Nutrition Care and Therapy at Perfect Balance
There is a variety of approaches and tools used by dietitians to address disease prevention, nutrition therapy and health goals. Nutrition therapy is based on trust and collaboration. Our dietitian, believes that it is essential to work beyond the use of traditional meal plan and general recommendations. Here is an overview of what you can expect from a session with Perfect Balance's dietitian.
A nutritional evaluation at Perfect Balance includes a global assessment of the patient's nutritional goal including mindset and biology components of health, a medical, medication and treatment history, past and present experience surrounding nutrition changes, diets and weight, assessment of relationship with food and body image, current food intake (energy, vitamins, minerals etc.) and an understanding of the food repartition and organization (timing, location, food logistic and meal preparation skills).
Nutrition Follow-up - Accountability support
Nutrition follow-up and accountability support is a collaborative work between dietitian and patient to achieve nutrition changes and goals. The regularity of the follow-up session is tailored to the needs of each patient.
Allergies or intolerances
Assessment and follow-up of allergy and intolerance includes a complete nutritional assessment, necessary referral to evidence-based allergy test (IgE food allergy and Non-IgE food allergy) and/or food intolerances testing, a thorough evaluation of gut-related symptoms, such as diarrhoea, bloating, constipation and skin problems, such as eczema. Nutrition care will identify and aim to understand the foods causing the symptoms and plan the implementation of an exclusion and reintroduction diet process. Practical tools and resources are needed to ensure adequate nutrition while navigating food choices, avoid confirmed or suspected allergens, body's immune system response and manage digestive discomfort.
Diabetes management aim to maintain near-normal blood glucose levels, achieve optimal serum lipid levels (cholesterol), consider weight changes, work at preventing big variation of blood sugar (hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia). Nutrition therapy and diabetes treatment also addresses and supports overall health, food, medication, and exercise balance. We also address and include management strategies for comorbidities including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and nephropathy (renal conditions).
Gestational Diabetes management
When diagnosed with gestational diabetes, nutrition therapy goes beyond simply being told to "cut the carbs". Nutrition changes need to support maternal, placental, and fetal metabolic needs. Balanced nutrition and positive outcomes for pregnancy and lactation include individualized nutrition education and strategy and accounts for physical activity, and medications when needed. Nutrition therapy at Perfect Balance considers cultural food preferences includes a medical, medication and treatment history, past and present experience surrounding nutrition changes, diets and weight, assessment of relationship with food and body image, current food intake (energy, vitamins, minerals etc.) and an understanding of the food repartition and organization (timing, location, food logistic and meal preparation skills).
High blood pressure management
Optimal high blood pressure (hypertension) management includes nutrition support. It goes beyond general knowledge of the need to modify sodium intake, physical activity, alcohol intake. High blood pressure is often overlooked and with practical strategies and support, health outcomes are possible. Global lifestyle interventions can be tailored to each patient's preferences and habits to optimize intake of potassium, dietary fiber, calcium, magnesium, omega 3.
Cardiovascular disease management
Nutrition therapy to prevent or manage heart disease includes knowledge, actions and support to address lifestyle changes including protein intake and sources, omega-3 fatty acids intake, fiber intake. Nutrition therapy at Perfect Balance considers cultural food preferences includes a medical, medication and treatment history, past and present experience surrounding nutrition changes, diets and weight, assessment of relationship with food and body image, current food intake (energy, vitamins, minerals etc.) and an understanding of the food repartition and organization (timing, location, food logistic and meal preparation skills).
Nutrition therapy to prevent or manage high cholesterol (dyslipidemia) includes practical tools and guidances to address fat intake and sources, protein intake and sources, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and sodium intake.
Nutrition therapy is the only accepted treatment for celiac disease. The main goal and aim is to follow a strict gluten-free diet (the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, found in various products as a known ingredient or as a result of cross contamination). Beyond the exclusion of gluten, we acknowledge that such change comes with practical and social challenges. The nutritional quality of the gluten free diet needs to be monitored since certain nutrients and vitamins are at risk to be low (e.i. B vitamins, calcium, vitamin D, iron, zinc, magnesium, and fiber) and cause a risk of nutrient deficiencies. Prevention of complication can be addressed by proper support and follow-up of the patient's bone mineral density, imbalanced macronutrients, fiber intake, and micronutrient deficiencies.
The main aim of the treatment of Irritable bowel syndrome is to alleviate the symptoms of IBS through nutrition and lifestyle changes but also by addressing the reality of living with certain restrictions and food intolerances. Understanding triggers and getting some practical tools and alternatives to maintain a balanced diet beyond the diagnosis. Get the support you need to navigate gatherings, travels, eating out, coping with stress.
Emotional eating is often stated but misinformation is rampant. Nutrition therapy can help address certain causes, trigger and coping skills to feel more at peace around food.
Intuitive eating is an approach that opposes conventional restrictive diets and that promotes positive mind-body connection, the recognition and respect of body intelligence. It aims to help people end the cycle of chronic dieting and improve their relationship with food. It addresses regid food rules and restrictive behavior and gets a clearer sense of what affects our food choices and behaviors. Intuitive eating refuses to treat food as "good" or "bad". The intuitive eating approach at Perfect Balance is used as part of a global assessment of the the medical, medication and treatment history, past and present experience surrounding nutrition changes, diets and weight, assessment of relationship with food and body image, current food intake (energy, vitamins, minerals etc.), an understanding of the food repartition and organization (timing, location, food logistic and meal preparation skills) and cultural food preferences.
Recovery of eating disorders, disordered eating and difficult relationships with food and body image requires support. Nutrition therapy addresses food habits and behaviors when food takes a bigger place in your life then you wish, if it affects your quality of life, your body image and self-worth, if it affects the ability to feel free and spontaneous around food, when food thoughts and choices overcrowd other activities or impairs relationships. Food rules and obsession around food can come with feelings of guilt, self loading, shame and result in isolation. It can have an impact on physical health, result in nutrient deficiency, disease and even cause death. Perfect Balance’s dietitian work in collaboration with doctors and psychologist specialized in eating disorder and body image.
Food and nutrient deficiency/excess
Nutrient imbalances (deficiencies or excesses) can cause nutrient-related diseases or conditions. Such imbalances can be caused and prevented by diet and/or supplementation modifications. Imbalance can be genetically related (family history) and/or caused by the interaction of foods and nutrients with a specific treatment or medication. Certain food allergies, intolerances or digestive disease can cause nutrients malabsorption or imbalances. Symptoms of food and nutrients can be visible or not. It can affect our vision, skin, digestive health, bone, teeth or heart health, nervous system, muscle mass and functions, memory, blood or hormonal balance as well as creating weight variations. Referral to proper blood and medical tests to evaluate the deficiency and potential cause is often necessary.
Macros & Energy balance
Nutrition therapy as it relates to energy balance goes beyond the concept of calories in (what we eat) and calories out (the energy we spend). Understanding what affects when and how much we eat is more powerful and helpful than counting calories.
Beyond the concept of eating slowly, mindful eating addresses key factors of satisfaction, considers past and present patterns of dieting or restrictive eating and the concept of body awareness when eating. Mindful eating is also rooted in food satisfaction and enjoyment. It accounts for emotional and physical factors that affect how we eat. It invites people to be nonjudgmental and gradually limit distracted, automatic and unconscious eating.
Diet and PCOS are connected. Nutrition therapy in the context of PCOS goes beyond recommending weight loss to everybody and at any cost. Weight fluctuation and weight cycling can be detrimental to hormonal balance. The proper support to address long term management of the PCOS and sustainable lifestyle changes, promotes both mental and physical health. It helps improving nutrient density, understanding how to support and normalize insulin, blood sugar and hormone levels, modifying meal regularity and food variety.
Food logistic & skills
Meal planning, logistic and cooking skills is an important part of meal regularity and improved diet quality. Addressing the organization around food and meals is part of a global assessment of past experience with nutrition changes, diets and weight history, the medical history, assessment of relationship with food and his body, current food habits to create personalized treatment plan. Meal planning and meal regularity is often the key point in weight loss diets and meal planning but fail to address the individual preferences and long term sustainability of the food choices.
Weight neutral approach assessment
Weight neutral approach and Nutrition Care Process are a great way to address various health issues and acknowledge the here/now body of the patient and improve mental and physical health. It strongly opposes any body and food shaming that can occur in the medical field and generally in society. It recognizes body diversity. Patients do not need to "love" their body to recognize all the amazing things that it allows them to do. This approach can also be connected to health at every size and anti-diet approaches.
Jeanne is a Registered Dietitian with Dietitians of Canada and is a graduate of McGill University’s School of Dietetics & Human Nutrition, in Montreal. In her career she has provided nutritional services in outpatient, inpatient, homecare and virtual healthcare settings in the Middle East, Central America and Canada...