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Finding Good Nutrition Advice

Everywhere you look, you will see nutrition advice: on TV, in magazines, on the web. Separating myth from fact can be rather confusing. Let me just give you a few pointers to help you at least figure out who can legitimately call themselves an expert on nutrition information, which may help you decide which articles you can trust.

First, I must tell you, ANYONE is allowed to call him or herself a nutritionist. There are no laws or guidelines determining who can give out nutrition advice. I will never forget an incident when I was visiting my parents one weekend when I was in graduate school. I ran into a friend of theirs who wanted to know what I was studying at college. “Nutrition science,” I replied.

And I’ll always remember what this woman said. She looked me straight in the face and said “Oh, my daughter has read so many books on nutrition that I’m sure she can call herself a nutritionist just like you.” I was astounded! Surely my parents would have loved finding out that they could have saved all the hard-earned money they'd spent on my graduate education and just bought a bunch of diet books.

I don’t think so.

However, I did finish my degree and I have learned many important ways to find good nutrition information, which I want to share with you. First and foremost, I recommend you look for people who have the initials RD after their name.

RD stands for Registered Dietitian. Registered dietitians have at least a bachelor’s degree in nutrition. Most have Master’s Degrees and PhDs in nutrition science or a related science area. In addition to these degrees, RDs also have passed a standardized national exam and must continue to keep up their expertise by taking education courses every year.

You can be sure you are getting honest information from individuals who have graduated with a Master’s Degree and or PhD in Nutrition Science, even if they haven’t received their certification as a registered dietitian. These are people who have not simply read a few books on diet and nutrition; they have spent several years studying the science of Nutrition. They understand research methods and how to analyze claims made in the media, as well as in the research.

With a Master’s Degree in Nutrition Science, I am also an RD, but I like to call myself a nutritionist. I like to think of myself as being concerned with total nutrition, not just diets, which may be how some people interpret the RD.

My colleagues with degrees in Nutrition Science do not just treat a diagnosis on a piece of paper; they are concerned about working with the whole person. Some people are under the misconception that dietitians want to overwhelm their clients with information they don’t want or need. That is simply not true. Most of us are skilled in the sciences, and are trained to be nutrition counselors as well. We realize good nutrition advice is not “one size fits all” and work to individualize programs to meet your specific needs. We will also work to answer all the questions you have about nutrition that don’t necessarily relate to your own personal needs.

You will always see my credentials along with the word “Nutritionist” next to my name, because while I may have read many diet books, with my background, I possess the scientific knowledge to tell fact from fiction.

Become At Peace with Food: Stop Dieting and Lose Weight

NOTE: Information in this site should not replace any medical advice you have
received from your primary care doctor or other medical professionals.