Tips from a professional nutritionist: how to eat in the presence of chronic diseases

June 3 2024

Nutrition in the presence of chronic diseases must be carefully balanced and adapted to the specific needs of each individual. Here are tips from a professional nutritionist on nutrition in various chronic diseases.

General principles of nutrition in chronic diseases

  • Balanced nutrition. Include a variety of food groups in your diet to provide your body with all the nutrients it needs.
  • Portion control. Eat in moderation and avoid overeating.
  • Regular meals. Eat small meals 4-6 times a day to keep blood sugar levels stable and prevent hunger.
  • Hydration. Drink enough water throughout the day, avoid sugary and carbonated drinks.

Diabetes nutrition

  • Carbohydrate control. Carbohydrates have the greatest impact on blood sugar levels. Choose complex carbohydrates (whole grains, vegetables, fruits) and avoid simple sugars.
  • Glycemic Index. Prefer foods with a low glycemic index that slowly raise blood sugar levels.
  • Nutrient balance. Include protein and healthy fats at every meal to slow carbohydrate absorption and stabilise sugar levels.

Nutrition for cardiovascular disease

  • Salt restriction. Reduce your salt intake to lower your risk of high blood pressure.
  • Healthy fats. Include unsaturated fats (fish, nuts, olive oil) in your diet and avoid saturated fats and trans fats.
  • Fibre. Increase your intake of fibre (vegetables, fruits, whole grains), which helps lower cholesterol.

Nutrition for chronic kidney disease

  • Protein control. Limit your protein intake to reduce the burden on your kidneys. Consult your doctor to determine the optimal amount of protein.
  • Phosphorus and potassium. Monitor your phosphorus and potassium intake, as excess amounts can be harmful to people with kidney disease.
  • Sodium. Limit your salt intake to reduce the strain on your kidneys and prevent oedema.

Nutrition for chronic GI disease

  • Fibre-rich foods. Include fibre in your diet to improve bowel function (vegetables, fruits, whole grains).
  • Avoiding irritating foods. Exclude from your diet foods that can irritate the gastrointestinal tract (spicy, fatty, fried foods, caffeine, alcohol).
  • Fractional eating. Eat often and in small portions to reduce the load on the GI tract.

Nutrition in chronic inflammatory diseases

  • Anti-inflammatory diet. Include foods with anti-inflammatory properties in your diet (fish, nuts, olive oil, greens, berries).
  • Avoiding triggers. Eliminate foods that can trigger inflammation (sugar, trans fats, processed foods).

Nutrition in cancer

  • High calorie and protein foods. Include foods high in calories and protein in your diet to maintain weight and muscle mass (meat, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts).
  • Antioxidants. Consume foods rich in antioxidants (vegetables, fruits, berries) that may help fight free radicals.

Personalised approach and specialist advice

  • Personalised nutrition plan. Talk to a dietitian or doctor to develop a personalised nutrition plan that takes into account all the features of your condition and body.
  • Regular check-ups. Continually monitor your condition and adjust your diet based on test results and your overall health.

Following these recommendations will help you improve your quality of life and maintain health in the presence of chronic diseases.