Following Smart Eating Week, we asked Mobile Rehab’s dietitians about why it’s important
What is Smart Eating Week?
We spent Smart Eating Week celebrating all things nutrition and health! This means that as Accredited Practising Dietitians we had a collective opportunity to share how we can help improve nutrition and overall health.
Why is it important to have a week dedicated to this?
Many people don’t understand how a dietitian can help. Consequently, dietitians are not engaged as much as they could and should be. According to research many Australians still don’t meet the recommended 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables daily. We need to educate the public more and promote the benefits of a healthy, balanced diet.
If you could give TOP 3 TIPS to older Australians, what would they be?
- Stay hydrated. As we age, our bodies aren’t as good as they used to be at telling us we are thirsty. Early signs of dehydration are dizziness, headaches and fatigue. Make it habit to drink a glass of water with each meal and if you reach for a snack – have a drink of water first.
- Eat enough fibre. Digestive health can be improved by consuming high fibre foods such as brown rice, whole grain cereals and bread, fruit and vegetables. It can also help protect against diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
- Enjoy a varied diet. Our sense of taste and smell can change over time which can in turn affect our appetite. Make sure there is a variety of food containing calcium and proteins. Keep food as tasty and interesting as possible. Making your meal colourful with a variety of vegetables is a great start.
What services can a dietitian offer?
Think of us as your personal trainer for your diet. Dietitians are the experts in the use of food and nutrition to promote health. We can also help people manage a range of health conditions. This means a dietitian will take into account factors such as your diet, physical activity levels and medical history to formulate strategies tailored just for you.
How has ‘healthy eating’ changed over the years?
Many of our elderly clients will have 3 main meals a day; breakfast, lunch and ‘meat and 3 veg’ for dinner every night. Let’s not forget ‘smoko’ with tea and ‘bickies’. Old habits die hard, and many can be wary of change. There is more research into the benefits of diet and nutrition now than ever before. It’s our job as dietitians to analyse and interpret this research for clients.
For instance, eggs were once considered bad for you. Eggs are high in cholesterol and as a consequence, were thought to increase the risk of heart disease. However, this myth has been busted by many studies and show no effect of daily egg intake on blood cholesterol levels. Don’t get us started on fad diets …!
How do you know if you would benefit from / need a dietitian?
Ask, have you:
- lost/gained weight without trying in the past 3 months?
- been diagnosed with a new health condition such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis?
- noticed a physical change but your diet hasn’t?; and
- would you like an in-depth assessment of your current diet to ensure you are consuming the right types and amount of food?
A dietitian can benefit anyone at any age. Whether it’s education or help with a chronic condition or disease. We can assist you if you have difficulties with food allergies or intolerance’s, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. We can also help if you have diabetes, heart disease, gastrointestinal issues, pressure wounds, and cancer.
Get in touch with us if you have any questions. As Mobile Rehab dietitians, we are passionate about helping people understand how nutrition can directly effect your health and wellbeing. We hope you learnt something, and if you needed to, made some healthy changes during Smart Eating Week!