• By Julie Stefanski
  • In 2018
  • March 14, 2018

The RDN: Your Nutrition Expert Today & Every Day

By Roseanne Rust, MS, RDN, LDN

Everyone eats. For that reason you may commonly hear nutrition advice from just about everyone you meet. While you can definitely learn something from someone who has been successful losing weight and keeping it off, or from a person with diabetes who does a great job controlling blood sugar, that person shouldn’t be giving people medical advice. What worked for him may not work for you. My advice: You shouldn’t rely on non-trained, non-educated, diet advocates to assess your diet and health.

March is National Nutrition Month® and March 14 is Registered Dietitian Day. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The number of registered dietitians has grown five fold since 1969, and there are now 100,000 registered dietitian nutritionists! About half of those hold advanced degrees, and many specialize.

RDNs have to adhere to ethics standards and are highly educated in the science of food, nutrition, and human physiology (they minimally have a Bachelor’s Degree, undertake a supervised practice internship, and have to pass a rigorous nutrition certification exam).

This education, training, and experience makes the RDN a dependable resource for nutrition information. When a registered dietitian evaluates a patient, he or she considers multiple factors, from their medical and social history, to what/where they eat, as well as their weight change history and fitness.

Nutrition is Evolving, Look for the RDN Experts

Nutrition is an evolving science. Research about diet and disease is very difficult to do. Unlike research on specific substances, such as a drug or one particular isolated nutrient, proving that a dietary plan directly impacts disease or health, is a challenge. This doesn’t mean we should disregard every nutrition study that’s published however, but it’s important to understand how to interpret them.

I can understand how frustrating it is to read news headlines every week. One day the press proclaims coffee is good for you, the next it isn’t. RDNs are trained to read the research, interpret the results, and create sensible advice based on the whole body of research, not just one study.

So let us do the work for you. When you scan a nutrition topic in the news, look for quotes and articles written by registered dietitians. We can help you go further with food.

 Rosanne is owner of Rust Nutrition Services. She began freelance writing in 1994, created her virtual nutrition practice in 2000, now bringing 30 years of experience to what she does. As a nutrition communications consultant, Rosanne translates nutrition data into well-reasoned dietary advice so people can enjoy eating for good health. Visit her blog for more information about her books, including DASH Diet For Dummies®.