Your dietary needs
It is important to remember that your diet needs to meet your personal nutritional needs and circumstances. In normal circumstances, it is important to eat a well-balanced diet, with plenty of fruit and vegetables and only a small amount of fat and sugar.
If you are unwell and losing weight then some of the rules change. If you have been ill you may not feel like eating your usual meals. In this case it is important to eat foods that are high in calories, protein and fats to maintain a healthy weight and avoid muscle wasting. You will probably be prescribed nutritional supplements as well. If you are losing weight unintentionally for any reason, then it is essential to seek medical advice.
If you have been told to lose weight, then it is important to do so slowly and safely.
It is important to try and enjoy what you eat and to discuss any problems you may have with your doctor or dietitian.
Who else can help?
The Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom
Tel: 0161 925 2000 Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5pm
Educational charity who provide information on maintaining a well-balanced diet for vegetarians, including an example of a vegetarian eatwell plate.
Building 3, Riverside Way
Telephone: 0844 8030 244 Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm
Email: contact form through website
Organisation helping to put people in touch with nutritionist resources in their local area.
Finding a dietitian
You can ask your GP or hospital consultant to refer you to an NHS registered dietitian for a specialist diet consultation which will usually take place at your nearest hospital dietetic department. If you are unable to access a dietitian via the NHS, the British Dietetic Association have a specialist Freelance Dietitians Group of registered dietitians working privately. You can search for a private dietitian at www.freelancedietitians.org although there will be a cost for a private consultation.
Most major supermarkets provide free leaflets on nutrition and healthy eating based on the Health Education Authority’s Balance of Good Health Advice.