Myths and Facts About Dietitians

True or False?

  1. The title « Dietitian » is a protected title across Canada. To use this title, the dietitian must meet and maintain provincial registration requirements.
  2. True!

  3. The titles “Dietitian” and “Nutritionist” mean the same thing.
  4. It depends!

    The title “Nutritionist” is not protected here in Manitoba. In Canada, the title is protected only in Alberta, Québec and Nova Scotia. In Manitoba, the title “Nutritionist” does not signify that it is a qualified nutrition professional. To be sure you are accessing the most qualified nutrition professional, look for the initials RD or PDt (DtP in French) after the health professional’s name or ask, “Are you a dietitian?”

  5. I can only consult a registered dietitian after I have been diagnosed with a chronic disease.
  6. False!

    You can meet with a registered dietitian at any time during your journey. Some people meet with a registered dietitian to be proactive with their health while others wait until they have a diagnosis before making changes. Either way, a registered dietitian will review your current lifestyle and help you make changes to achieve your goals.

  7. A registered dietitian’s main role is to help people lose weight.
  8. False!

    A dietitian’s role is extremely diverse! A registered dietitian can help answer all your nutrition-related questions, help you develop a healthy relationship with food and help you manage chronic conditions. Reasons to see a registered dietitian could include:
    o Diabetes
    o Heart health (cholesterol, blood pressure)
    o Osteoporosis
    o Gastrointestinal problems (celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, colitis)
    o Food intolerances and allergies
    o Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
    o Weight concerns
    o Family nutrition (including prenatal, infant, child, etc.)
    o Sports Nutrition
    o General healthy eating

  9. Meeting with a dietitian means simply reviewing Canada’s Food Guide.
  10. False!

    Reviewing the Food Guide may be part of your appointment or it may not even be discussed. Based on your goals and the reason for your appointment, you and the registered dietitian will review a history of current signs and symptoms, go through a series of questions and answers and review what you typically eat in a day. The registered dietitian will then use this information to help you achieve your goals. Registered dietitians have access to many resources that can be used during an appointment. Alternatively, coaching you through a conversation might be more effective. Either way, appointments are client centered and, based on your goals, the dietitian will use the most appropriate method to help guide you on your nutrition journey.

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