Eat your way to a healthy heart

Heart healthy image

Diet is key to preventing and managing heart disease, which is why it’s so important to get advice from someone who really knows. Victoria Taylor gets the lowdown from three NHS dietitians.

“You can trust a dietitian to know about nutrition,” says the British Dietetic Association. With the variety of food information that we are bombarded with, this is reassuring.

Nutrition seems to be an area where everyone has an opinion and we regularly hear from self-styled ‘experts’ who profess to know which foods to include in your diet but often heavily promote products and supplements.

One of the problems is anyone can call themselves a ‘nutritionist’. While some will be appropriately qualified and registered with the UK voluntary register of nutritionists, some won’t, and it can be difficult to tell the difference. On the other hand, the title ‘dietitian’ can only be used by people who have been fully trained.

Dietitians work in a variety of specialisms and settings, from one-to-one appointments in clinics to hospitals or community groups. Their common aim is to help people make informed and practical changes to their diets.

We spoke to three dietitians working in different areas of the NHS:

Want to know more?

Your doctor may refer you to an NHS dietitian if he or she thinks it necessary. Otherwise, if you want to see a registered dietitian privately, visit Freelance Dietitians.

All qualified dietitians must register with the Health Professions Council. To find out whether a whether a dietitian or other health professional is registered and meets Health Professions Council standards, log on to the Health and Care Professions Council website or call 020 7840 9802.

If you’d like to know more about dietitians and how they can help, visit the British Dietetic Association website or call 0121 200 8080.

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