One of my favourite dieticians gave a webinar on PKU, but I’ve been off my game in the last few weeks and missed it! Fortunately the inter webs has come to the rescue and Nutricia have made a recording available on their Low Protein Connect website. The video is 35mins long.

Louise Robertson is a registered dietician with a special interest in Inherited Metabolic disorders. She is one half of the team behind Dieticianslife.com which promises: “Nutrition, diet and the life of a dietitian. No fad diets, potions or pills, promoting evidence-based dietary advice.”

In 2015 the Dieticians Life team undertook the 7 days / 7 exchanges challenge. This caught my eye and I found Louise on Twitter @louisedietitian. (In the interests of full disclosure I admit that the hook was their healthy banana and sultana flapjack recipe.) These are a few of my notes on Louise's webinar, though I recommend taking half an hour to watch it yourself.

Louise kicks things off by saying that “in theory a Low Protein (LP) diet sounds very healthy as it should include a lot of vegetables and fruit.” But her research has found that it can be difficult to eat healthily and watch your weight on a LP diet. Fortunately, she has a few answers.

Louise brought up the need to count the calories in exchange free foods. We must remember that these foods have calories too. She used an example straight out of my playbook: “So if you munch your way through a whole packet of biscuits, LP biscuits, because they are free then you will also be eating lots and lots of calories as well.” Oh yes, mid afternoon office munchies anyone?! After showing us there was a need to watch ourselves here, Louise was reassuring in relation to the proportion of carbohydrate in a LP vs a normal diet.

A big eyeopener was the difference that our exchange foods could have on our calorie and fat intake. Louise admitted to choosing examples from opposite spectrums, but she showed that we could easily affect our fat and calorie intakes by selecting healthier options. Thankfully Louise then went on to list a few for us: popcorn, baked beans, coconut yoghurt etc.

The presentation also tackled the current health scares around sugar and the equally prevalent miracle cure labels attached to butter and coconut oil. (Spoiler: all are wrong). She finished with discussing the new trend towards vegan foods along with tips on eating out. I was pleased to see that her suggestions allied closely with mine - and allows me to shamelessly plug my article on eating out, also on Nutricia’s website.

It would have been helpful to have the questions asked by web-attendees included in the uploaded recording, but I appreciate that will have been difficult to ensure privacy requirements are followed. Really it was my mistake for not watching it live.

Thank you for taking the time to present this Louise and I look forward to the next one.