Rushden dietitian shares her thoughts on coping with a special diet in hospital

"Individuals from Northamptonshire are often admitted to various hospitals and this article aims to provide information and reassurance to them”
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An expert on diet and nutrition has shared her knowledge on coping with a special diet while in hospital.

Dr Mabel Blades of Rushden is a freelance registered dietitian and nutritionist, who has regularly shared advice with our readers in recent years.

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This included sharing her knowledge with the Northants Telegraph during the pandemic, helping us to follow a balanced diet and look after ourselves while the country was in lockdown.

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Now she is offering advice on coping with a special diet if you are in hospital.

Dr Blades told the Northants Telegraph: “People who need to follow a special diet often ask me how they will cope with their diet during a period of admission to hospital.

"Individuals from Northamptonshire are often admitted to various hospitals and this article aims to provide information and reassurance to them.

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"Special diets are more correctly referred to as ‘therapeutic diets’ as they are advised by doctors and dietitians and other health professionals to assist the management of a medical condition such as diabetes, raised cholesterol levels or a food intolerance such as to gluten which occurs with coeliac disease or other disorders.

"Nutrition and hydration is regarded as imperative to the care and recovery of patients.

"We must also not forget that hardworking hospital staff need good food to sustain them.

"Hospital caterers and dietitians and staff strive to ensure patients have suitable food.

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"NHS hospitals have certain standards on this which can be found by anyone – National standards for healthcare food and drink From NHS England.

"This contains full information on food for patients, staff, and visitors plus standards on food waste and recording.

"It includes information on meal ordering. It can give reassurance to patients and their relatives.

"Additionally, there is comprehensive information on special diets in the ‘Nutrition and Hydration Nutrition Digest’ which has all the standards on hospital food including special diets.

"It is helpful for those needing a special diet.

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"Hospital menus usually have coding to indicate which foods and dishes are suitable for which diets."

Dr Blades assisted with a chapter in this on sustainability.

This was presented at the launch in London on June 15 - The Digest can easily be found and provides information and reassurance.

For specific advice on your diet, Dr Blades advises that you consult your dietitian, doctor, or health professional.

For further information follow Dr Blades on Twitter via @blades_mabel