Hyde Pfiefer, a retired 70-year-old German American, has lived in the United States for the last 50 years. A widower of 5 years, Mr. Pfiefer prepares his own meals following his wife’s recipes from the old country. Nine months ago, Mr. Pfiefer was told that his cholesterol is elevated, and he was instructed about a low-fat diet. His most recent test results show his values to be unchanged.
1. Discuss the meaning of food in the German culture.
2. Using the predominant health beliefs of people of German ancestry, how might you help Mr. Pfiefer reduce his cholesterol level?
SOLUTION TO CASE STUDY
Germans often take three meals daily, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Contemporary German food and nutrition habits are heavily influenced by years of human activities and the transmission of culture from one generation to another. Moreover, colonial influence and immigrant populations also play a huge role in developing Germans’ food culture. Germans’ food culture is attributed to the area’s natural resources; thus, their traditional foods are based on potatoes, grains, fruits, and cabbages. Additionally, Germans’ food culture is supplemented by wine, pork and trout farming practiced along lowlands and river valleys (Strassner, 2020). The Southern part of Germany, containing the Alps mountains, practice dairy farming, thus a solid cheese and dairy tradition, while the Northern seashore produces fish thus, fish, root vegetables, and kales food tradition is widely adopted. This paper discusses the meaning of food in German Culture. Moreover, the paper discusses Hyde Pfiefer’s case study by suggesting ways of reducing his cholesterol level, considering Germany’s predominant health beliefs.
Food is a very critical aspect of German tradition. Despite a slight variation in food culture across diverse communities in German, most recipes use meat, bread, and potatoes. The available climate allows for farming farmhouse food and indigenous food such as coffee, cabbages, and kales. German cuisine manipulates the three staple foods, meat, bread, and potatoes. The standard German diet is heavy, lacking vegetables and starch-filled with baked foods and cakes. For breakfast, Germans have brot and Brötchen. Brot is a form of unsliced bread eaten in the form of a loaf and served with most German dishes, including meat and vegetable (Expatrio, 2022). Besides Brot, Germans eat Brötchen– a crusty roll made from the wheat flour. Lunch in Germany includes Käsespätzle which is made by adding grated cheese and fried onion toppings to Spätzle pasta or macaroni. For dinner, one can have Kartoffelpuffer and Bratkartoffeln. Kartoffelpuffer resembles a swiss roast in which one makes a fried pancake using a floor mixture made from combining egg, grated potatoes, and floor. Bratkartoffeln are sautéed potatoes served with meat or bacon. Bratkartoffeln is a versatile meal that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, and supper. These food and nutritional patterns in Germany indicate that the nation consumes a lot of beef and dairy products, potatoes, and eggs, which place them at a higher risk of high cholesterol.
Germany is known for their numerous met products such as Bratwurst, Schnitzel, and Frikadellen, which are often served alongside potato or vegetable dishes but can also be consumed as stand-alone meals. Food and nutrition patterns significantly determine the quality of individual health. However, Germans’ views of healthy nutrition involve a heavy breakfast, and lunch bigger than dinner characterized by baked goods, cheese, eggs, meats, and jam. The nutritional pattern of Germans concentrates on breakfast and lunch with the primary belief that it aids metabolic activity. Therefore, helping Mr. Pfiefer reduce his cholesterol level would involve advising him to reduce his intake of meat and dairy products as they contain saturated fats that increase cholesterol levels (Mayo Clinic, 2018). Moreover, increasing soluble fiber like oatmeal intake in his diet would reduce cholesterol absorption in his body. Supplementing the diet with fruits such as berries and bananas would also help reduce his cholesterol level.
In conclusion, the heavy meat and baked goods food culture is attributed to the rich resources in these areas. This has led to the development of a non-vegetarian friendly diet, thus putting the lives of individuals at risk of chronic illnesses. The predominant health beliefs of Germans about food such as heavy breakfast and lunch should include foods with soluble fibers to regulate the body’s cholesterol absorption.
Strassner, C. (2020). Food, nutrition and health in Germany. In Nutritional and Health Aspects of Food in Western Europe (pp. 133-158). Academic Press.
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2018, July 17). Can eating certain foods help improve your cholesterol levels? Mayo Clinic. Retrieved July 4, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/cholesterol/art-20045192
Expatrio. (n.d.). German food. expatrio.com. Retrieved July 3, 2022, from https://www.expatrio.com/living-germany/german-culture/german-food
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