HAMAD Medical Corporation (HMC) Senior Clinical Dietitian Lena Ribhi Nassar has advised people to avoid seeking dietary advice from Internet and frien
HAMAD Medical Corporation (HMC) Senior Clinical Dietitian Lena Ribhi Nassar has advised people to avoid seeking dietary advice from Internet and friends who are not medical experts, urging them to rather visit a dietitian to get proper advice.
According to her, seeking information from people who are not specialised in nutrition can be misleading.
Speaking to Qatar Tribune, Nassar said,”I advise people to consult a dietitian if they have a question. We have people who have come to our clinics and they have got good recommendations.”
She said instead of consulting friends or Internet for diet and nutrition, concerned people should visit the HMC clinics and HMC General Dietitian Clinic which is under Dietitics Management Clinic.
Nassar said their role is to evaluate and do nutritional assessment for all the patients at HMC.
“We see patients who are admitted in hospital since the doctor refers them to a dietitian for nutritional assessments or evaluation of any nutritional requirements,” she said, stressing that they treat patients according to their different needs.
“If a patient needs weight reduction or has requirements for weight gain, we advise accordingly. Some have medical conditions that require education and awareness, for instance, food allergies or specifications, renal, liver issues, pre- or post-renal transplant or liver transplant.
We do follow-up with patients irrespective of whether they are inpatients or outpatients,” she said.
Nassar added that they conduct open discussions with patients.
“We talk about the patient’s dietary history, medical history, the amount of food he/she is eating, what difficulties does he/she face, about his/her exercise habit, any regular snacks, or any medication that the patient is currently taking, and weight and height.
We assess the patient using the most updated technique such as the percentage of muscle, fat or Body Mass Index, among others,” Nassar said.
According to her, a patient receives education from the time he/she is admitted in the hospital.
She recommended those with high blood pressure should have at least three main meals and three snacks in between per day, urging them to avoid adding salt to served food.
Nassar also warned people with high blood pressure against consuming canned foods as many of such food may contain unhealthy preservative substances.
“Sometimes, these foods contain either too much salt or sugar because they need to be preserved for a longer period without going stale,” she said.
She also advised those with high blood pressure to avoid condiments such as salad dressings, salt, gravy foods and fatty food.
The expert dietitian urged people to use more fresh foods and use frozen foods only when fresh ones are not available.
She said those with lifestyle diseases such as diabetes should be physically active, besides choosing a healthy diet.
“Regular exercise helps people manage their blood sugar and pressure, in addition to regular meals and snacks,” she said, stressing that regular exercise of about 30 to 40 minutes three to four times a week is fair enough.
“They should also increase water intake. People, especially those living in high temperatures, should increase their water intake to avoid dehydration,” Nassar advised, recommending drinking a minimum of two litres of water per day, for persons who spend more time outdoor and those who are usually active.
She stressed that those who take coffee and tea even need more water because tea and coffee speed up loss of water from the body.