Help managing chronic diseases: RDNs are trained in the science of diet modifications to help you reach optimal health and to control illnesses such as diabetes. An RDN can review your lab results with you, help you to understand how food affects your condition and provide education about the nutrients that affect it. Then, he or she will help you create an eating plan that includes all the important nutrients that can help you manage your condition.
Personally tailored advice: After learning about your health history, favorite foods, eating and exercise habits, an RDN will help you set goals and prioritize. To guide and motivate you, an RDN will use creative strategies to help with meal planning, grocery shopping, food journaling and mindful eating. Follow-up visits will focus on maintenance and monitoring your progress.
Now that you know the benefits of working with an RDN you’ll want to prepare yourself for your visit. Sheth suggests you ask the RDN the following questions:
Before your first consultation
- Are you a credentialed nutrition professional?
- How long have you practiced?
- What is your speciality?
- What is your treatment philosophy?
During your first consultation
- What kinds of lifestyle changes do I have to make?
- What are my overall nutrition goals?
- How can I best incorporate my favorite foods into my meal plan?
- How often should I be visiting you for appointments?
It’s important to seek out providers with whom you resonate. If you just don’t like or trust your RDN, you’re less likely to make appointments, less likely to follow instruction, and less likely to feel comfortable asking questions or pursuing the information you need.
“Just like any other profession, there can be a wide range in terms of personality, experience and counseling philosophy. Ensure that you find an RDN that is the right fit for you,” said Sheth
To find an RDN in your area, visit The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and click on “Find an Expert” in the upper right hand corner. Already have an RDN? Then celebrate Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day by sharing how your RDN has helped you.
Constance Brown-Riggs, MSEd, RD, CDE, CDN, is an award winning registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and past spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is the author of The African American Guide To Living Well With Diabetes and Eating Soulfully and Healthfully with Diabetes. Learn more about her work at www.constancebrownriggs.com and follow her on Twitter@eatingsoulfully.