Think healthy, be healthy!
What is nutrition?
Nutrition is the area of knowledge which studies people’s relationship with food, regarding the socio-cultural context in which they find themselves in.
It analyses the nutritional composition of the food and the nutritional requirements of each individual, as well as the procedures whereby the organism ingests, absorbs, carries, uses and excretes the nutrients.
What is a Nutritionist?
A Nutritionist is a health professional involved in promoting health and well-being and in preventing and treating the disease through counselling and food education, nutritional therapy, quality control and food safety, in individuals or groups, in the community or institutions, according to the corresponding scientific and technical rules.
The exercise of the profession of Nutritionist inevitably requires registration as an effective member of the Order of Nutritionists.
What happens during a nutritional consultation?
- Nutritional anamnesis
- Evaluation of the nutritional state
- Body composition assessment
- The drawing up of a food plan based on clinical, biochemical, anthropometric and alimentary data of each individual.
Strict nutritional accompaniment is part of the current therapy for various diseases such as:
- Celiac disease
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Dyslipidaemias (fat in the blood)
- Phenylketonuria (The lack of an enzyme due to congenital changes)
- Gastro-intestinal problems (e.g. Irritable bowel syndrome)
The use of nutritional strategies specifically planned helps to ameliorate the symptoms and, in some cases, reverse the disease.
Nutrition in Obesity
The accumulation of excess fat is associated with the emergence of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidaemias. It even affects sleep and causes orthopaedic problems, lowering the life quality of individuals.
Changes in dietary and exercise habits, lead to healthy weight loss thus helping alleviate complications of the disease and improving the individual’s self-esteem, body image, level of activity and the capacity to work and to deal with the others.
Nutrition in Diabetes Mellitus
Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic disease which requires discipline and moderation. Food re-education is one of the pillars of diabetes therapy, and it is vital that the patient learns adequate nutrition.
A healthy lifestyle combining a balanced and varied diet and regular physical activity may not only prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes, but also reduce the administration of drugs when diagnoses are made.
Nutrition in Geriatrics
The ageing process carries with it the gradual decline of physical and mental ability, limiting food acquisition and meal preparation. On the other hand, palate, chewing and swallowing changes lead to decrease in appetite. In a long-term perspective, it may reflect in a demonstration of malnutrition, increasing the risk for diseases and exacerbating existing ones.
Adequate food for this phase of life contributes to a higher quality of life and healthy ageing.
Nutrition in Sports
Food can improve sports performance, as it contributes to:
- Meeting energy and nutritional needs inherent to training programmes and competition periods;
- Achieving and maintaining a healthy body composition adequate to the modality (body mass, fat mass and muscle mass);
- Reducing the risk of illness and injury;
- Making informed decisions on the use of nutritional supplements and food for sportsmen.