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Food & mood - how nutrition affects mental healthAs the global pandemic has unfolded, our worries have not just been about the threat to our physical health. Worldwide, rates of stress, anxiety and depression have soared in response to the dramatic changes to just about every aspect of our lives. With no end in sight for Covid-19, our emotional resilience is undergoing a rigorous long-term test and there's a growing awareness that we need to focus now as much on mental well-being as we do on our physical health. 4 Nov 2021 Read More >>

Why every South African needs to eat more vegetables and fruit every dayIn the second pandemic year with new variants rising and straining the country, the health of South Africans remains a top-of-mind concern. Covid-19 is not our only battle. The country has high levels of diet and lifestyle-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as hypertension and Type 2 diabetes, as well as both significant under- and over-nutrition challenges. All of these conditions make us more vulnerable to the coronavirus, but also highlight how much power we have over our health simply through our daily food choices. This is the message from an alliance of South African health organisations who are collaborating with the Department of Health and the Department of Basic Education to promote the 2021 National Nutrition Week theme, "Eat more vegetables and fruits every day". 7 Oct 2021 Read More >>

Protecting breastfeeding is a shared responsibilityBreastfeeding is the recommended, ideal, natural and sustainable food for the healthy growth and development of infants and young children. The recommendation for infants 0 to six months is exclusive breastfeeding (feeding breastmilk only). Unfortunately, South Africa's breastfeeding rates, at all ages, are low. The rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life was reported at just 32% at the last national survey in 2016. While that figure falls far short of the World Health Organisation (WHO) global target of 50% by 2025, it signals an improvement over the past years for the country. 30 Jul 2021 Read More >>

Optimising healthy eating habitsThere's nothing quite like a (hopefully) once-in-a-lifetime experience of a global pandemic to focus our attention on the status of our health, and the preventative benefits of a healthy lifestyle. As rolling lockdowns have restricted our movements and options, and tightened our belts, we've had little choice but to adapt our shopping and exercise habits; and shift our cooking and eating patterns to meet the moment. Now, in the midst of a third wave, many South Africans across economic spectrums are thinking more about how and what we eat; and wondering if our eating habits can help to protect our health in the face of Covid. 26 Jul 2021 Read More >>

Recovering from Covid-19? Here's what you need to know about nutritionCovid-19 has impacted infected people in different ways. Some have been asymptomatic; many have had mild cases; some have had to be hospitalised but didn't need ventilation; and others have endured long stays in ICU. There are those who have recovered quickly, but a number of people are suffering from 'long-Covid' and experience symptoms that go on for months. As with any other illness, nutrition will play an important role in recovery. Whatever you eat and drink on a daily basis will either be supporting and advancing your return to health or making it more challenging for your body to fully heal. Importantly, good nutrition can help to avoid risks of complications and shorten your recovery time. 22 Jun 2021 Read More >>

The importance of nutrition in fighting cancerAs many of us know all too well, a cancer diagnosis for you or a loved one is a sea change. While day-to-day life goes on, cancer symptoms and the ongoing effects of treatments usher in a myriad of adjustments. Typically, our food preferences and eating habits are deeply entrenched, and therefore, getting optimally supportive nutrition can be challenging, but it is vitally important. 19 May 2021 Read More >>

Why 'eat less, move more' is not obesity's silver bulletWe would like to believe there may be small, simple solutions to big problems, but when is that actually true? The answer is probably, never. Intractable, extreme issues arise out of complexity, and nothing less than a host of multi-dimensional, cross-functional countermeasures issued at the right time and the right place can bring about sustainable transformation. 4 Mar 2021 Read More >>

New to motherhood in Covid-19 timesThe six weeks after childbirth, known as the post-partum period, is a vulnerable time for women and their infants. The impacts of the ongoing pandemic have only heightened concerns that new mothers in South Africa are able to access the care and resources they need as they step into motherhood. It's not unusual for the need for postpartum follow-ups to extend for four to six months, especially in cases where there are physical and emotional issues and health complications. In South Africa, primary health care provides free services to pregnant and lactating mothers, as well as children under six years. Given the severe economic impact of the global pandemic, this access to postpartum care has become particularly important to the country's new mothers. 11 Feb 2021 Read More >>

Festive season and food in a pandemic yearWe've had a year like no other, and while the shadow of the pandemic still looms over the world, South Africans can breathe a sigh of some relief, that it is, at least, the summer holiday season. A good dose of festive cheer has rarely felt so crucial. The pandemic will inevitably mute our celebrations in various ways. Some of us are feeling the effects of the economic impacts and will have to scale down or forego the treats and luxuries. Others, especially those with vulnerable loved ones, will opt for smaller, home-based gatherings and would rather skip the holiday crowds this year. However we choose to make the most that we can of the festive season, our hearts will be pulled towards those struggling to put food on the table this December, as well as those who have an empty chair at their family table. 10 Dec 2020 Read More >>

What you need to know about managing diabetes in the familyAs the rates of Type 2 diabetes continue to rise in South Africa, more and more South African families are meeting the challenges of living with the condition. A diagnosis of diabetes in the family is a life-changing event, but it is important to remember that diabetes can be managed. If you, or a family member has been diagnosed with diabetes, the first step is for you to completely understand the condition and how it impacts the body. You are empowered to take charge of the condition by diabetes education. So if you feel that you don't fully understand diabetes, you must ask your local clinic or a community dietitian or a healthcare practitioner to give you more information and help you understand the condition fully. 12 Nov 2020 Read More >>

Good nutrition for good immunityThe global pandemic has highlighted many fault-lines across society, and in our current state of ongoing disruption, it also presents us with unique opportunities to make changes. In our daily lives, some of the best changes we can make are around our food choices. Overweight and obesity have been linked to more severe Covid-19 outcomes, along with diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as hypertension and Type 2 diabetes. If there was ever the time to focus on a healthy diet to maintain a healthy weight and support our immunity, this is surely it! This National Nutrition and Obesity Week (NNOW), a range of South African health organisations have come together to collaborate with the Department of Health to highlight how essential good nutrition is when it comes to immunity. 8 Oct 2020 Read More >>

Breastfeeding and Covid-19: Busting the mythsWe've had an overload of fake news over the past pandemic months. One of the most damaging falsehoods to emerge has been that Covid-19 positive moms can transmit the virus through breast milk to their little ones, and should stop breastfeeding. Spokesperson for ADSA (The Association for Dietetics in South Africa), Andiswa Ngqaka, a registered dietitian says: "There are anecdotes from various countries indicating that this misinformation is causing moms to avoid breastfeeding during the pandemic. While some may see infant formula as a 'safer alternative' during this time, this is not the case. Breast milk is the safest and most nutritious food for babies, and Covid-19 does not change that." 4 Aug 2020 Read More >>

Pandemic highlights the importance of dieteticsDietetics can be traced back to the practice of medicine in ancient Greece where the importance of nutrition and diet to a healthy life was noted in the Hippocratic, as well as even earlier writings. Today, registered dietitians are major role-players across the healthcare systems of modern countries where they are instrumental in preventative healthcare, the treatment of disease and recovery. As diabetes emerges, worldwide, as a top co-morbidity of Covid-19, there's an increasing focus for many of us on our family eating habits and how we can make smart, sustainable improvements to support immunity and overall health through food. 28 Jul 2020 Read More >>

Call for action to address malnutrition in all its formsGood nutrition is an essential part of an individual's defence against disease. Malnutrition, in the forms of both over- and undernutrition, is closely related to an increased risk of illness and death, which has a considerable economic and societal impact. The coronavirus pandemic has emphasised the importance of food security and nutritional wellbeing for all South Africans and has exposed the vulnerability and weaknesses of our food systems. In view of this, we call on the government to address malnutrition in all its forms. 17 Jun 2020 Read More >>

South Africa's superhero dietitiansSuperheroes are dedicated to making the world a better place and protecting the public. They stand up to threats and use their superpowers to ensure people's well-being and safety. As Covid-19 has spread across the world, we have seen dietitians at the frontlines of the health response supervising life-sustaining nutrition in hospitals and care homes. Many have also been working remotely, helping patients manage their health and nutrition under lockdown. Those in public health have been contributing their expertise to emergency food relief efforts as South Africa faces a sharp crisis in food security. These are just some of the vital roles that registered dietitians play across a range of fields. 1 Jun 2020 Read More >>

Good nutrition, a priority during Covid-19The global pandemic has stripped daily life down to the essentials, and we find ourselves under lockdown restrictions with our thoughts and actions around food set in a very different context to anything we have known before. As it grows ever clearer that the threat of Covid-19 will be with us for quite some time and restrictions will be ongoing, optimising our family's health now is top of mind for many. Generally, South African families are now home together for an extended period of time. There's more opportunity to shift into healthy habits like cooking nutritious meals together, making healthy snacks and drinks available in the home and being physically active as a family on a daily basis. 29 Apr 2020 Read More >>

Dietician tips for #Covid-19 food shopping and preparationNo take-away foods. No home deliveries. No hot counter meals. No restaurant fare. For now, and the foreseeable future, Covid-19 has us all cooking from home, seven days a week. Lockdown rules and the need for social distancing also mean that we need to do our best to reduce the number of times we are leaving home for essential food shopping. But mindless panic buying and frightened hoarding aren't actually going to help when it comes to ensuring we've got balanced, nutrient-dense foods at home that will help to support our families' immune systems. 2 Apr 2020 Read More >>

Nutrition trends for a new decadeIf there's one thing that characterised the first decade of the 21st Century, it is the volume, velocity and variety of change in our lives. Now that we've entered into the 2020's that is something that surely won't change. We'll carry other trends into the near future too; all the while remembering that whether it's due to natural forces or to our technology, there are bound to be trends that become the new way of life, and others that fall by the proverbial wayside. 27 Jan 2020 Read More >>

Healthy eating hacks for the holiday seasonSilly season is upon us, and while we deserve the time out to relax and have fun, we also want to keep our healthy eating habits and goals on track. It's not easy as we're already caught up in the whirl of end of year celebrations and office parties. 6 Dec 2019 Read More >>

Diabetes in the family - It's all for one, and one for allA diagnosis of diabetes in the family comes as a shock and sets in motion a range of emotional and practical lifestyle changes. How well you come together as a family to master those changes, not only restores peace in the home, but also positively impacts on the ongoing well-being of your loved one with diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic lifelong condition but with good medical care and through education to empower more effective self-management of the condition, the potential complications can be prevented or delayed. According to the World Diabetes Day campaign which is featured on the 14th of November, it is the world's leading cause of blindness, amputation, heart disease, kidney failure and early death. However, maintaining healthy blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels can help delay or prevent such diabetes complications. 14 Nov 2019 Read More >>

Spring cleaning your lifestyleFinally! It's time to emerge from the heft and sluggishness of winter, and tune into the bright, clean energy of spring. It is the season for clearing out the old and slow, and kicking up our heels to livelier, sunnier rhythms. Springtime brings the perfect opportunities to reboot our immune systems after the cold-and-flu blues; use the extra daylight hours to boost our Vitamin D and swop stodgy comfort food for the juicy buoyancy of the new season's bounty. 9 Sep 2019 Read More >>

Empowering parents to enable breastfeedingSnickering, disparaging, denigrating and casting aspersions on breastfeeding; shaming moms who breastfeed; who breastfeed in public or who excuse themselves to express breastmilk at work; raising doubts that a breastfeeding mom is producing enough milk to meet her baby's needs; expecting a breastfeeding mom to place other priorities above her baby's hunger - these are some of the insidious ways that we, as society, routinely disempower parents and ultimately discourage the very best way to feed a baby for the first six months of its life, and beyond. 6 Aug 2019 Read More >>

The links between stress, digestion and nutritionStress, as an appropriate response to a real danger, is an evolutionary life-saver. Thanks to the fight-flight responses in our ancestors' bodies, we, the descendants have made it through to the 21st Century. It's ironic that in this modern age with extraordinary technologies devoted to eliminating hazards and increasing our ease in life, our stress is off the charts. We've become aware that our bodies, almost perpetually flooded with the stress hormones, adrenalin and cortisol, are now at risk from their own, age-old, protective ingenuity. 14 Jun 2019 Read More >>

Dietitians do much more than you thinkThe careers of dietitians are way more diverse than many think. The typical assumption is that a dietitian is a nutritional health professional available through private practice to those who need and can afford weight loss expertise. The reality couldn't be more different. Dietitians are employed across private practice and public healthcare; academia and research; corporate, government and non-government sectors. While they all have the expertise to deal with weight loss and weight management, which can be critical health issues, their expertise in science-based nutrition means that they work far more widely on a myriad of nutrition-related issues. 4 Jun 2019 Read More >>

Making the best food choices for HIV and TBHuman Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and Tuberculosis (TB) are two of the most prevalent infections in South Africa, and both conditions present nutritional challenges that must be met to effectively treat these diseases. 9 May 2019 Read More >>

What SA dietitians say about the planetary health dietFor the first time in human history there is a proposal on the table that all the world's people follow the same diet. The EAT-Lancet Commission brought together more than 30 world-leading experts to figure out if we can feed a future population of 10 billion people a healthy diet within sustainable planetary boundaries. According to the report's authors, food is "the single strongest lever to optimise health and environmental sustainability on earth." 19 Mar 2019 Read More >>

Banking your breastmilk saves livesThe breastmilk bank is probably the most altruistic banking system in the world. Healthy, lactating moms express and donate their excess breastmilk. The milk is tested and pasteurised, and then distributed to neo-natal intensive care units around the country, where it is used to feed the most vulnerable babies. 12 Mar 2019 Read More >>

Busting the breakfast mythsStarting the day with a healthy breakfast is the opening act for a healthy lifestyle, and lays the foundation of our future health over the longer term. Yet, if there's a meal to be skipped, it is most likely to be breakfast. 10 Oct 2018 Read More >>

Breastfeeding, not just best for baby, but best for SA2018 World Breastfeeding Week, which runs from 1-7 August, is emphasising breastfeeding as 'the foundation of life' and highlighting the advantages of improving breastfeeding for communities and countries. The campaign, co-ordinated by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), identifies breastfeeding as an essential strategy to combat the impacts of inequality, crises and poverty - all major issues across South Africa. Yet, we remain one of the countries with the lowest rates of breastfeeding in the world. 6 Aug 2018 Read More >>

Nutrition at the centre of sustainable corporate wellnessWe live in an era when many of us, not just aspire to, but have an expectation that living well for longer is a real possibility. Increased awareness of the impact of lifestyle on health has made it clear we can't just rely on medical industries to reach this goal - we play the most important part. It is a part that is played not at all in sweeps of grandeur, but in the small details of our daily choices - What will we eat? When we will exercise? How will we get sufficient rest and sleep? What do we need to do to actively manage our stress today? 3 Jul 2018 Read More >>

All the ways that Dietitians Do PreventionAcross the world, health and social care services are under stress; and in South Africa, the inaccessibility of quality health care for many people remains one of the country's intractable problems. These pressures have intensified the focus on the prevention of disease as the key driver of public health. At the forefront of prevention is food. As one of the only healthcare professionals trained and qualified to interpret the latest nutrition science and dietary guidelines, dietitians play multiple roles in the prevention of diseases. 4 Jun 2018 Read More >>

Busting the two biggest myths about your immune systemWinter is here, and that gets us thinking about our immune system, and what we need to do to boost it, so that it helps us avoid colds and flu, or at least recover from them more quickly. 23 May 2018 Read More >>

Women and diabetes in the spotlight this NovemberOver the past decades, the rise of diabetes around the world has been so prevalent and extreme, it is sometimes referred to as the epidemic of our modern times. In 2017, the diabetes focus theme is Women and Diabetes. Globally, diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women, resulting in 2.1 million deaths each year. It is estimated that there are currently more than 199 million women living with diabetes, and by 2040, this total is expected to reach over 310 million. 14 Nov 2017 Read More >>

National Nutrition Week: Rethink your drink - choose water!Clean and clear, refreshing and invigorating, we know instinctively that water is good for us. Yet, many of us have lost touch with water. Overwhelmed with the wide choice of what to drink, most of it sweetened with sugar, we've somehow left the simple, but profound goodness of water behind. 12 Oct 2017 Read More >>

Six eating habits for healthy kidneysWhen it comes to health advice, our hearts are often in the spotlight. However, as equally vital organs, our kidneys really shouldn't be relegated to the shadows. Worldwide, chronic kidney disease (CKD) is on the rise - one in 10 people globally are affected, and that's every bit as serious as cardiac disease. 5 Sep 2017 Read More >>

Why breastfeeding and work can, and should, go togetherReturning to work after maternity leave rates as one of the top reasons why mothers stop breastfeeding their babies before they should. The 2017 World Breastfeeding Week runs from 1-7 August with the aim of uniting all sectors of society in the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding. The campaign, co-ordinated by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), identifies four critical focus areas, one of which is women's productivity and work. 31 Jul 2017 Read More >>

Dietitian's urge South Africans to 'Eat Fact Not Fiction' June 2017Nutrition advice promising all sorts, from weight loss to healthier living and even cures for diseases, spread like wildfire across social media. In the era of ‘alternative facts' and post-truth, ‘the latest, greatest nutrition advice' from dubious sources can unfortunately tempt many away from accepted dietary guidelines and recommendations based on years of evidence. 12 Jun 2017 Read More >>

Statement on the outcome of the HPCSA inquiry into the conduct of Professor Tim NoakesThe Association for Dietetics in South Africa's (ADSA) former president Ms Claire Julsing-Strydom submitted a complaint about Professor Tim Noakes to the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) in 2014 on behalf of ADSA regarding, what it considered, unconventional infant nutrition advice. 24 Apr 2017 Read More >>

Expert tips for a healthier lifestyleFebruary is national Healthy Lifestyles Awareness Month, with Healthy Lifestyles Awareness Day being celebrated on 22 February. The National Department of Health encourages all South Africans to live healthier lifestyles, through promoting healthy eating, regular physical activity, avoiding tobacco products, and drinking alcohol in moderation, if at all. But can improving our lifestyles have much of an impact on our health? According to the World Health Organization, the good news is that leading a healthy lifestyle can help to prevent 80% of premature deaths from heart disease and strokes and 60% of premature deaths due to cancer *. 22 Feb 2017 Read More >>

The low down on South Africa's Sugar TaxThe Minister of Finance announced in the February 2016 National Budget a decision to introduce a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), with effect from 1 April 2017, to help reduce excessive sugar intake by South Africans. The Association for Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA) welcomes this step as one part of the solution to address the obesity problem and improve the health of South Africans. 18 Jan 2017 Read More >>

10 healthy ways to survive the festive season eating frenzyEvery year the festive season arrives and all our healthy eating plans go out of the window. There is no doubt that time to relax and enjoy ourselves is important to our well-being, but we tend to over-indulge in rich foods, sweet treats and alcohol. At the same time, we are cutting back on regular physical activity and staying up too late, too often. 9 Dec 2016 Read More >>

What your dietitian wants you to know about diabetesThere were 2.28 million cases of diabetes in South Africa in 2015 according to the International Diabetes Foundation and around 1.21 million people with undiagnosed diabetes. Considering these numbers it remains vitally important to continue educating South Africans about diabetes and to address the myths that are often associated with this lifestyle disease. 16 Nov 2016 Read More >>

Love your beans for good healthSouth Africa celebrates National Nutrition Week from 9-15 October, and aligning to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) which has declared that 2016 is the 'International Year of Pulses', this year's campaign theme is 'Love your beans - eat dry beans, peas and lentils!' echoing the country's food-based dietary guideline to 'eat dry beans, split peas, lentils and soya regularly'. 12 Oct 2016 Read More >>

The importance of healthy eating to corporate wellnessEmployees eat nearly half of their daily meals and snacks at the workplace, which means that what is consumed during working hours can have a great impact on overall diet and health. It's not uncommon to find that many of us, who may well be healthy eaters at home, give way to speed and convenience when it comes to the food choices that are made, often under pressure, during working hours. 15 Jul 2016 Read More >>