Love adhere to the dietary codes in varying

Love of nature and living a natural life is a central part of Hinduism,
a faith that originated in India several thousand years ago. Hinduism is the dominant
religion in India, and a sizeable minority of Hindus can be found all around
the globe.  According to Statistics
Canada Hindus account for 1.5% of the total population of Canada. Due to the
ethnic and geographic diversity of India, Hindu dietary practises could hardly
be expected to be uniform and they are not.  Another important part of the Indian society
is the caste system, a person’s caste and region contribute to how he or she
adhere to the various dietary customs (Gyrgus, 2007). Hindu Holy texts strongly
recommend non-violence against all forms of life including animals. This principle
is known as Ahisma and is an important tenet in Hinduism (Dudek, 2013).

Hinduism does not explicitly require a vegetarian diet, but many Hindus avoid
eating meat because of their belief that it minimizes suffering to other
creatures of God. The majority of Hindus prefer a vegetarian or lactovegetarian
life style, generally based on compassion and respect for nature and other
forms of life (Dudek, 2013). However, not all Hindus are vegetarians, and they adhere
to the dietary codes in varying degree of strictness. For example: some Hindus
avoid eating beef and pork which are strictly prohibited, but do eat other
types of meat (Minority Nurse, 2013).

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            Hindus considers food
as an aspect of Brahman (the supreme spirit, the Creator). In Hinduism food is
considered a gift of God, and therefore should be treated with great respect
(V, 2015). Hindus believe that the effect of food is manifested in both body
and the mind. Food affects a person’s consciousness and emotions. A proper diet
is considered central for spiritual development in Hinduism. The Hindu diet
code divides food into three categories namely, Tamasic (heavy, intoxicating),
Rajasic (hot), Satttvic (pure).  Tamasic
food are over processed, no longer fresh, spoiled or impure and difficult to
digest. Tamasic food include meat, alcohol, tobacco, onions, garlic and
fermented foods. Tamasic food is considered detrimental for the body and the
mind. Tamasic food produces lack of motivation and the power of reasoning is
withdrawn from the body. It is also believed to produce negative emotions such
as anger, jealousy, greed, and excessive sexual desires. Rajasic foods include:
very spicy, bitter, dry or salty foods. This category include fish, eggs,
stimulants. This type of food is thought to excite intellect, passion and
energy. Sattvic is the most desirable type of food. It includes fresh fruits,
vegetables and whole grains. This type of food is thought to promote peace of
mine, transcendence, sublimity and orderliness. (Bodke, 2017), (Grygus, 2007),
(Minority Nurse 2013).



            Taking into account the
religious preferences of patients is extremely important. This will facilitate
the stay of the patients in the hospital or long-term care centers. If the
dieticians are familiar with food preferences and practises of people from
different backgrounds, this will make the patient stay in the hospital less
stressful. Since the Canadian population is diverse and is becoming
increasingly more diverse it is crucial that dietician have the required
knowledge and understanding to serve patients and make meal plans suitable to
the patient needs. This will have positive patients care outcomes. Research
shows that incorporating the cultural need of patients and providing
patient-centered care yields positive results for the patients. This also
improves patient-doctor relations and builds trust and compassion.


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