- Stop Nutrition Confusion. Your co-worker, your mom, your best friend all have advice on how to eat better. But the information you got from one source contradicts the information you got from another source. So what do you do? Nothing. You are too overwhelmed and confused so you end up continuing with the status quo. A registered dietitian (RD) can help separate nutrition fact from fiction. But more important is s/he can show you which facts matter to you and teach you how to use the relevant information to help you reach your goals.
- Manage Weight. Weight management isn’t only about weight loss. It is about reaching and maintaining the weight that is right for your body. Managing weight is a process that often requires a change in one’s attitude and perceptions around food. Many dietitians don’t give a one-size fits all plan. They work with your food preferences, your personal situation (home and work considerations, medical concerns, level of support, etc) to create a realistic approach towards better health. They also provide on-going guidance, support and motivation as challenges arise. (And they often do!)
- Prevent or Control High Blood Sugars (Diabetes). Diet is one of the cornerstones of blood sugar management. Studies have shown that patients who receive nutrition education and diet interventions from a RD are able to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 60% in patients at risk. (1) Reduced blood sugar readings (A1C’s) similar to outcomes with medications has also been noted by by patients who received at least three months of nutrition counselling from a dietitian. (2) Many overweight patients with pre-diabetes can prevent the progression of the diabetes if they reach and maintain a healthy weight. (See #2)
- Reduce High Blood Pressure (Hypertension). According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada most of us consume 2 - 3 times the daily recommended amount of sodium. A dietitian can help identify hidden sources of sodium in your diet and provide tips on how to lower your sodium intake and reduce your risk of stroke. Weight management also helps. (See #2)
- Lower Cholesterol. Good news! Following a diet to lower your cholesterol doesn't mean having to use fat-free products! And, yes - you can eat eggs, too! But how much and how often will depend on what else you consume. A dietitian will assess your overall intake and make the right recommendations for you.
- Deal with Digestive Issues. At some point in our lives we will all experience some digestive issues. Fortunately for most of us these issues will resolve in a few days on its own or in a week or so with some medications. When symptoms of bloating, cramping, burping, flatulence, and/or abdominal pain persist, your quality of life is affected. Working with a dietitian can give you the support and confidence you need to find relief and keep your symptoms in check.
- Introduce Solid Foods to Infants. Not sure what and when to start feeding your baby? The guidance and reassurance you get from a registered dietitian is sometimes all you need to proceed with confidence.
- Feed Someone Who is a Challenge to Feed. This ‘someone’ is often a kid who we refer to as a “picky eater”. But calling him/her that can be counter-productive because, let’s face it, we all have certain foods we prefer not to eat. Keep calm and work with a dietitian to learn how to stop the food battles and foster a positive eating environment for the whole family.
- Optimize Pre and Post Natal Nutrition. Many women have a natural tendency to take care of others before taking care of themselves. But as they approach motherhood it is important to recognize that taking care of herself first will allow her to take better care of baby and others.
- Feel Better Overall. There are many factors that affect your intake. A registered dietitian considers the many influences in your day and creates a plan that often addresses more than just food. Don’t be surprised to come away with a plan that also helps you sleep better and be more active! Dietitians promote lifestyle changes which help you feel your best.
1. Canadian Diabetes Association. Clinical Practice Guidelines. 2013. Chapter 5. Available at http://guidelines.diabetes.ca/fullguidelines
2.Practice-based Evidence in Nutrition. Primary Health Care. Evidence Summary. Grade A Evidence. Accessed on December 8, 2016 . http://www.pennutrition.com/KnowledgePathway.aspx?kpid=3440&trid=3467&trcatid=42