How to Establish a Healthy Food Habit


Although the diet of a healthy person must contain essential nutrients, these can be obtained in many ways and there are no essential foods. Even in a small country like Britain, food patterns vary from one part of the country to another: high tea is more popular in the north of England than in the south, for instance. It should not therefore be surprising that the food habits of people in other countries are often very different.

Food habits are established in childhood and familiar food gives a sense of security. Some men are so rigid in their habits that they will only eat food prepared by their mother or their wife. Others are reluctant to try new dishes, even though most people might accept unfamiliar food as part of the enjoyment of a holiday, for instance. For the same reasons, immigrants often find it difficult to adopt the food patterns of their new country. Religious beliefs may play as large a part in this as traditional attitudes.

A little knowledge of your patient’s food habits will help you when preparing a meal, for people who have strict dietary rules may also wish their food to be prepared and stored in certain ways. Ask the patient or his relatives if this is so; if his diet is dictated by religion and you are in any doubt about it, consult his religious adviser.

Dietary rules must be respected. The Moslem is forbidden alcohol and pork, but other types of meat are acceptable provided that they have been ritually killed. Orthodox Jews have rigid food laws: meat and fowl must be killed by specialists and prepared according to Jewish law so as to be kosher. Pork, bacon, ham, rabbit and shellfish are forbidden and meat and milk products may not be eaten at the same meal, with the same crockery, or at the same table. The Hindu is not allowed to eat beef. The vegetarian never eats meat, fish, dripping, suet or fish oils, and sometimes not even gelatine or rennet – anything in fact that necessitates killing an animal; but he will eat dairy products. A vegan is a very strict vegetarian who will not even take dairy products and relies on milk, butter and cheese made from nuts or soya beans.

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About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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