Dietitian FYI

TATERS! Don’t be afraid. They actually ARE good for you!

As a Dietitian, I am constantly confronted with what I call “Carbophobia” towards all things starch. Last weekend a friend said to me with excitement, “I’m off the wheat and grains!” Instead of congratulating her I replied with a simple question, “why would you do a thing like that?”

The human gut is a wondrous contraption, and there is not a food-frontier that hasn’t been explored by an adventurous foodie looking for the thrill of tasting, swallowing, and digesting. In my opinion, just because we can eat anything we want on this planet doesn’t mean that we should. Hence, the reason I am perplexed as to the purposeful elimination of foods that are safely grown and extremely healthy, such as grains and potatoes. Certainly, there are bona fide reasons why a person should not consume specific food allergens. However, before assuming that your gut is better off without something that you may have once regularly consumed, we must first question overall diet quality. Also, keep in mind that most humans can digest wheat gluten, yeast, and grains. It would be a shame to eliminate foods based on assumption instead of consulting your doc and testing for absolute proof of allergy or intolerance.

Humans have depended on the nutritional value of the potato going way back in history. Numerous books are dedicated to the feast-or-famine of civilizations in regards to potato crops. In the 1500’s, taters got a bad rap. They were thought to be poisonous, a dangerous aphrodisiac, and the cause of leprosy. It took serious persuasion from chemists and the threat of starvation to convince Europeans to consider the potato a staple in their meager diet of the time. Even Marie Antoinette wore potato blossoms in her hair as an act to persuade the people to trust in the nutritional value of tubers (although this didn’t last for very long knowing how it ended for poor Marie). Maybe her famous quote was misinterpreted and “Let them eat potatoes” was more like it.

DON’T BE A TATER-HATER

Potatoes are incredibly versatile to cook with and highly nutritious. Get ready to be surprised by the nutritional information of the glorious potato! In general, potatoes are kings of potassium, vitamin C, and fiber, just leave the skin on for maximum nutritional value. Sweet potatoes are similar with an additional boost of vitamin A. Potatoes are a little tricky to quantify because of size variation, but this is rather accurate:  

1 cup of Yukon Gold (8 oz by weight) is approximately 166 calories, 40 grams of carbohydrate, 0 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of fiber, and 4.5 grams of protein. YES, protein! Plants contribute to your daily intake of protein, as well. 1 cup of sweet potato is approximately 114 calories, 27 grams of carbohydrate, 0 grams of fat, 4 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein. Go easy on the added fats, toss your taters with just about any spice known to man, and you have a healthy carbohydrate on your plate. Add roasted beets and carrots plus a serving of protein and Voilà! A low-fat, beautifully balanced meal. 

Take a look at this website for further information: https://www.potatogoodness.com

  Zoodles + sweet potatoes! 

Zoodles + sweet potatoes! 

Dietitian versus Nutritionist - What's the Difference?

REGISTERED DIETITIAN (RD) or REGISTERED DIETITIAN NUTRITIONIST (RDN)

Definition: A dietitian is a health professional who has university qualifications consisting of a 4-year Bachelor Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics or a 3-year Science Degree followed by a Master Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, including a certain period of practical training in different hospital and community settings (in the U.S. 1200 hours of supervised practice are required in different areas). Some dietitians also further their knowledge and skills by pursuing various Specialist Dietetic qualifications. Dietitian is an expert in prescribing therapeutic nutrition.

Regulation: All qualified Dietitians should have met national/international standards for professional legislation. The title “Dietitian” is protected by law in many countries such as Canada, USA, South Africa, Australia, and the UK.

Work: Dietitians can translate the science of nutrition into everyday information about food. They also have special skills in translating medical decisions related to food and health to inform the general public. Dietitians can work in both the hospital and community. They may work with people who have special dietary needs, inform the general public about nutrition, evaluate and improve treatments and educate clients, doctors, nurses, health professionals and community groups. They undertake the practical application of nutrition with both individuals and population groups to promote well – being and to prevent nutrition related problems. They are also involved in the diagnoses and dietary treatment of many diseases, such as food allergies, kidney disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.

Your safety: Registered Dietitians are members of one or more professional bodies, and therefore they are held accountable for their conduct and the care they provide. Because of this, the reliability and safety of their professional advice and care are ensured.

NUTRITIONIST (no credentials) 

Definition and Regulation: A nutritionist is a non-accredited title that may apply to somebody who has done a short course in nutrition or who has given themselves this title. The term Nutritionist is not protected by law in almost all countries so people with different levels of knowledge can call themselves a “Nutritionist”.

Work: There are also qualified nutritionists, who are people who have completed University Degrees in Food Science, Human Nutrition, Food and Nutrition, or Food Technology. They are also called Food Scientists. University qualified Nutritionists and Food Scientists normally work for food manufacturers, retailed businesses, in research and public health promotion. Some may work as Dietitian Assistants or Food Journalists. Nutritionists do not have any professional practical training, and therefore they should not be involved in the diagnosis and dietary treatment of any diseases.

Your safety: Since the title ‘nutritionist’ has been used by many unqualified people to describe their involvement in food and nutrition related practice, you should be careful when choosing a qualified nutritional professional.

*NOTE* All dietitians are nutritionists, but nutritionists ARE NOT dietitians.