Who should give Nutrition Advice?
Who should you go to seek weight-loss & nutrition advice? There is so much information available on our phones and social media about the new perfect diet, fasting, balancing your blood sugars, a wellness health plan or the simple balanced diet. It all seems to have become quite confusing, who do you trust as the expert? Do you listen to your doctor, personal trainer, your friend who just lost a stone or your mother?
The who’s who in the healthy lifestyle world?
Every time you pick up a newspaper, watch the television, scroll through your news feed on Facebook everyone is giving you advice on what you should or should not eat, when you should eat it and how often? Who do you listen to? And what is right for you?
As a registered nutritional therapist, all I can do is explain to you what each fancy title means and then you can make your mind up?
Your GP – Doctor
Starting with your Doctor while they are medically trained, I have discussed this subject with numerous doctors, and they advise me that their training on nutrition was an afternoon lecture on the difference between carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Whilst this may have changed more recently this is what my GP told me. Unless they have done further studies and become a Dietician they do not seem to have the knowledge to advice on functional health problems with food or nutrition.
Just like a Nutritionist will have completed academic & professional training in the form of a bachelor’s degree, completed a registered exam and will have set up and worked in a clinic or part of an approved health care facility for their professional development. They collaborate with health issues every day and will discuss what not to eat to help with a diagnosed health problems, for example, diabetes and heart problems they will discuss sugar levels and fats and proteins sources. As an example, they often give you something called FODMAP food list if you have IBS or chronic bowel issues, however limited advice on how to implement the recommended changes required.
You often find that these professionals will then specialise in their chosen subject, so either sports, hospital work, weigh-loss or within the food industry & journalism. The registered dietitians are the only qualified health care professional that can assess, diagnose and treat dietary and nutritional problems for everyone.
These work in different roles within the public health, they are qualified to provide information about food and healthy eating, in general. The NHS can employ them, and they work alongside dietitians as freelance and consultants or often personal trainers, or weight-loss consultants can complete a course online and add Nutrition to their list of roles they do.
Registered Nutritional Therapists
For diet and lifestyle recommendations based information provided to alleviate or prevent ailments or illness. They work to support the health of major systems within the body on the overall biochemistry and functional imbalances that lead to poor health problems. They are more often registered on a voluntary basis with the CNHC (Complimentary Natural Healthcare Council) and BANT (British Association for Nutritional Therapy) so you can be confident they are trained, qualified and insured to give you advice as they abide by a code of conduct from CNHC
In summary, a Dietician can diagnose a health condition; a Nutritionist can discuss healthy food options, and a Nutritional Therapist can help you to understand the functional imbalances in your body and provide solutions and the Doctor can listen and refer you to the above.
Can Personal Trainers Give Nutrition Advice?
Many other professionals such as celebrity chefs, TV presenters of exercise DVD’s, personal trainers, yoga teachers, and weight-watcher leaders have their specialised experience and qualifications. If they also have these nutritionally based qualifications, then that is fantastic. However, do not assume that just because someone is giving you advice about nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices that they are qualified to do so.
For more information on Registered Nutritional Therapists, you can visit BANT website
Listen to my video on the “Who can Give you the Facts on Nutrition”