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Some Frequently Asked Questions I Get as a Dietitian

If you have any questions you want answered, pop them in a comment below, and I'll add them to the post with some answers!!

What’s the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?

In Canada, a Registered Dietitian is a protected title just like a physician, nurse, or pharmacist. Dietitians undergo many years of schooling and hands on training in order to become qualified to be a practicing health care professional. Nutritionists, on the other hand, do not need to undergo any training as the title is not protected – in short, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. Dietitians are held to the highest standard of education and ethics to provide evidence based and up to date information and health advice.

What does a dietitian do?

Dietitians work with individuals, families, communities, and at the population level to support healthy living. Dietitians deliver reliable and life changing advice that is individualized and tailored to meet your objectives, personal needs and challenges. Dietitians take the research and science and translate it into actionable advice that you can understand.

What are good and bad foods?

When looking at functional, sustainable, and long term health, there really are no “good” and “bad” foods. There is space for all foods to fit in a sustainable eating pattern. It is important to allow yourself to be realistic with nutrition goals, and for that reason I do not discourage certain foods or food groups in general. Much of nutrition work is “for the most part” eating, you cannot expect yourself to eat perfectly 100% of the time.

Is cows milk the only source of calcium?

NO! Dairy products in general, including milk, cheese, and yogurt are a convenient way to get calcium in the diet, but they are not the only way. Fortified milk alternatives contain calcium (look on the nutrition facts table for calcium), as well as canned fish with the bones. Additionally, kale, almonds, white beans, and tofu contain calcium. You do not need to include dairy products or milk in your diet to get calcium, but you need to be mindful about including other food sources of calcium in your diet!

Is (insert diet here) the best way to eat?

In one simple answer: there is NO single best way to eat. Each person has different nutrition requirements and will benefit from following an individualized eating pattern. Diets are often UNsustainable and result in health consequences if individuals are not careful. The best plan to follow is one that meets your own nutritional needs, considers your medical history and current medical conditions, as well as being accessible, affordable, and enjoyable! If you don’t enjoy what you are eating, how are you going to stick to it for the rest of your life?

Is taking a prenatal vitamin the best way to be on top of my nutrition throughout pregnancy?

NO! It may come as a surprise to hear this, but you actually don’t NEED to take a prenatal to meet your nutrition needs in pregnancy. In fact, you can meet your needs much better through eating real foods than what is provided in a pill. Pregnancy is an incredibly important time for proper nutrition, but each person will have different needs based on their nutrition status. It is best to see a Registered Dietitian to find out what that might look like for you.

Why can’t I lose weight?

This is always a tough question because it is so different for each person. After years of dieting, our bodies go into protective mode, and like to hold on to extra weight just to be safe. We have such little control over our weights, and I work with my clients to shift the focus away from the number on the scale, and to things that we can take real action towards. You can find health at ANY size. Weight is NOT an indicator of health, by any means. Need help shifting your focus or getting back to a place where you feel at ease about food and nutrition? Let me help you get there.

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