It is the job of a licensed nutritionist to keep up with the science and to educate the public on which recommendations have the evidence to back it up.
Here are the top 5 reasons to consult with a licensed nutritionist for all your dietary needs…
Reason #1: They have formal education & experience in the field
Licensed nutritionists are required to go through an extensive schooling program, which includes multiple chemistry and biology courses, anatomy & physiology, food science, pathophysiology, and research on top of their numerous nutrition courses.
They are also required to complete 1,200 hours of experience in the field through rotations in food service, community, clinical, outpatient, and other areas of their choice before they can sit for the dietitian registration exam. Once the dietitian passes the exam, they are then able to apply to be licensed in the state(s) they intend to practice.
Reason #2: They are nutrition specialists
Although other areas of science take similar foundation courses, their education around nutrition is relatively limited.
Typically, a medical student completes one general nutrition course during their curriculum. Would you go see a doctor who specializes in the kidney if you were having stomach issues?
The same is true for nutrition. Individuals should turn to the experts in the field who have completed hours of schooling and hands-on experience in this specific area of health (yes, food is key!).
Reason #3: They legally can provide medical nutrition therapy
The next question becomes, what is the difference between a nutritionist and a licensed nutritionist? Quite a bit! Technically anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, whether they have had any sort of formal nutrition education or not.
A licensed nutritionist, or more commonly called a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), has the education, rotation hours, and exam experience to provide medical nutrition therapy (MNT). MNT is the evidence-based approach to treating, managing, and preventing certain medical conditions though nutrition counseling by a registered dietitian nutritionist. Therefore, before you start working with a nutritionist, make sure they are registered and licensed in your state.
Reason #4: They care about the health and well-being of others
Why would anyone want to see someone who is going to judge you for how you eat? Fear not — RDN’s chose this field to help, not harm!
Their goal is to help individuals make sustainable life choices that will provide a decreased risk of disease, better quality of life, and a positive relationship with food. Contrary to what most believe, they love pizza and ice cream just as much as the next person!
Reason #5: They provide evidenced-based recommendations
Making an appointment with a dietitian is not always the most accessible option if you have questions pertaining to food and nutrition.
Using the website nutritionistway.com, users can find articles on the latest nutrition recommendations written by licensed nutritionists.
These articles are not only written by the experts, but use evidence-based sources with citations for reference. This guarantees you are getting accurate scientific information, not an opinion or unfounded claim.