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A process by which a health professional with special training in nutrition helps people make healthy food choices and form healthy eating habits. In cancer treatment, the goal of nutritional counseling is to help patients stay healthy during and after treatment and to stay strong enough to fight infections and the recurrence of the disease. Also called dietary counseling.
The goal of nutrition counseling is to help a person make and maintain dietary changes. For a person with a mental disorder, dietary change may be needed to promote healthier eating, adopt a therapeutic diet, or avoid nutrient-drug interactions. Nutrition counseling is an integral part of treatment for persons with eating disorders or chemical dependencies. Persons taking certain drugs, such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors, used to treat depression and anxiety disorders, need to follow a tyramine-controlled diet to avoid dietary interference with their medication. Many drugs used to treat mental disorders can cause weight gain or loss, so persons taking these drugs may also benefit from nutrition counseling.
The nutrition counselor and individual work together to assess current eating patterns and identify areas where change is needed. Registered dietitians have met certain education and experience standards and are well qualified to provide nutrition counseling, but nurses, physicians, and health educators also provide nutrition counseling.
1 – Better management of chronic conditions:
Various conditions can benefit from nutrition counseling, including Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and insulin resistance. The foods you eat have an impact on your wellness, so learning how to choose nourishing foods can help you gain better control, and in some cases, can reverse these conditions completely.
2 – Weight loss
Nutrition counseling is beneficial for clients who have tried without success to lose weight on their own. With the guidance of a nutrition counselor, you’ll have a clear idea of how your body responds to the foods you eat and how to create a meal plan that promotes wellness and weight loss.
A nutrition counselor carefully evaluates your eating habits to develop a plan that helps you make positive, lasting changes and accomplish steady weight loss. Clients who choose to incorporate nutrition counseling lose more weight and tend to keep it off long-term, compared to those who don’t see a nutrition counselor.
3 – Healthy habits that last
Clients who partner with a nutrition counselor are more likely to gain tools and learn habits that last for the long haul. Once you learn about proper nutrition and how to apply it to your daily wellness plan, you’ll have the knowledge to make better choices.
While drastic dietary changes can lead to short-term success, they’re unlikely to lead to lasting change. But nutrition counselors offer their expert advice for sensible, positive changes that make a real difference in your life and your health.
4 – Improved overall wellness
Nutrition counselors focus on you as a whole person. The goal is deeper than shedding pounds. The aim of good nutrition is to improve your overall health and wellness. With the help of a nutrition counselor, you can use nutrition to increase energy, improve sleep quality, strengthen your immune system, boost mood, increase concentration, and reduce symptoms of disease.
5 – Better fitness
What you eat impacts many aspects of health, including fitness. Your nutrition counselor can help you set up a nutritious meal plan to increase muscle mass, build stamina, improve your strength, and boost your overall fitness. By knowing exactly what your body needs to reach your fitness goals, you can skip the frustrating trial and error of trying different dietary components and supplements. Nutrition counselors can also recommend specific fitness programs to help meet your goals.