Happy national registered dietitian’s day everyone and for that matter, happy nutrition month! Every March RD’s across the country celebrate our love for food (something that I do on a daily basis) and our commitment to our profession.
Before I delve into the food part, let me put in a plug for the profession. I get a lot of people asking me ‘So what is the difference between a “nutritionist” and a “registered dietitian (RD)?’ The simple answer to that is a “nutritionist” is not guaranteed to have completed any training in nutrition.
On the other hand, an RD (or RDN) is an expert in nutrition who has completed the necessary education to practice. He/she is trained to give you science backed answers to your questions about food. Sadly, while our love for food may be as simple as an ice cream sundae on a summer afternoon, our knowledge of how food works in the body is constantly changing. It gets even more confusing if you also have a condition (like diabetes, cancer, heart disease and so forth) because what you eat and how you eat it becomes crucial to your well-being. RDs are here to help us navigate through this confusion!
Here are 5 reasons for why you would see an RD1:
1. You have diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney disease, cancer or other chronic conditions. An RD can help you come up with an individualized eating plan that safely helps you change your diet without comprising taste or nutrition.
2. You have digestive problems. An RD will work with your physician to help fine-tune your diet so you are not aggravating your condition with fried foods, too much caffeine or carbonation.
3. You’re concerned that aging has affected your ability to eat. A RD can help with food or drug interaction, proper hydration, special diets for hypertension and changing taste buds as you age.
4. You want to lose/gain weight. An RD can suggest a healthy weight gain or weight loss plan that includes proper nutrition and regular physical activity to help you gain or lose weight safely.
5. You want to eat smarter. An RD can help you sort through misinformation; learn how to read labels at the supermarket; discover that healthy cooking is inexpensive, learn how to eat out without ruining your eating plan and how to resist workplace temptations.
Now, let’s get back to the simple joys of eating! This month, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic (the national organization that oversees all RDs) has a simple slogan: Enjoy the taste of eating right. I want you to ponder that because “eating right” means something different for everyone. For example, “eating right” for someone who has diabetes and wants to lose weight is different from someone who is malnourished. Regardless of what “eating right” means for your goals, I want all of us to focus on how we can also make food taste its very best.
Some of you may have remembered from a previous post (Spice it Up!: insert hyperlink with text: http://3squaremealsblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/18/spice-it-up-how-to-add-flavor-and-tickle-to-your-taste-buds/) that I gave some tips for how to prepare food for more flavor. There are some useful tip sheets at the bottom of that blog post that can help you get started. My challenge to you this month is:
1) Revisit that blog post,
2) Download the tip sheets at the bottom of the post AND
3) Try 1 tip per week to consciously make your food taste great! (Don’t forget to share your experience and more tips in the comments below)
Here’s to healthy and TASTY eating!
Special thanks to Trinh Le for her work on this blog post.
- Tips adopted from: http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=4294967631