Hamburg. Dr Matthew Riedl has a mission – the people Healthy eating bring it closer. “Food became the most important cause of disease,” says the nutritionist, “it was smoking, eating, and lack of exercise.” A catastrophe slowly unfolded – alongside the climate crisis – but no one really wanted to admit it.
“90% of diseases are caused by incorrect behavior, and the wrong diet accounts for the largest share, as determined by the German Alliance for Non-Communicable Diseases (DANK),” says Riedl. It impacts health, weight, fitness – and even the chances of surviving a Covid infection, because obesity also lead to a higher risk of severe Covid progression.
Nutrition: “Food can make you sick!”
“Food can make you sick! Or conversely, boost your own health,” says Riedl, who has handled a wide variety of difficult cases as a nutritionist doc for years on NDR. “Particularly prevalent diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes or fatty liver disease can be improved through nutrition.” According to Riedl, the reason for the sharp increase in these diseases is largely the influence of the fast food industry and our affluent society in general.
These diseases could already develop in childhood, explains the nutritionist doc, who also wants to encourage people: “There is hardly any disease that cannot be improved by nutrition. At the same time, a lot of medicine can be saved. According to him, food intolerances such as lactose, fructose or histamine intolerance can also be improved with nutritional therapy. Additionally, a change in diet can help treat most stomach and intestinal conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, or heartburn.
Matthias Riedl works at Medicum Hamburg
According to their own statements, Matthias Riedl and his colleagues treat around 100,000 patients a year in his large practice, the Medicum Hamburg at the Berliner Tor. “We were almost exclusively concerned with the effects of poor diet,” explains the internist, nutritionist and diabetologist. However, there is still a lack of awareness of this in society, in politics and unfortunately also among many medical colleagues: “It’s a giant iceberg and we are still moving towards it at full speed”, says- he.
As a child, he had to eat raw liver due to health problems on the advice of the family doctor, the doctor says, although an allergy was the root of his problems. “My mum at least fried the liver that was prescribed for her, but even then the doctor might have known something about allergies. I have a deep aversion to the lack of continuing education among health professionals. He just can’t see people suffering without dignity because they’re not being treated causally.
Corona has exacerbated health problems
Riedl himself is the best advertisement for his mission. The doctor is extremely thin and says he does a lot of sport, preferably indoors because he is more disciplined there than at home. “A hairdresser with oily hair would not be a figurehead for his shop,” laughs the 59-year-old man.
According to Riedl, the corona pandemic has significantly exacerbated the health problems of many people. Many reportedly moved too little, drank more alcohol than before, and fed on extra pounds. “We’ve been helpless at the mercy of the situation for two years, we feel like we can’t do anything, but that’s wrong. You can do something and we’ll show you how,” says Riedl, spreading optimism Now in early spring is the perfect time for positive changes and he would like to give concrete instructions on how to do this.
“I have trouble here in training”
“A lot of people don’t have a clear idea of what a healthy diet is. For example, if you eat a cooked meal every day, your death rate goes up.” This also applies to people who eat out. every day, because ready-made products are increasingly used to cook there.”I have misery here in training”, says Riedl.Many people believe that it is impossible for them to change anything to their weight and illnesses. “You can always start by changing your lifestyle and diet. A lot of people don’t have any skills in this regard, but we can pass it on.”
The credo of the nutrition doc is: “There are no prohibitions, the targeted changes must be individually adapted to each person. Behavior change so far has been too overbearing, but it’s just about rejecting bad behavior and intensifying good ones.”
“Men don’t talk about illnesses”
The nutrition doc found that it’s harder to motivate men because women are often more sensitive about their bodies and their health. Men have no sense of weakness as it contradicts their self-image. “Men don’t talk about illnesses,” Riedl says. Women are also in the majority among his patients. “Men only come to see us when they can’t climb the stairs in the office.”
According to Riedl, the following is necessary to change one’s own behavior: “One should only plan changes in small steps, review the habits one has become accustomed to and apply the 20/80 rule, i.e. say change 20% of habits and maintain 80% percent in order to be successful.” Wanting to achieve great things with diets is refuted and “big bullshit”.
“For a long time, it was said that diabetes could not be cured”
According to Riedl, one of the great scourges of humanity is diabetes. “For a long time it was said that there was no cure for diabetes, but that’s not true. We have been doing remission therapies for 20 years. With our nutritional therapy, however, other diseases of civilization also decrease.
A basic problem: Many adults would simply eat way too much, while everyone is born with a perfect feeling of satiety. But many people lose that over the years, says Riedl, also because children are often asked to clear their plates. But the feeling of satiety can be restored.
Lots of people gobbling up the food
He sees another problem in the fact that many people swallow their food too quickly. “It takes 20 minutes for a feeling of satiety to set in. Therefore, the advice is to chew each bite 20-30 times,” says the doctor.
According to Riedl, who was born in Uetersen, his focus is on the patients and their needs. The Medicum Hamburg with its 100 employees is now an interdisciplinary center for diabetes, nutritional medicine and related fields. The facility emerged from the Hamburg Diabetic Center, which from 1943 was only supposed to dispense insulin, but was continually expanded. In 1999 it was renamed Diabetes Center Berliner Tor before being renamed Medicum Hamburg in 2008. Since 2018, Riedl and his employees have also been advising athletes at the Olympic Training Center Hamburg-Schleswig-Holstein on nutritional therapy. According to him, there are a total of around 100 nutritional practices in Germany, and Medicum is the most important of them.
Food: a log can help
The doctor advises anyone wishing to change their diet to start with a nutritional diary. He and his colleagues have developed an app for this (myFoodDoctor). “It can be the first point of contact for thinking about your own diet.” Each user enters all meals and drinks, as well as physical activity. “It allows you to identify errors in the diet and then the user decides which ones they are ready to correct.”
You have the greatest leverage if you reduce your sugar intake or deprive yourself of snacks. “I always advise tackling one problem at first. You can do one thing at a time or you won’t be able to do it. » Are you ever too old to improve your diet? “No, because we always have an immediate effect on physical and mental fitness and well-being,” says Riedl. “You just have to be ready to start.”
Updated: Sat, 03/19/2022, 07:30
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