Undercover Nikki


By: Nikki NiesDIETITIAN vs NUTRITIONIST

Recently, I attended a smoothie night at my local library.  I was looking forward to possibly getting additional ideas of what to add to my smoothies.  I quickly realized that my role as a relaxed taste taker turned into an undercover nutrition student.   I want to explain that my intention in going to the event was to enjoy myself, but once a few inaccurate statements occurred, I couldn’t help, but put my detective cap on.

My intention isn’t to slam this “board certified health expert” as she called herself, but to bring attention to the inaccuracies she discussed and how you can tune into false health information.  For example, she stated

  •  The only type of “super food” one should add to smoothies are dulse seeds.  When in fact, superfoods are foods that have been found to stave off chronic diseases (i.e. heart disease, diabetes, cancer and/or cholesterol), provide more variety and color in one’s diet
  • Several times some one would ask a question and she would deflect by answering “that’s a whole other topic.”  For example, she had listed that smoothies are rich in magnesium, yet she couldn’t explain the “how.”
  • Referred to USDA’s dietary guidelines as represented in MyPyramid.  In actuality, as of 2010 MyPlate is used to represent dietary guidelines.
  • I personally asked her where she does her research and what kinds of websites she would direct us to if we wanted to do further reading on healthy eating.  She replied that she uses a list of websites, but she didn’t know any website names off the top of her head.
  • She would rather opt for cleanses than to take prescription.  To a certain point, I understand the desire to treat and/or prevent illness naturally, but she swears by natural remedies with no discussion of medications.

Yes, I’m biased that Registered Dietitians (RDs) are the premiere food and nutrition expert as that’s what my career and credentials will reflect soon.  However, until my exposure to a nutritionist’s way of thinking and explanation, I hadn’t seen first the extreme differences in a RD and a nutritionist.  While some may argue there isn’t much difference between RD vs. nutritionist, the skill set, expertise and knowledge base is miles different.

I hope the above examples I provided for you gives a clearer picture of skeptical information.  Additionally, I hope you don’t encounter such information in the future.  Yet, no matter where you are, having your “detective” glasses on, discerning the information provided, what’s the evidence behind certain statements and does the information sound logical can go a long way in regards to keeping one sane and healthy.

Sources: http://michelle-livedontdiet.com/blog/2014/3/15/dietitian-vs-nutritionist

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