All Posts Tagged: food

Travel health tip - wash your hands

8 helpful travel health tips (how to stay safe overseas)

You’ve probably heard about the coronavirus by now.

Originating in China, it’s a new virus that can cause respiratory illness, including pneumonia.

There are thousands of confirmed coronavirus cases around the world, including Australia, and some people have even died (you can get the latest coronavirus updates here).

While our travel health checklist has tips to help you before you go overseas, we thought it was timely to provide advice on how to stay safe once you’ve actually arrived at your destination.

1. Keep your hands clean

Proper handwashing can protect you and others from a range of diseases.

Make sure you wash your hands regularly with soap and water, especially before eating, when handling food and after you use the toilet.

You could also carry hand sanitiser with you as a back-up, to help keep the germs at bay.

2. Avoid sick people

This might seem obvious, but keep your distance from sick people.

And, keep your immune system strong by drinking lots of water, eating a balanced diet and sleeping well.

3. Think before you eat and drink

Getting gastro overseas is common. But you can try to minimise the dreaded ‘traveller’s diarrhoea’!

While a glass of soft drink might be safe, the ice in the glass could be made with contaminated water.

High-risk foods include raw meat and seafood, salads and unpasteurised dairy products.

4. Don’t get too drunk

The alcohol content of drinks varies between countries. So, a vodka soda in Europe could be twice as strong as what you drink here.

When you’re drunk, you might drop your guard and become an easy target for petty criminals, or worse. It’s not worth the risk.

(As an aside – if you need help with a drinking problem please contact us.)

5. Avoid wild and feral animals

The coronavirus is believed to have started in an animal market in central China.

So, when you’re overseas, avoid areas such as farms, live animal markets, and areas where animals are slaughtered, including fish and seafood.

If you do come into contact with animals or animal products, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth until you have thoroughly cleaned your hands.

Some overseas destinations, like Bali and Thailand, are known for their street dogs and wild monkeys. Many of these animals have rabies, and if you’re bitten, it could be fatal.

Luckily, you can get immunised for rabies before you go. And remember to stay abreast with Smartraveller updates too!

6. Protect yourself from insects

Similar to wild animals, our insect friends can wreak havoc on our health if we’re not careful.

In many parts of the world, the bite of infected mosquitoes can spread infectious diseases including yellow fever, malaria and dengue fever.

Travel health tip: protect yourself by wearing mosquito repellent, and have a chat with us about vaccinations or medications you can take.

7. Protect yourself against the sun

We know how hot it can get in Australia. But the sun can also hit you in many countries overseas!

Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day, and reapply when necessary. There are other ways you can protect your skin from the sun too.

8. Have safe sex

Condoms are not just for stopping pregnancy – they’re to help protect you from sexually transmissible infections (STIs) such as chlamydia, herpes, hepatitis B and HIV/AIDS.

The rate of STIs in some countries is very high. So, if you’re sexually active, carry condoms with you.

When you return

Pay close attention to your health in the fortnight after you get back from overseas. If you’re feeling unwell you should see your doctor.

And remember, our team can assist with all your travel health requirements including vaccinations. Stay safe and happy travels!

 

Source: BetterHealth Channel, Smartraveller, Department of Health

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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About food allergies

A food allergy is an immune system response to a food protein that the body mistakenly believes is harmful.

When a person eats food containing that protein, the immune system releases massive amounts of chemicals, triggering symptoms that can affect a person’s breathing, gastrointestinal tract, skin and/or heart.

Food allergy now affects one in 10 infants and about two in 100 adults in Australia. Some children may outgrow their allergy, while some adults develop their food allergy later in life after eating the food without a problem for many years.

What are the signs and symptoms of food allergy?

They can be mild, moderate or severe. An allergic reaction can include:

  • Hives
  • Swelling of the lips, face and eyes
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Swelling of the tongue or throat
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Persistent dizziness and/collapse.

The severity of an allergic reaction can be unpredictable. However, someone who has previously had a severe reaction to a particular food is more likely to have another severe reaction to that food.

If left untreated, signs and symptoms related to breathing and heart/blood pressure can be fatal.

What foods can trigger allergic reaction?

There are more than 170 foods known to have triggered severe allergic reactions.

The most common triggers, causing 90% of allergic reactions in Australians are egg, cow’s milk, peanut, tree nuts (such as cashew and almond), sesame, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish.

Jessica is a dietitian at PVH Medical

Dietitian Jessica Fuller can help with food allergies.

Children often outgrow certain food allergies during childhood.

What is anaphylaxis?

Food allergies can be severe, causing potentially life-threatening reactions known as anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis must be treated as a medical emergency, requiring immediate treatment and urgent medical attention. (Remember to call 000 in case of an emergency.)

An allergic reaction usually occurs within 20 minutes to two hours of eating even a small amount of the food, and can rapidly become life threatening.

Food Allergy Week

Food Allergy Week is an important annual initiative of Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia. It aims to raise awareness about food allergy in Australia, to help reduce the risk of a reaction for those living with food allergy and to help manage potentially life-threatening emergencies when they happen.

Food Allergy Week runs from 26 May to 1 June and calls on all Australians to ‘Be aware and show you care’ by getting involved with various activities.

Is there a cure for food allergy? How do you get help?

Currently, there is no cure for food allergy. Avoidance of the food is the only way to prevent a reaction.

Our in-house dietitian, Jessica Fuller, can assist with food allergies and even help you understand food labels. You don’t need a referral to see our dietitian.

Our friendly GPs in Pascoe Vale are also here to help with any health concerns you have, including those relating to food allergies.

 

Source: Food Allergy Week

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Know how to read food labels

Reading food labels – a quick guide

When it comes to healthy eating, it’s best to include as many unpackaged, wholefood options as possible.

However, if you know what to look for, you can find equally nutritious and convenient options in the supermarket. The trick is learning how to read food labels!

Here are a few quick tips to help you make smarter choices, and avoid unnecessary saturated fat, salt, sugars and kilojoules (or calories).

Understanding the Nutrition Information Panel (NIP)

One of the first things people turn to when assessing the quality of a food product is the Nutrition Information Panel (NIP).

Various institutions, such as Baker IDI, the Heart Foundation and the Dietitians Association of Australia have developed healthy criteria for NIPs, and these are:

  • Saturated fat: <2g/100g as best choice, or less than 30% of the total fat content per 100g (i.e. in a product with 10g/100g total fat, aim for <3g/100g saturated fat)
  • Sugars: <15g/100g as best choice, or <20g/100g if the food product contains fruit as a primary ingredient (i.e. an untoasted muesli, raw food bars).
  • Sodium: <120mg/100g best choice, and <400mg/100g as acceptable choice (i.e. for breads, crackers, tinned soups)
  • Fibre: >5g/100g, only applicable to grain products such as bread, cereal, crackers, pasta, grains.
  • Kilojoules/Calories: Aim for <600kJ or <150cal per serve for snacks (i.e. yogurts, muesli bars), and <2,000kj or <450 calories serve for ready meals (i.e. frozen meals).

Once you have compared a food product to the above criteria, you can also use the NIP to compare this product to similar products.

Opt for the product containing less saturated fat, sodium (salt), sugars and kilojoules, and more fibre.

Use the per serve column to compare items in single-serve packaging (i.e. single yoghurts or muesli bars), and the per 100g column to compare items without single serve packaging (i.e. cereals, table spreads).

Often products will meet some, but not all, health criteria. Either continue looking for other options or choose the closest match.

For more food label tips, head over to The Nutrition Code.

Make a booking with our in-house dietitian

Make a booking today to see our resident dietitian, Samantha Stuk. You can do this online, on Facebook, on the Appointuit app or by calling 9304 0500.

 

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs. © The Nutrition Code.

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Learn how to eat healthy food with a dietitian in Pascoe Vale.

Smart eating – everyone can do it

Smart eating is a means to good nutrition, a key step towards better health for everyone.

But because we’re all unique, with differing health challenges, goals and lifestyles (for example), smart eating will mean different things to different people, and how we go about achieving it will be different too. That’s where personalised nutrition advice and support from an Accredited Practising Dietitian comes in.

How can an Accredited Practising Dietitian help?

Accredited Practising Dietitians have a lot to offer in supporting you to live a healthier life, through smart eating.

They’re nutrition scientists with at least four years’ study behind them in nutrition, food science and biochemistry. And they have the know-how to translate the science into personalised, practical advice, respecting your values and preferences, to find the best approach for you.

Importantly, they can support and motivate you to make smart eating a part of your life over the long term.

More information on dietetics

Fast facts about Accredited Practising Dietitians

Australia’s more than 5,500 dietitians work in a range of areas, including hospitals (36%), community settings (9%), private practice (31%), universities (6%), government (4%), non-government organisations (5%) and the corporate sector (5%).

But what all Accredited Practising Dietitians have in common is they:

  • Have a university degree in nutrition and dietetics
  • Give advice based on scientific evidence
  • Stay up to date through continuing professional development, and
  • Adhere to a Code of Conduct and Statement of Ethical Practice.

Smart Eating Week

They say to work smarter, not harder – but when it comes to food and nutrition, are you left wondering how to make the right choices for you?

12-18 February 2018 is Smart Eating Week. The week is run by Accredited Practising Dietitians, and supported by the Dietitians Association of Australia. The week falls at an ideal time, with the start of a new year inspiring many of us to live healthier lives, including through smart eating.

So get smart this Smart Eating Week. Connect with our Practising Dietitian at PVH Medical, Samantha Stuk.

Samamtha-Stuk

Samantha can help with nutritional well-being, treating disease, preventing nutrition-related problems, and more.

It’s easy to make a booking

It’s easy to make a booking with Samantha. You can do it online, on Facebook, on the Appointuit app on your smartphone, or you can call us on 9304 0500.

Happy Smart Eating Week!

 

Source: Dieticians Association of Australia

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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