The Importance of Dieticians as Healthcare Workers

The food we eat is a key contributor to our health. While the phrase “you are what you eat” is often taken lightly, our food choices play an important role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

To help with making the right food choices, dieticians are the most equipped healthcare workers whose primary goal is ensuring that you are informed about the importance of a healthy diet. The main concern is the high amount of non-scientific information available on the internet.

Registered dietician and founder of Newtricion Wellness Dieticians, Omy Naidoo, says that “a registered dietician is an important part of any healthcare team because they provide evidence based information on, prevention and disease management nutrition-related advice.”

The expertise of dieticians is used in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases such as diabetes and blood pressure. They also translate complex scientific information into practical advice.

“A dietician’s role comes into effect when planning nutritional and food programmes to promote a healthy diet, especially when calculating the nutrient a person needs when creating menus based on a doctor’s advice”, adds Naidoo.

Registered dieticians can work as nutrition experts for a diabetic patient and help treat diabetes by using medical nutrition therapy that includes counselling and therapy. Dieticians also devise strategies and propose healthy eating habits to reduce blood pressure.

Hospital dieticians play a key role in the journey of a patient in critical care, surgery, oncology, and various other parts of hospitalisation. Dieticians work within a multi-disciplinary team in ensuring the patient meets their treatment goals.

Dieticians provide the following important functions:

  • Plan individual nutritional therapies to address specific health issues, such as
    unhealthy weight, diabetes or hypertension.

  • Promote public awareness for proper nutritional standards and habits.

  • Enhance the accuracy and understanding of food labels.

  • Liaise with food manufacturers to improve the nutritional quality of prepared foods.

“Healthcare is void without supplementary nutritional balance, which is why dieticians intervene in the treatment of chronic diseases and prevention thereof”, concludes Naidoo.

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