Choosing A Nutritionist
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
When looking to use the services of any healthcare professional, you should check their credentials and qualifications to ensure that they will use an appropriate evidence-based approach.
The title “nutritionist” is currently not protected or regulated in many countries, including Australia. This means that even someone who has completed only a short online course is able to call themselves a nutritionist – however their competence will differ greatly from someone who has completed a university degree in nutrition.
When choosing a nutritionist, check their qualifications. A nutritionist holding a bachelor degree has completed at least 3 years of study, which is also normally a requirement in order to hold the appropriate liability insurances.
Some nutritionists may also have membership or affiliation with a professional organisation, which also normally require minimum qualifications and in some cases insurance for membership approval. Many organisations also have a requirement for continued education, which means your nutritionist will be committed to keeping their skills and knowledge updated.
Check if your nutritionist has any areas of specialisation – finding someone who has experience and additional knowledge within the area which you need help may be more beneficial than someone with a more generalised area of practice. A good healthcare practitioner (including nutritionists) should also know their own limits of knowledge and practice, and should be able to refer you to someone more appropriately qualified to assist with your specific concerns if this is outside their area of expertise.
WHAT CAN A NUTRITIONIST HELP WITH?
Many people assume that nutritionists just help with weight loss, and although this is currently the most common reason clients see me, nutritionists can also provide nutritional advice that can help improve energy, sleep quality, fertility, digestive health and overall wellbeing, or even as a preventative measure to get your health on track if you’re at risk of developing a lifestyle disease.
Nutritionists are not qualified to offer Medical Nutrition Therapy or nutritional management of diagnosed medical conditions - for these issues you should always see an accredited dietitian. If you’re unsure where to find the appropriate person to help you, I’m more than happy to point you in the right direction.
Find out more about how I can help you on my services page.