A healthy di­etary op­tion for pro­fes­sion­als on the go

The Star Early Edition - - VERVE - Vuyo Mkhize

IT’S OF­TEN over­looked – a sim­ple tub of yo­ghurt, unas­sum­ing in its health ben­e­fits.

But, ac­cord­ing to reg­is­tered di­eti­tian Moniqe Piderit, yo­ghurt could just be the ace up your sleeve to keep your gut health in check.

Piderit said yo­ghurt, which is one of the healthy eat­ing op­tions for pres­sured pro­fes­sion­als where con­ve­nience is the driver for meal plan­ning, not only has the ben­e­fit of an­i­mal pro­tein but also cal­cium, among other nu­tri­ents.

“Yo­ghurt is made from milk and live cul­tures (pro­bi­otics), and those cul­tures then be­come a de­liv­ery ve­hi­cle for good bac­te­ria that reaches the gut,” she ex­plained.

Pro­fes­sor Leon Dicks, head of the pro­bi­otic and an­timi­cro­bial pep­tide lab­o­ra­tory in the Depart­ment of Mi­cro­bi­ol­ogy at Stellenbosch Univer­sity, said un­der nor­mal cir­cum­stances, healthy hu­man bod­ies are main­tained at a tem­per­a­ture of 37°C, with high hu­mid­ity, which makes our bod­ies an en­vi­ron­ment in which many harm­ful bac­te­ria can thrive.

“To pro­tect us from bad bac­te­ria and other pathogens, the body has an ar­ray of pro­cesses and de­fence mech­a­nisms, known col­lec­tively as the im­mune sys­tem, 75% of which is lo­cated in the gut.”

When that gut flora is un­bal­anced, a re­lease of toxic meta­bolic prod­ucts is in­duced and may be fol­lowed by con­di­tions or dis­com­fort in­clud­ing flat­u­lence, bloat­ing, in­testi­nal pain and in­flam­ma­tion, cramp­ing, con­sti­pa­tion and di­ar­rhoea.

Ac­cord­ing to the South African Food Based Di­etary Guide­lines, not only is it im­por­tant to eat a va­ri­ety of food groups, but cul­tured foods such as maas or yo­ghurt are very beneficial for gut health.

“There is no per­fect food, but rather one should look at the con­text of your whole diet.

“In terms of the avail­able data in the coun­try, stats show that our cal­cium in­take from dairy prod­ucts is very low,” she as­serted.

Piderit con­tin­ued: “Yo­ghurt can also help with hunger con­trol.

Upon eat­ing it, it gives that feel­ing of sat­is­fac­tion, or rather, full­ness, as well as boost­ing cal­cium lev­els”.

She said that while no food was off lim­its in terms of diet, she cau­tioned not to have more than two “bad meals” in a row.

“My big­gest tip for pro­fes­sion­als want­ing to keep on the healthy track is to pack a lunch­box.

“Make it the night be­fore so that your de­ci­sions are made and you don’t get su­per hun­gry through­out the day and then grab an un­healthy take-away.

“Also, use your sup­per left­overs or cook in bulk – just go back to ba­sics. The more sim­ple and nat­u­ral the prod­uct, the bet­ter.”

She added: “Peo­ple think that if a diet is not hard, it won’t work. But, you will still lose weight and be healthy if you have a bal­anced diet.”

The di­eti­tian also ad­vised: “Never re­place food with a sup­ple­ment.

It also isn’t healthy to only eat liq­uids in the form of meal re­place­ment shakes.

“The other side of eat­ing is chew­ing, which also has its role in oral health. So the take-home is food first! Then you can top up with a sup­ple­ment.”

Pro­bi­otics (live cul­tures) in yo­ghurt be­come a de­liv­ery ve­hi­cle for good bac­te­ria that reaches the gut

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.