Medical Nutrition therapy (MNT) is a dietary intervention that is used to prevent or treat health conditions that are caused by or made worse by unhealthy eating habits. It’s typically administered by a registered nutritionist and should always be personalised for the individual’s needs.
MNT must not be confused with the concept of “Dieting” which usually means a low-calorie diet for losing weight.
Key steps in MNT are:
Determine the person’s need for therapy (e.g. health conditions, body weight, nutritional deficiencies)
Set parameters to plan a therapy (e.g. goals, allergies)
Develop a personalised therapy plan
Initiate the therapy
Evaluate the effectiveness of the therapy
Diabetes, cholesterol, hypertension, liver disease and kidney disease are most commonly caused by poor eating habits, hence MNT works very well for the long-term management of these conditions. It enforces balancing the intake of carbohydrates, protein, fats, and fiber as needed for the individual based on his/ her health conditions.
1. Spread 6 meals throughout the day:
Spreading your meals will keep your weight and blood sugar under check! And will ensure you do not overeat. Large meals make you sleepy and lethargic, while smaller meals keep you energetic. So start your day with a boost of soaked almonds and walnuts. In between your 3 main meals, get a boost of fiber with fruits, salad and sprouts.
2. Quit white sugar:
Sugar affects the brain in essentially the same way as cocaine, morphine and heroin! When we eat sugar, the chemical “dopamine” is triggered in the brain leading to the addiction. If you give up your sugar addiction, you can lower your risk of diabetes, hypertension, and heart attacks. Your metabolism will also boost up, and you will be able to shed those extra kilos!
3. Give up on processed food:
Avoid refined starch products made of white flour (maida), corn flour, custard powder, and fried foods like chips, nachos, butter/ caramel popcorn, samosa, puri, patties, burger. these foods are high in fats and build up bad cholesterol in your body.
4. Watch out when eating out:
Who said one can’t eat healthy food when dining out? Here are some quick tips:
Pick steamed /grilled /roasted food from the menu (avoid fried food)
Choose brown rice over white rice
Pick whole wheat roti over naan/ white bread
Order a salad plate without salad dressing.