November 01, 2021

How a dietitian can help

Changing eating habits is no small feat, but partnering with a registered dietitian (RD) or registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) is a good start. These specialists are often certified in specific areas, such as oncology, diabetes, sports or geriatric nutrition. They can assist with:

  • Teaching you the basics — This may include reading a nutrition label and cooking uncomplicated, budget-friendly meals.
  • Helping manage chronic conditions — A dietitian can help you create a meal plan for conditions such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, undesirable cholesterol levels — or diet plans to help with diabetes management and weight control.
  • Meeting your specific nutritional needs — If you have had weight-loss surgery or decide to become a vegetarian, a dietitian can make sure you're getting necessary nutrients. Dietitians are often members of oncology teams, helping those with cancer stay nourished through the rigors of treatment. With digestive issues or allergies, dietitians can help people avoid foods that cause symptoms or trigger reactions.
  • Assisting you when you stumble — If you're trying to lose weight or eat healthier, there will inevitably be times when you get off track with your goals. A dietitian can help you create a game plan to overcome setbacks and hurdles, then steer you back in the right dietary direction.

Insurance coverage for nutritional counseling varies, so check with your insurance provider to clarify costs before scheduling an appointment.