March is National Nutrition Month, when the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reminds everyone to return to the basics of healthy eating. It is also the time of year when the Academy celebrates expertise of registered dietitian nutritionists as the food and nutrition experts.
Do you want to lose or gain weight? Are you pregnant, looking to become pregnant or just had a child? Are you looking for ways to maintain your health in your older years? Are you an athlete looking to boost performance? These are just a few of the reasons people seek the expert, science-based advice of a registered dietitian nutritionist.
Here are 10 common reasons you should consult with a registered dietitian nutritionist:
- You Have Diabetes, Cardiovascular Problems or High Blood Pressure
An RDN serves as an integral part of your health care team by helping you safely change your eating plan without compromising taste or nutrition.
- You Are Thinking of Having or Have Had Gastric Bypass Surgery
Since your stomach can only manage small servings, it's a challenge to get the right amount of nutrients in your body. An RDN will work with you and your physician to develop an eating plan for your new needs.
- You Have Digestive Problems
A registered dietitian nutritionist will work with you and your physician to help fine-tune your diet so you are not aggravating your condition with fried foods, too much caffeine or carbonation.
- You're Pregnant or Trying to Get Pregnant
A registered dietitian nutritionist can help make sure you get nutrients such as folate, especially during the first three months of pregnancy, lowering your newborn’s risk for neural tube or spinal cord defects.
- You Need Guidance and Confidence for Breast-feeding Your Baby
A registered dietitian nutritionist can help make sure you're getting enough iron, vitamin D, fluoride and B vitamins for you and your little one.
- Your Teenager Has Issues with Food and Eating Healthfully
A registered dietitian nutritionist can assist with eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.
- You Need to Gain or Lose Weight
A registered dietitian nutritionist can suggest additional calorie sources for healthy weight gain or a restricted-calorie eating plan, plus regular physical activity for weight loss, while still eating all your favorite foods.
- You're Caring for an Aging Parent
A registered dietitian nutritionist can help with food or drug interactions, proper hydration, special diets for hypertension and changing taste buds as you age.
- You Want to Eat Smarter
A registered dietitian nutritionist can help you sort through misinformation. Learn how to read labels at the supermarket, discover how healthy cooking can be inexpensive, learn how to dine out without ruining your eating plan and how to resist workplace temptations.
- You Want to Improve Your Performance in Sports
A registered dietitian nutritionist can help you set goals to achieve results — whether you're running a marathon, skiing or jogging with your dog.