Diana Gluhak, member of Virtual Women’s Entrepreneurship Centre and a famous Croatian nutritionist says that the situation in Croatia has reached an alarming level because more than 400 thousand Croatians have diabetes. She adds that people in general do not eat well, especially because they think that they know everything there is to know about nutrition.
“There is definitely a lot to learn about nutrition and the most important thing I want to emphasize is that everyone should listen to experts. Nutrition helps you develop new and healthier eating habits, teaches you how to eat and how to alleviate symptoms of certain conditions, and it is basically your lifelong companion. Even the ancient Greek philosophers said that moderation and balance are the most important factors in our diets. If we want to change something, we first need to change ourselves and our eating habits, which is never easy. We can’t always blame the food industry because we are the ones who buy and consume their products. By changing our habits the offer in stores changes as well, and with it our weight.” says Diana Gluhak.
Diana is a successful entrepreneur who has focused her work on education and trainings, but she also takes part in creating healthy diet apps. One of the most popular apps is the Healthy Meal Standard, a system for decreasing risks connected to food and increasing its quality, which enables sending safe and tasty food offers to cater to individual customers’ needs in restaurants.
“My other area of interest is developing apps with partners, and the apps are focused on food and eating and aimed at developing new eating habits and making it easier for people to get dietary advice. I’m an enthusiast; I like thinking outside of the box and introducing a system of rules into new and unexplored areas, so I apply the same philosophy to nutrition. I’ve been familiar with entrepreneurial mindset ever since I was little because my father was a successful fashion businessman. Despite my love for fashion and despite the fact that I attended Faculty of Textile Technology, my love for natural sciences was bigger. As far as business is concerned, I believe I inherited a set of my father’s genes responsible for my entrepreneurial life. I’ve learnt how to think logically and focus my efforts on solving existing problems, which is basically the entrepreneurial way of thinking. I must add that, even though being an entrepreneur in nutrition is popular, it can be quite challenging because you need to be the best at what you do in order to stay on top.” Diana told us.
Education is always a priority if you want to be proactive, and healthy eating is no exception. Eating habits are developed early on, and they play a crucial role in your future, Gluhak warns, because a mother’s dietary habits can predispose her children’s fat cell levels. Diana is the president of Zdravi obrok (Helathy Meal) association that aspires to educate people about healthy eating.
“Zdravi obrok Hrvatska is an association with a mission to promote nutrition and nutritionist principles, as well as to raise awareness about endangered social groups’ diets, improve life quality and develop better standards and improve service quality, especially in tourism and hospitality industries. The association aims to organize public meetings and conferences and to help in developing networks and cooperation between different areas of expertise, as well as to educate the public. Having in mind that most of our partner institutions are in the food industry, we feel that our goals will soon become reality.” Diana Gluhak explains.
Finally, she adds that we need to start thinking about our eating habits as a way of investing into our future. As far as her future plans are concerned, she is already working on developing new projects connected to information technologies, and there are plans to organize festivals in order to further improve Croatians’ dietary habits.
“Our diets play a crucial role in our lives – we eat 3-5 times a day and the food we eat affects our mood: it can either make us happy or make us nervous, if we skip a meal, for example. People have various misconceptions about healthy diets and think that healthy is necessarily bland and not tasty food, food like carrots, soy and salads, for example. This perspective has to be changed so that people understand that you can eat healthily and enjoy it, the only thing you need is a little imagination. Ham, for example, is considered to be unhealthy, while eating a bag of potato chips is thought to be acceptable, which makes no sense.
Nutrition also has a bad reputation, people identify it with strict diets and having to give up eating everything you like. The recipe is actually quite simple: eat moderately and put a balanced mix of food on your plate, do sports or any other physical activity that makes you happy, and that’s it!”