Fact Sheet

Living with a disability and eating well

Did you know..

Persons living with a disability are more likely to have nutrition related ill health than the general population?

This includes challenges related to body weight (both under and over weight), diabetes, swallowing or reflux issues along with lowered immune systems and poor bowel and oral health. Causes of ill health are multifactorial and may be inter-related (such as medications for one condition causing constipation as a side effect).

Good health and nutrition does not simply happen. It is underpinned by financial security, adequate resources (think food & ingredients, equipment, food storage), and adequate skills (recipe planning, shopping execution, reading and following a recipe, along with proper food hygiene). Community and connection with others, also positively influence a persons’ nutritional intake.

Person’s living with a disability generally have more challenging life circumstances. This may include financial restraints, altered living situations and social isolation. It is important to note that it is not necessarily the disability itself that causes poor nutritional outcomes, but rather the interplay of disability and complex life circumstances.

Getting help from a Dietitian

While a dietitian cannot change a clients life circumstance, they can certainly help the client to work optimally towards good health within their own unique set of circumstances.  

At times, a solution that a dietitian offers up may appear seemingly small or simple (e.g. include more fibre and fluid to combat constipation or include a sandwich of low GI carbohydrates at lunch to assist with blood sugar control).  However, each recommendation we provide is carefully considered and will always take into account the following:

  • realistic to achieve in both cost and execution
  • sustainable so that it can be followed for a long period of time and
  • targeted to improve the individual concerns of the client.
What does eating well look like?

Healthy eating and lifestyle habits include:

✅ Eating regular meals and snacks for your body and activity level

✅ Eating from all the food groups, each day

✅ Eating a variety of coloured foods

✅ Eating high fibre foods (unless contraindicated)

✅ Limiting foods and meals high in fat, sugar, salt (unless otherwise advised)

✅ Drinking water and limiting sugar or caffeine containing beverages

✅ Regular, enjoyable movement of body (think walking, cycling, swimming, dancing)

Eating well makes us feel well. We can concentrate longer when our body isn’t trying to correct massive highs or lows from intake of certain foods or drinks (think caffeine or sugar crashes). We also sleep better, which in turn helps us to make better choices the following day. Movement of body releases happy hormones which also makes us feel good and we feel more comfortable when our digestive tract is moving smoothly.

If the healthy habits above sound like you – then congratulations – keep on doing what you’re doing! If they don’t, and you feel ready to work on any of the above to improve your health and wellbeing, please get in contact with our professional dietetic team today to learn how we can best support you in improving your health.

Remember – health is not simply the absence of disease

Spotlight on our NDIS Dietitian Led Cooking Classes

Our Dietitian led cooking clinics merge nutrition counselling and education, with the fostering of practical cooking skillsets. This enables participants to make tangible changes within their home eating habits.
Classes provide more than nutrition advice. Clients also receive:

If you are looking to improve your daily living, health or wellbeing through good nutrition, then give us a call on 6162 2583 to schedule a tour of our facilities and discuss a starting date.

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