By: Emma Hubbard, MS, RDN/CD

Did you know that the average person makes about 200 food-related decisions every day? That’s a lot of thinking about food! Making these decisions can be a challenge when there’s so much conflicting information about how to eat well for your health. That’s where a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) comes in!

You might be asking yourself, why should I see a dietitian? How is a dietitian different than a nutritionist? RDNs are food and nutrition experts who are trained to understand disease processes and how food and nutrition can impact health. Dietitians are required to complete a 4-year undergraduate degree, master’s degree, 1200 hours of supervised practice to gain experience in clinical, community, and food service settings, and pass a board exam to earn the credential of registered dietitian nutritionist.

On top of all of that, dietitians are required to complete continuing education to maintain their credentials and stay in the know on the most up to date evidence-based practices. When it comes to getting advice about how to eat, dietitians are ready to help you achieve your health and wellness goals.

Here are just a few reasons you might be interested in meeting with an RDN:

  1. You have a health condition that can be managed with diet and lifestyle changes.

Diet and lifestyle changes play an important role in the management of many health conditions. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, irritable bowel disease, food allergies/intolerance, cancer, kidney disease, and many more. A dietitian can give you individualized recommendations to help you meet your health goals.


  1. You want to manage your weight.

Many people struggle with weight management. Whether you are looking for guidance on healthy weight loss or weight gain, a dietitian can help with evidence-based recommendations tailored to your specific needs.


  1. You want to improve your relationship with food.

Diet culture labels foods as “good” or “bad” and often tells us to restrict our food intake. A poor relationship with food can increase stress and lead to disordered eating patterns. A dietitian will work with you to challenge those negative thoughts and heal your relationship with food while still meeting your health goals.


  1. You are pregnant, breastfeeding, or thinking about becoming pregnant.

Pregnancy impacts your nutrition needs. A dietitian can help you navigate your changing needs before, during, and after pregnancy.


  1. You want to improve athletic performance.

Nutrition can have a huge impact on athletic performance. The type, duration, and intensity of physical activity can change nutrition recommendations for optimal performance. Dietitians can help athletes with fueling plans to achieve performance goals.


  1. You want to build healthy eating habits

Making food choices can be tricky. A quick google search of “best diet for health” will give you lots of suggestions – eat high protein, follow a ketogenic diet, go vegetarian, try intermittent fasting, the list goes on and on. The truth is that nutrition is highly individual and no one way of eating works best for everyone. Dietitians are trained to help you find what feels best for your body. RDNs can help you build healthy habits, teach you meal planning skills, help you navigate choices at the grocery store and restaurants, and so much more. Anyone can benefit from meeting with an RDN!

To learn more or schedule an appointment with Emma visit www.prairieridgehealth/nutrition or call 920-623-1295.