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What Is Diet Modification?

Certainly, you are what you eat. Most diseases ravaging our health today are largely due to our poor eating habit. This is why there is a great need for diet modification to help us prevent diseases. Let’s eat to live and not to die.

However, dietary modifications are changes made during food preparation, processing, and consumption to increase the bioavailability of micronutrients—and reduce micronutrient deficiencies—in food at the commercial or individual/household level (Beck and Heath 2013).

Consequently, modifying our choice of our meal goes a long way in reducing so many risk factors. It has the ability to lower cholesterol level, blood pressure and weight gain which are all potential health risk factors.

However, we should be willing to learn the act of including healthier foods into our daily meal to meet our nutritional needs thus preventing diseases or better still, manage chronic health conditions.

Diet modification for a better health status would include the following:

  1. Eating less or no fat.
  2. Take less of salt.
  3. Consume more fibre.
  4. Portion size.

a) Eat Less or No Fat: Constant eating of fatty foods leads to an increase in blood cholesterol levels, excessive weight gain (obesity), high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and even some cancers. If you must eat fat, it should be in very little amount.  Note which fats that are better to use. To this effect, we should know that “unsaturated fat” is mostly healthier. Unsaturated fats are gotten from plants; e.g., olive, peanut, corn, avocados, sunflower oils, liquid margarine etc. 

Conversely, saturated fats, on the other hand, should be avoided like a “plaque” because it’s very bad for our health. One of the reasons been that is raises blood cholesterol level. A high percentage of saturated fat are gotten from animal sources e.g. butter, lard, (meat from pig, bacon, pork), cheese, cream, whole milk, and fatty cuts of meat, palm oil, coconut oil etc.

Trans fats are also not so good for our health. It’s usually seen in food ingredients in form of hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. It is usually seen in snack foods, shortening (solid fat), fries etc.

b) TAKE LESS SALT: One of the causes of high blood pressure is increased in salt consumption. This is because of the fact that salt contains sodium. High sodium in the body alters the body balance and reduces the ability of the kidney function well. The resultant effect is higher blood pressure and kidney problem.

Also, eating more salt causes hypertension. This puts extra pressure on kidney’s fettering units which can lead to scarring. This alternates the kidney’s ability to regulate fluids to increase blood pressure. If the cycle isn’t stopped, it leads to kidney diseases and damage. It’s not a good diet modification at all.

Note: salt sensitivity is most widespread among middle aged, elderly, overweight and obese. 

c) CONSUME MORE FIBRE: “Soluble fibre” is normally seen in oats, peas, beans, fruits and vegetables. It dissolves in water forming a gel-like material. It increases the feeling of fullness and can lower blood cholesterol and glucose level.  Insoluble fibre on the other hand though can’t be digested by the body. It is needed to ensure normal bowel movement.

Starchy foods, fruits and vegetables contain the most fiber. Eating higher fiber foods makes you feel full for longer which help control weight gain. E.g. garden egg, orange, cucumber, guava, pineapple, apple, star fruit, carrot etc.

d) PORTION SIZE: We still need to be mindful of our portion size meal even though we are eating healthy foods. This is because if they are too large, we could gain weight which is a potential health risk factor.

Small portion meal is better. Small ball of fufu or garri with much vegetable in the soup is far better. This will improve your health.

Nevertheless, some people by nature are gluttons. These set of people eat anything that comes their way without moderation. You can easily see these set of individuals on occasions where they will like to eat all the different dishes served during the occasion.

They believed that their system has compartments for food storage. As such, the occasion is an avenue to fill them up.  This type of eating is not healthy for our system.

More so, the habit of waking up late in the midnight to eat starchy food is not healthy too. It tasks the digestive system a lot. Most people have this eating pattern of most people. The resultant effects are likely to be obesity and increase in cholesterol level. This set of people regularly visits the hospital to see a doctor while spending their hard fortune buying drugs to remedy the situation. Diet modification can easily help us to avoid this problem.

Noteworthy, discipline is the key. The rule of the thumb has this to say: Eat when you are hungry. Don’t be greedy when you see food. Know when you are full. Take a few glasses of water and leave. This will help you to stay healthy.

In conclusion, applying this diet modification model will go a long in helping us prevents most avoidable diseases. This will make us to stay healthy and productive.

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