There is so much information available to people about what is good for us, what the new superfood is and also what foods we should avoid or eat sparingly. With the sheer volume of information also comes conflicting articles completely contradicting what you may have just read.
What nutritional advice do you follow and what advice is specific to your needs?
Seeking advice from a trained dietitian takes the guess work out of what you should and shouldn’t eat. An appointment with your local dietitian means you are getting direct access to evidence-based research on food, nutrition and the science of how specific food can affect or improve parts of your body.
If we haven’t already sold you in on the benefits of seeing your dietitian, read on.
What does a dietitian do?
Let’s start with the foundation – what we actually do.
A Dietitian (sometimes spelled “dietician” – damn Americans 😉) is a health professional with a sophisticated and expert understanding of how food and fluids affect our bodies. Unlike “nutritionists” they are able to provide medical nutrition therapy to individuals with medical conditions. This includes providing nutritional recommendations for both the treatment and prevention of diet-related disorders such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, food intolerances, malnutrition, eating disorders and many more.
Our job as a dietitian is to educate people about the specific nutritional needs their body requires to help them achieve optimal health.
Why see a dietitian?
There are many reasons why people choose to engage the services of a dietitian.
Your GP may make a referral to a dietitian to address a specific health-related condition outside of their expertise, or you may choose to seek out our services for a variety of reasons such as:
- You want a specific diet to lose weight effectively;
- You may want more energy to keep you going through the day;
- You are suffering from an eating disorder;
- You are experiencing digestive problems;
- Your child is “fussy”, or suffering from allergies/intolerances related to food;
- You are planning to fall pregnant or want advice around diet and breastfeeding;
- You have undergone or about to undergo weightless surgery;
- You have a medical condition such as high blood pressure, diabetes, coeliac disease, high cholesterol, that may be able to be controlled through diet;
- You need to gain weight as a result of a medical condition; or
- You are an athlete wanting to improve performance or improve your body composition.
What to expect from a dietetic appointment
Speaking for our team here at Sunshine Coast Dietetics, an initial consultation with one of our dietitians will usually run for 40min to an hour. During this time, our dietitian will ask detailed questions about your weight and medical history, work and home life, current and past eating habits, medical history, identify any barriers to change, and discuss what you want to achieve in seeing a dietitian. Your answers allow us to get a full understanding of your circumstances to tailor a specific diet to achieve your goals.
If you have been referred by a GP and have a specific medical condition, then one of our dietitians will work closely with your doctor and review your medications, blood work and other test results to prescribe a suitable nutritional plan. The dietitian will be able to provide you with educational resources, recipes, nutrition hacks, meal plans and more that you can take home to help you achieve your diet-related goals.
To keep you on track, and support you on your journey, follow up appointments are necessary to track your progress and fine tune your diet prescription as you start to achieve your goals.
To Wrap It Up
As a dietitian, our primary goal is to help you take care of your health by making the best food choices. We’ve done extensive research and study to confidently create a tailored nutrition plans and education that is suited to your needs and goals and to get you on your way to optimal health.