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Nutrition

 
Nutrition during Pregnancy

Nutritional requirements of the pregnant mother
[image] The nutritional requirements during pregnancy depend on pre–pregnancy nutritional status of the pregnant mother. A woman who has been well nourished before conception, begins her pregnancy with reserves of several nutrients.

In such cases 300 calories and 15 gm protein more than usual pre–pregnancy requirement is adequate during pregnancy. The requirement of other nutrients too is higher during this period. Use of a daily food guide may be helpful for selecting proper foods to meet these additional requirements. In case of mothers who have not been well nourished during pre–pregnancy period, special care is required to yellow fruits & vegetables: Source of proteins provide additional nutrients during pregnancy.

Proteins


Additional nutritional requirements of pregnant mother:
Two servings from the protein group of daily food guide, preferably milk, fish, eggs or poultry, which provide protein of high biological value. In addition, one serving of green leafy vegetables or yellow orange vegetables or fruits and 1 to 2 servings of citrus fruits is recommended in addition to usual balanced diet.

Indications of sufficient food intake during pregnancy
Normally, weight gain during pregnancy indicates food adequacy. About 1 to 1.5 kg weight gain during first trimester and 450 gm/per week thereafter during remaining period of pregnancy is normal. This means a total non–edematous weight gain of 10 to 12 kg during entire period of pregnancy. What needs to be carefully observed is the abnormal weight gain, which could be due to excess water retention.

Dietary considerations during pregnancy
Small and frequent feeds:
  • During initial period of pregnancy the mother experiences nausea and loss of appetite and during later part, to avoid discomfort after large meals due to pressure of enlarged uterus on other organs in abdominal cavity.
  • Nutrient dense foods help in providing required nutrients in smaller quantity.
  • Adequate amount of soluble and insoluble fiber to avoid constipation .
  • Plenty of fluid helps eliminating all excretory products.
  • Regular and steady level of food intake to help steady weight gain, proper digestion and elimination.
  • Avoid fatty, rich food, fried food, excessive seasoning, coffee in large quantity, and strongly flavored food.
 
Nutritional needs of a nursing mother
[image] Nutritional requirements of a nursing mother are higher than pregnant mother as the child’s demand for milk increases. Nursing mother needs more protein, minerals, vitamins and calories. Additional diet requirement. Since the additional requirements of nursing mother are for production and secretion of breast milk, it can be continued as long as the mother is feeding the baby. Requirement may be reduced progressively as milk output is reduced.
Milk Suggest the foods to get the additional nutritional requirements 4 additional servings of protein foods, 2 out of which should be of milk to provide additional requirement of calcium and riboflavin. A serving each of dark green, or yellow orange vegetable/fruit and one to two citrus fruits to provide vitamin A and C. 2–3 servings from cereal group and 15–20 ml of oil to provide essential fatty acid sand additional energy.
Number of feeds need to be increased to accommodate extra food.
  • Select nutrient dense foods.
  • Consume more fluids to compensate total breast milk output.
  • Lacteous ( almonds, garden cress seeds, poppy seeds, fenugreek seeds, garlic etc.) may be included in the diet to stimulate milk production. Sufficient rest for mother, freedom from anxiety and desire to nurse baby are also essential for successful lactation.

Nutritional needs in adolescence


CALCIUM AND IRON are both needed for growth. VITAMIN D, which is needed to enable the body to absorb calcium, is often deficient if the diet contains no milk. Once a girl's periods have started, her need for iron increases.

CALCIUM, MAGNESIUM, BORON, VITAMINS D AND K, ZINC, COPPER AND MANGANESE are all needed to build strong and healthy bones. PHOSPHORUS is also required but is unlikely to be lacking in the diet. Failure to build good bones may increase the risk of osteoporosis in later life.

ZINC, MANGANESE, CHROMIUM AND SELENIUM are often low in the diet of teenagers as they tend to eat too much refined carbohydrate, such as white flour and sugar.

VITAMINS C AND P can be deficient if insufficient fresh fruit and vegetables are eaten. THE B-VITAMINS can easily fall below the required level in adolescents. This is particularly important for girls taking birth-control pills and teenagers taking antibiotics for acne. ZINC, VITAMINS A AND F, especially the omega-3 fats, may help the complexion.

Nutritional Needs of Girls Adolescence in girls starts earlier, with the main growth spurt usually occurring between 11 and 16 years. They may grow up to 10cm (4in) in a year and put on up to 8kg (18 lb). More weight conscious than boys, they usually consume fewer calories, and are therefore even more prone to nutritional deficiencies. When their monthly periods start, girls need more iron as well as calcium and zinc. Irregular and painful periods can be caused by nutritional deficiencies and, although the birth-control pill is sometimes prescribed for these problems, it also increases the need for certain nutrients.
Men vs. Women:
Differences in Nutritional Requirements 
Women love talking about diet and nutrition. That's probably the reason that most of the diet information out there caters to women. But what about men? Do men need to worry about osteoporosis? Do they need to worry about anemia? Let's take a look at a few major nutrients for men and women.

    Nutritional Needs: Women vs. Men
  1. Women Calcium is important for women, particularly in lowering the risk of osteoporosis. A diet high in calcium and Vitamin D has been proven to lower risk of bone fractures. In addition, calcium also plays a role in regulating blood pressure. How much for women? For women under 50 years old, the recommended amount is 1,000 milligrams. For women over 50, the recommendation increases to 1,200 mg.

    Men: Calcium is also important in lowering the risk of osteoporosis in men, but too much of it may be harmful. Studies have shown that men who consumed high levels of calcium from foodsand supplements have an increased risk of prostate cancer. How much for men? For all ages, the recommended amount is 800 mg. That is equivalent to not more than 3 servings of dairy per day.
  2. Iron

    Women
    : For an obvious reason, women require more iron than men. This is because of women's monthly menstrual cycles. Signs of iron-deficiency anemia include fatigue, inability to concentrate and difficulty in breathing. If you experience these symptoms, do not self-prescribe iron supplements. Instead, always speak to your doctor. There are different types of anemia and it is not always due to low iron stores. How much for women? For women under 50, the recommended amount is 18 milligrams per day. For post-menopausal women, the amount goes down to eight milligrams. This difference is one of the reasons why it's important to choose an age-appropriate formula if you are taking multi-vitamin supplements. If you are in doubt, speak to your pharmacist.

    Men: Men need iron too, but again not too much. Studies conducted in the 1980s have shown that men with high iron stores were associated with increased risk of heart attacks. Despite that later studies cannot reproduce the same results, it is difficult to ignore the possible association. How much for men? The recommended amount is 8 mg for men of all ages. It is important to choose an age-appropriate as well as gender-appropriate formula if you are taking multi-vitamin supplements. If you are in doubt, speak to your pharmacist.

  3. Omega 3 Fatty Acids

    Women
    : Omega 3 Fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fatty acids, have been shown to help lower triglycerides and increase the good HDL cholesterol. They may also act as an anticoagulant to prevent blood from clotting. Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in almost all fish, but they are particularly high in fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, sardines, and herring. They can also be found in nuts and seeds, as well as vegetable cooking oils. How much for Women? There is no official nutritional recommendation on how much omega 3 fatty acids women should eat. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least two times a week. For individuals with high triglycerides, the AHA recommends two to four grams of EPA+DHA per day provided as capsules such as fish oil or omega 3 supplements under a physician's care.

    Men: Omega 3 fatty acids benefit men too, but only the marine kind from fish oil. Vegetable omega 3, also known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) may not be good for men. Although it is still controversial, high intake of ALA has been linked to higher risk of prostate cancer.
    How much for Men? Until more is known, men should avoid taking concentrated ALA supplements such as flaxseed oil pills.
  4. Protein

    Women
    : Protein provides energy. It is also important in growth and repair. As a result of the high-protein diet hype, many people eat more protein than they require. Excess protein accelerates calcium loss in urine. Therefore, women with a high risk of osteoporosis should be careful not to eat too much protein. How much for women? As a rule of thumb, the average requirement is calculated based on 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. For instance, a 130 pound (59 kg) woman would need 47 grams of protein daily. If you are an athlete, your protein requirement will increase.

    Men: Men require more protein, simply because they weigh more. As mentioned above, excess protein accelerates calcium loss in urine. Therefore, men with a high risk of kidney stones should watch their protein intake. How much for men? The same formula applies to men. The average requirement is calculated based on 0.8 grams of protein per kg of body weight. Therefore, a 165 pound (75 kg) man would need 60 grams of protein daily. In general, both healthy men and women (regardless of body size) will do fine with 60 grams of protein a day. That is equivalent to eight ounces of meat. Again if you are an athlete, your protein requirement will increase.
  5. Fiber

    Women
    : : We all know the benefits of fiber! Fiber not only prevents constipation, hemorrhoids, and diverticulosis, it can also help reduce the risk for some chronic diseases such as colon and breast cancer. In addition, fiber may help lower bad LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. Furthermore, fiber can help lower blood sugar to help better manage diabetes. How much for women? Women under 50 require 25 grams of fiber, and those over 50 require 21 grams of fiber. That's equivalent to at least two cups of vegetables and 1 1/2 cups of fruit.

    Men: Men require more fiber than women. Fiber requirements are calculated to provide the greatest protection against heart disease and are based on energy intake. Men in general need more calories, so they need more fiber. How much for men? Men under 50 require 38 grams of fiber, and those over 50 require 30 grams of fiber. That's equivalent to at least three cups of vegetables and two cups of fruit.

Diabetes and Nutrition


What is diabetes?

Your body changes most of the food you eat into glucose (a form of sugar). Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that allows glucose to enter all the cells of your body and be used as energy.

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when a person’s body doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use insulin properly. When you have diabetes, the sugar builds up in your blood instead of moving into the cells. Too much sugar in the blood can lead to serious health problems, including heart disease and damage to the nerves and kidneys.

There are 2 types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t produce any insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the body either doesn’t produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. Nearly 95% of people who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 2 diabetes.

Why does it matter what I eat?
What you eat is closely connected to the amount of sugar in your blood. The right food choices will help you control your blood sugar level.

Do I have to follow a special diet?

There isn't one specific "diabetes diet." Your doctor will probably suggest that you work with a registered dietitian to design a meal plan. A meal plan is a guide that tells you what kinds of food to eat at meals and for snacks. The plan also tells you how much food to have. For most people who have diabetes (and those without, too), a healthy diet consists of 40% to 60% of calories from carbohydrates, 20% from protein and 30% or less from fat. It should be low in cholesterol, low in salt and low in added sugar.

Can I eat any sugar?

Yes. In recent years, doctors have learned that eating some sugar doesn't usually cause problems for most people who have diabetes--as long as it is part of a balanced diet. Just be careful about how much sugar you eat and try not to add sugar to foods.

What kinds of foods can I eat?

In general, at each meal you may have 2 to 5 choices (or up to 60 grams) of carbohydrates, 1 choice of protein and a certain amount of fat. Talk to your doctor or dietitian for specific advice.

Carbohydrates are found in fruits, vegetables, beans, dairy foods and starchy foods such as breads. Try to have fresh fruits rather than canned fruits (unless they are packed in water or their own juice), fruit juices or dried fruit. You may eat fresh vegetables and frozen or canned vegetables. Condiments such as nonfat mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard are also carbohydrates.

Protein Protein is found in meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, beans and some vegetables. Try to eat poultry and fish more often than red meat. Don't eat poultry skin, and trim extra fat from all meat. Choose nonfat or reduced-fat options when you eat dairy, such as cheeses and yogurts.

Fat. Butter, margarine, lard and oils add fat to food. Fat is also in many dairy and meat products. Try to avoid fried foods, mayonnaise-based dishes (unless they are made with fat-free mayo), egg yolks, bacon and high-fat dairy products. Your doctor or dietitian will tell you how many grams of fat you may eat each day. When eating fat-free versions of foods (such as mayonnaise and butter), check the label to see how many grams of carbohydrates they contain. Keep in mind that these products often have added sugar.What is the exchange list?

The exchange list (see the sample below) is a tool to help you plan healthy meals and snacks. To add variety to your diet, you can substitute certain foods for other foods in the same group. Some examples are listed at the right.
 
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