How to Eat Well with a Long Term Medical Condition
Living with a long-term medical condition can present a number of challenges on a daily basis. Your life can be affected in a variety ways, depending on your particular diagnosis, with diet being amongst the most common.
However, just because there are certain foods that you are no longer able to eat, doesn’t mean that your enjoyment of cooking, or eating for that matter, should be diminished. As long as you have an open mind towards new foods and a creative attitude in the kitchen, there’s a whole range of delicious recipes out there to suit your dietary requirements.
Living with coeliac disease means having to cut out gluten from your diet, but it doesn’t mean you have to cut out all your favourite foods. Although it is true that gluten is included in many of our everyday staples, such as bread, and some of our much-loved treats (cakes), there are still ways that you can enjoy these foods.
There are plenty of gluten-free alternatives to wheat flour, for example, including coconut flour, brown rice flour and corn flour, which can be substituted into recipes with delicious results. The movement towards gluten-free diets amongst individuals who are not suffering from coeliac disease has also greatly expanded the options available in supermarkets and restaurants alike.
Dietary changes with kidney disease
1 in 3 adults in the US is currently at risk of developing kidney disease and although the symptoms usually focus on problems relating to urination and fatigue, the condition may also require some dietary changes.
Each case is specific, so be sure to consult your doctor before making any drastic alterations to your eating habits, but common changes include reducing your fluid intake, limiting salt and consuming a low-protein diet. In order to reduce the amount of protein in your diet, start changing the way you think about food by viewing vegetables and other carbs as the stars of the show and meat as the accompaniment.
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Keeping variety with a dysphagia diet
If you are living with dysphagia it means that you have problems chewing or swallowing and as such, a dysphagia diet looks to provide a variety of textures while ensuring food remains easy to swallow and less likely to enter the windpipe.
The severity of the condition will dictate what kind of foods are available to you, ranging from spoon-thick meals to thin liquids. Nutritional supplements can help to ensure that those with dysphagia receive a balanced diet, but taste remains important. Remember to be creative and serve a mixture of cold and hot dishes to boost variety.
Living with diabetes
Individuals with type 2 diabetes can still eat a wide range of foods, but it is important that they keep their blood sugar levels within a target range. Processed foods are usually a bad idea as they may contain high levels of fat and salt that you may be unaware of, but there remains a broad selection of meals available to you.
Being diagnosed with a medical condition that affects your diet can come as a major blow, but by thinking carefully about your food choices you can still enjoy meals that are hearty, fun and delicious.