Home Food & Cooking Healthy Eating Is Your Nutritionist Actually Slowly Killing You?

Is Your Nutritionist Actually Slowly Killing You?

Zerxza.com may earn commission when you buy something through the links or banners on this page but we only feature brands or products we trust.

Readers' Picks

The Diet That Literally Makes You Happy: Serotonin Diet Fights Against Bad Mood | Healthy Eating Series

If you're living in a northern climate, it's no secret that the cold winter can seriously dampen your mood, even leading to...

Cooking Oils and Cancer: What Cooking Oils to Avoid and Which Are Harmless

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is the second most popular cause of death around the world, claiming over 8 million lives...

Is Spicy Food Related to Pancreatic Cancer?

In 2015 alone, over 55,000 American adults were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  And while slightly more men are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer,...

Grapefruits vs Oranges: Which One Is Better?

In a face-off between these grapefruits and oranges, which one is better? Can one help with weight loss? Is the other better for your...

Dangers of Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Regularly

The word “vinegar” means “sour wine” in French. And while it might not earn its place at a Parisian dinner table, health advocates highly...

Yogurt Diet: Is It a Hoax or Does It Really Work? | Healthy Eating Series

Alternative diets are a dime a dozen these days, and that includes the yogurt diet. It’s a short-term meal plan centered around...

We all know that the Standard American Diet (SAD) is far from perfect and it leads to lots of health problems for many individuals across the United States.

After all, you are what you eat, and if you’re eating a diet overflowing with processed foods and unhealthy fats, it’s no wonder that obesity, type 2 diabetes, and inflammatory illnesses are on the rise.

One way people try to improve their health is to improve their diets and to do that, they turn to nutritionists. But who are nutritionists exactly? And are they causing you more harm than good?

Subscribe & Save 20% On 20 Smoothies At SmoothieBox.com, no coupon needed!

Is a Nutritionist the Same as a Dietitian?

As the name implies, a nutritionist sounds like someone who has studied and can give reliable advice on nutrition. But that sounds like a dietitian, doesn’t it? So, are nutritionists and dietitians the same?

The answer is a big, resounding, “No!” dietitians must study at an accredited American college or university. (Other countries have similar requirements, but it varies depending on the country.) Dietitians must earn a bachelor’s degree, plus an additional year of training, and then pass a national exam.

Their studies can involve scientific subjects, like nutrition, anatomy, chemistry, biology, physiology, and chemistry. Public health and food studies are also popular focuses which then allow dietitians to work in many public sectors after they’ve graduated with their degree.

Who is a Nutritionist?

When it comes to nutritionists, many of these food “experts” haven’t gone through the rigorous coursework that dietitians have. Instead, they can earn certifications from online programs and/or holistic, natural schools.

Unfortunately, there isn’t always a strong scientific foundation within these programs. This means that nutritionists with these backgrounds can often fall short in providing sound and safe nutrition advice.

How Not to Die: Discover the foods scientifically proven to prevent and reverse disease
Audible Audiobook; Dr Michael Greger (Author) - Michael Greger (Narrator); English (Publication Language)
−$2.04 $14.31
The Fast Metabolism Diet: Eat More Food and Lose More Weight
Audible Audiobook; Haylie Pomroy (Author) - Rebecca Lowman (Narrator); English (Publication Language)
−$3.01 $17.99
The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss
Audible Audiobook; Dr. Jason Fung (Author) - Brian Nishii (Narrator); English (Publication Language)
−$2.96 $21.99

Nutritionists Do Fill a Necessary Gap

Medical professionals are very scientific and understand the body’s various systems incredibly well. There are specialists who focus on one of the many intricate and complex areas of the body.

This is very useful in helping countless individuals understand their bodies, and to find out what does and doesn’t work in terms of dietary choices and overall health.

However, one problem with this sort of specialized approach – even with dietitians – is that it focuses so much on the specialty, and doesn’t take into consideration all the other important factors that play into a person’s health and wellbeing.

Therefore, even though diet does play an enormous role in someone’s health, it’s also very important to look at the entire person, and his or her lifestyle. That’s because these factors weigh in heavily into someone’s wellbeing, too.

And that’s where nutritionists – especially holistic, and/or natural nutritionists – can be very useful. They will look at the whole picture and try to understand the entire person, instead of just focusing on the individual and the foods he or she eats.

This holistic approach, which is integrated into many nutritionist programs, is a much-needed approach, but sound and reliable science are still necessary.

And unfortunately, too many nutritionists offer advice and coaching without a strong scientific background.

How Can Nutritionists Do More Harm Than Good?

There are some things to watch out for when it comes to bad nutritionists. Here are some of the red flags that you can look out for:

  1. No Signs of Science

If your nutritionist only offers anecdotal and/or personal evidence, instead of scientific research, it’s worth questioning the claims he or she makes. Without scientific backing, it’s easy for nutritionists to make compelling-sounding claims about metabolism, food groups, spices, and dietary guidelines.

If you follow these claims, without doing any of your own research, you can easily develop nutrient deficiencies, or put your own health at risk. What works for one person may not work for you, so it’s important to have solid research behind health claims.

  1. Demonizing Food Groups

Every person is different, and their dietary needs vary, too. Now, some people are clearly allergic and/or intolerant to certain food groups. And it makes perfectly good sense to avoid these food groups.

However, if your nutritionist advises you to eliminate a food group, just because, you should probably ask why. This goes for food groups like carbohydrates, fats, saturated fats, eggs, sugar, or gluten.

Similarly, if your nutritionist says that you should eat lots of grains, or have many small meals instead of three, main meals each day. Or, if they say you should eat a lot of carbohydrates or lots of vegetable oils, you should probably question this, too.

These are dietary guidelines that may not work for you, not only because of your own nutritional needs but because they’re also scientifically unfounded in some cases.

If your body can tolerate these foods, you might not want to cut them out entirely. What’s more, your body might not just be tolerating these foods. You might actually be thriving with these foods. And a good nutritionist should respect what works for you, and your own bio-individuality.

  1. No Credentials

As we mentioned above, there is a big difference between a registered dietitian, who’s earned a degree from a college or university, and a nutritionist, who may have earned a 3-month certification online.

To ensure that you’re receiving help from an accredited professional, look for credentials like “RD” (registered dietitian), or MPH (master’s in public health), or BSc (bachelor of science degree), or even MD or PhD (medical doctors or scholars who specialize in nutrition, diet, biochemistry, etc.).

You can also check to see if your nutritionist is a member of the American Society of Clinical Nutrition or the American Dietetic Association.

How Not to Die: Discover the foods scientifically proven to prevent and reverse disease
Audible Audiobook; Dr Michael Greger (Author) - Michael Greger (Narrator); English (Publication Language)
−$2.04 $14.31
The Fast Metabolism Diet: Eat More Food and Lose More Weight
Audible Audiobook; Haylie Pomroy (Author) - Rebecca Lowman (Narrator); English (Publication Language)
−$3.01 $17.99
The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss
Audible Audiobook; Dr. Jason Fung (Author) - Brian Nishii (Narrator); English (Publication Language)
−$2.96 $21.99

  1. Cures, Panaceas, and Trends

Sometimes, eggs are the big bad wolf. Other times, gluten or sugar are demonized. Sometimes, kale is the vegetable everyone should be eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Other times, people focus on fad diets, like the cookie diet, the Whole30, the raw food diet, lunar diet, or extreme detoxes and cleanses, or anything else that promises a quick cure. If this sounds like your nutritionist, you should probably take their advice with a big grain of salt.

Alyaka Beauty Advent Calendar Luxe 2020

A true nutritionist doesn’t need to follow trends, or all the media hype surrounding them.

Finding a Trustworthy Nutritionist

This article isn’t meant to scare you, or to say that all nutritionists are out to get you. It’s just that not all nutritionists have the scientific background required to help you when it comes to one essential part of your health and wellbeing – your diet.

Finding a good nutritionist is possible, as long as you keep an eye out for red flags and look for trustworthy credentials.

Latest at Zerxza

8 Powerful Winter Skincare Products for a Revitalized Skin

Wintertime is a real hazard on your skin. Cold wind and harsh temperatures do a number on you,...

Are Your Friends Stopping You From Making Better Financial Decisions?

You should definitely buy that handbag, it’s meant for you… Hey, come out with us tonight!

4 Fun Ways to Teach Your Kids About Germs

Teaching kids about disease prevention and hygiene is always important, but even more so during the pandemic. The concept...

How Women Can Help Their Partner Express Their Issues About ED

He's starting to have sex with you, he's aroused, he's ready... But he looks down and realizes he can't keep the erection...

Christmas Party Outfits: 14 Ideas for Festive Outfits

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is almost here. And even though it feels like its a bit of a way away, the truth...

8 Stylish & Modern Living Room Design Ideas

  If there’s one room that sets the tone for the rest of your home, it’s definitely the living room. After all, it’s not only where...

How to Deal with Real-Life Mean Girls

Oh, mean girls. What would life be like without them? Maybe less stressful and a lot more fun? Unfortunately, for a lot of ladies,...

Related Articles