Nicholas Rush, RDN, CDNMarch 15, 2023
Nowadays, we are bombarded with information (and misinformation!) on what and how to eat. From countless diet trends to self-proclaimed “nutrition expert” advice, finding what works for you and who to trust can be overwhelming, hard to navigate, and, at times, even dangerous. Registered Dietitian Nutritionist are food and nutrition experts that have met the academic and professional requirements, and passed the Registration Examination for Dietitians to earn the RD credential. RD’s utilize evidence based practices to help you find a safe, realistic, and sustainable eating plan that aligns with your lifestyle and unique nutritional needs.
There are so many benefits to seeing a dietitian, so we wanted to highlight a few here:
- Individualized nutrition advice you can trust: Everyone is different, meaning what works for one person may not work for another. Dietitians go through multiple levels of education and training to be qualified to give science-based nutrition advice that caters to a person’s unique dietary needs, lifestyle, cultural practices, and food preferences. Because improving one’s diet is not a one-size-fits-all approach, a dietitian can partner with you to set and prioritize goals, develop a personalized meal plan, and provide nutrition education and guidance to meet your specific nutritional needs and goals.
- Disease management: Many chronic diseases have special dietary requirements, and many dietitians specialize in certain diseases to help their patients make informed food choices to manage symptoms and improve health outcomes. Dietitians can help with managing chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, gastrointestinal disorders, and more.
- Dietary restrictions: Dietitians can help you navigate special dietary restrictions and find substitutions to keep your diet interesting and flavorful while ensuring your nutritional needs are met.
- Sports nutrition: Whether you’re an athlete or someone who just wants to increase muscle mass or overall physical fitness, a dietitian can help you set goals to optimize performance through nutrition. Dietitians can provide guidance on things like pre- and post-workout nutrition, proper hydration, and how to adequately fuel your body for endurance activities.
- Weight management: You may want to lose or gain weight. Either way, a dietitian can identify what a healthy goal weight is for you, and help you achieve and maintain that weight by providing personalized nutrition education and counseling. This includes guidance in the form of meal planning, meal preparation, portion control, and behavioral change strategies.
- Mindful eating: Having a healthy relationship with food starts with mindful eating practices. This includes learning to listen to your hunger and fullness cues and giving your body what it needs. Dietitians can provide guidance on intuitive eating to help you overcome disordered eating behaviors and develop a better relationship with food.
- Gut health: Diet plays a major role in gut health. Dietitians can provide education and guidance on how to improve your digestive health and manage symptoms associated with digestive disorders such as, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis), Celiac Disease, Functional Constipation, Functional Diarrhea, ect,. They can help you identify what foods to eat and what to avoid, and devise a nutrition plan that is safe, effective, and specific to your needs.
Depending on your goals and nutritional needs, you can find a dietitian specifically trained to address these needs. Just like doctors, dietitians can also specialize in various areas of practice, such as weight management, diabetes education, digestive health, eating disorders, and sports nutrition.
At Halcyon Health we can help you manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, and we have a special interest in LGBTQ+ health and patients suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Overall, there are numerous benefits to seeing a registered dietitian. Research consistently shows that working with a RDN can significantly improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs in the long run. Whether you need help managing a chronic condition, or simply want to build healthier habits, you can trust that you’re getting evidence-based nutrition education and personalized nutrition support to help you achieve your health goals.
Written By: Caroline Mathis, Dietetic Intern
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