DIETETICS


     
Ms. Anika
Senior Consultant
Dietetics
     

Department of DIETETICS

The ideology of the department of nutrition and Dietetics is to encourage good nutritional practice and standards as a fundamental part of health care provided to In-patients and outpatients by Adiva Super Specialty Care hospital.

We undertake the following services and activities:

In-Patient services: Dietetics department is informed of every new admission in the hospital. Each in-patient receives a visit from one of our proficient dietitians, who performs an all-inclusive dietary and nutritional evaluation of the patient soon after admission. Each patient also receives a personalized diet chart which is put into practice through the meals provided as part of the hospital’s services.

Out-Patient services: The outpatients are referred to the Dietetics department by the attending doctors for guidance on dietary modifications and nutritional supplements. They are offered comprehensive diet counseling, strictly keeping in mind their ongoing therapy.

Ante-natal and post natal services: Counseling to expectant mothers (in-patients as well as those who attend the hospital’s Ante-Natal training program) on diet and nutrition during pregnancy is provided. Further, post delivery, mothers are guided about breast feeding and its benefits, and weaning methodology.

Pediatric services: Patients in this age group are regularly referred by the Department of Pediatrics and the department offers: diet and nutrition assessment, nutritional recommendations and nutritional tutoring to the parents with the help of instructional aides and material.

Cafeteria: Adiva has an admirable cafeteria catering to outpatients, visitors and the hospital staff.

Kitchen: We have state-of-the-art kitchen at our super-specialty centre. The menu is carefully planned and executed strictly throughout the week with high degree of precision. We understand that special dietary measures are required for patients who have chronic gastrointestinal, heart, kidney, and liver disorders. The diet plans also take into deliberation the effects of medications on nutrients. Modifications in diet are also inevitable in situations, such as after highly traumatic accidents, including brutal burns, tumors, surgeries and other critical conditions. Together with our skilled dietitians, our kitchen staff offers a diet to the patient that is best suited to his/her personal and clinical needs.

Since diet plays a fundamental role in health and healing, the Department of Dietetics time and again teams up with other departments of the hospital in the management of patients and also while dispensing awareness on the importance of nutrition to the society at large.

EXPERTS SPEAK ON MAKING FOOD A SOURCE OF POSITIVE HEALTH

Nutritional content of food is related to cooked food served on table. Most of the food is cooked before consumption except some fruits and few vegetables, which may be consumed raw as salads/ chutneys/ dips. Food menus may seem tricky especially when you are watching your weight. Therefore, it is said that cooking and menu recommendations are a blend of science and art. Preparation and style of serving can make food look attractive, palatable as well as can increase its nutritive value. If properly put to use they can make “food” a source of positive health.

As a layperson, an individual judges food by its palatability. However, it becomes extremely difficult to follow a healthy diet when eating at restaurants because there the food may be low in nutrients. Palatability is a quality indicator that makes an impression on sight, smell, touch and taste; thus determining its acceptability. Therefore, food should be palatable yet low on saturated fats and high in fibre.

When we talk about nutrition, we, as food experts must lay emphasis on nutrients like calories, protein, carbohydrates, fat and mineral content; whereas vitamins cannot be included in totality as there can be losses at the time of cooking/ processing. These losses can be up to variable extent. In addition to this, healthiest food options may have nutritional drawbacks such as high sodium or taste enhancers. To avoid/reduce loss of nutrients one can offer healthy sides like cottage cheese, yoghurt, fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc. or prepare food/ dishes using less oil, less salt and preferring different methods of cooking with relevant DOs and DONTs. As a precautionary measure, low fat toppings or low fat salad dressings should be preferred. A dish can be prepared in different styles by modifying methods of cooking. Alongside one must also take care of the portion size.

Besides imparting flavour and pleasing the palate, cooking also has some beneficial effects. It sterilizes and improves quality of food, thereby making mastication (chewing) easier and improving digestion. One must take care of certain aspects while cooking. For instance, the amount of water used, whether that water is retained/reused or discarded; length of cooking and temperature of cooking.

There are several methods of cooking. These can be broadly categorised as dry and wet. Dry methods of cooking are frying, roasting and baking; whereas on the other hand wet methods include ways like boiling, steaming or pressure-cooking. Either of them have their pros and cons. However, to obtain best results following tips can be used:

  • Use fresh oil/ fat for cooking. Heat it at right temperature to avoid unnecessary absorption of fat in food product.
  • Avoid reheating oil/fat.
  • Heat oven little more than required and do not open the door often.
  • While boiling or using water in preparations, one must use minimum amount of water just apt enough to cover food. Its volume should be increased as and when required (when water evaporates) or cooking water can be used in soups or gravies.
  • Use tight lids to avoid evaporation and to ensure quick cooking.
  • Add vegetables to boiling water in order to soften them and to save nutrients and flavour.
  • Avoid over-cooking meat in order to retain taste and texture.
  • Cook root vegetables with their skin and then peel off before using them in other preparations.
  • Avoid repeated washing of rice especially with large amounts of water as washing removes nicotinic acid and thiamine. As far as possible, use parboiled rice.
  • Before serving, do not expose cooked vegetables to atmosphere as it results in loss of vitamin C.

Thus, by following above-mentioned tips food served at restaurants can be full of nutrition. Come let us join hands and break the myth of getting food at restaurants, which is devoid of its nutritive value.

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