#4 MGM: Increase Your Water Intake

Mighty Goal Monday - Increase your water intake

MGM #4 – Increase you water intake

Staying hydrated is essential when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, I know it can be challenging to not only know how much you should be drinking but also to make sure you reach the recommended amount on a daily basis. There are days, I can tell I am not well hydrated because I usually am in a fog for the rest of the day. But there are also days where I know I am never letting go of my water bottle. Meaning that I know I need to work on being more consistent. (FYI, I’m always working on completing the Mighty Goal Monday challenges as well.)

This week’s Challenge: Increase your Water Intake by Drinking at least 70% of your recommended intake at least 5 times this week.

Let me explain.

Some of you may believe that the recommended amount of water is always 8 cups. As time has gone on, that recommendation has since changed. What I learned and practice in my Dietetic Internship was individuals water consumption should range from 30mL/kg body weight to 35mL/kg body weight. Now that can be confusing if you are not calculating nutritional needs on a daily basis like I am.

*Please note that this is a general range for individuals if you have a medical condition that requires more or less water intake go off your medical doctor’s recommendations.*

Here is an easy way I like to look at it.

There are 30mL in 1 ounce (and 8 oz equals 1 cup) Since the minimum amount of water you should be consuming is 1 oz/kg body weight, you can calculate your minimum water intake by determining your weight in kg.

A Simple Calculation

Your weight in pounds/2.2 = your weight in kilograms(kg).
Your weight in kilograms = the minimum amount of water in ounces you should be consuming
To determine the number of cups you should be drinking, take your ounces divided by 8.

Confused, please contact me and I can help you understand it better.

Again, for this week’s challenge, I want you to increase your water intake by consuming 70% of your minimum amount of water at least 5 times this week. You can do it!

Water & Your Body

I am sure you have heard before that your body is mostly made up of water, about 60%. Which means it is important to replenish your fluid levels throughout the day to compensate for your losses. Water loss in the body occurs through urination, sweat, fecal matter, and even respiration. Without enough water within your body, problems could occur. Water is essential for maintaining every system within the body, as well as, carry nutrients from your body. On top of this, water is also needed to help prevent constipation. So if you ask me, water is pretty essential in our bodies.

Dehydration

“If you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.” – This phrase is very common in the medical field and is true. By the time your brain sends out thirst signals, your water levels have already be depleted, causing dehydration to occur. When dehydration occurs it is possible to become light-headed, dizzy, or confused. If these symptoms occur, especially while being active or outside, please take some time to drink some water to replenish your depleted water stores. Additional health consequences can occur if dehydration is an ongoing problem.

Benefits for staying Hydrated

Improve your workouts.

Maintaining a good hydration status is important when wanting to improve your performance. Drinking water before, during, and after a workout can reduce fatigue from occurring, as wells, improve your endurance.

Boost your Mood and Brainpower.

Drinking water is important when it comes to your brain. If you notice yourself starting to go into a fog, whether it be through mood or thinking, drinking water can help. Studies have shown when dehydrated, there is a negative decline in both cognitive thinking and overall moods.

Ways to increase your water consumption

Carry a water bottle with you

Always having a water bottle (especially a reusable water bottle) is necessary if you are always on the run or sitting at a desk. When you have it on you, you are more likely to drink water opposed to not having a water bottle at all. My water bottle collection is always growing and I feel empty if I don’t have one with me. My favorite water bottles are Tervis water bottles because they are durable and double insulated. (I’ve had my Tervis cup for over 6 years now and it’s still my favorite one to carry!)

Try different alternatives to water

I am not talking about drinking soda or coffee. Instead look for sparkling waters or flavored waters. When choosing alternatives to water, make sure there are no calories or sugars as water does not have either. LaCroix is a great sparkling water brand that offers a large variety of flavors.

Infused Water

Adding real fruits can be a great alternative to plain water. I bought this pitcher and fell in love with it. It is so easy to make a large batch of infused water and have it throughout the week. My favorite fruits to infuse are strawberries, watermelon, lemon, lime, and orange. Another refreshing combination is cucumber and mint! The best part about infused water is you can make them whatever you are in the mood for or whatever extra fruit you might have. The possibilities are endless.


Overall, staying hydrated is essential when it comes to living and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Start this week off strong with a large glass of water with breakfast, on your commute into the office, or with your morning workout.


Do not forget to share your achievements, tips, and/or comments with me and the #MightyGoalMonday community. It is much easier to accomplish goals when you have others completing the same goals.

Share your #mightygoalmonday accomplishments and tips

Together we can accomplish small but MIGHTY weekly nutrition goals.


Mighty Goal Monday #3 Recap

Were you able to eat a balanced meal for at least 8 meals this past week? A balanced meal contains all the food groups to provide all the nutrients your body needs. I hope you got creative and found a new recipe that incorporates all the food groups. I was loving my taco salads that I loaded up with veggies, beans for protein, cheese & yogurt dressing for dairy, thin pretzels for grains that I ate with salsa, and a side of fruit. As time goes on, I hope you find it easier to make balanced meals without even thinking about it.

New to Mighty Goal Monday?

Find out more about why I started this blog series and what other MGM’s you have missed and can start at any time.

 

#3 MGM: Eating a Balanced Meal

#3 MGM Eating a Balanced Diet

Mighty Goal Monday #3 – Eating a Balanced Meal

It’s no secret that most Americans (including myself) are not eating a balanced meal 100% of the time. I know there are days where I am struggling to get fruits and vegetables in my diet. (I am not perfect and one of the main reasons I started Mighty Goal Mondays – to help myself as well.) With Mighty Goal Monday #1 and #2, we worked on incorporating more vegetables and fruits into our diet. So it only makes sense to work on eating balanced meals more frequently.

This week’s challenge is to consume a balanced meal for at least 2 meals at least 4 days this week or consume at least 8 balanced meals throughout this week.

When you break it down this is about 40% of your meals, if you consume three meals a day the whole week. By starting with a small goal like this, you can focus more on the quality of your goals over the quantity behind the goals.

What is a balanced meal?

A balanced meal consists of consuming food items from all five food groups – fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. When you look at your plate, ½ of your plate should be fruits and vegetables, ¼ of your plate should be protein, ¼ of your plate should be grains, and you should have a serving of dairy on the side. These guidelines have been developed from MyPlate, the nutrition standards that replaced the Food Pyramid in 2011.

Why is it important to consume a balanced meal?

When it comes to consuming a balanced meal, the health benefits are amazing.

Variety of Nutrients 

Not only are you increasing flavors throughout your plate but you are also consuming a large variety of macronutrients(carbohydrates, protein, fat) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).

Weight Control

By having a proper balanced diet, you are consuming the recommended amount of foods groups. You most likely are increasing your fruits and vegetables and decreasing your carbohydrate and fat intake. (Something that can be challenging at first but worth it in the long run.) With a balanced meal, it allows you to get a better control on your diet and increase your consumption of nutrient dense meals.

Decrease in Disease Risks

Diabetes and Cardiovascular Heart Disease are common medical conditions that exist today. With both of these diseases, a poor balanced diet can be a risk factor. Therefore, it becomes important to maintain balanced meals to help protect you from certain disease that can be associated with poor diets.

Easy ways to make your meals balanced

Bring back fruits and vegetables at the dinner table

In the 2015 Study of America’s Consumption of Fruits & Vegetables, it was concluded that the decrease in vegetable consumption is a result of the common vegetable dish being removed from the dinner table. When I was a kid, there wasn’t a family dinner that did not have a vegetable dish on the table. Something that back then I would dread eating but now something I make sure to incorporate at family dinners. This can be something simple like raw fruits and vegetables or steamed vegetables.

Make dishes that contain the right amount of all food groups.

Crockpot meals and new one-pan dishes are a great way to get a balanced meal. However, when making the dishes it becomes important to put more vegetables in dishes than the grains and protein. Something that might be hard at first but will help in the long run.

Here is a great resource of 30 Dinners from 30 Dietitians.

Get a plate or product to help you out

Portion controlled plates are a great tool when it comes to wanting to eat balanced meals and watch your portion sizes. I really enjoy portion sized tupperware since I am usually eating on the run. There are so many products out there that can help you reach the goal of consuming balanced meals.

So start this week off strong with figuring out what meals you are really going to focus on consuming balanced meals.


Social Media Mighty Goal MondayDo not forget to share your achievements, tips, and/or comments with me and the #MightyGoalMonday community. It is much easier to accomplish goals when you have others completing the same goals.

Don’t forget to use #mightygoalmonday and #nutritioninchoas on your social media posts so I can repost.

 

Together we can accomplish small but MIGHTY weekly nutrition goals.


Mighty Goal Monday #2 Recap

How did everyone do with Mighty Goal Monday #2? I personally find myself craving fruits more because of the natural sugar found in them. My sweet tooth gets the sweetness that I am looking for and my body is getting great vitamins and minerals. A WIN, WIN in my book. So personally, it was easier for me to increase my fruit servings. However, just because I increased my fruit servings I knew I still needed to maintain my vegetable servings from MGM #1. Remember as MGM continues, it is important to still build off the past posts.

New to Mighty Goal Monday?

Find out more about why I started this blog post series and what other MGM’s you have missed and can start at any time.

#2 MGM: Increasing your Fruit Intake

Mighty Monday Goal #1 Recap

Well, MGM #1 is in the books. How did everyone do?! Personally, I know I could have done better as there was a day during the week I didn’t have one single serving of vegetable! So I get it when someone says “I went the whole day and didn’t even realize it.” Which goes to show how little we think about our nutrition sometimes and how important it is to reverse that.

This week I want you to do your best (we are only human) to still work on adding more vegetables into your diet, as well as, incorporate this week’s Mighty Goal Monday.

Increasing your fruit intake

This week’s Mighty Goal Monday is: Increase your fruit intake.

According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, 80% of the U.S. population is consuming less than the recommended amounts of fruit. This is a HUGE percentage, but I definitely can see this in both myself and my clients eating habits.

The Dietary Guidelines recommend the following daily fruit consumption.

  • Women ages 14 & Up should consume 1.5-2 cups a day
  • Men ages 14 & up should consume 2-2.5 cups a day

This week, I challenge you to increase your fruit intake by 1 cup/serving per day.

Again, for some you this might be pretty easy to do, or you might already be getting the recommended amount everyday. Others (like myself) may struggle to reach the recommended amount each day which makes it important to put forth the effort to try our best.

How much is a serving?

Since it can be hard to determine how much is really a cup of fruit, here are some common fruit serving sizes.

Apple – 1 small apple (2.25” diameter) or ½ large apple (3.25” diameter)
Banana – 1 large banana (8” to 9” long)
Grapes – 32 grapes
Grapefruit – 1 medium grapefruit (4” diameter)
Orange – 1 large (3 1/16” diameter)
Peaches – 1 large peach (2.75” diameter)
Pear – 1 medium pear (2.5 per pound)
Plum – 3 medium or 2 large plums
Strawberries – about 8 large strawberries
Dried Fruit – ½ cup

Health Benefits of Fruits

There are so many great benefits to incorporating fruits into your diet. Not only can they help curb your sweet tooth with their natural sugars but they are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Common nutrients found within fruits are Vitamin C, potassium, and  folic acid. By increasing your intake in fruits you also are lowering your risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, and type-2 diabetes. All the more reason to enjoy fruits in your diet!

How to increase your fruit intake

Shop Smart

When it comes to purchasing fruits, look to see what fruits are in season or on sale at your local grocery store. Pears, cranberries, and pomegranates are all fruits that are in-season now. (Try putting pomegranate seeds on your avocado toast for extra flavor, it’s delicious!) Also, shop your local Farmer’s Market. Fall is a great time for a Farmer’s Market and the fruit is usually ready to eat right at that moment.

Buy pre-cut fruits

Constantly on the go? Look for pre-cut fruits in your grocery stores. Not only will this save tons of time but you can grab and go on your way out of the door! Fruit platters are a great way to get a variety of pre-cut fruits.

Creating dishes with fruits in them

You don’t have to eat fruit by itself. Make a fruit salad with all the fruits you enjoy. Mix fruit into your yogurt, oatmeal, or cottage cheese. Make a dessert packed with fruits!

Here are some of my favorite fruit recipes.

Homemade Applesauce – Since fall is a great time to go apple picking, I always make homemade applesauce. This is a great recipe from Healthy Ideas Place for homemade applesauce.

Blueberry Avocado Muffins – Gimme Some Oven

DIY Fruit Pizza – Mitzi Dulan, RD

Get creative when it comes to ways to increase your fruit intake!

Start the Week of Strong!

Social Media Mighty Goal MondayStart tomorrow morning off with a serving of fruit at breakfast and continue to increase your fruit intake by 1 cup each day. It might be challenging for some and easier for others but that is part of the journey. No matter where you are on your journey to living a healthier lifestyle, you can continue to make small improvements that lead to greater accomplishments.

Remember, it can be a lot easier to reach your goals when you have a support team behind you. So don’t forget to share your progress and challenges with the Mighty Goal Monday team!

I’ll make sure to repost every #mightygoalmonday or #mgm I see!

Together we can accomplish small but Mighty weekly nutrition goals.

 

EGGSTATIC for EGGS!

Eggstatic for eggs

Eggs are my best friend, and they really should be yours as well! I have at least two eggs, three times a week. So needless to say they are an essential part of my diet. Eggs have been known to have a bad reputation in nutrition. However, that is slowly disappearing and I could not love the science behind eggs more than I do now.

The Breakdown of Eggs

The Egg Nutrition Center offers a great informational page that shows the breakdown of an egg. But here is the quick rundown that shows how awesome eggs really are!

  • EggsThe average egg contains 70 calories, 6 grams of protein, and around 13 essential vitamins and minerals.
  • The protein found in eggs are required for building and maintaining lean body mass.
  • The egg yolk contains the most of the nutrients found within an egg. Nutrients include Vitamin D, Choline, and antioxidants to help decrease the development of cataracts.
  • Eggs are considered a complete protein since they contain all nine essential amino acids.

What the Research is Saying

Previously in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, the recommendations were to only consume four egg yolks per week due to the high cholesterol content. Now in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, the recommended cholesterol levels are omitted because of new research studies being published.

In a recent study completed by the University of Eastern Finland, it was concluded that consuming a high-cholesterol diet or one egg a day did not increase the risk of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). Around 1,000 men aged 42 to 60, with no diagnosis of Cardiovascular Disease, participated in the study and were followed up 21 years later. The highest control group consumed one egg per day with an average cholesterol level of 520 mg. Based on the results, the study concluded that the consumption of eggs was not an associated risk of CHD.

Another study done by the University of Eastern Finland looked at the correlation between egg consumption and type 2 diabetes. This correlation has not been studied intensively and results have not been conclusive. However, in this recent study, it was found that men that consumed about four eggs per week lowered their risk of type 2 diabetes by 37%. Opposed to men that only consumed one egg per week. Eggs contain nutritional benefits, like glucose metabolism and low-grade inflammation, which lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes.

I understand that these research studies do have relatively small sample populations and there may be different factors associated with the research. But these are small research studies that are starting the conversation on how eggs can be accepted again in the American diet.



My favorite ways to enjoy eggs

Avocado Toast & Fried Egg

fried egg - ways to eat eggsIf I have more than ten minutes to enjoy breakfast, I always am making avocado toast with a fried egg on top. This flavorful breakfast is packed with so many healthy benefits. Avocados offer amazing healthy fats to help my brain function in the morning and of course my eggs are packed with protein and nutrients I need within my body. Pair this breakfast dish with a glass of 2% milk and you have a breakfast packed with protein to keep you full until your next snack or meal.

Freezer Breakfast Burritos

When I do not have time to sit down and enjoy breakfast, mainly because I am most likely running late. I reach for a premade breakfast burrito. There are so many recipes out there that are great for making freezer breakfast burritos. One of my favorite recipes is from Budget Bytes. Of course, I usually load mine up with eggs.

Hard Boiled Eggs on my Salad

Another great way to enjoy eggs are when they are hard boiled. Hard-boiling eggs is easy and can be done on a Sunday night when you are getting your upcoming lunches ready. Adding eggs to salads is a great way to add protein, helping you stay full.

Eggs and VeggiesWhile doing my egg research I came across a study conducted by Purdue University. It states that adding eggs to a salad filled with raw vegetables can increase the absorption of carotenoids. Carotenoids are fat-soluble nutrients that help decrease inflammation and oxidative stress. The fat inside the eggs helps increase the absorption. Results showed a higher absorption rate when participants consumed a salad with three whole eggs compared to no eggs at all.

Based on these findings, it also shows the importance of consuming the whole egg since the yolk contains the lipids to help with absorption. So get creative with your salads and experiment with your taste buds on which raw vegetables taste better with eggs. (My favorite is raw peppers of all colors with hard boiled eggs.)

Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich

Going along with hard boiled eggs, there are times where I am craving an egg salad sandwich. (I think my internship at a long-term care facility created that craving.) But, I am not a big mayo fan – the key ingredient in egg salad sandwich. Avocados save the day once again! Instead of using mayo, use a mashed up avocado. Season with some salt and pepper and throw on a piece of bread or enjoy with crackers. Something new and delicious!


As always, please feel free to contact me or leave a comment. I look forward to hearing from you!

Creating the Perfect Snack

creating the perfect snack

Do you find that after you eat a snack you are still hungry or not satisfied? That could be a sign that your snack needs improvement. A perfect snack is a food item that satisfies your hunger, is nutritionally dense, and keeps you full until your next meal.

The perfect snack contains protein and/or carbohydrates, but the combination of both make it an excellent snack.

Protein

Ultimately, protein is used in the body to fuel and repair muscle mass. Protein is also essential to help you stay full or reach satiety, which is important when it comes to having a snack. Research has shown the improvement of satiety and appetite control when high-protein snacks are consumed.

Protein can be found in animal or plant products. Your most common protein sources are meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, nuts, legumes, and some dairy products.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are our body’s main source of energy and are needed to ensure the body can function properly. There are two different types of carbohydrates: Simple and Complex.

Simple carbohydrates are found in candies, fruits, processed foods, and dairy products. Simple carbohydrates provide short bursts of energy because they are only made up of one or two sugars. Which means, your body will use those sugars faster.

Complex carbohydrates are found in whole grain food items (oatmeal, whole grain bread, whole grain pasta), beans, lentils, and some vegetables. Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest, meaning they provide a longer amount of energy to the body. Therefore, when it comes to creating the perfect snack, it is best to have a complex carbohydrate to ensure you are staying satisfied longer.

*Stay tuned for future posts about macronutrients (Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fats)*


My Go-To Snacks

Apple + Nut Butter

Apple and nut butter snackPeanut Butter and Almond Butter are my soulmates, they make my heart so full whenever I have them. So it’s no wonder why I always have some with me. With nut butter, I am getting a great source of protein. However, I always pair my nut butter with a crisp and cold Red Delicious Apple. Even though my apple is a simple carbohydrate, I am still combining a protein and a carb to ensure that I stay full until my next meal.

My favorite nut butter product is Justin’s Squeeze Packs. They come in a variety of different flavors, both with peanut butter or almond butter as the base. My favorite thing about Justin’s Squeeze Packs is their size. Each pack contains 1.15 oz of nut butter, which converts to about 2 Tbs, the recommended serving size of nut butter. Plus, being able to squeeze the nut butter onto my apple ensures I have nut butter with every bite.

Popcorn

Next to my love for nut butter comes my love for popcorn. I believe no week or movie is complete without popcorn. Popcorn is a whole-grain, aka a complex carb, which keeps me happy as can be until my next meal.

making air popped popcorn - snackNow I am not talking about making a bag of microwave popcorn and calling it a day. I am talking about making some old-school air popped popcorn. Don’t think you have time to make popcorn, do not worry. I am all about having snacks that require little time to make. This past Christmas, I got a Lèkuè Popcorn Maker. Sounds fancy, but it is not and it has changed my life. With this popcorn maker, you can have fresh air-popped popcorn in less than 3 minutes. Simply add popcorn kernels, spray some canola oil, add a small amount of sea salt, put the lid on, cook about 2 minutes in the microwave, and BOOM popcorn is done. Quick and simple and you’re on the run again.

Granola Bar

With always being on the run, there is not a day where you can’t find me without a granola bar. Granola bars consist of both carbohydrates and protein, with the amount varying in different granola bars. However, when choosing a granola bar, it is important to look for low-sugar options. Although high-sugar granola bars may taste better, the sugar content increases the simple carbohydrate amount.

My favorite granola bars are:

– Kind – Kind bars are great if you are looking for a granola bar with simple ingredients. All of the products are made with whole nuts, fruits, and whole grains. Making the products a great snack that will satisfy your hunger and keep you full until your next meal. When it comes to their bars, they offer a large variety of flavors. Their protein and sugar levels vary depending on the bars and the ingredients, but overall Kind is a brand that I trust to keep me happy and full.

– Nature Valley – There are many different flavors offered and all of the bars are made with whole grains. As well as, offer about an average of 3-4 grams of protein, enough to tie you over until your next meal. (My absolute favorite is the peanut butter one, of course.)

– Fiber One – Fiber One bars offer an extra bonus. Since most of their products contain 5 grams of fiber or 20% of the recommended amount, I know I am helping my digestive system. Not only does the added fiber help with digestion, it also helps keep me full. Depending on the product, there may be higher amounts of protein. Ultimately, the soft texture and bursts of flavor are my favorite components of Fiber One bars.

Almonds

almonds great snackAlmonds
offer not only a good source of protein but they also provide healthy fats. Your healthy fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Both mono and polyunsaturated fats help lower total cholesterol. Monounsaturated fats also help increase HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). Polyunsaturated fats help lower total cholesterol and contain both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. So ultimately, you want a diet rich in mono and polyunsaturated fats, both of which are in almonds.

My favorite type of almond is dark chocolate oven roasted almonds. Not only is there more flavor but there are heart-healthy antioxidants found within dark chocolate. There is a difference between dark chocolate oven roasted and almonds covered in dark chocolate. Oven roasted almonds are covered in a dusting of dark chocolate and then roasted in the oven. Opposed to the covered almonds that add more sugar to the nutrition content. There are also other almond options that offer different flavors. So pick your poison and get some healthy fats in your diet.

Beef Jerky

With summertime and fall being a great time to be outside. I find that I am always packing beef jerky for an adventure. To me, a road trip or a hike is not complete without jerky. Jerky is filled with protein since it is essentially dehydrated meat. Especially, when being outside hiking or camping, it is important to have protein to help fuel your muscles. Jerky usually gets a bad name due to the amount of sodium found within the product. However, there are jerky products that contain lower amounts of sodium and still offer great flavor. When it comes to picking jerky, look for products that contain below 400 mg of sodium or 15% of recommended daily value, since it is a snack and not a meal.

Low-Sodium Brands I Choose:

EPIC – EPIC makes bars, bites, and other products that all come from 100% grass-fed animals. They offer different flavors like Chicken Sesame BBQ, Beef Apple Bacon, and Salmon Sea Salt Pepper. I personally enjoyed the Beef Apple Bacon, but look forward to trying new flavors as fall weather comes and I spend more time outside.

Krave Jerky – Krave Jerky offers many unique flavors. So whenever I am craving something different I always check them out. (The Black Cherry Barbeque is heavenly!) Most of their products contain around 10 grams of protein and average around 320 mg of sodium.

Think Jerky – I love these packs of jerky because of the flavors offered and because Think Jerky is a Chicago-based company! (Gotta love local companies.) They offer both grass-fed beef jerky and free-range turkey jerky. They all offer at least 16 grams of protein, which will help keep you full and help your muscles while on a long hike.


Overall, snacking doesn’t have to be the same thing every day. It is important to mix it up so burnout does not occur.  These are just some of my favorite go-to snacks but I do eat other things. I dare you to come up with your own snacks that contain protein and complex carbohydrates. The goal to a snack is to satisfy your hunger with a light food option that will help fuel you till your next meal.

Have your own favorite snack? Comment and share it with others who may be struggling on what snack to have. And as always, feel free to contact me if you have any personal questions or thoughts. I enjoy hearing from you!

RDN, RD, or Nutritionist: What is the difference?

RDN, RD, or NutritionistMany people do not realize there is a difference. Honestly, I did not either when I first started looking into the field of nutrition. However, there is a difference.

 

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) & Registered Dietitian (RD)

RDNs are the food and nutrition experts. All RDNs must complete specific requirements set by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

  • Complete a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. The degree must be earned from an accredited university or college in the US. Plus, the coursework must be accredited or approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).
  • Complete an ACEND-accredited Dietetic Internship. 1200 hours must be completed under supervision.
  • Pass the national examination.
  • Complete continuing professional education requirements to maintain RDN credentials.

A few years ago, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Board of Directors and the Commission on Dietetics Registration approved the usage of the RDN credential. By adding ‘nutritionist’ to the registered dietitian credential, it informs the public that RDNs can also be found in the wellness setting. For example, an RDN can provide general individual & group counseling, nutrition seminars, and cooking classes. During these instances, it is possible that an RDNs job title could be a nutritionist. (Confusing, I know.)

Most importantly, an RDN is also the only healthcare professional allowed to provide medical nutrition therapy. For this reason, you may see many RDNs employed in the hospital setting.

Nutritionists

A nutritionist is someone that has a background in nutrition, whether if it was a course or a certification. Another way someone can be a nutritionist is if they believe they know enough to name themselves a nutritionist. Currently, the term “nutritionist” is an unregulated term. Which means there are no specific requirements set by a national organization to be a nutritionist.


Take-away-message

  • RDNs are the food and nutrition experts that must complete certain requirements in order to obtain credentials.
  • RDNs are the only health professionals allowed to give medical nutrition therapy.
  • An RDN can be labeled as a nutritionist depending on the job description.
  • The term “nutritionist” is not regulated.
Interested in becoming a Registered Dietitian?
  • Visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website.
  • Contact me and I can provide more information and/or direct you in finding the information you are looking for.
  • Stay tuned for more posts about my journey as an RDN.

 

Resources:
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: About Us Resources