FKKMK UGM – Vice Dean for Finance, Assets, and Human Resources, dr. Mahardika, believes that talk shows / book discussions regularly held by FKKMK UGM are able to educate the community, share knowledge to community, and as a media to bring the work of FKKMK UGM’s teachers to the public. “Teachers have several roles, not only teaching and doing research, but also producing some paper and book” said dr. Mahardika when opening a talk show / book discussion titled “Healthy with Local Food”, on Wednesday 18th April at FKKMK UGM.
The talk show presented a book titled Serat Pangan dalam Penanganan Sindrom Metabolik (Dietary Fibers’ Role in the Management of Metabolic Syndrome) by a teaching staff of Department of Biochemistry, Dr. Sunarti. A lot were discussed, such as the dietary fibers, metabolic syndrome, and balanced nutrition in local food. The event was moderated by a teaching staff from department of nursing, Eri Yanuar
Dr. Sunarti explained that dietary fibers are part of carbohydrates found in vegetables and fruits which cannot be digested by our digestive enzyme, so they cannot be absorbed in small intestine. However, they can be fermented by bacteria in our large bowel. Dietary fibers have a good function to prevent metabolic syndrome and constipation, whether it is water-soluble or not. Moreover, since they cannot be digested nor absorbed, they are capable in controlling blood sugar level and decreasing appetite as they produce longer satiety. “Dietary fibers are able to make the swallowed food more viscous in the stomach, so they can slow the digestion process which is beneficial in preventing high blood sugar. This is believed to be helpful for diabetic patients and to reduce body weight for obese people. Dietary fibers are also helpful in promoting the growth of good bacteria in the intestine, so they can increase our immunity and reduce the risk for colorectal cancer” said Dr. Sunarti. Dietary fibers are also able to bind bile acids to stimulate the liver in producing bile which is able to break down fat, making cholesterol levels in plasma decreased. Fiber-rich foods also contain high antioxidant level and surprisingly might control genetic factors, although it takes long time.
The speaker discussing the clinical aspects of metabolic syndrome, dr. Warigit Dwi Atmoko, SpPD appreciated Dr. Sunarti’s book which outlines many aspects of dietary fibers, including their physiologic function, fiber’s role in the management of metabolic syndrome, and how dietary fibers can improve our health. Dr. Warigit – known as dr. Yongki AFI – who works at District Hospital of Moewardi Solo explained that metabolic syndrome is a set of signs and symptoms which potentially increases the incidence of cardiovascular events, such as heart failure and stroke. Such signs are: hypertension (high blood pressure, ≥140/90 mmHg); hyperglycemia (high blood sugar, fasting blood glucose ≥100 mg/dL); dyslipidemia (triglyceride > 150 mg/dL and HDL [good cholesterol] < 40 mg/dL for male, <50 mg/dL for female); and waist circumference more than 90 cm for male and 80 cm for female (Asian population).
Becoming a current trend, non-communicable diseases (NCD) are closely related to diet and lifestyle. “It is necessary to apply a healthy lifestyle by doing exercise, at least 30 minutes per day, 3 – 4 times a week. And the most important is choosing an exercise that has a regular rhythm for cardiac health, such as brisk walking, running, and swimming, while doing them in a correct sequence starting from warming up, core exercise, and ending with cooling down” stated dr. Yongki. Physical exercise might help us avoiding stress since it can stimulate the release of endorphin, making our body fitter, increasing our immunity, and building up a good mood. According to him, people aged 70-80 years, particularly Indonesian citizens, still need to do regular physical exercise in order to keep their body fit. Moreover, the decrease of human’s organ function starts at the age of 30-35 years. The type of exercise chosen must be adjusted with one’s age. Genetic factors also play a role, but healthy lifestyle – including stress management – is of paramount importance. Good nutritional intake and physical activity – albeit require long process – are beneficial for our health forever.
Necessary for good body metabolism, balanced nutrition refers to intake of food containing various nutrients with the amount adjusted for daily needs, not excessively. According to a teaching staff from the Department of Nutrition and Health, Dr. Fatma Zuhrotun, food has some functions: as energy substances (by carbohydrates and fats); as regulator substances (by vitamins and minerals from fruits); and as building substances (by vegetable and animal protein). Dietary fibers may not contain any nutrients, but they have a function irreplaceable by other nutrients in improving metabolic and physiologic condition. “Local food is a food produced based on local (Indonesia) potency such as cassava, sweet potato, and other tubers. Local food also reflects our local wisdom, therefore they should be used regularly to reduce the import of food, such as wheat flour, especially wheat flour containing gluten that is believed to trigger autoimmune diseases” added Dr. Fatma. Local food has additional advantages that are easier to obtain since they are self-cultivated (no need to import), affordable because each region has local food potential, can prevent metabolic syndrome, and preserve the culture and biological wealth of Indonesia. Unfortunately, still few people have cultivated them, so that some of the price of local fiber-rich food is higher than flour’s price.
Another important aspect is selecting and processing local food to be attractive, but somehow still healthy. Fresh local food is characterized by its color and few amount of buds. Vegetables and beans are relatively easier to be processed than tubers since the latter food contain cyanide, so they need to be soaked and washed properly. Local food can be processed by boiling, roasting, or frying, and such processes have to be campaigned through the programs of community service.
There was a discussion about how processing local food could affect its nutritional benefit, such as the glycemic index, specifically on tubers that processed into flour. While there are some differences on nutrition between raw local foods processed into flour with ripe-consumed local food, people should not be afraid with heating process because it can actually improves its nutrition, despite of the decreased vitamin levels. (Interpreted by Leo/photo by Aryo)