This morning the Globe and Mail ran a story entitled: What do nutritionists eat? (Hint: Not very much). It is based on a piece in Marie Claire magazine which portrays a typical day of food intake by celebrity ‘nutritionists.’ The menus include lemon teas, kale smoothies, and stevia, not unlike what you would expect to see in someone suffering from an eating disorder. The article concludes by casting doubt as to the competency of nutritionists, “Are you surprised that nutritionists-to-the-stars are more about Stevia and hemp protein powder than Canada’s Food Guide?”
The article is flawed for several reasons, not the least of which is that it fails to point out that “nutritionists” are not necessarily educated professionals. In many provinces and States, the term ‘nutritionist’ is not protected by law, meaning, literally, that anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, without having any education or training to back it up. I am willing to bet the article would have been a lot different had they interviewed Registered Dietitians, who hold at the very least a Bachelor of Science degree and a completed internship. Secondly, the article gives the reader the impression that nutrition professionals do not practice what they preach. With this I take exception. My mantra is to never ask clients to do anything that I couldn’t/wouldn’t. I believe that healthy eating is less about calories and more about nutrients. I choose my foods based on those that provide the building blocks my body needs to thrive. I also throw in foods that may not provide essential nutrients, but do allow for opportunities for celebrations, special occasions, and social connections. I am a self-professed ‘foodie’ and I believe that fostering that appreciation for tasty and satisfying food in my clients is the best way to ensure a lifelong commitment to healthy eating. So, if you are looking for someone to provide you with nutrition advice, look for a ‘registered dietitian’ with a passion for nutritious, yet tasty, food. Check out our dietitian-approved recipes.