Dietary counseling offers individualized care of nutrition to encourage the modification of habits related to eating. It may also help you in preventing or treating nutrition-related sickness like cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, etc.
Purpose of Counseling
In the present day, most of the healthcare issues are increasing because of poor nutrition or overconsumption. More junk food is causing acute or chronic diseases leading to unhealthy obesity or eating disorders.
Nutritional counseling can offer the patients a vital insight into the food-related sickness and knowledge of how numerous nutrients such as proteins, essential oils, good fats, can help in dealing with such issues. They can also give help us understand how different bad elements like fat, alcohol, etc. can affect obesity or make you sick.
Alternatively, the counseling will help you in preventing nutrition-related disorders such as the requirement of balanced weight management. Counseling can be shaped to meet the requirements of treatment on the diagnosis of certain illnesses and can assist in reducing complications or any other side effects, improving the overall quality of life to a certain extent.
Prevention is necessary at all the levels which include –
- Primary level prevention: Preventing the diseases before you get affected by it.
- Secondary level prevention: This occurs when you already got the disease and want to do early diagnosis.
- Tertiary level prevention: This happens only to prevent or slow down the processes involved in the deterioration of health.
All these factors need active participation from the patients as well as support and proper guidance from the physicians or dieticians.
Some Important Things To Know About Dietary Counseling
Education, self-motivation, and counseling are required for efficient participation from the patients. In addition to the education of the patients, dietary counseling frequently involves planning of the meals that have to be taken at proper intervals. Consumption of more or less quantity of vitamins and nutrients will lead to the deficiency of nutrients or toxicity respectively. If you are meeting with a dietician or nutritionist, make sure that you get useful tips from them to determine how much vitamins and minerals a person should consume on an average in a routine. It’s also essential to determine the number of macronutrients needs to be taken.
Some dietary counselors consider DRI, commonly known as Dietary Reference Intakes while suggesting diets to their patients with obesity or other health issues. Recently, DRIs has been replaced with RDA – Recommended Dietary Allowance, but still, most of the dieticians consider both the units.
When offering dietary counseling services, the certified dieticians and specialists know what needs to be modified in your diet so that you can focus on having a balanced diet. They will advise you to consider food items that are healthy and balanced. They will help you take precautionary measures in all possible ways so that your body can fight against serious diseases efficiently.
What Does Effective Counseling Comprise Of?
Effective counseling involves a comprehensive workaround and evaluation that considers the disease’s presence, lipids profiles, blood pressure controls, and the history of weight. Also, other factors like lifestyle, time patients have for preparing food, their job schedules, and personal food choices should be considered.
The choice of food should not be driven by the physiological necessity of minerals and nutrients. Instead, it should be decided based on different aspects like when you are with your family or friends sitting at a restaurant or when you are attending an important wedding. It might be challenging for dieticians to keep their patients under control, but that what’s the challenge is – to make them believe the seriousness of their health condition and give them confidence that no matter what the situation is or how happy you are, their meal plan is all that they have to follow. Also, give them some cheat diet solutions that will not affect their health in any way.
Factors Assessed During Dietary Counseling
So many things are needed to be considered when you are planning dietary counseling for someone. When you are considering the accurate counseling approach for a person with a particular sickness, you need to pay special attention to common food choices, likes and dislikes, styles of learning, cultural problems, and socioeconomic statuses. Other factors that should be assessed during the process of dietary counseling must include the following:
- Medical history, which would include assessment of sickness, biochemical, and other anthropometric measures.
- Dietary assessment that would include dietary analyses.
- Psychological evaluations, which would include food-related behaviors and other important attitudes.
- Sociological evaluation, which would include cultural practices, cooking facilities, resources related to financials, family and friends support, etc.
- Knowledge of Nutrition
- Readiness for learning or changing and learning style works.
- Current exercise and levels of activities.
The diet assessments are often performed to determine the macronutrient levels that include energies, calories, proteins, fats, etc. It also includes micronutrient contents like vitamins and minerals. The dietary assessment validation instruments can help you calculate and evaluate the dietary needs of the patient who is suffering from any chronic disease. Some other common tools of dietary assessments comprise of food records recall of dietary contents, frequency questionnaires related to food, histories of diets, and numerous other procedures, involving biochemical index. The scientific assessment of the nutrition status can be easily created by taking the combination of the data collected from the evaluation made in clinics, biochemical tests, and other important information.
Diet constitutes an important part of our lives for numerous reasons. As per scientific researches, offering sufficient calories to attain reasonable weight and deal with sickness. Achieving the normal lipid levels through a controlled diet advised by the dieticians or nutritionists is also important for a disease-free life. If you want to know more about what diet you must follow to stay healthy and happy, then you must consult health consultants or dieticians for proper guidance and support.