With so many health fads, diets, and self-proclaimed health experts on the internet, it can be challenging to navigate the world of nutrition. That’s where a dietician can come in handy. This guide will help you decide if seeing a dietician is something that can benefit you and what exactly you can expect!
How is a Dietitian Different From a Nutritionist?
Knowing the difference between a nutritionist and a dietician can trip people up. All dietitians are nutritionists, but not all nutritionists are dietitians. This means that dietitians are required to have a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, in addition to a supervised internship and an exam, before they can practice as registered dietitians. They are experts in food and nutrition and are qualified to practice in many settings such as hospitals, outpatient clinics, research institutions, or in community outreach programs.
On the other hand, nutritionists can work without earning a license in most states and do not have to follow specific guidelines.
Benefits of Meeting With a Dietitian
Dietitians base their advice on evidence-based science and are up to date on the latest scientific research, so you know you’re receiving the most up-to-date information. An RDN will work with you to go over your health goals and concerns and create a personalized plan to help you achieve all your goals. Your RDN will also carefully consider your unique medical history, lifestyle, culture, food traditions, diet history, eating patterns, and personal preferences when developing your plan.
Who Would Benefit Most From Meeting With an RDN?
- If you have digestive problems
- Those who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or new mothers
- If you are an athlete that wants to improve your athletic performance
- If you want practical health and lifestyle advice
- If you have diabetes
- Those with food allergies, food sensitivities, and intolerances
- If you have high blood pressure
- If you have chronic diseases
- If you have gastric bypass surgery or are considering it
- Your child is experiencing disordered eating
Examples of Questions You Can Ask a Dietician
- What are good sources of protein?
- What supplements should I take, and are they necessary for my goals?
- How do I read nutrition labels?
- Do I need to track my calories?
- How do I eat healthily if I don’t know how to cook?
- Will my medication interact with the food I’m eating?
- What are practical ways I can balance eating out while still achieving my goals?
- How do I know what foods I am intolerant to?
- How much/which foods should I be eating if I want to lose/gain/maintain weight?
If you’re tired of getting your health advice on social media and can’t seem to stick to a diet, it may be time to see a dietitian to come up with a plan that works for you collaboratively!
To find a dietitian near you, visit Find a Dietitian.
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