Have you ever wondered who you should trust to help you reach your health goals? Your doctor? An online health guru? A health inspired friend or family member? It seems like anyone can call themselves an “expert” on nutrition these days by touting they have the solution you need, so it’s no wonder we are left scratching our heads and feeling downright confused, fed up, and frustrated about what type of diet is best to follow.
As a result, it’s easy to get caught up buying into a “quick fix solution” to remedy your health woes. This may lead you down a precarious path as you go “on” a specific diet and then “off” – the result is one step forward and then ten steps back.
Alternatively, perhaps you’ve never made any concrete steps towards improving your health because you simply don’t know who to turn to for help (or have turned to the wrong person in the past and now are unsure who to trust!)
If this sounds like you (or someone you know), consider consulting with a registered dietitian before embarking on your next diet journey.
Dietitians are experts in food and nutrition that offer trusted and credible nutrition advice tailored to your unique needs.
Need more convincing?
Let’s explore 3 reasons a registered dietitian can help you reach your health goals faster:
1. Dietitians save you time
We help you sort out fact from fiction when it comes to nutrition information. When you visit a Registered Dietitian, you WON’T be offered a one-size-fits-all “quick fix solution”. You WON’T be sold false promises about how to solve your diet woes. You WON’T be sold unproven products or gimmicks. You WILL be advised on the best type of diet for you (taking into context your goals, preferences, and lifestyle) that is backed by credible research (i.e. we’re not going to recommend a diet plan or supplement to help you lose weight if studies about that diet or supplement don’t actually prove it helps…even if doing so could help our bottom line). Better yet, we share our fact-checking system with you so you can become your own nutrition sleuth.
Then end result is that you SAVE time. Think of all the time you have lost trying this diet program or that diet program. You may have seen some results in the short-term, but did they last? Are you still nowhere closer to where you want to be with your health goals?
When you work with a dietitian, we set you on the RIGHT path so you can reach your health goals in less time (compared to all the wasted time you’ve spent trying countless other programs to no avail) and become a true success story.
2. Dietitians save you money
Does this quote sound familiar?
This quote speaks to the value of investing in your health today - through healthy eating and exercise - to save you time and money down the road.
While Benjamin Franklin’s quote was rooted in wisdom, today it is backed up with research.
Check out the following infographic to learn about the ways dietitians help to prevent health issues and save on health-related costs:
So it’s no wonder that working with dietitians, who specialize in providing diet advice to manage a variety of health issues (see point #3), saves money for employers.
But what about money in your pocket?
Take a moment and add up the cost of all the diet programs, plans, foods, supplements, devices, etc. that you have spent money on over the years. Really think about it and ask yourself: Was it worth that cost? If you are still on the hunt for a solution that works for you, I suspect not.
Now imagine that the real answer to reaching your health goals faster, through nutrition counseling with a registered dietitian, didn’t cost you a thing! While the services of a dietitian in private practice do cost you, chances are, your employee benefits program will reimburse you.
Many employee health insurance plans cover up to $500 per calendar year for dietitian services. Check your coverage today!
If it turns out you do not have coverage to see a dietitian, ASK for it! Show your employer this infographic that explains the benefits of adding dietitians to your employee health insurance plan.
Also keep in mind that dietitian services are considered tax deductible and are not subject to provincial taxes (i.e. HST). So that is more money back in your pocket.
3. Dietitians offer tailored nutrition plans to support a variety of health issues that work for YOU!
So far you have learned how dietitians save you time and money, which together helps you reach your health goals faster. Further to this, dietitians offer a high standard of care for a variety of health issues.
Research proves advice from dietitians can help:
Your dietitian may also have a unique expertise in supporting the nutritional needs of individuals with developmental or physical disabilities, such as someone needing nutritional support after becoming newly disabled from a life-changing accident. Or perhaps you are looking to improve your athletic performance or overall physical health? We meet you where you’re at to help take you to the next level. Proper nutrition will always play a role in athletic performance and dietitians can help anyone from the seasoned athlete to the ‘weekend warrior’ meet their health goals.
Be sure to ask your dietitian where his or her expertise lay. At Craving Health, we specialize in weight loss (in a healthy way!), disordered eating, sport nutrition, and helping the over 30 percent of Canadians who suffer from a chronic disease manage their type 2 diabetes and heart issues.
Also, as dietitians, we’re here to listen. We’ll help you make simple, realistic, and sustainable changes to your diet without concerns about missing out on tasty and nutritious foods, no matter your health issues. We take a lot of pride in helping you determine the best diet program that’s right for you.
How exactly are dietitians trained to offer trustworthy and credible advice for my health issue?
Every dietitian in Canada and the United States is regulated by a College at their respective provincial and state level whose mandate is to protect the public. To become a member of their regulatory College, every dietitian must first:
- Complete an accredited university degree in food & nutrition
- Complete a one-year internship and/or combined Masters degree program (which are highly competitive to obtain)
- Successfully pass an intensive regulation exam (i.e. we’re talking a half day rigorous exam that tests us on all the competencies required to be a dietitian)
This all is not intended to tout our own horn but to provide insight as to what makes a dietitian uniquely trained to help you reach your health goals faster.
In other words, as dietitians, we abide to a code of conduct we take very seriously called evidence-based practice – this means that our number one priority is to give you trustworthy nutrition advice based on science and we are held accountable for sticking to this practice.
Want to learn more about the regulations that protect you and ensure your dietitian is offering a standard of care you can trust? Look up your dietitians’ regulatory College online. For example, in Ontario it’s the College of Dietitians of Ontario.
WHAT'S THE BOTTOM LINE?
When you schedule a visit with a registered dietitian to learn about nutrition and the best diet for you, you can count of getting individualized evidence-based advice to help you with your concerns. Dietitians have a unique skill-set to support all people from different stages in life who are working towards leading a healthier lifestyle. Not only that, Registered Dietitians are the only regulated health professionals in the field of nutrition, so we can truly call ourselves the trusted ‘nutrition expert’. Want to learn more about what RDs do? Check out Dietitians of Canada’s short video (1 min 44 sec).
Take advantage of your health insurance benefits by using your coverage for dietitian services.
At Craving Health, our expert dietitians offer nutrition counselling sessions to residents of the Niagara region to answer your burning food and nutrition questions and offer trustworthy advice that is customized to your needs.
We offer flexible appointment times including evenings and weekends as well as convenient online booking. We also offer phone and virtual nutrition counseling but we completely understand if you’d prefer to see a dietitian in-person in your community - it’s as easy as doing a quick search at Find-A-Dietitian.
Want to learn more food facts and tips on how to enjoy your life while still being healthy? Join our Facebook Group – the Craving Healthy Habits Community! Besides being a place to share and reflect, we also host contests and challenges to keep you motivated and having fun.
This article was written in collaboration with Tracy Williams. Tracy Williams has her degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Dominican University, in suburban Chicago. She enjoys public speaking and freelance writing and blogging. She is a five time recipient of nutrition education grants from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation. You can connect with her at www.tracysplate.com as well as firstname.lastname@example.org.