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Nutrition Month 2018 - The Potential to Heal: Dietitians are Here to Help

2018-03-22

The Potential to Heal

Learn how food can promote healing and how dietitians work in health care teams to make a difference.

Dietitians believe in and understand the potential of food to enhance lives and improve health. Dietitians can help you select and prepare the foods you need to meet your nutrient needs. They use food to promote healing, and educate about how nutrition can help prevent or manage certain conditions, such as diabetes, celiac disease, swallowing problems (dysphagia), heart conditions, cancer and more. This Nutrition Month, dietitians want to remind you of the potential of food for healing.


Dietitians are Here to Help

Dietitians are members of the health care team and work with doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care professionals to provide quality care, and they use food to promote healing. You can find dietitians working in many places, including:

  • Hospitals
  • Doctor’s offices
  • Private practice offices
  • Community health centres
  • Public health offices
  • Rehabilitation facilities
  • Seniors’ residences
  • Long-term care settings
  • Cooking studios
  • Grocery stores
  • Diabetes education centres

Dietitians use foods to help you get the nutrients needed for the growth and repair of your body. Their advice helps prevent disease, treat conditions and keep the immune system healthy.

 

Work With a Dietitian

Lifestyle interventions from a dietitian, such as nutrition counselling, physical activity and behaviour modification, can help heal patients/clients in many situations. Here are some examples:

  • Working with a dietitian can help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels.
  • Dietitians work with their clients on lifestyle changes that can improve blood pressure, cholesterol levels and help promote weight control.
  • In the cancer care setting, advice from dietitians promotes healing, weight maintenance, and manages side effects of treatments to help patients feel their best.
  • Dietitians can help people with celiac disease plan and navigate a gluten free diet, to promote gut healing and restore nutrient absorption.
  • People with swallowing problems (dysphagia) can work with a dietitian as part of a health care team to find the right meal pattern, food texture, supplements and assistive devices to stay well-nourished.

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