Today is 3-11. And if you know me, that means it’s my birthday! But what is even more exciting is that this year, 3-11 is also National Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day! God knew that I’d be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist someday, so why not be born on the same day that RDN’s are recognized!?
Note: National Registered Dietitian Day is always the 2nd Wednesday in the month of March, which is National Nutrition Month. Therefore, it doesn’t always fall on my birthday. But 2015 is a good year!
I’ve been itching to write on my blog about nutrition topics. I haven’t been on here recently because….well…I have a 3 year old and a 10 month old….and who has the time for that? 😛
But to be honest. I’ve been slightly intimidated. Why? First, there is a host of information and blogs and websites on nutrition, and who would read what I would have to say? Second, well….let’s just face it. Nutrition can be controversial. Because it’s in the field of science, and this study says this…and that study says that…and this diet works…and this diet is old news…and this doctor said this…and don’t forget about what Dr. Oz says!!!
And I’ve had enough! Every month there is a new study or new book on the best seller list of what to eat, what not to eat, how to lose weight, etc. No wonder everyone is confused!!! My best friend has been encouraging me to write on my blog about nutrition. After all, I am supposed to be considered an expert since I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. I say supposed to be because we do not always get credit for being the experts on nutrition. And here’s why:
In the past few years, the title Registered Dietitian (RD) has actually been changed to Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). Either title is fine to use, but adding the word Nutritionist to Registered Dietitian sets us apart from someone who is just a nutritionist. And someone who is a nutritionist can be legally….really….anyone. Take a class in nutrition and all the sudden you are a nutritionist? Start selling “healthy” supplements or meal plans or meal replacements and suddenly you are a nutritionist? Get your personal fitness trainer license and suddenly you are a nutritionist? Sorry, but these are NOT the nutrition experts. And may I add an even more controversial statement? Even doctors do not receive the same education as RDN’s. Again, sorry Dr. Oz. I didn’t read anything in my textbooks or research that says that particular food or supplement is a miracle food.
RDN’s have to receive their B.S. in Dietetics at an accredited university. For instance, in the state of Indiana, there are only 3: Purdue University (my alma mater – and one of the top nutrition programs in the nation), Indiana University, and Ball State University. Then, we are required to do a 1200 hour internship in practical experience (which only 50% of students get matched to an internship depending on college grades and experience outside classroom…quite a competing field to start with), and then take the national RDN exam. Also, in order to keep our license, we have to do continuing education yearly to stay on top of nutrition research and recommendations. Expert? I believe so. On that note, I want to send a big shout out today to all the RDN’s that are “the indispensable providers of food and nutrition services and….for their commitment to helping people enjoy healthy lives.”
Yet, we still are not the first person that most run to when they are in need of nutrition and diet recommendations. Brett gave me a perfect example. Last winter after an ice storm, a car slid through a stop sign and hit the side of our car, denting and scratching the doors. Would we take it to Mike’s Car Wash to get it fixed? Of course not! We would take it to a car shop that specializes in fixing damaged car parts (or as my dad found on Ebay…2 new doors to replace the old ones!) They both work with cars, but they are experts in different services for your car. Likewise, an RDN specializes in nutrition and what to eat. So why go to someone else that may work with the physical body but is NOT the expert in nutrition?
I’m also tired of seeing all the junk information that’s out there. And I truly am burdened and saddened by the marketing schemes that the food industry, manufacturers, oh and even doctors trying to sell their books, come up with to make $$$. Big. Fat. Cash. And lot’s of it. At the expense of people’s health. I’m even more saddened when I see friends and family get swayed by all the gimmicks and fads because of lack of knowledge. And if I didn’t have the nutrition knowledge that I do have, boy, I would be confused too! Heck, I even stand in the aisle at the grocery store and spend a good amount of time reading this label and that label because even we RDN’s are overwhelmed with the products and choices!!! (Can I get an amen fellow RDN?) Because of the internet, anyone can post anything and call it true. Because of our wonderful free enterprise in America that I’m forever grateful for, anyone can sell anything and somehow call it healthy. (What about the FDA regulations?! Ha…that’s a topic for another day..)
I hope as you are reading this you share my frustrations too. And since you probably are not the nutrition expert, you have every reason to be frustrated. One decade it’s low fat, the next low carb, the next NO carb. For years it’s low saturated fat, then for like one day saturated is OK!, then back to low saturated fat because that study was fraud….. you get where I’m going at.
So now that my rant is over (at least for now on this topic!), what is my takeaway. I want to leave you with some reputable, research-based, RDN recommended resources for nutrition and health. If you have any nutrition related questions….go here. If you want to see if what that celebrity did to lose weight and kept it off is research based and truly healthy, go here. If you want to make sure that Dr. Oz isn’t just promoting that food product or supplement because he’s getting paid millions to, go here (or just turn off his show).
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics – The real nutrition experts live here. There is even a link to search for RDN’s in your area!
Center for Science in the Public Interest – I subscribe to their Nutrition Action Healthletter and LOVE IT! If you want to stay up-to-date with solid nutrition research recommendations, subscribe to this newsletter.
American Heart Association – Heart disease is #1 killer and if everyone ate the diet recommendations listed, most all preventable diseases would disappear (heart disease, strokes, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes).
In the future, I’ll blog about specific diet recommendations, but here is some info to get you started. My goal is to educate you on research based recommendations and debunk the diet and nutrition myths floating out there in the media. If you have a specific topic you want to know more about, leave a comment!!! I’ll do my best to blog consistently, but remember….I have a 3 1/2 year old and 10 month old! 😉
Again, Happy RDN Day! (and birthday to me!)