Excluding major food groups may affect your health

Monday July 20 2020

Those who are lactose intolerant can try

Those who are lactose intolerant can try non-diary milk such as soya . PHOTO/INTERNET 

By Beatrice Nakibuuka

When the body reacts to certain foods, we develop allergies and in most cases nutritionists and doctors advise us to give up on such foods. There people, who, after receiving a health message about red meat choose to completely cut out meat from their diets.

However, in most cases, the body needs nutrients from such food sources. It is important that we find healthy alternatives that will be helpful in order to sustain the body and have a balanced diet.
This has been one of the major challenges but the trick according to Dr Paul Kasenene, a nutritionist, is in knowing what nutrients are contained in a particular type of food and then trying to find the best alternatives from which one can get the nutrients.
For vegetarians
Meat is said to contain a number of nutrients such as iron, zinc, magnesium as well as B vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, B6 and B12. These are essential nutrients in the body but they can also be found in plant food sources.
“If, therefore, one wants to cut red meat from their diet, they can replace it with vegetables and legumes such as dry beans and peas, nuts and seeds as well as poultry and fish,” he says.
Lactose intolerance
Lactose is an essential complex sugar that is composed of glucose and galactose. These sugars provide energy to the body according to Bena Okiria, a nutritionist.

“People who suffer from lactose intolerance are unable to fully digest the lactose sugar in milk and whereas the condition may be harmless, the symptoms are uncomfortable since they will suffer from bloating and diarrhoea after taking milk products,” she says.

Okiria advises that non-dairy milks such as cashew, rice, coconut or soy milk will be helpful. There are also many non-dairy yoghurts on the market. Also, many people who are lactose-intolerant can tolerate yoghurt because during fermentation, bacteria helps to break down lactose sugar.
Gluten intolerance
Many people that have an allergy to gluten, a protein found in wheat often suffer an inability to absorb iron as one of the side effects.

“Gluten has a higher amount of fibre, vitamin B, zinc and iron. The best replacements are gluten-free foods, which include amaranthus (doodo), lettuce and other green leafy vegetables. Also, try millet, soy, maize, wild rice and buckwheat,” Dr Kasenene says.

General principles
According to Bena Okiria, a nutritionist, the general healthy eating rules are:
● Animal food sources should be restricted to three servings per week.
● Starchy carbohydrates and grains should not occupy more than a quarter of the plate for a single meal.
● One should eat raw vegetable at every meal if possible.
● Fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes should be eaten in abundance.
● All processed and refined and processed foods should be discouraged.