Considerations When Choosing a Nutritionist
View more related buyers guides
Published by TOP4 Team
Choosing a nutritionist can be an overwhelming task. Where should you start? These are five factors you should take into consideration when choosing a nutrition practitioner.
1. No diagnosis involved
It’s against the law for anyone working in nutrition to diagnose you with a certain medical condition. Only a medical doctor can do that. If you’ve been feeling dizzy, fatigued and weak, it could be a sign of something more serious and only in knowing the root cause of those symptoms will be when a nutrition practitioner can help. Sure, it really could be as simple as fixing your diet, but you should really have the common sense to make sure it’s not something like cancer, anaemia or some sort of cardiovascular problem. Any decent nutritional practitioner shouldn’t want to risk losing their licence or risk getting sued and should see past just taking your money – they should have a concern for your safety as well.
2. Understanding beyond nutrition
There’s more to nutrition therapy than just eating a certain diet. A good nutritionist should have a good understanding of the pathophysiology behind a disease process. Otherwise, just throwing diets out there is just like throwing darts while wearing a blindfold. Someone with a good background in pathophysiology will be able to better recognise if something life threatening is going on and should tell you to: a) go see your primary care physician or, b) go to the emergency room. If possible, you should find a registered nurse to help with nutrition woes, as they often have a wider knowledge base and experience in pathophysiology than other nutrition practitioners.
3. Experience in what you’re looking for
An individual can’t know everything. But nutrition coaches have specialties. So you should look for someone who knows your situation well. If you’re finding someone who can help you with sports nutrition, make sure they’re specialising with people who are in your situation. If you’re not sure, then just ask.
4. Interest in your medical history
If your nutrition consultant isn’t asking detailed questions regarding out your medical history, you should be extremely cautious. Some of the things that they should be asking would include: any past medical history, a detailed history of your current medical issue, things you’ve tried in the past that haven’t worked, things you’ve done that have worked, a detailed food diary, and any current medications you’re taking (medications and foods can interact with each other). If your nutrition consultant wants to know your medical/dietary history, it means that he/she really wants to help you.
5. Aware of your purpose
How can a nutritionist help you if they don’t know why you’re seeking nutrition counselling in the first place? For some people, their purpose could be as simple as wanting to lose weight or look better to gain more confidence. For others, it could be a complex reason due to a complicated medical history. Your nutrition counsellor should keep your “why” as their top focus.
If you’re in the search for a nutrition consultant, these are some of the top things that you should keep in mind. Visit a nutritionist near you to know how they could help you.