Source:cfpcn.ca

Your first appointment with a registered dietitian (RDN) involves an assessment. During this appointment, the dietitian will primarily focus on gathering helpful information about your health and lifestyle to give practical dietary recommendations that they believe would fit your condition or what you’re trying to achieve.

If you’re visiting a registered dietitian for the first time, one thing that’s more likely to happen is that you’d feel a bit of anxiety in the clinic.

Well, this is normal. Even though the first appointment may be anxiety-inducing, it would help if this experience doesn’t block you from getting the dietary help you should get from your registered dietitian.

For the appointment to be fruitful, it is prudent that you ask your RDN essential questions about your needs, so you know what to expect. It will also help if you don’t wait until your dietitian raises a specific subject or question as they may not know the significance of that subject or question to you.

What to Ask a Registered Dietitian

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To begin with, if you’re looking for dietary guidance, you should not confuse a nutritionist with a dietitian. Unlike nutritionist titles like Certified Nutritional Practitioner (CNP) and Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) and related titles that are not regulated, Registered Dietitian (RDN) is a title that’s legally protected; therefore, they’re held in high rigorous standards. 

With that being said, you may need an appointment specifically with a dietitian if you need help managing a clinical condition, something which a nutritionist isn’t certified to offer. Here are the right questions to ask your dietitian.

  • Do you think I’m Having Food Sensitivities or Allergies?

This will be an ideal question if you experience bothersome symptoms after consuming particular meals. For instance, if you experience abdominal pain and bloating that would come with vomiting and constipation after consuming foods that contain gluten, you may need some tests for the doctor to check if you have celiac disease or you’re just gluten sensitive.

You should also note that it is possible to develop food allergies even in adulthood. Therefore even if you are already aware of your food sensitivities and allergies, if you experience symptoms that you are not sure if’re caused by food sensitivity or allergy, you should consult your doctor to help you know if you’re sensitive to some foods or allergic to them. If you’re diagnosed with allergies or food sensitivities, you will need to work with your registered dietitian (if you’re based in Singapore) to help you determine the best meals or foods to replace the ones you will need to avoid.

We cover the essentials on general dietary advice you can expect from your dietitian on this page: https://www.andrea-digestive-clinic.com/general-dietary-advice/

  • Can you help me find the best Alternatives to Junk Foods?

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Generally, keeping your junk food intake in check would be a good idea health-wise. It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to eat healthily or only shed some pounds.

Limiting the junk food intake would benefit you on a wide scale. There are also cases where your dietitian would recommend that you cut junk food off your diet altogether.

Here’s the catch; it may not be easy to stop taking junk foods almost immediately. To avoid issues like resuming the old bad habits, the RDN may recommend good junk food alternatives that will help you suppress cravings for those types of foods. 

  • Is there any Way my Genetics could affect my Weight Loss Goals or Diet?

There are several conditions that are hereditary. From heart disease to diabetes and even celiac disease, there is a chance that you can be at risk of developing such situations if they’re in your family.

Asking your dietitian this question is important because it will make it easier to discuss your family history. Depending on your family history, they may introduce you to preventive foods or medications to suppress the risks of developing a specific condition.

For instance, if you have a family history of diabetes, they may recommend foods with lesser trans fats or cholesterol to reduce your risks of developing this condition. Therefore, opening up about your family history can help clarify some risks you could not be aware of.

  • What Nutrients are lacking from my Diet? Where do you recommend me to get them from?

Source:helpguide.org

Depending on your health condition or lifestyle activities, you may need a few substitutions for the common foods. For instance, if you’re gluten sensitive, you may need substitutions for foods like wheat, white bread, marinades, wheat-based pasta, etc., to improve your condition.

Finding the alternatives to such everyday meals on your own may be a daunting task. If you work with a registered dietitian, though, it would be easy to find worthwhile alternatives as they would recommend the ideal foods for you. 

An RDN can also help you create a practical meal plan that helps your body and can make it easy for you to achieve your goals. Having your dietitian help you decide what to include in your meal plan is also particularly beneficial. It will give you the drive to keep pushing to your goals and, most importantly, put the RDN’s advice into action.

  • What Types of Foods would you want me to Cut off Completely?

It is less likely that your dietitian would recommend that you cut off individual meals entirely unless you’re dealing with complicated medical conditions like allergies or Celiac disease. Usually, they’d only recommend that you eat foods that would cause you problems in moderation. It will help if you ask your dietitian this question so they can single out some of the foods you should limit on.

How to Contact a Registered Dietitian

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Finding an RDN shouldn’t be complicated. Here are a few pointers that may make it easy for you to contact your dietitian.

  • Most reputed dietitian clinics like Andrea’s Digestive, Colon, Liver, And Gallbladder Clinic have websites. To contact such dietitians, head to their contact page, leave a message, and they’ll get back to you promptly.
  • Alternatively, you can also find dietitians by simply searching ‘dietitians near me’ If you input that search phrase on the search engines like Google, you’ll get plenty of dietitians to choose from. Ensure they’re reputed and registered.

In Closing

Finding a registered dietitian is recommendable if you’re trying to achieve weight loss goals, or manage a food-based disorder like allergies or food intolerances. 

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