This paper examines the difference between traditional and preventive approaches to healthcare. Also, it explores the role of proper nutrition in both approaches.
The preventive approach involves identifying risk factors which increase an individual’s chances of developing some health problem. Having learnt these factors, people will choose such behaviors that will minimize their risks for a disease or prevent it. It may also be described as “warding off disease.” In addition, the preventive approach to healthcare can be described as the process of regularly making small decisions as well as taking positive action with reference to diet, health, exercise, relationship, and lifestyle. All these are the actions that will give a person’s body the best chance of being free from a disease. By contrast, the traditional approach to healthcare is the one that attempts to change once symptoms of disease or illness already exist. It is applied when those who are sick start seeking a physician in order to diagnose, treat, and cure the condition.

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Nutrition fits into both approaches since it plays an important role in a person’s maintaining a good health and his or her recovering from illness. In traditional approach top healthcare, dietary therapies are used to remove the initial symptoms of the disease. For example, patients diagnosed with arthritis may be prescribed the following dietary therapies: for detoxification of the colon (via increase in dietary fiber, use of acidophilic cultures to restore flora), detoxification of kidney (via drinking 2 or 3 quarts of plain water daily), etc. In preventive healthcare, functional foods are recommended to use for those who wants to aid their specific bodily functions through nutrition. Functional foods from plant sources, for example, include soy, oats, flaxseed, tomatoes, broccoli, citrus fruits, cranberry, etc. From animal food, these are fish, dairy products, and beef. Eating healthier, functional food is seen as a way to ensure a healthier population. Overall, nutrition plays an important role in the two approaches discussed.