5 Misconceptions About Seeing a Dietitian

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The Sports Injury Clinic

Melinda Braithwaite

July 30, 2019

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It can be very daunting making that first step to see someone about your nutrition. Unfortunately, there are several misconceptions when it comes to seeing a dietitian and for many people these can be barriers for seeking help.

1. We are the food police and judge you for what you eat

Dietitians are often seen as the food police. It is thought that our job is to tell you what you should and should not be eating. Unfortunately, this view can lead to many people not seeking help or being open about what they are currently eating due to fear of being judged and told to change. As a dietitian I will not judge you for what you eat, and I certainly will not tell you that you cannot eat something. It is also good to remember that dietitians are also human. We ourselves do not have the, 'perfect diet'. If someone told me I could not eat something I enjoy I would not be going back.

2. You will need to overhaul your whole diet

Many clients worry when coming to see a dietitian that they will be expected to change their whole diet. From experience, I know that this generally does not work as you become so overwhelmed with all the changes you need to make and end up putting it in the too hard basket. I take a step by step approach with my clients helping them to come up with a few small changes at a time which they feel they can achieve. Once these are achieved, we may look at adding a few extra changes if needed.

3. Dietitians are very traditional in their nutrition views and will only promote a certain way of eating

Dietitians are often thought to be very traditional in their nutrition views and many self-proclaimed health gurus feel the nutrition advice we provide is outdated. When it comes to nutrition, I take an open view and believe there is not a one-size fits all approach. I also stay up to date on the latest research which helps guide me when discussing dietary options with clients. If a client prefers to follow a certain dietary pattern whether that be vegan/vegetarian, low carbohydrate/high fat or paleo I will work with them to make sure their diet will still support their nutritional needs and health goals.

4. Dietitians recommendations are influenced by food manufacturers

Over recent years there has been some discussion that dietitians' recommendations are influenced by our relationship with food manufacturers. This was due to our professional association's corporate sponsorship program with these companies. This program has now ceased due to dietitian feedback. As a dietitian I have never personally been associated with or endorsed any food companies. I encourage clients to focus on including predominately whole-foods and minimally processed foods.

5. The main reason for seeing a dietitian is weight loss

Many people often think that the main reason for seeing a dietitian is weight loss, however, we can help with so much more. We can provide dietary advice for a range of medical conditions. I personally specialise in paediatric (e.g. infant feeding, picky eating/problem feeding, growth concerns, food allergies/intolerances, irritable bowel syndrome, coeliac disease and diabetes), fertility and pregnancy and women's health (e.g. irritable bowl syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome and endometriosis). 

To have a chat or book an appointment with our dietitian, Melinda, call us on 9783 9990 or book online.

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