The Top Questions to Ask a Nutritionist

A registered dietitian can give nutritional advice beyond ChooseMyPlate.org guidelines.

A registered dietitian can give nutritional advice beyond ChooseMyPlate.org guidelines.

Seems like every time you turn on your TV or go online, there is a new diet fad or a food once deemed healthy is now seen as bad. How are you to know what to eat or what foods are healthy? The best way is to chat with a nutritionist, who will be up to date on current food fads.

What is the difference between a nutritionist and a dietitian?

According to the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics, anyone can call herself a nutritionist. However, a dietitian is a nutritionist who has at least an undergraduate degree, usually in nutrition, passed a board certified exam and taken required continuing education. While not all nutritionists are dietitians, all dietitians are nutritionists. Ask the nutritionist you choose what her credentials are.

Which is the best diet to follow?

New diet trends emerge almost daily -- from “no carb" and “low carb” to "high protein" and "no fat." Ask a nutritionist how you can figure out which diet is best for you, based on your health and diet history.

How much should I eat?

How much food you require depends on your age, activity level, gender, height, weight and lean body mass. Ask a nutritionist to help you determine your daily energy needs as well as give you a sample menu plan based on your food preferences and health conditions.

Which foods are best for me to eat?

With all the front-of-package labeling, picking out the best foods can be a bit daunting. Ask a nutritionist to teach you how to read and understand food labels and ingredients. Additionally, a nutritionist can create menus based on your dietary needs along with shopping lists to help you target the best foods for you.

 

About the Author

Heather Colleran is a registered dietitian and a board certified specialist in sports dietetics. She earned her Ph.D. in human nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is a certified strength-and-conditioning coach through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Colleran has contributed to the “Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics” and “Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.”

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