An apple a day keeps the doctor away… or does it?
With so much information on food and nutrition online, it’s difficult to know who and what to trust. What food is actually good for us? What foods should we be avoiding? Is dark chocolate good for you? Dietitian vs nutritionist – where do I start?
According to Nutrition Australia, less than 4% of Aussies eat the recommended daily 5 servings of veggies. When it comes to your family’s health, you can never be too careful, and you certainly don’t want to be working with the wrong information.
Avaana recommends that you begin your journey by consulting a dietitian or nutritionist to help you get started.
Dietitian vs Nutritionist: What’s the difference?
Here’s what you need to know about the differences between the two professions, so you can decide which one is right for you.
What can a nutritionist do for you?
A nutritionist has to have completed at least a Higher Education degree but may have more qualifications. They can offer services to sports bodies, gyms and fitness clubs, schools and hospitals, or can work with individual clients. A fitness instructor at your gym could take a nutrition course to offer better services for weight loss and food recommendations.
A nutritionist can work with you to assess your diet, health, and nutrition goals. They will analyse what essential vitamins you are consuming, whether you’re eating a diet that is too high in fat or too low in vitamins, and then provide advice on health and food choices tailored to your needs.
What can a dietitian do for you?
Dietitians must have tertiary qualifications and must have completed a university-level dietetics course. In addition, they must have at least one year of supervised work experience in a healthcare facility, catering business, or community service.
Dietitians have more specific training to provide evidence-based nutrition services. They can offer services to hospitals and clinics, helping patients or those recovering from an illness or surgery to make diet choices to benefit their health. They may also choose to work in medical research or provide medical nutrition therapy.
A dietitian can provide independent counselling for losing weight, dealing with the emotional aspects of food choices, and can help you assess your diet and design a plan for your goals.
When should I consult a professional?
Dietitians and nutritionists can help you with a customised meal plan that will benefit your health and body, so there’s no wrong time to go. However, most of us will not consult a dietitian or a nutritionist ‘just like that’.
However, there are some cases in which consulting a professional is helpful. Here are some situations:
- If you have or think you have food allergies.
- If you have a history of a specific disease in your family and want to customize your diet to reduce the risk of developing it.
- If you have been diagnosed with a disease like cancer that requires prolonged medical treatment.
- If you have a major sporting event coming up and want to eat the right kind of fuel.
- If you want a healthy, sustainable way to lose weight and get fit.
- If you are pregnant or planning on starting a family.
The importance of eating right
Imagine that you have a car with a petrol engine, and you fill it with diesel instead. What would happen? The car would choke, splutter, emit smoke, run badly, and finally stop. That’s more or less what happens when you put bad food into your body over time (except maybe for the ‘emitting smoke’ part!) and you really don’t want that.
Make healthy food choices and you’ll be reaping many benefits over your lifetime. Here are just a few of the biggest benefits:
- You’ll reduce the risk of cancer, heart conditions, osteoporosis, and more
- You’ll be happier, more energetic, and less prone to depression or mood swings caused by vitamin deficiencies
- You’ll be physically stronger and more resilient to everyday illnesses like coughs and colds
- You’ll remain lean and develop a healthy body weight
- Your bones and joints will be stronger
- You’ll be smarter – you’ll feel mentally alert and have a better memory
- You’ll look bright and fresh, with healthy hair and skin
Click here today to book your first session with a nutritional expert and change your perception of food and its impact on your health!