Who to trust for your nutrition advice? Why only a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist really knows the answers.

Being a Registered Dietitian for almost 20 years now, I know people are more confused about food choices than ever. It seems like people are willing to accept advice from almost ANYONE about what to put in their bodies.

“Joe down the street recommends the Keto diet because he thinks it got rid of his diabetes”, “My cousin doesn’t eat any fruit because an internet search said sugar causes cancer ”, “Frankie on Facebook lost 20 pounds in 2 weeks doing intermittent fasting”, “ Kim Kardashian drank sea moss smoothies and swears it got her baby weight off”. People ask themselves, “ Would this work for me?”

The reason clients seek nutrition advice from Registered Dietitians is because our recommendations are based on science. We have the education, training and ethical responsibility to keep clients safe while providing accurate information. Clients come to us whether the reason for the visit is to lose 10 pounds or to help treat a complicated medical diagnosis of kidney failure, celiac disease, or Type 1 diabetes.

Anyone can call themselves a “nutritionist” but a Registered Dietitian or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RD or RDN) is a legal designation that can only be used by those who have completed the education & certification. Therefore, only RD / RDNs can legally prescribe nutrition plans and provide medical nutrition therapy.

RDs / RDNs complete a four-year undergraduate nutrition degree in a very specific, accredited program. Coursework includes the study of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, medical ethics and food science. After graduation, we then log hundreds of hours of practical experience in a rigorous internship program. Earning our degree, completing a clinical internship and passing a licensure exam, qualifies us RDs to offer medical nutritional therapy (MNT) — treating medical conditions (such as diabetes, kidney disease, obesity etc. ). We are required to maintain continuing education credits throughout our career to keep up with advancing science.

In addition, more than half of Registered Dietitians have a master’s degree or higher, like myself and my associates. We often have additional certifications of expertise in areas like in Diabetes, Oncology, Pediatrics, Sports Nutrition, Kidney Disease and Eating Disorders.

What does a visit with an RD look like?

My associates and I are educators and creative problem solvers. We each have a goal to provide realistic plans for our clients. Whether you appear in our office because your doctor “made you come”, or you are committed to make a life change on your own, it is important for us to understand what your goals are and how motivated you are.

We will first review your medical history, medications, supplements, allergies, sleep habits, stress levels & recent laboratory results. If necessary we will get additional information from your physician. From there, we provide the necessary nutrition education, at a level that you can understand & at a pace that fits with your lifestyle.

Treatment consists of a tailored eating plan and several follow up consultations.Our nutrition plans are individualized for you based on your goals, your health & genetics/ family history, your lifestyle, your baseline knowledge, your eating behaviors & habits, your food preferences, your baseline activity levels, your lifestyle.–this is NEVER ‘one size fits all’ advice.

Some skills that you may learn from us are how to: read food labels & prepare meals specific to your medical condition, make more nutritious meals at home for your family, navigate restaurant menus, listen to your your body’s signs of hunger & satiety, be more mindful of what you are eating and why, fuel for exercise/ training or what to eat and avoid during pregnancy. You will leave with attainable goals that you and your RD both agree on– a few nutrition, activity and behavioral goals at each visit.

Short term changes have short term results. Registered Dietitians are not going to celebrate quick weight loss or rapidly improving lab results if it is clear that what our clients are doing is temporary, unsustainable, lacking proper nutrition or potentially harmful. Clients deserve a thoughtful, individualized nutrition strategy that creates a safe, long-term “forever plan”. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists, the trusted nutrition professionals, will deliver those results.

Are you interested in scheduling an appointment with one of our dietitians?