Can we prevent diseases with food?
Diseases can be divided into 2 large groups: communicable and not communicable diseases.
A communicable disease is an infectious disease that is contagious and that can be transmitted either directly or indirectly from one source to another by an infectious agent (bacteria, virus) or its toxins. (5)
To prevent communicable disease, learn healthy habits: (6)
1.Handle & Prepare Food Safely
Food can carry germs. Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces often when preparing any food, especially raw meat. Always wash fruits and vegetables. Cook and keep foods at proper temperatures. Don’t leave food out – refrigerate promptly.
2. Wash Hands Often
3. Clean & Disinfect Commonly Used Surfaces
Germs can live on surfaces. Cleaning with soap and water is usually enough. However, you should disinfect your bathroom and kitchen regularly. Disinfect other areas if someone in the house is ill. You can use an EPA certified disinfectant, bleach solution, or rubbing alcohol.
4. Cough & Sneeze Into Your Sleeve
5. Don’t Share Personal Items
Avoid sharing personal items that can’t be disinfected, like toothbrushes and razors, or sharing towels between washes. Needles should never be shared, should only be used once, and then thrown away properly.
6. Get Vaccinated
Vaccines can prevent many infectious diseases. There are vaccines for children and adults designed to provide protection against many communicable diseases. There are also vaccines that are recommended or required for travel to certain parts of the world.
7. Avoid Touching Wild Animals
8. Stay Home When Sick
I Whack Germs
Try this fun way of remembering the most important steps to staying well.
|I||Immunizations are important to protect you from diseases|
|W||Wash your hands often with soap and water.|
|H||Home is where you stay when you are sick.|
|A||Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth –especially when you are sick.|
|C||Cover your coughs and sneezes so you do not spread germs to others.|
|K||Keep your distance from sick people so you don’t get sick too. (6)|
Not communicable diseases: definition
Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), also known as chronic diseases, tend to be of long duration and are the result of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behaviours factors. (2)
A non-communicable disease, or NCD, is a medical condition or disease which by definition is non-infectious and cannot be passed from person to person.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the four main types of non-communicable diseases are cardiovascular diseases (like heart attacks and stroke), cancer, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructed pulmonary disease and asthma) and diabetes. (1)
- Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) kill 41 million people each year, equivalent to 71% of all deaths globally.
- Each year, 15 million people die from a NCD between the ages of 30 and 69 years; over 85% of these “premature” deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.
- Cardiovascular diseases account for most NCD deaths, or 17.9 million people annually, followed by cancers (9.0 million), respiratory diseases (3.9million), and diabetes (1.6 million).
- These 4 groups of diseases account for over 80% of all premature NCD deaths.
- Tobacco use, physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets all increase the risk of dying from a NCD.
- Detection, screening and treatment of NCDs, as well as palliative care, are key components of the response to NCDs. (2)
Unhealthy diets and a lack of physical activity may show up in people as raised blood pressure, increased blood glucose, elevated blood lipids and obesity. These are called metabolic risk factors that can lead to cardiovascular disease, the leading NCD in terms of premature deaths. (2)
Role of exchange diet in not communicable diseases
Diet and nutrition are important factors in the promotion and maintenance of good health throughout the entire life; their role as determinants of chronic non communicable diseases is well established and they therefore occupy a prominent position in preventive medicine. Planning a healthful diet is not simple as it not only involves the principles of a healthy diet, but also takes into consideration factors influencing food choices which include personal preferences, habits, ethnic heritage and tradition. Consideration of these factors while planning a diet may increase the commitment of consumers for whom the diet has been planned. Hence, having a meal planning tool that considers all previously mentioned factors is a must in promoting better nutrition both at an individual and community level.
Food Exchange List is an effective dietary tool to help individuals’ manage their dietary modifications in relation to non communicable diseases.
Food exchange list is a user friendly tool for dietary modification due to disease. This tool may help to customize meals for people as it provides information regarding various food items in different groups. This tool is helpful in reducing blood & plasma glucose levels, maintaining lipid profile, effectively combating other diet related diseases and those ailments in which diet plays a significant role in maintenance and prevention from reoccurrences.
The quality and quantity of fat has always been related to many NCDs like obesity, cardio-vascular disease and natural killer (NK) cell activity are just a few to mention. Fat Portion exchange system thus developed as a counseling tool to help individuals follow a low fat diet.
The activity of natural killer (NK) cells in humans is also linked with fat intake and studies supports that reduced or low intake of dietary fat diet is positively correlated with the increased activity of NK cells
The food exchange list is being used as a means of providing medical nutritional therapy to diabetics since 1950 and its fifth revision came with a new title of Choose Your Foods: Exchange List for Diabetes. This tool was designed to assist in translating evidence based nutrition recommendations into healthful eating choices and distributing carbohydrate intake during the day into five to seven small to moderate meals and snacks.
Quantification of protein is also essential in clinical dietetics, especially while dealing with patients with renal impairment, burn, or malnourished patients. (3)
It is well documented that the risk factors for these diseases are related to each other, and that each disease may be a risk factor for another N-NCD.