Nutrition and Health for South Asians: Prevention is Better than Cure

Book Cover

Book Cover

Book written by Suhail A. Khan

Introduction of the Book

The quality of life begins with the quality of the foods that sustains it. Health includes not merely the absence of disease. Healthy living is a matter of conscious choice. Our diet determines in large part how we look, how we work and how we feel. Nutrition is the single most important component of preventive health care for diet associated with obesity, high bleed pressure, heart disease, diabetes mellitus, cancer, and liver cirrhosis. Optimum nutrition is the level of intake that should promote the highest level of health. Nutrition is a key to a sustainable living. Our diet effects our personality and our quality of life. Food can also determine whether we age prematurely or we have a lifetime vital health. The nutrients will, unlike drugs, unfold their positive and beneficial effects gradually and their functionality greatly increases when a healthy and balanced diet is consumed. Various studies have shown that many chronic diseases may be the result of poisoning of the metabolic processes in the body. By consuming different pollutants through food, water and by inhaling contaminated air can create an accumulation of hazardous substances in tissues and internal organs. The composition of the diet should take particular care to the quality and freshness of the food.
Every day, the human body produces more than 500 billion new cells. Most of the time the system works normally, but periodically an error occurs and a defective cell is created. This single cell can mark the beginning of cancer. Cancerous tumors grow when a carcinogen (a cancer-causing agent) damages the genes that control cell growth. Mostly, the body’s white blood cells search out and destroy these defective cells, before they multiply, but when the immune system is not performing his duties effectively, the cancer cells start to reproduce and form a tumor. In time, tumor invades healthy tissue, stealing away nutrients from the body and damaging the organs. The growth in the incidence of cancer goes hand in hand with the industrialization and chemicalisation of our world; the more developed a country, the more cancer there is. In other words, the higher the per capita income, the higher the incidence of cancer. Most cancer cells are primarily the results of changes we have made to our total chemical environment, which includes food and air. According to Sir Richard Doll, one of the top scientists of the United Kingdom, 75% of all cancer cases are associated with environment and lifestyle.

Dr. Suhail Khan receiving Life Time Achievement award from Ambassador Moazzam Khan

Dr. Suhail Khan receiving Life Time Achievement award from Ambassador His Excellency Moazzam Ahmad Khan

This book was written to encourage you to explore different aspects of food and to enable you to take maximum control and responsibility of your own health. It is meant to provide basic knowledge on various nutritional issues. The ability to cope with stress is directly related to our daily food. Food appears to have a direct influence on the brain cells, and the functioning of the brains.

While we would like to think that all people are created equal, we are not, at least when it comes to health. Each of us has a unique genetic and cultural heritage that makes South Asians more susceptible to certain diseases and medical conditions. While we can thank our parents for our individual genetic inheritance, as South Asians, we share not only a common history, but some common health traits as well. The health problems which many South Asians are facing, are overweight (obesity), high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes mellitus, kidney disorders, gastrointestinal tract disorders and heart disease. Various studies have demonstrated that cases of type 2 diabetes mellitus are 8 – 10 times more likely to occur among South Asians, native Americans and Mexicans. Possible causes include genetic predisposition, dietary patterns, food & nutritional habits, climate and less exercise. The increasing prevalence of chronic metabolic disorders at an increasingly younger age is particularly disturbing because of the co-morbidity in the longer term. Diabetes is one of the lifestyle diseases that are directly related to nutrition and life style. An epidemiological increase of type 2 diabetes mellitus threatens public health in wealthy countries. In 2000 the number of people with diabetes mellitus worldwide was 177 million, in 1985 there were only 30 million. This number might even rise up to 400 million by 2025. Now a days, there are more than 1 million diabetes patients in the Netherlands suffering from diabetes mellitus. The increase of diabetics in Western countries is related to the increase of obesity, lack of exercise, and an improper diet. In short: you are what you eat, drink & think.

Life Achievement award received by Dr. Suhail Khan

Life Time Achievement award received by Dr. Suhail Khan

I have divided this book into two parts, namely nutrition in health and nutrition in disease. The first part deals mainly with general information on nutrition and health, specifically eating habits and daily food of most South Asians. The second part deals with some aspects of the metabolic syndrome. The metabolic syndrome is actually a collective name of various diseases, such as obesity, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus, kidney disease and heart disease. I hope that the inherent superficiality of this book will be able to endure the criticism of both the medical and scientific communities.

In the Ayurveda, a more than 2000 years old traditional Indian medicine system, the importance of a healthy nutrition was recognized already. Good eating habits improve the health on one hand and slow the aging process on the other. Enjoyment and happiness in life begins with optimal health. Research into brain function reveals evidence that the emotions of love, faith, joy, fear, sadness, and even our sense of purpose in life are not merely attitudes created through the mind’s thought processes. They are actually produced and reinforced by biochemical activity within the brain, which in turn is effected by nutrients supplied by the food we eat. Raw foods contain nutrients needed for proper brain function. Cooking and especially processing of foods destroy nutrients needed to avoid anxiety, mood swings, depression, and many other mental and psychological disorders. Until we know more about the connections between food and our emotions. The purest, safest, most animal- and plant-friendly source of nutrition is raw foods.

It is my intention with this book to help to take control and optimize your health. I present in this book the knowledge I have gained from years of scientific study & research as well as the knowledge I have learned from years of treating thousands of patients from 64 different nationalities. I see this book as an opportunity to introduce you to many new ideas that you may not have had an opportunity to think about. This book will teach you about the important relationship between your daily food and your health. This accessible book presents persuasive arguments on sound science in promoting nutritional excellence, optimal health and well-being, beauty enhancement, transformation of diet and lifestyle.

Suhail A. Khan
Nutritionist/Clinical dietitian
The Hague/Rotterdam/Amsterdam

The book can be ordered from the author’s website:

8 replies

  1. NUTRITION & HEALTH FOR SOUTH ASIANS is a complete and comprehensive book, actually, a state-of-the-art review of nutrition & health for everyone, particularly for South Asians. I admire the indepth knowledge of dr. Khan on this issue.
    Dr. Khan is a very famous personality in Holland, organising seminars and work shops; delivering lectures on health issues, teaching regular cooking classes at the Applied University of Amsterdam. Nutrition and Health for South Asians is, in fact, his 3rd book.
    As an active and passionate clinical dietitian and registered nutritionist, dr. Suhail Khan wants to transfer his knowledge to the South Asian community through this book. I strongly support his ambition to deliver his insights to your plate and mouth, because healthier food will definitely improve your health and happiness!

  2. Nutrition & Health for South Asians is a highly recommendable classified research work, obtained from years of work-experience with different nationalities. Dr. Khan is a well known scholar in the Netherlands.

  3. After his first book in Dutch language, dr. Khan wrote a new book, this time in English: Nutrition & Health for South Asians.
    The author discusses in general the relationship between diet and disease and the effects of various nutrients, vitamins and minerals, and specifically deals with the daily diet focuses on the cuisine of Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
    He describes the specific ingredients and dietary habits in these above mentioned South Asian countries and shows the current state-of-art regarding the nutrition science.
    The book is a must for professionals working with people from South have to do their work Asian countries.
    dr. Suhail Khan has private practice in The Hague, Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

  4. Last year, I met dr. Suhail Khan during an international convention on Nutriional Healh for infants in the developing countries, held in Singapore. What a marvellous and humble person he is. A true gentleman and highly qualified Pakistani doctor.
    Nutrition and Health for South Asians is a state-of-art book, on the South Asians daily food and the most common disorders such as obesity, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus, kidney infections and cardiovascular disease.
    According to dr. Khan, “health includes not merely the absence of disease. Healthy living is a matter of conscious choice. Our diet determines to a large extent what we look like, how we work and how we feel. Nutrition is a key to sustainable living”.
    I admire the motivation and high spirit of Suhail Khan. God bless him.

  5. I am very glad to read this remarkable book on South Asian perspective.
    Dr. Suhail Khan has explained the complex relationship of food with human body in a very simple way, so that every one can understand.
    Its an outstanding book on nutrition & health.

  6. I did not read, but I have studied this book (Nutrition & Health for South Asians); I must acknowledge that this is a very comprehensive book on South Asians, I have every read. As I do not find many books written on this specific subject.
    I appriciate the motivation of the author of this book, dr. Suhail Khan, from Holland. In my view, dr. Khan is an authority on the nutritional knowledge regarding South Asians. I recommend this book to every one, who cares about his/her health, because health is wealth.

  7. Nutrition & Health for South Asians is an informative book about the daily South Asian food, diet and the most common diseases such as obesity, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease.
    Health includes not merely the absence of disease. Healthy living is a matter of conscious choice. Our diet determines in large part how we look like, how we work and how we feel. Nutrition is a key to a sustainable living. The author of this book, dr. Suhail Khan, is a well-known nutritionist and competent scholar in the Netherlands.

  8. Nutrition &Health for south Asians is very nice and informative book .It provide very basic information to students .

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