The Medi-Diets™ Solution—How it Works
Many people have a basic idea about what a healthful diet should be… but how does one realistically make it happen in a fast food world? Where do you begin when chronic disease makes diet change even more necessary? Begin with Medi-Diets™ nutrition therapy tools.
Medi-Diets™ are not passive, stand-alone handouts but actually single page nutrition therapy templates which incorporate the principles of motivational interviewing; a very successful counseling technique that engages the patient as opportunities for participation and ownership are provided. Each Medi-Diets™ form is designed to help you, the clinician, encourage patients to become partners in developing their individualized nutrition plan. Rather than lecturing the patient, the clinician utilizes motivational interviewing techniques to involve the patient throughout a diet counseling session. This can easily be accomplished in less than 10 minutes.
How is this done? Simply select and print a color copy of the Medi-Diets™ form addressing your patient’s primary care nutrition need. Within a few minutes, you and your patient will create a dynamic food and nutrition plan that your patient can take home and implement. Important and practical nutrition skills are acquired as your patient learns to:
- Identify foods and eating behaviors of concern;
- Specify nutrition changes to make;
- Select appropriate food suggestions; and
- Create palate pleasing meal and snack ideas.
Each Medi-Diets™ counseling tool simplifies a diet therapy plan into a few simple principles. For example, let’s take a look at our counseling tool designed to help patients with hypertriglyceridemia: Triglyceride Lowering Principles
The left hand column outlines the key triglyceride lowering dietary principles:
• Limit Sweets and Sugary Carbohydrate Foods
• Avoid Fried foods and Unhealthful Fats
• Drink Less Alcohol
• Select Foods Rich in Beneficial Fats
• Reach a Healthful Body Weight
The clinician can promote the understanding of any or all of these triglyceride lowering principles by selecting a principle, and then focusing the patient’s attention on the entire row.
For example, if you choose to focus on limiting sweets and sugary carbohydrates, encourage your patient to look at the Nutrition Facts label and circle the amount of total carbohydrate and sugars contained in one sample scone. Moving farther along the row is an action plan for changes to be made. Perhaps you can guide your patient to script out a new and improved lower sugar breakfast!
As time permits, the remaining nutrition principles and action plans can be addressed. Depending on your patient’s nutrition situation, the diet counseling session can go from very basic to a more in-depth session.
Medi-Diets™ counseling tools actively engage patients and increase your effectiveness as a primary care provider. Patients leave these education sessions with a specific plan in hand; feeling empowered and hopeful. They have learned some new and important skills that will make their food plan easier to implement. Feelings of success often lead to greater motivation and behavioral change.