A nutritious diet can help you maintain a healthy weight and have more energy…and it can also be an important tool in managing and even preventing serious health conditions.

Regional One Health’s Medical Nutritional Therapy program helps patients address conditions like diabetes, hypertension, GI disorders and more.

Jacqueline Daughtry, RDN, LDN, Manager of Clinical Nutrition, explains how the program provides one-on-one counseling, group sessions, take-home materials and more to support patients as they make realistic, sustainable changes.

Most people know eating healthy is a basic component of taking care of yourself.

As registered dietitians, we’ve seen how a nutritious diet is directly linked to preventing and managing many serious health conditions.

As registered dietitians, we’ve seen how a nutritious diet is directly linked to preventing and managing many serious health conditions.

For patients with diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity, gastrointestinal or kidney disease, it’s the first line of defense in managing and controlling their illness. For everyone else, it’s a tool to prevent those conditions from happening in the first place.

We call it Medical Nutritional Therapy (MNT), and it can benefit everyone.

One of the most important things we tell patients about Medical Nutritional Therapy is not to feel intimidated.

Jacqueline Daughtry, RDN, LDN, Clinical Nutrition Manager, said Medical Nutritional Therapy uses evidence-based information to help patients manage diabetes, hypertension, GI issues and more.

We meet you where you are. That means asking you about cultural preferences, which foods you like and dislike, how much time you have to prepare food, your budget, etc.

Once we understand those factors, we create a realistic, sustainable plan to support your individualized needs and goals. Everything we do is evidence-based and in collaboration with your physician.

Even small changes can have a big positive impact – and that is our focus.

For example, if you drink two sodas a day, replace one with water. Grill or bake meats instead of frying them. If you go out to eat, split large portions with family or friends or take some home to be enjoyed later as a snack or part of the next meal.

Of course, we know we can’t go with you and make sure you eat what’s on your plan! Therefore, a big part of what we do involves educating and empowering our patients for long-term lifestyle changes.

We discuss how to create a healthy meal plan, keeping portion sizes reasonable, cooking in ways that add flavor with less fat and sodium, and balancing meals between a variety of protein/meat, grains, fruits, veggies and healthy fats. We even talk about how you can enjoy snacks and treats in a healthy way.

Another way we support patients is through ease of access.

Some people are more comfortable one-on-one, so our registered dietitians do individual, in-person counseling. Others want support from people going through similar issues, so we hold group sessions led by a registered dietitian. If you can’t get here in person, we will do phone counseling or telehealth.

Medical Nutritional Therapy includes one-on-one counseling, group sessions, telehealth and telephone options, and take-home materials.

Again, we realize you’ll be cooking and eating on your own time, so we provide take-home material you can use for easy reference.

We’ve seen patients with a variety of conditions reduce their reliance on medication, avoid serious complications that may require hospitalization, and prevent or delay surgery by closely following their Medical Nutrition Therapy prescription.

It also helps patients maintain a healthy weight, increase their energy level, improve digestion, and simply feel better!

It’s challenging to change your diet, but it truly is worth it.

If you think Medical Nutritional Therapy can benefit you, talk to your doctor. They can help you access this important tool in taking charge of your health.

To learn more about Medical Nutrition Therapy, call our Outpatient Clinical Nutrition Office at call 901-545-7542.