what is nutritional therapy?
Personalised Nutrition to help maximise your health potential
Nutritional Therapy is an evidence based Personalised Nutrition approach. As well as your diet it considers your genetic make up, your medical history, your physical symptoms, your emotional state and lifestyle factors. A bespoke plan is devised to improve your diet, fitness, stress levels and sleep patterns to optimise your health for the long term.
Nutritional Therapy is a complementary therapy and works effectively alongside conventional medicine. It is particularly effective for chronic conditions such as obesity, digestion problems, arthritic pain and low energy.
We live in an age where you are only one click away from finding potential answers to your health questions but this is mostly generic “one size fits all” health advice - what works for one person may not work for you. In a world of fad diets, food myths and calorie counting, it is easy to get carried away with the latest trend and feel confused.
Questions abound - How much sugar is ok? Is fat bad for you? Which diet is best? Are supplements necessary?
We recommend our clients to undertake a DNA health test (simple mouth swab) to provide specific information about how your DNA interacts with the food you eat.
what is Lifestyle medicine?
The focus of Lifestyle Medicine is based on preventing chronic conditions rather than curing them. As well as making positive changes to the food you eat, lifestyle changes such as sleep, exercise and mindfulness are recognised as being effective interventions towards disease prevention and maintaining optimum health.
Nutritional Therapy and Lifestyle Medicine go hand in hand as they are both evidence based and work towards the prevention of disease.
Many common diseases today such as diabetes, obesity, auto immunity and heart disease can be prevented or reversed by changes to diet and lifestyle. Genetics only accounts for 10% of disease risk, the remaining 90% can be attributed to diet, lifestyle, environment and behaviour. A lifestyle medicine approach is being widely recognised by the medical profession as safe, low cost and effective.
WHAT IS FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE?
Nutritional Therapy uses a functional medicine approach. This approach recognises the intricate relationship between different body systems such as digestion, immunity, energy regulation, detoxification and hormonal balance. It offers a personalised approach that considers your unique medical history, biochemical individuality and emotional state.
Functional medicine aims to alleviate health symptoms by addressing the root cause of the problem and increase overall vitality; not just provide temporary relief by treating the symptoms. By improving one system there is often a positive impact on other systems.
A good example is the proven link between stress and digestion. Someone suffering with a common problem such as acid reflux will be advised to take proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s) to alleviate their symptoms. The medication will decrease the amount of stomach acid, relieve symptoms temporarily but may also cause side effects such as flatulence, abdominal pain or headaches. As a Nutritional Therapist I would take a more holistic approach and help the person to identify trigger foods through a food diary and combine this with a stress reduction intervention - in the long-term this is more likely to be effective than popping pills and help the individual feel more empowered to help themselves.
healthy habits for life starts with real food
Going back to basics is key; enjoying wholesome, minimally processed food that is as close to its natural state is at the heart of a good diet.
I focus on eating real food that is practical and sustainable for your nutritional needs, lifestyle and cooking ability. Initially, it may feel like extra work in order to make the shift to eating well. I will make this transition as easy and enjoyable as possible with lots of meal planning and meal prepping tips and inspiration. As the saying goes - “Nothing worth having comes easy.”
My aim is to ensure you don't need to “go on a diet” again. The only diet you need to follow is the diet that makes you feel happy, energised and satisfied.
Your relationship with food
Many of us use food as a way to cope with our emotions. Maybe you eat more when you are stressed? Maybe you comfort eat? Maybe you use sugar and salty foods for stress relief? Maybe alcohol is a de-stressor for you? I can provide the guidance and coaching to help you reset your relationship with food so your emotions don’t control what you put into your body.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN:
Nutrition is the study of nutrients in food and how the body uses those nutrients. It also looks at the relationship between diet, health and disease. All three practitioners aim to help people achieve better health through their diet.
If you want someone who is qualified, professional, maintains high standards and required to undertake regular training to keep their knowledge up-to-date, always ensure the practitioner you see is "Registered" with the relevant professional body. Health coaches and general wellness experts are unlikely to be qualified to provide evidence-based and more importantly, safe diet and lifestyle guidance.
NUTRITIONAL THERAPIST (NT)
A Nutritional Therapist will make diet, supplement and lifestyle recommendations in order to support and help prevent conditions and symptoms. They use an evidence-based approach but are not medically qualified. They are trained to work safely with clients and understand drug nutrient interactions. Nutritional Therapy is a complementary therapy that can work effectively alongside conventional medicine. A Nutritional Therapist can voluntarily register with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) and BANT (British Association for Nutritional Therapy and Lifestyle Medicine) to provide assurance of high standards and rigorous training in their field. I am registered with both professional bodies.
One of the key differences between Nutritional Therapists (complementary therapy) and Dieticians and Nutritionists is that Nutritional Therapists use a holistic, functional medicine approach and try to address the root cause of the problem using both dietary change and lifestyle change. We do not "treat" medical conditions but work towards health optimisation, disease prevention and supporting health imbalances such as low energy, low immunity, weight gain, poor blood sugar management and digestive symptoms.
A Registered Nutritionist is qualified to provide information about food and healthy eating. They usually have a degree and use an evidence-based approach. Anyone can call themselves a "Nutritionist" so if you are looking for someone who has been trained to a high standard look for a "Registered Nutritionist" as they belong to a self regulated professional register. Some nutritionists work alongside dieticians in the NHS, but they can only work with acutely ill patients whilst supervised by a dietician.
A Registered Dietitian is a qualified medical health professional that assess, diagnose and treat dietary problems for patients. They are the only nutrition professionals to be regulated by law and must register with the British Dietetic Association. They work in the NHS and private clinics. They are trained to work with acutely ill patients, disease conditions and can prescribe some medications. They follow NHS guidelines and protocols in their practice.