Niacin supports both anaerobic and aerobic performance. Too much or too little of this vitamin can shift your body’s use of energy from fat to carbohydrates or vice versa which might influence your performance.
Vitamin B6 takes part in more than 100 metabolic reactions in your body apart from being involved in the production of energy and hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells. Consuming less than the DRI can affect performance.
B12 is imperative for getting oxygen to tissues owing to its role in red blood cell formation. Vegan and vegetarian athletes should be extra cautious to get enough B12 into their body as this vitamin is found only in animal products and decreased levels of this vitamin can result in anemia. Such people should consume as much B12 from food as possible. Additional supplements or eating B12-fortified foods may also be needed.
Folate is critical for cell production, heart health and protection against birth defects. The recommended DRI is enough to fulfill the energy demands of athletes. Female athletes of childbearing age should include folate in their diet daily.
Vitamin C, the most famous antioxidant, is needed for multiple health benefits like protection from infection and damage to body cells, collagen (the connective tissue that holds bones and muscles together) production, protection against bruising by keeping the capillary walls and blood vessels firm and helping in the absorption of iron and folate.
This vitamin is essential to breakdown fats, proteins and carbohydrates into usable energy. It is present in all plant and animal foods and hence, should be easy for athletes to meet their DRI for pantothenic acid.
Biotin is required for energy production.
Vitamin D is a hormone in reality and not a vitamin. Vitamin D, needed for bone health is produced by the body on adequate exposure to sunlight. Athletes who are training in weight-sensitive sports such as gymnastics, running or cycling should take extra care to fulfill the required DRI for this nutrient. Physicians might suggest vitamin D and or/calcium supplements for some athletes. You can also get in touch with a registered dietitian nutritionist specializing in sports nutrition at www.firsteatright.com to plan your diet along with vitamin supplements, if needed.
Indians personify Western culture and celebrate Valentine’s Day and even Halloween. We are well acquainted with names such as Sachin Tendulkar and Aishwarya Rai. But do we even know that the Government of India has dedicated a special day called ‘National Sports Day’ to respect athletes for their contribution to sports or are we aware of the existence of a hockey player called Dhyan Chand on whose honor this day has been established? It is a straightforward ‘NO’ for most of us.
Dhyan Chand, the hockey wizard, steered the Indian hockey team to win three Olympic medals and scored more than 400 goals in his 22-year career. He is the best sportsman our country has ever produced and it is no surprise that the Government has baptized his birthday (August 29th) as ‘National Sports Day’.
Nutrition is the backbone for any sports, strength sports or endurance sports. Sports nutrition primarily deals with the consumption of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
Diet can affect the performance quotient of a person drastically, especially when you exercise vigorously for more than 90 minutes. Athletes need a diet rich in the following nutrients:
Carbohydrates are the main power houses of energy for any person and specifically, for an athlete. Consume enough carbs before, during and after exercise to replenish your body with fuel, postpone exhaustion during exercise and enable rapid recovery after exercise. Plan your diet such that you get 70% of your energy from healthy carbohydrate sources such as breads, fruits, vegetables, cereals and pasta. Instead of picking sports drinks or energy bars, choose fresh fruits drinks or whole fruits for best results.
Proteins are indispensable for strong muscles and many teen athletes have the wrong assumption that protein foods are magic pills that automatically help muscles grow. But, the reality is that muscle growth is a complex process and involves many other factors. Athletes need only slightly increased amounts (1.7 grams) of protein that non-athletes (1.2 to 1.4 grams). Milk is an excellent choice to fulfill your protein needs as it also contains great carbohydrate content in it. Other protein sources include legumes, beans, eggs, lean meats, fish and nuts.
Fats are yet another finest source of energy. Athletes and non-athletes need moderate amounts of healthy fats to keep them energized. Choose anything between avocados, nuts, vegetable oil, olive oil and fatty fish.
Vitamins, Minerals & Iron
Vitamins and minerals help to utilize the energy acquired from carbs, fats and protein and also help in muscle relaxation and contraction. A well-balanced diet automatically fulfills the required vitamin and mineral needs of athletes.
Iron plays a vital role in carrying oxygen to all cells in our body and this oxygen is required to create energy in our muscle cells. Iron shortfalls, especially in women athletes who lose iron through menstruation, can prevent this process from happening smoothly. Try to consume healthy animal foods that are rich in iron along with vitamin C-rich foods such as red capsicum and citrus fruits as these foods help to increase the absorption of iron.
Exercise can leave an athlete sweating and dehydrated, hurting his/her performance. Athletes are required to drink fluids often and sometimes in between their performance or exercise. Chilled fluids are recommended as they are quickly absorbed by the body and help the body to cool down.
Want to Plan your Diet?
Athletes work hard and sweat out to perform their level best and make the nation proud. A healthy diet that triggers the peak performance of athletes is essential to bring out the full potential of our players. Though there are sports drinks, energy bars and nutritional supplements that claim to accelerate performance, the best way to provide your body with energy is to eat real healthy foods. A sports nutritionist at www.firsteatright.com is the right person who can help an athlete plan his/her diet chart with real foods after evaluating his/her body type, fitness quotient and training regimen.
Osteoporosis is associated with bone health. Sometimes called as the “silent disease”, it consists of weakened bones and increased fracture risk which carry no indications and the first indication comes only when a bone breaks. Bone fracture due to osteoporosis is common among half the women population and one in every four men who are above the age of 50.
Aiming for strong bones since childhood is the building block for bone health as a person ages. A healthy diet along with weight-bearing exercises since childhood ensures bone tissue formation and bone strength.
Bones, on the outside, may seem to be dull and dry, but on the inside, they are constantly under construction. While certain cells break down bone tissues, other cells use the calcium and nutrients from the food consumed to build new bones. Missing out on your physical activity or nutrient needs can result in weaker and less dense bones that are prone to fracture.
Calcium for Bone Strength
Calcium used to form new bones is important for bone health. Good sources of calcium include milk, yogurt and cheese, cereal, calcium-fortified soy milk, fruit juice, soybeans, dark leafy green vegetables and calcium-fortified tofu. Individuals in different age groups require different quantities of calcium:
While the requirements are clear, most of the children are not meeting their calcium needs. Calcium single-handedly cannot build bones but has to work with other nutrients like vitamin D, vitamin K, potassium, magnesium and fluoride to increase bone density and strength.
Supplements as a Food Replacement?
A supplement is a supplement and cannot be a replacement for food at any point of time. Lactose-intolerant individuals can try lactose-free milk and calcium-fortified foods. There are different varieties of lactose-free milk discussed at the website www.firsteatright.com and you can choose the one that best suits your requirements. It is better to discuss with your physician, especially if you are a woman in menopause or post-menopause, before taking calcium supplements with vitamin D.
A registered dietitian nutritionist is the right person to help you choose the best supplements for your bones along with healthy diet plans for overall health.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.