This annual awareness campaign invites everyone to learn more about making informed food choices and developing healthful eating and physical activity habits. That being said, sometimes instilling those habits is easier said than done. Despite knowing what foods are healthy and how to build nutritious eating behaviors, many people still struggle to apply this knowledge. That’s one reason why visiting a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) can be beneficial.
What is an RDN?
According to the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:
“A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) is a food and nutrition expert who can translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living. RDNs use their nutrition expertise to help individuals make customized, positive lifestyle changes. They work throughout the community in hospitals, schools, public health clinics, nursing homes, fitness centers, food management, the food industry, universities, research, and in private practices [They are also available via telehealth]. RDNs are advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world.”
An RDN is a trustworthy resource in your quest to build healthier nutrition habits because they have completed multiple layers of education and training established by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. All RDNs must:
- Get a four-year degree that includes a specially designed, accredited nutrition curriculum.
- Complete an extensive supervised program or practice at a healthcare facility, foodservice organization or community agency.
- Pass a rigorous registration exam.
- Maintain continuing education credits throughout their career.
How Can an RDN Help You?
An RDN can work closely with you to help you develop customized, healthy and sustainable nutrition habits. If you struggle to shop for nutritious foods, buy foods on a budget, plan meals, prepare a variety of interesting foods in fresh new ways, get the specific nutrients you need and eat well to support your lifestyle, an RDN can be a valuable asset in your health journey. By working with someone, you will receive personalized nutrition advice to meet your goals. You can meet with RDNs in a variety of settings throughout your community or via telehealth.
10 Common Reasons to Consult with an RDN
As listed by the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:
- You want help managing diabetes, high blood pressure or other chronic diseases.
- You are thinking of having or have had bariatric surgery.
- You have digestive problems.
- You’re pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or are a new mom.
- You or your child is experiencing disordered eating.
- You need to gain or lose weight.
- You’re caring for an aging parent.
- You want practical lifestyle advice.
- You want to improve your performance in sports.
- You realize the need to feed your family healthier foods but you do not cook.
For more on these top ten reasons to consult with an RDN, click here.
Eating right is not always intuitive or easy. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition and health, so what works for someone else may not work for you. We are all unique with different bodies, goals, backgrounds and tastes! If you want help personalizing your plate and instilling healthy eating habits that are tailored to YOU, consider working with an RDN. To find an RDN near you, click here for a searchable database of healthcare providers experienced in obesity care brought to you by the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC).