Dr. Charlotte Ackmann heads the consultation hours for gastroenterology and nutrition at the University Hospital Leipzig. Most of those who come here suffer from malnutrition or diet-related illnesses. In “Healthy Eating Day” she explains how what we eat affects our health.
miss dr. Ackmann, you run the Nutrition Consultation in Gastroenterology at the University Hospital Leipzig. When do patients come to you?
If food ingredients make you sick, such as celiac disease or other intolerances, or if you suffer from malnutrition and its consequences. This happens, for example, when certain diseases mean that food or individual nutrients cannot be fully absorbed and processed. By the way, people who are overweight can suffer from malnutrition in this form. When it comes to vitamins and trace elements, they can have very serious and often irreversible health consequences.
What does this mean for the question of what effect food has on our health?
There is a very, very big impact. Our diet plays a role in almost all non-communicable diseases, both in development and in treatment. With many diseases, our food choices determine whether or not we get sick. At the same time, this is also the area that we can easily and quickly influence by making our menu healthy accordingly – and that’s the good thing about it.
What would a healthy diet look like from your point of view?
Versatile and as fresh as can be. The more you cook yourself, the better. Heavily processed foods, like those found in many convenience products, are generally not good for the body. These products often contain a lot of sugar, salt and fat. On the other hand, what we lose are vitamins and other micronutrients that we desperately need.
In addition, meat should rarely be on the plate. The recommendation here is a maximum of 300g per week, for all meat products in total. For some people, a lot gets put together more quickly, and that’s not healthy.
Even if the meat is self-prepared and rather lean?
What matters is the type of meat. For red meat, such as beef, pork or lamb, there is a clear relationship between frequent consumption and an increased risk of cancer. This is due to the component responsible for the red color, which is heme iron. We hypothesize that this organic iron complex promotes cell division and thus the formation of cancer cells. This is especially true of colorectal cancer, which is one of the three most common types of cancer worldwide.
But they say iron is healthy, right?
We need iron, but in moderation and in different forms. For example, there are also vegetable iron suppliers who also have the advantage that they contain a lot of protein, such as legumes or nuts. In general, a balanced, more vegan and fresh diet provides us with enough of everything we need without harming us.
Consultation hours for gastroenterology and nutrition (only after registration)
phone. 0341-97 12961
Clinic and dispensary of oncology, digestive system, liver, respiratory system and infectious diseases
Liebigstrasse 20, 04103 Leipzig
House 4, ground floor, waiting area 11