What Is a Dietitian?
If you're looking for nutrition advice, you will not have trouble finding someone promoting their “unique” nutrition solution. Between celebs, influencers, your personal trainer, and dodgy websites, there will be many people happy to sell you their nutrition recipe.
Often, advice given by these sources is not only ineffective but also expensive, shortsighted, and sometimes dangerous. That's where dietitians come in.
A dietitian is a board-certified food and nutrition expert. They complete extensive training across various healthcare settings, as well as study how to best adapt food according to your lifestyle. After training, they need to pass certified exams that ensure qualifications to treat through nutrition services.
There is a different regulatory body in each province of Canada that governs the title Registered Dietitian (RDN or RD). They check that anyone saying they're a dietitian has completed the proper training.
To be more specific, the usual route for a dietitian is a four-year undergraduate degree, clinical placements, and usually also includes a master's degree. Most dietitians also go on to do specialized training in their area of interest. Clinical dietitians can work to prevent and manage disease through personalized consultations.
When to See a Dietitian?
Whether you're looking to treat symptoms arising from diseases such as cancer, wanting to lose weight, or feel healthy day to day, a dietitian is qualified to provide this advice.
If you think you should see a dietitian, don't delay. Nutrition issues can progress, becoming more challenging to treat, so early intervention is critical. Some key signs that you should see a dietitian are:
- Your weight isn't in a healthy range or changing at a rapid rate
- You suffer uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms
- You have a chronic disease that could affect your nutrition status
- You think you have a food allergy or intolerance
- You follow a restrictive diet that could leave you malnourished
- You want to feel healthier and learn about nutrition
Before you invest in the 'miracle cure' that promises you'll lose 30lbs in a week, consider a Registered Dietitian.
A dietitian will provide unbiased advice about how to nourish your body. If they think it's a good idea, you can still buy that 'miracle cure,' but chances are, they'll show you some studies that disprove it and have you running a mile away from them.
What Are the Benefits of Seeing a Dietitian?
The main benefit of seeing a dietitian for nutrition counseling is that you can rest assured that the advice they provide is evidence-based. This means it has been proven to be effective in people with your issues.
They're highly qualified and will tailor sessions to exactly what you need. If you already know the basics of nutrition and just want meal plans, they can do that. If you're going to go from basics and learn about food, they can teach you.
You don't need to feel shy or embarrassed when visiting a dietitian. They're trained to work with a host of different disorders, so they will never judge you or tell you off.
Finally, contrary to popular opinion, they aren't the food police. Dietitians work based on believing all foods are okay in balance and moderation. Unless there's a good reason, a dietitian will never 'ban' you from eating certain foods. Instead, they'll make recommendations on how to improve your diet and wellbeing.
Words of Warning
Because of the vast number of unqualified people offering nutrition advice, you must ensure your dietitian is registered with the regulatory body for your providence. With the appropriate registration, your dietitian will provide safe nutrition advice.
Because of the vast number of unqualified people offering nutrition advice, you must ensure your dietitian is registered with the regulatory body for your province. With the appropriate registration, your dietitian will provide safe nutrition advice. By choosing your dietitian from our team, you can be absolutely sure they have the appropriate registration.
There are red flags to look out for when seeking nutrition advice; even dietitians will only recommend these things in rare circumstances:
- Anyone trying to sell you a nutrition product
- Anyone promoting a highly restrictive diet without good cause
- Anyone who offers consultations and sell supplements
- Anyone requesting you pay in advance for a block of visits
Before visiting a nutrition professional, check their registration and credentials online. If you're unsure, don't be afraid to ask; any qualified professional will be proud to tell you about their achievements and credentials.
Find a Registered Dietitian Today
So there you have it, those are the benefits of nutrition counseling from a registered dietitian. If you're unwell and concerned about your nutrition, or simply want to achieve the best health of your life, a dietitian can provide the advice and treatment needed to restore you to health.
Don't fall victim to scams, dangerous and ineffective advice; ask a dietitian's opinion instead.
At TeamNutrition, we have a team of Registered Dietitians on hand to help you with any ailments you might have - contact us today to see how we can help you!
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