Today is Registered Dietitian Nutrition Day, a day to celebrate the work of dietitians in advocating for the good health of people around the world, and to recognize their commitment to giving quality nutritional advice and services.Have you ever worked with a dietitian before? As a dietitian myself, I may be biased, but I truly feel everyone could benefit from working with a dietitian, even if it’s just to learn a few new healthy habits or unlearn nutrition myths. Registered dietitians can help you with everything from raising good eaters with a healthy relationship with food to the nutritional treatment of a medical condition to eating disorder treatment to learning healthy and tasty cooking techniques.

What’s holding you back from reaching out to a dietitian? Could it be one of these six common misconceptions?

Dietitians are the food police

Quite the contrary! As dietitians, we understand all foods fit. While certainly, some foods are more nutritious than others, we also believe if you truly love a food, there’s no sense in cutting it out. Dietitians know that loving the food you eat will, in fact, make you healthier! Instead, dietitians will work with you on changing habits to help add in more nutritious food versus removing food you love.

Dietitians will judge you for what food you eat

While a dietitian will evaluate your eating habits, they certainly won’t judge you as a person for it. If so, it’s time to find a new dietitian! Dietitians are trained to look at many different factors to evaluate your nutrition and health status. Plus, we know it’s the big picture that counts, not what you eat on any single day. So don’t hide your chocolate candy when you see us coming around the corner – share a piece with us.

Dietitians dole out eat plans

Truth – dietitians loathe meal plans. Clients frequently ask for us to create a meal plan to solve this problem or that. But we know that it’s building healthy habits that counts, not following a rigid plan. Plus, no one ever follows a meal plan for long! While a meal plan can be a helpful starting base for someone with specific nutrition needs due to a medical condition, for the most part, dietitians will work with clients on making small but impactful diet and behavior changes.

Dietitians are know-it-alls

A good dietitian knows what they know, and they know what they don’t know. Just as doctors have specialty areas, so do dietitians. While all RDs are qualified to give general wellness, most dietitians specialize. You’ll find dietitians working in areas including gut health, cardiovascular disease, geriatrics, eating disorder treatment, integrative nutrition and more. It’s a good idea to research a dietitian before working with them to make sure you’re a good fit.

Dietitians are old fashioned

Dietitians often get the reputation for being old-fashioned. That’s because we’ve had a lot of training and education on food chemistry, human physiology and metabolism, so we’re hesitant to jump on the latest fad, especially if there’s no evidence to back it up. That said, dietitians are up to date with the science behind the latest trends and can help you determine if something is safe and worth trying.

Dietitians only eat salad

Ask most dietitians what inspired them to get into the field and they’ll tell you it’s because they love food, not because they hate it! While dietitians generally have overall balanced diets, we also enjoy foods people might label as “unhealthy.” That’s because we know it’s not individual food choices that make or break health, but rather overall eating habits. That’s why you’ll see this dietitian happily indulge in a gooey chocolaty brownie or cheesy pizza!

Have you every worked with a dietitian? Share your thoughts and questions with us in the comments section!

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