Hospital "food" is not for healingJan 31, 2023
Hospital food is not for Healing
We all know that hospital food isn't exactly known for being healthy. In fact, most of us have probably had our fair share of less-than-appetizing meals while staying in the hospital. But did you know that this food could actually be harming our patients?
That's right - studies have shown that hospital food can actually negatively impact our patients' health. Considering that health begins in the gut, it makes sense that what we eat plays a big role in how we feel and function.
So why are we feeding our most vulnerable population garbage? It's time to change the way we think about hospital food - for the sake of our patients, and for the sake of healthcare as a whole.
In many hospitals, the food being served to patients is far from healthy - it is often more like a combination of unhealthy processed food and empty calories. While it’s been said that health begins in our gut, sadly what we feed hospitalized patients runs counter to that idea - leaving them more vulnerable to illness and discomfort than when they first came in. With an emphasis on budget-friendly nutrition options, the problem of unhealthy hospital food needs to be addressed to help ensure that everyone receives meals that will contribute positively to their overall well-being during their stay.
Hospital food is often not healthy for patients, and it can even have a detrimental impact on their health. Unhealthy hospital meals can leave our most vulnerable populations feeling sicker than before they went in for medical help. Poor quality food is linked to decreased appetite, digestive issues, imbalances in the gut microbiome, and risk of infection from bacteria such as E. coli or salmonella. Although we think of hospitals as places where we go to get better, unhealthy food can harmfully contribute to a patient's sickness. Therefore, it's essential that hospitals provide nutritional foods to help support recovery and prevent further harm to the vulnerable communities admitted into their care.
Gut health is critical to our overall well-being, as it has a direct effect on our physical and mental health. Our digestive system contains millions of microorganisms that play an important role in the absorption of nutrients, protection against infection, and much more. Poor gut health can cause problems such as bloating, constipation and increased inflammation levels, leading to further health issues. Hospitals face the daunting task of providing nutritious meals to vulnerable populations who may already have degraded gut health due to poor lifestyle choices or existing conditions. However, continued research shows positive outcomes by addressing nutrition which can consequently improve overall health. Clearly, focusing on the importance of gut health in overall health should be a higher priority for medical facilities so that everyone can benefit from its effects.
Improving hospital food options is an incredibly important task if we want to ensure optimal health for our patients. Eating a healthy and balanced diet is essential for lay the foundation for good health, and it should no longer be taken for granted in hospitals. One solution could be increasing chef-driven menus, focusing on fresh ingredients and seasoned with nutritious herbs and spices. Hospitals could also benefit from emphasizing plant-based foods over processed ones, or even encouraging family members to bring in outside meals that are healthier than what's typically served. Ultimately, improving hospital food requires special attention and effort, but it's worth it to create a more holistic approach to healing within our hospitals.
We all have a responsibility to ensure that those in need are being given access to healthy and nutritious meals. This includes hospital patients, many of whom are already in poor health, yet they remain vulnerable to being served unhealthy foods. We need to step up and take action by contacting our local representatives and advocating for necessary change. Let's work together to make sure that hospitals prioritize the health of their patients by providing them with food options which will nourish their bodies instead of harm them. Together, we can create an environment where the healthcare industry actively fosters healthful dietary patterns and excellent nutrition.
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