5 ways you could benefit from seeing a dietitian

Not a lot of people totally understand what it is dietitians actually do.

Andy De Santis, RD 4 minute read August 27, 2021

Seeing a dietitian can help if you want to make any kind of major nutritional change. GETTY

As a registered dietitian, I admit that I’m biased. But I really believe that almost anyone can benefit from seeing a dietitian who can help you develop a nutritional plan tailored to your specific needs.

But not everyone understands what a dietitian does, or how they can help. So here, in no particular order, are some of the reasons you might want to seek out help from one of my colleagues.

1. You’re otherwise healthy, but don’t feel your best
Food doesn’t fix everything. But if you aren’t feeling great, you can’t be sure it isn’t due to issues in your dietary patterns until you identify and fix those inadequacies.

Basically, this is my fancy way of saying that until you have an expert look at the ins and outs of your routine, you can’t actually be confident that your diet is facilitating your best health or quality of life.

2. You have a health condition that could be improved with the right nutrition
This may sound painfully obvious, but my experience is that people tend to underestimate the extent to which science supports dietary changes to improve a wide array of issues. Yes, you probably already know that what you eat matters if you have, say, diabetes or IBS — but there are so many other conditions the rights food can help with.

There’s a ton of research on the use of nutrition and supplements to help improve outcomes in concerns including:

  • Women’s health, such as fertility, PCOS and endometriosis
  • Skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, acne, psoriasis and more
  • Men’s health, including sexual dysfunction
  • Mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety
  • Gaining muscle, exercise and sports performance

And those are just a few.

3. You want to take less medication
I’m not saying food is medicine in the literal sense, but it is certainly possible for dietary changes to reduce your need for certain medications — or at least reduce some of the dosages.

If you live in Canada and take prescription medication, it’s statistically most likely to be for one of the following five issues: high cholesterol, high blood pressure, acid reflux, hypothyroidism, or depression/anxiety. And for each of those, your lifestyle and your diet — including food and supplements — can play a major role.

4. You’re planning a significant, self-directed dietary change
People change their diets for a lot of different reasons. Maybe you’ve decided to go vegetarian, or pescatarian, or vegan. Maybe you want to try intermittent fasting. Maybe you want to try keto. (Not that I necessarily advocate for that…)

These are common personal choices that people regularly feel compelled to make. A dietitian can help guide and advise you on how to make changes in the safest way possible. (Or, in the case of problematic changes, talk you out of them.)

5. You’re burdened by nutritional misinformation
Very often, I work with clients who are seeking a clear and definitive path forward as it relates to their dietary choices. In my experience, there are a few reasons people are seeking out this kind of clarity.

Sometimes they’re burdened by “nutritional noise” — all of the confusing and often contradictory information circulating online or from self-proclaimed “experts” who don’t actually know what they’re talking about. These people might not have the best relationship with food, and can be adversely affected by seeing friends and family dabble in restrictive approaches to eating. They may also struggle to make sense of the information they find online, which only muddies the waters further.

In other cases, people might be naturally inquisitive about all things health. They pay extra attention to their dietary patterns, and enjoy conversations about the science and nuance surrounding various nutrition topics. They have a number of questions on hot nutrition topics. My colleagues and I have those answers, and how they relate to these people’s very specific needs.