When you hear the word "counseling," you may think of sitting (or lying) on a couch and telling someone all about your problems and receiving their advice or counsel. While that is a semi-accurate picture of mental health counseling, nutrition counseling differs greatly. (My office doesn't even have a couch!) By definition, counseling is simply guidance provided by a professional.
Nutrition counseling is a therapeutic approach utilized by a registered dietitian to treat medical conditions
and their symptoms. It involves personalized guidance on what foods and nutrient levels are appropriate. A dietitian can advise on increasing or decreasing certain nutrients in the diet or changing meals' size, timing, or composition. Nutrition counseling takes into account a person's culture, budget, and health needs.1
What Can Nutrition Counseling Do For Me?
Just to name a few things:
Weight loss: A dietitian can help you lose weight in a way that is safe, sustainable, and ensures you don't develop nutrient deficiencies.
Diabetes: A dietitian can help you develop an eating pattern with an appropriate amount of carbs (and other nutrients) to help keep your blood sugars at a level that can prevent complications.
Healthy eating or chronic disease prevention: A dietitian can help you develop a healthy eating pattern that reduces your risk for chronic diseases (like diabetes or heart disease) and ensures you are getting the nutrients your body needs.
Celiac disease: A dietitian can help you avoid gluten-containing foods and develop an eating pattern that is still tasty and provides the nutrients you need.
What Does Nutrition Counseling Include?
Nutrition counseling is based on an assessment of your current diet, body type, activity level, lifestyle, and lab values. You and your dietitian will discuss your diet history and your current understanding of nutrition and your medical condition(s)/concern(s). A dietitian will then help fill in the gaps of your understanding and provide you with tips, recipes, and meal plans based on your needs.
How Can I See a Dietitian?
If you are located within the State of Louisiana, you can call my office at 337-466-6899 to schedule an in-person or telehealth appointment. If you are located outside of the Louisiana, you can find a dietitian near you by using the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Find a Nutrition Expert program
Louisiana Board of Examiners in Dietetics and Nutrition. Rules, Regulations, and Procedures. Louisiana Board of Examiners in Dietetics and Nutrition. https://www.lbedn.org/index.cfm/rules-and-regulations