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Food ration

„You must eat more fruit!“
„You must eat more dairy products!“
“You must cut down on fatty foods!”

  We hear all these pieces of advice extremely frequently from physicians or nutrition physicians, being moreover part of the daily vocabulary. I must acknowledge the fact that I too have made use of the above phrases and I still tend to do it.

 My question for those who use these phrases runs like this: “more fruit, diary products etc….as compared to what?” or “to what degree should I reduce my fat intake?”

  The answer is but one – each person (especially those with a nutritional issue) should consult a nutrition specialist who should estimate the daily caloric necessary and decide on (estimate) a balanced food ration. This diet – optimized after a certain interval and undergoing (annual, at least) changes will accompany that person for the rest of their life. Following this, it is easy to supplement the fruit or the diary products or to reduce the fat intake because you know where to start from.

  The caloric necessary is estimated starting from the state of health and the calorie expenditure; the caloric necessary varies daily. I have noticed that a terrific number of estimations are being used with regard to the caloric necessary – some ridiculously simple (not to call them hilarious), having as starting points just height, weight and age; to optimize feeding we nevertheless need something more – at least a serious anamnesis, if not a general medical check-up (compulsory from my point of view). These simple estimations can be used (with a fair chance of mistake) by those who are good at what they do until a proper evaluation is carried out.

     As far as athletes are concerned, the calorie necessary issue appears in a different light:

 - senior athletes from sports performance have learnt in time to control their diet either empirically (through experience), or through individual study - as in the case of bodybuilders, weight-lifters; and generally of those involved in weight-related sports;
 - young athletes depend mostly on the assistance lots (sport nutritionists are unfortunately a rarity in Romania), or on the family support; some of these will learn the musts in time (by themselves unfortunately) but the sad part is that another part of them will not manage to do this…

Conclusion: food ration is NOT established by means of hearsay for it requires an attentive evaluation in order to obtain an estimation as precise as possible – as closer to the ideal as possible.

September, 26  2007 (english version)

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