How a Registered Dietitian Can Help—and Where to Find One

Many sources—news, books, the Internet—offer information about healthy living and nutrition, but it can still be difficult to figure out what good nutrition really means.

If you find you have nutrition concerns or struggle to eat the right foods to help manage your condition, you may want to turn to a registered dietitian (RD) for advice.

An RD can help you:

  • Create a personalized meal plan. He or she can also share ways to stay with the program, teach you how to resist food temptations, and show you how healthy cooking can be affordable.
  • Lose weight. If your health care professional has asked you to lose weight or improve your diet, an RD can help you lower your calorie and fat intake in a way that’s right for you, based on your medical history and other personal health information. He or she can also help you set up short- and long-term nutrition goals.
  • Understand food labels and navigate restaurant menus. An RD can show you how to read the facts on food labels. If you dine out often, an RD can help you steer clear of nutritional pitfalls.
  • How to balance food with medications and activity. It’s one thing to know which foods affect blood sugar levels, but it’s another thing to keep track of how the foods you eat interact with your medications and your day-to-day activities. An RD can help you choose foods that suit your lifestyle and your full treatment plan.

How to Find a Registered Dietitian

Your health care professional may be able to refer you to a registered dietitian (RD). You may be able to find an RD in your community through EatRight.org, the Web site of the American Dietetic Association. Also, free nutrition education given by an RD may be available through local community groups, health centers, and hospitals. Some health insurance plans may cover RD services, so be sure to check your policy.

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