Understanding Medical Nutrition Therapy

Medical Nutrition Therapy Goals are set to reach your desired metabolic outcome, like blood sugar and HbA1c readings. Proper nutritional therapy can prevent and treat the complications associated with diabetes, improve food choices, and address individual nutritional needs. When you don’t want to go to a hospital for a check-up, there is home visiting doctors who can do the services you need.

How Are Medical Nutrition Therapy Goals Determined? 

Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) goals can be determined by a licensed dietitian, a diabetes educator, or a nurse. The chosen specialist will do a detailed assessment of all aspects of your life, so be prepared. Things taken into consideration when setting MNT goals include:

  • Foods you like/dislike
  • Your job
  • What you do for fun
  • The typical amount of calories and
  • Regular nutritional intake
How willing you are to make meaningful changes may also be addressed. 

At the end of your assessment you will have a general idea of how many:

  • Calories/kilojoules you need
  • Calories/kilojoules should come from carbohydrates
  • Grams of protein you need

You should also have been counseled on your activity level and exercise goals, which are an incredibly important part of managing your blood sugar levels.

What If You Fall Off Your Nutritional Plan? 

If you slip up with your nutrition while attempting to reach your Medical Nutrition Therapy Goals, don’t feel alone. You have eaten without diabetic restrictions your entire life, so it can be hard to stick with this new healthy lifestyle. If you fall off the wagon, dust yourself off and hop right back on. Try to determine why you couldn’t stick to your nutritional plan and how you can prevent slip-ups in the future.

Understanding Medical Nutrition TherapyWhat If Medical Nutrition Therapy Goals Aren’t Being Reached? 

Benefits of following a customized diabetic meal plan can sometimes be seen in four weeks. However, it’s not uncommon for it to take up to three months for positive results to start showing. At a follow-up assessment, nutritional changes may be made and MNT goals adjusted if results were not as expected.

If your body is not responding to your nutritional plan as expected, your dietitian or nutritionist will try to determine the cause. Be sure to tell your specialist if you haven’t been able to follow and stick to your nutritional plan. He may be able to offer alternatives or suggestions that will help you succeed in reaching these goals.

If you are not making progress and you feel you are giving it your all, it may be time to find a new specialist. Sometimes the practitioner and you might not “click”… causing important points to fall through the cracks. While you are ultimately accountable for your goals, it’s OK to find another “partner” if the relationship isn’t working out.

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