Friday, October 31, 2008

"Forbidden" Foods (Foods to Avoid)

Some health problems are prevented and treated by avoiding certain foods, even though the problem or condition itself may not be thought of as a nutritional problem.

Many patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are convinced that they will have less pain by eating certain foods and avoiding others. However, there is very little scientific proof for this, and malnutrition can result if essential foods are avoided unnecessarily.
However, some recent research is showing that avoiding fatty foods, and even avoiding meat altogether, may reduce swelling and pain in many people with RA. But to see real improvement, a very low fat diet must be followed or one must become a strict vegetarian.
Some studies have also shown that going on a complete fast for a day or two gives great relief to some sufferers of RA.
A very low fat diet, a strict vegetarian diet, and 1-2 days of complete fasting - are difficult to adhere to, and not practical. They can also be harmful to health if continued for too long a period of time. Consult your doctor or a Registered Dietitian.
However, overweight and obese sufferers of rheumatoid and other forms of arthritis can minimize their pain by loosing some weight. Eat a variety of healthy foods in moderation be as active as possible.

Ideas concerning food and dental caries have changed dramatically. Notions such as "sugar rots your teeth...avoid sticky sweets...more sugar in a food makes it more dangerous to the teeth" are to simplistic according to recent dental research.
Carries occur when bacteria in the mouth produce acid that then wears away the hard enamel covering of the teeth. Traditionally, sucrose (table sugar) was thought to be used by the bacteria to make the acid that harms tooth enamel.
New research shows that other sugars can also be used by the bacteria to make acid. These include fructose and glucose, the sugars naturally occuring in honey, fruits, and some vegetables, and also corn sweeteners and other sweeteners used in making canned and packaged foods. Some research suggests that even starchy foods, such as potatoes, rice, wheat flour, may sometimes contribute to caries. Some foods, such as potato crisp, contain little sugar but actively contribute to caries.
Some candies are less destructive to teeth than breads and cookies, and some fruits, such as apples, previously considered safe, can actually contribute to caries. Unfortunately, there is no clear cut way of telling which foods contribute to caries. The best way to avoid caries, therefore, is brushing one's teeth regularly immediately after meals and rigorously swishing water between and arround the teeth after each snack.
Snacking is a major culprit of tooth decay in children and adults, because the teeth are usually not brushed afterward. Particles of food which stay in the mouth contributing to caries.
"Baby-Bottle Tooth Decay" is caused by routinely putting babies to sleep with a bottle of sweet liquid, such as sugar water, milk, formula, and fruit juice, as a pacifier. Plain water should be used instead.

This rare condition is inherited by 3-4% of Chinese males in Singapore and even fewer women. It is tested for at birth. A severe form of anaemia will occur if certain drugs or other substances that trigger it are consumed.
The main food known to trigger G6PD defiency is fava beans, also called broad beans. Canned broad beans are available, but are commonly sold as dried salted snacks.
G6PD deficient persons should also probably avoid taking large doses of the vitamins C and K, especially those found in mega-dose vitamin preparations.
Some suggestions have been made that the Chinese herbs San Tze Chze and Chuan Lian also may trigger G6PD, but this has not been proven.

Gout is a form of recurring arthritis that affects the joints of the fingers and toes. Crystals of a type of salt called monosodium urate collect in the joints causing swelling and pain. This salt is from a substance called purine which is produced by the body during metabolism but which also occurs in some foods. Animal organ meats and some seafood are concentrated sources of purines.
Gout patients should avoid these high purine-foods: anchovies, brains, beef kidneys, beef/calf liver, sweetbreads (thymus), herring, mackerel, sardines, and scallops.These foods are also high in purines and should be eaten in moderation: asparagus, whole grain breads and cereals, cauliflower, eel, fresh & saltwater fish, legumes, beans, lentils, and peas, meats, meat soups, broths, and gravies, poultry, shellfish, mushrooms, spinach, wheat germ and bran.

While a mother is breastfeeding, she needs nourishment for herself and to make sufficient milk for the baby's rapid growth and development. A general diet following guidelines for good health is recommended. However, there are a few things that should not be done. A low calorie diet should not be followed while breastfeeding, as breast milk volume can decrease.
Alcohol should only be taken in small amounts, if at all, as large amounts can inhibit milk letdown and many cause poor infant growth.
Caffeine-containing beverages should be limited to 2 cups per day to avoid infant irritability. Chocolate contains a similar stimulant and so should be eaten sparingly while breastfeeding. If herbal tea are substituted for caffeine-containing beverages, avoid teas that may cause nausea, vomiting, etc. This can be transmitted to breast milk and cause similar effects in the infant. Sugar substitutes (artificial sweeteners) should be used in moderation, because the effects on breast milk and the infant are unclear. Drink plenty of liquids to maintain milk volume, but avoid extreme conditions such as dehydration or excess fluids.

For many years, patients with diabetes were instructed to strictly avoid all simple sugars, including sugar and sugary foods/drinks. Recent research has shown, however, that small amounts of sugar or sugary foods may be acceptable in a diabetic diet. These should be taken in substitution for other carbohydrate foods, not in addition to them, as the overall amount of carbohydrate in the diet is still important.
In deciding to substitute some sugar for other carbohydrate foods, the individual with diabetes must still remember that sugar contributes to dental carries. Also, many foods high in sugar content are also high in fat and therefore, in calories. If excess body weight is a concern, such foods should not be eaten often.
For optimal dietary management of diabetes it is essential that the patient consult a registered dietitian for an individualised nutritional plan which will take into account, among other factors, the patient's blood glucose and lipid profiles, weight status and lifestyle.

Medical researchers are studying the possible roles of food in causing migraine headaches, but no conclusions have been reached yet. Research shows that in some people, migraine can be triggered by alcoholic beverages, chocolate, cheeses, and foods that are salted, pickles and cured. This is thought to be caused by the large amounts of certain types of protein which they contain. However, some migraines are not caused by these foods.
Migraine patients are advised to keep detailed food diaries to try to determine which food, if any, trigger their migraine.

This articles is reffered to Malaysia Healthcare-The family health guide MIMS 1997 2nd edition page 135-137

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