Our body is our temple, but we still need to fill it with the colours of the rainbow to make sure it receives the nutrition for good health that it needs – even more importantly as we age.
Good nutrition is especially helpful for people who have specific dietary restrictions or requirements. For example, people with diabetes or food allergies. Telling signs for you to know when your body isn’t receiving enough nutrients include when you have a reduced appetite, unintentional weight loss, or you are feeling tired. This may lead to getting ill often, and taking a long time to recover, poor concentration or feeling cold most of the time (even in a warmed sunny winter room).
ECH Dietitian Deepti frequently works with people to help them select and eat the foods they need.
Deepti shares that it may be that a person loses their appetite, finds it hard to swallow, or may have chronic diseases or take medications that affects their diet. Being isolated and lonely, with failing health, depression and grief can all affect people’s diets too. You can encourage someone (including yourself) to eat by adding herbs and spices to bland food or by exercising to boost appetite. If the cost of food is an issue, you could consider drawing up a budget, buying food on sale, or splitting the cost of bulk purchases with a friend or neighbour.
The key to eating well is to enjoy a variety of nutritious foods from each of the five food groups.
Your main diet should include a combination of:
- Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties
- Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans
- Milk, yoghurt cheese and/or alternatives, mostly reduced fat
Some foods and drinks do not fit into the five food groups because they are not necessary for a healthy diet and are too high in saturated fat and/or added sugars, added salt or alcohol and low in fibre. These ‘optional’ foods and drinks are referred to as ‘discretionary choices’.
For more information on dietetic services that can help you improve your nutrition, visit ech.asn.au/wellness/ dietetics
Deepti is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) and Accredited Nutritionist (AN) with a Masters in Food Nutrition and Dietetics. She is committed to evidenced based practice and helps her clients to achieve realistic goals. She works effectively with people of all cultural backgrounds. She has a passion for assisting people to achieve optimal health outcomes through tailor-made dietetic interventions and personalised counselling.
Posted: September 10, 2023