Dietitians are often thought of as the ‘food police’ who are there to take the joy out of eating and will cast blame and judgement about your eating behaviours. They may also be seen as weight loss consultants. In practice, these misconceptions are far from the truth!
What Can a Dietitian Do For You?
Dietitians can provide support, encourage and build knowledge about nutrition in a range of areas unrelated to weight. In fact, the main focus is usually forming healthy habits and working towards meaningful goals that are important to the client.
Dietitians vs Nutritionists
The other common misconception is that Nutritionists and Dietitians are the same thing. The title ‘nutritionist’ can be used after anything from a two-week nutrition course to a 3-year tertiary degree, which means it is hard to identify the level of expertise a nutritionist has. Generally, nutritionists can provide general nutrition recommendations for healthy individuals.
Dietitians are tertiary-trained to provide counselling in medical nutrition therapy for individuals in health and disease. In other words, dietitians have broad skills in nutrition to guide healthy people and those with medical conditions. Accredited Practising Dietitians (APD’s) are the only nutrition experts recognised by Medicare and private health insurers. To gain the APD credential, Dietitians commit to giving evidence-based advice and participate in regular learning events to update their knowledge.
With a broad understanding of the human body, advice from an APD can be useful even if you are otherwise healthy and want to optimise your nutrition. Dietitians can support you in ways you may not have thought of, including:
- Healthy ageing
- Going vegetarian or vegan
- Fussy eating
- Food intolerance
- Gut health
- Supporting mental health
- Heart and bone health
If you would like to talk to an Accredited Practising Dietitian about your eating, Your Health Hub offers consults with an APD without judgement and full of support.