Decoding Nutrition

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In the healthcare industry, there are few roles of more paramount importance than nutrition, which helps to shape individuals’ well-being and vitality. Nagham Noureddine, a clinical dietitian registered in Bahrain with over a decade of experience, opens up to Farah Baig about her journey and the transformative power of nutrition in the pursuit of wellness.

Ms. Noureddine’s career trajectory can be traced back to her roots in Lebanon. Graduating from the American University of Beirut in 2008, she embarked on a path driven by her mother’s inspirational weight loss journey. Reflecting on her career, Noureddine shares: “My mum was the one that pushed me into this career … seeing her happiness made me realise the impact nutrition can have on people’s lives.”

Her professional journey took flight in 2009, when she began her practice at a small hospital in Bahrain. However, it was her tenure at the Salmaniya Medical Complex that shaped her expertise, spanning seven years and providing invaluable experience. “Salmaniya was pivotal in my career. It offered me the opportunity to work closely with diverse cases, honing my skills as a dietitian,” Ms. Noureddine recalls.

Navigating through the waves of change, Ms. Noureddine transitioned to Bahrain Specialist Hospital, assuming the role of the head of the department. Her leadership and commitment to patient care were evident as she spearheaded initiatives to enhance healthcare delivery. “It allowed me to further expand my horizons and contribute to shaping the healthcare landscape,” she reflects.

The onset of the pandemic marked a pivotal juncture in her career, prompting a shift towards community health awareness. Embracing the changing landscape, she transitioned to a smaller medical centre, witnessing a surge in demand for nutrition-related services. “Covid-19 reshaped how people approached healthcare, emphasising the importance of preventive measures and holistic well-being,” she notes.

Central to Ms. Noureddine’s practice is her philosophy of promoting a happier lifestyle through nutrition. Rejecting the notion of restrictive diets, she emphasises sustainability and enjoyment of food. “I don’t believe in fad diets. Instead, I focus on fostering a positive relationship with food and empowering individuals to make healthier choices,” she asserts.

Ms. Noureddine now serves as the Head of the Dietetic Department at Ibn Al-Nafees Hospital. Her specialisation spans various domains, including bariatric care, renal dialysis, paediatric obesity, gastrointestinal issues and diabetes management. Each area presents unique challenges, underscoring the need for personalised nutrition interventions tailored to individual needs.

As Bahrain grapples with prevalent health concerns such as Vitamin D deficiency, obesity and diabetes, Ms. Noureddine advocates for community health awareness and proactive measures. “Addressing these health concerns requires a multifaceted approach, encompassing education, preventive measures and personalised interventions,” she affirms.

Looking ahead, she remains committed to expanding community outreach and contributing to ongoing research in nutrition.

“I wish I had the time to continue and pursue a higher degree in my education so I’ll be able to do more research,” she expresses as a long-term goal.

As for practical advice to readers looking to improve their health journey, Ms. Noureddine offers three simple tips to begin with.

“Start walking, move more,” she suggests firstly. The second involves replacing all juices with water to address the prevalent issue of added sugars and opt for eating the fruit instead to improve fibre intake. Lastly, she emphasises the importance of incorporating more vegetables into meals, suggesting that small, sustainable changes can lead to significant health improvements.

For more information and to reach out to Ms. Noureddine, call 39 871-780 or follow @dietitian_nagham_n

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