Nutrition Counseling

February 2, 2017

Nutrition is the cornerstone to good health and well-being. A Nutritionist is a licensed, regulated practitioner who follows a science-based approach to nutrition. Nutrition counseling aims at to providing the knowledge, support, encouragement and accountability to help you meet your unique health goals.

70 percent of all causes of death in the United States are related to lifestyle. This means food choices, exercise habits and tobacco exposure largely determine one’s health. Diet is a large piece of this puzzle. We know that healthy food choices can help lower an individual’s risk for many chronic diseases such as heart disease, certain types of cancer and stroke. Despite this information, many Americans do not eat a healthy diet.

Nutrition is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Without proper nutrition, you don’t have enough energy to make it through the day. Also, your health can decline without proper nutrition, making you more susceptible to illness and disease. It is a known fact that a lot of diseases today are caused by an unhealthy diet. Whether it is because the quantity of fat and calories leads to obesity, the lack of nutrients needed for a strong and healthy immune system, or the amount of chemicals and trans fats that are included in processed foods, unhealthy eating can lead to major health problems.

What is Nutrition Counseling?

Nutrition counseling is an interactive process between a client and a trained counselor that uses information from nutrition assessments to prioritize actions to improve nutritional status. Counseling helps identify client preferences, barriers to behavior change, and possible solutions to overcome those barriers. With this information, the client and care provider jointly plan a feasible course of action to support healthy practices. The care provider may use job aids to select appropriate messages and guide counseling sessions. Group education on key nutrition topics can be provided in health facility waiting rooms or for community groups using various print and audiovisual media.

Nutrition support includes –

  • Therapeutic and supplementary foods to treat clinical malnutrition
  • Complementary food supplements for children 6−23 months old to prevent malnutrition
  • Micronutrient supplements to prevent vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Point-of-use water purification products to prevent water-borne disease

Some aspects of nutrition support, such as prescription of therapeutic and supplementary foods, can be provided only by trained facility-based health care providers, but all aspects can be promoted and supported at the community level.


Nutrition Counseling helps in –

  • Prevent or manage health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and kidney disease.
  • Lower elevated fasting sugars, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and uric acid levels.
  • Manage food allergies / intolerances such as celiac disease and lactose intolerance while ensuring your nutritional needs are met through food substitutes or supplements
  • Address gastrointestinal and digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease by isolating culprit foods
  • Learn how to make practical changes in your diet to improve its quality and variety and meet your daily nutrient needs from food and supplement
  • Learn how to make wise grocery shopping decisions by understanding and interpreting nutrition labels
  • Make informed choices on what you should eat and drink before, during and after your workouts
  • Dietitians can work with you and your personal trainer to develop a meal plan to boost energy levels, prevent hunger and stay hydrated pre and post work-out so you can perform to your maximum potential or to facilitate fitness goal achievements.

Areas of Nutrition Counseling

The key areas of Nutrition Counseling include –

  • General health and wellness
  • Nutrition to boost your energy
  • Weight management (weight loss and weight gain)
  • Cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes and other blood sugar concerns
  • Glycemic index
  • Low iron and anemia
  • Sports nutrition
  • Eating disorders (binge eating, anorexia nervosa and bulimia)
  • Gastrointestinal issues (irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s and colitis)
  • Vegetarian or vegan nutrition
  • Food allergies or intolerances, including Celiac Disease and lactose intolerance
  • Osteoporosis or low bone density
  • Pregnancy and infant nutrition
  • Family nutrition and meal planning
  • Pediatric nutrition for such things as picky eating and growth concerns

Who is benefited?

A variety of people get benefit from nutritional counseling. This type of counseling assists all ages, ranging from pregnant women, to vegetarians, to the elderly and people with different medical complications. Those who may benefit include those with:

  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Poor nutrition and eating patterns
  • Eating disorders (some of which may require eating disorder treatment)
  • Digestive complications
  • HIV
  • Cancer
  • Hypertension
  • Nausea
  • Nutritional questions
  • Allergies
  • Organ problems
  • Obesity
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Menopause
  • Fitness goals
  • Heart diseases

For many people with eating disorders, this type of advice is very beneficial. In fact, many California eating disorder centers as well as other eating disorder residential programs across the country offer nutritional counseling.

Benefits of Nutrition Counseling

Lots of people can benefit from working with a nutritionist, for many different reasons–whether you need a complete diet overhaul, are looking to manage a medical condition, want to fine-tune your food choices, or get inspiration for new, healthy recipes.

  • Increase in energy
  • Healthier lifestyle and food choices
  • Better quality sleep
  • Reduced symptoms of disease
  • Less drastic range of emotions
  • Happiness
  • Possible increase in longevity
  • Strengthened immune system
  • Lesser chance of disorders and disease appearing
  • Better ability to concentrate.
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