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Dietician speaks about healthy dieting for Active April

The Dietician speaks about the importance of a healthy diet.

The Randfontein Herald spoke to Dr Marijke Pienaar about why a healthy meal is important to maintain a good fitness level.

Pienaar has been a dietician for 13 years. She claimed that dieticians are professionally trained health workers who are educated in the field of diet and nutrition. She added that dieticians are specifically trained to work with all disease conditions.

She further explained that dieticians fall into three categories, namely clinical dieticians, foodservice dieticians and community dieticians. Clinical dieticians tend to problems such as unhealthy eating, eating for weight loss, malnutrition, diabetes, low blood pressure, cholesterol and many more. Foodservice dieticians usually work with meals served by kitchens in hospitals and companies. Special diets for diabetics and renal failure patients will be worked out and implemented by these dieticians. Community dieticians will focus on the community, offering training at schools, associations, and the community for healthy eating.

Pienaar is concerned about the community, claiming that social media interrupts the meaning of a healthy diet due to trends.

“Instead of saying healthy diet, rather say healthy eating. Everyone has a misperception of what it means to eat healthy. All foods are healthy. It is the overconsumption of certain foods that causes unhealthy consequences,” she stated.

According to her, people who tend to overconsume food types such as sugar will experience cons such as heart problems, being overweight and cholesterol just to name a few. She added that these cons can become dangerous if a person does not add fruits and vegetables along with exercising into their daily lives.

Pienaar mentioned that the human body needs all nutrients, including sugar, carbohydrates, protein, fruits, vegetables and fat.

“The biggest rule is to eat all types of food in moderation. You can enjoy a takeaway meal once in a while, however, if takeaway meals become a daily replacement for other food types, it will become unhealthy,” she said.

She concluded that all healthy diets include eating in moderation while all unhealthy diets include overconsumption. She emphasised that a person does not need to cut food types out of their diet. Variation, such as eating different types of meat throughout the day, is what Pienaar confirmed as being key to a healthy diet.

She stated that one of the main reasons for an unhealthy diet is the lack of time.

“Most adults do not have the time to eat healthy. Nobody wants to stand for hours behind the stove to cook one meal. It is much easier to get a takeaway meal at your nearest KFC,” she said.

Another reason that Pienaar added is the lack of finances.

“The price of a burger, fries and cold drink in comparison to one day’s healthy meal is much more affordable. Especially the price of meat,” Pienaar said.

More reasons include stress, emotions and lethargy.

Pienaar offered advice on how to better your diet:

• Do not let social media affect your eating habits
• Buy healthy food that can be cooked without using too much time
• Do not overconsume processed foods
• Use foods that can be used for more than one meal (roast chicken, chicken sandwich, chicken broth)
• Make an appointment with your nearest dietician
• Eat regularly and consistently

Furthermore, Pienaar advised people to exercise regularly while maintaining a healthy diet.

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