The food we eat affects every system in the body. It can prevent disease, promote weight loss or gain, and impact our self-image.
Finding a nutrition expert who can genuinely assist you in making long-lasting behavioral changes can be challenging. That’s why it’s essential to seek guidance from professionals like the experts at Radiate Nutrition. Here are some things to keep in mind as you search for your ideal nutritionist:
They Know the Science
In addition to promoting healthy eating habits, dietitians can help people with specific health conditions by developing diets that support their medical needs. For example, dietary changes can help prevent prediabetes from progressing to diabetes and manage heart disease, high blood pressure, or even certain types of cancer.
A registered dietitian (RD or RDN) is a nutrition expert who has completed rigorous academic and professional training. This includes earning a bachelor’s degree in dietetics or nutrition, an accredited internship, and passing a national registration examination. They are also regulated by professional organizations, which require them to maintain ongoing education and adherence to a code of ethics.
In clinical settings, RDs and RDNs work alongside doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to promote healthy eating practices for patients with chronic diseases or health conditions. They can also work with clients to create meal plans and offer individualized nutritional counseling. Some dietitians choose private practice, which allows them to create a more creative approach to client therapy and build on their knowledge base.
They Focus on Lifestyle Changes, Not Diets
A registered dietitian has undergone extensive education, passed a national exam, and met licensing requirements. They work with doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to manage nutrition for health promotion, disease prevention, treatment, and management of chronic conditions.
RDNs help you navigate health-related information and provide guidance based on your unique needs. You might seek their advice because you’re pregnant, trying to lose weight, or struggling with a disordered eating pattern. They’ll work with you to develop a meal plan that meets your goals.
Dietetics is a highly regulated profession. RDNs must complete hundreds of hours of hands-on clinical rotations or internships in hospitals and community clinics to gain real-world experience before becoming registered. Unlike some “nutritionists,” who don’t have the necessary qualifications, dietitians are RDs or LDs. Their credentials are easily verifiable by looking for their RD or LD designation on their website, social media, or business card.
They Can Help You Meet Your Goals
Whether you want to lose weight, build muscle, or manage your blood sugar, an RD can help you set realistic goals. They will consider your daily schedule, family dynamics, grocery shopping accessibility, food allergies, and more to help you create a plan that fits you.
They can also provide medical nutrition therapy for various health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, gastrointestinal diseases, etc. They work closely with healthcare teams and monitor dietary compliance, make recommendations for adjusting meal plans, and provide ongoing counseling.
Lastly, they can help you reach your fitness goals by pairing the right meals with your exercise routine to optimize results. By doing this, you can avoid the Yo-Yo effect of fad diets and still enjoy your favorite foods while changing body composition. Having an expert guide you along your journey can make it more fun and easier to stick with! RDs can even help you find healthy and delicious recipes.
They Can Help You Stay Motivated
It’s no secret that reaching your health goals takes more than a diet. Dietitians can provide the support, accountability, and education you need to meet your nutrition and wellness goals.
For instance, many people who struggle with eating disorders find the help of a registered dietitian helpful in re-framing their relationship with food and body image. Registered dietitians can also teach clients how to incorporate more healthy foods into their daily routines and make sustainable changes to their health habits that will last a lifetime.
RDs work in various settings and can be found in hospitals, HMOs, and private practice. They may also manage food service organizations in schools and correctional facilities. In addition, RDs can be found teaching and researching at universities. To become a registered dietitian, students must complete the requirements of an ACEND-accredited didactic program and complete supervised practice in an approved dietetic internship. In addition, RDs must pass the credentialing exam and maintain credentials through continuing education.