Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Registered Dietitian?
Simply put, a Registered Dietitian (RD) is a health professional that is licensed to give advice on nutrition and food. RD's are trusted experts that make medical and nutrition research easier to understand. RD's can work in a variety of settings including in hospitals to help manage nutrition related diseases and work with food service teams to ensure adequate nutrition is provided to patients, in communities where they may educate on different health and nutrition topics, or as consultants for food product development and research. RD's can also work privately and run their own businesses providing individual counselling and other services such as those provided by WHITTY NUTRITION.
How do you become a Registered Dietitian?
There are 4 steps to becoming a Registered Dietitian in Canada:
1) You must complete a 4 year baccalaureate degree in human nutritional sciences from an accredited university program.
2) You must successfully complete an accredited dietetic internship program. These programs are generally about 40 - 45 weeks in duration.
3) You must pass the Canadian Dietetic Registration Exam.
4) You must be registered with the provincial regulatory body in your area in order to practice as an RD.
What is the difference between a Dietitian and a Nutritionist?
This is a very common question and it is important for the public to be able to distinguish the difference.
- The title "Registered Dietitian," "Professional Dietitian," "Dietitian," and "Graduate Dietitian" are protected by law and only qualified practitioners who have met the requirements as described above are able to use these titles.
- The term "Nutritionist" is not protected by law in all provinces of Canada so many different people without training as a Dietitian may use this as a title. Some Dietitians may also use Nutritionist as a title in places where it is protected by law, however it is important to know that not ALL Nutritionists are trained as Dietitians.
If you want to read more about this, check out the Dietitians of Canada website: http://www.dietitians.ca/find-a-dietitian/difference-between-dietitian-and-nutritionist.aspx
Where do you get your information?
As a Registered Dietitian, part of my role is to ensure that the information I provide to others is accurate and factual. I always ensure that the information I pass on to others comes from credible sources such as a peer-reviewed journal. This is one of the most important things about seeking advice from a Dietitian because it ensures that you are receiving evidenced-based information. Much of the nutrition information available on the internet is not evidenced-based and can be misleading or completely incorrect. Dietitians work hard to ensure that all information is backed by scientific evidence, however in the world of nutrition we are always learning new things to better our understanding of the human body, what it needs to work properly, and the best ways to get all the nutrients we require everyday. Since nutrition information is always evolving and research is an ongoing process, we often work with the best information we have available at any given time. If not enough research has been conducted on a certain topic, expert opinion is sometimes used in practice to make recommendations. Also, for some nutrition issues there may be no clear black or white answer if the research available is controversial, therefore opinion and a client's personal preference may come into play. Dietitians should always let you know when they are speaking from their own opinion or whether the information is based on fact.
What are the benefits of seeing a Dietitian?
Everyone can benefit from meeting with a Dietitian! Dietitians are nutrition experts that can help with weight loss or weight gain, prevention/management of chronic diseases, helping deal with food allergies/intolerances, sports nutrition, digestive issues, infant feeding guidelines, feeding a family, meal planning, budgeting for groceries, recipe development, and overall healthy eating advice. By meeting with a Dietitian you can be assured that the information you receive is customized to fit your needs and is based on scientific evidence.
Check out the EatRight Ontario website for more information on what Dietitians do and where they can work: http://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Articles/Frequently-Asked-Questions/What-is-a-Registered-Dietitian#.U_-xI_ldWSo
Where do you get your recipes?
Many of the recipes featured on WHITTY NUTRITION are adapted from existing recipes to make them more nutritious either by reducing unhealthy fat content, adding more fibre, changing the portion size, or increasing the number of vegetable servings. The original recipes will always be given credit on the blog and a link (if applicable) will be provided for you to view the original recipe. Some of the recipes featured on WHITTY NUTRITION were developed by me since I love to cook and often make things up as I go along! I often try new "recipes" out on my husband and if they turn out great I try to write them down and share them with you! You will notice that not every recipe posted here is something you would want to eat every single day (example: Mom's Famous Bacon Casserole ... YUM!) but I believe that all foods can fit onto your family's menu and food is about ENJOYMENT. It's all about balance so keep coming back for more nutrition information and a variety of recipes to help your family eat what they love and stay healthy at the same time!
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