[lightbox link=”#”]Eminent Nutritionists, Dr. Latha Sashi, and Dr. Avanti Rao, share with us their thoughts on the role of Nutrition Advisory in today’s lifestyle.[/lightbox]
1. What are the benefits of taking nutrition advise?
[one_half]Dr. Avanti: A balanced diet is one of the pillars of good health. Age, sex, the level of physical activity and the growth phases influence the nutritional requirements of an individual. This, in turn, will influence the physical, mental, emotional development of that individual. Nutrition is so closely related to several other sciences like physiology, microbiology, food technology, psychology, etc. which are evolving with each passing day. This is evident by the fact that there is a shift in preference to a prevention of a disease from the treatment of a disease. An expert advice from a professional nutritionist is what will contribute to a healthy society.[/one_half][one_half_last]Dr. Latha: However, nutrition requirement varies from person to person for which a customised nutrition advice from an expert is necessary as it serves to be the foundation for a good health. Nutrition has been directly related to – vitality, cognitive development, obesity and weight management, and disease prevention. Further, it has been proved that lack of nutrition is a ripe domain for bacteria and virus to play havoc with health. As nutrition forms one of the vital factors in adopting a healthy lifestyle, reliable nutrition advice provides for an immense payoff.[/one_half_last]
2. Who should seek nutrition advise?
[one_half]Dr. Avanti: Nutritional advice is not contra-indicated for any one or in any health situation. However, ‘Right advice at the right time’ is what one should pay attention to.[/one_half][one_half_last]Dr. Latha: The best part is that anybody and anyone can seek nutrition advise. All that is required is a commitment to good health.[/one_half_last]
3. When should one seek nutrition advise?
[one_half]Dr. Avanti: Nutrition education is a continuous process, which prolongs throughout our life span. Correct dietary guidelines that are followed by an expectant mother will lay a good foundation for the foetus. The same must continue even in the old ages to have a healthier and a fitter life. Sportsmen too need sound nutritional guidelines to lead an active and healthy life. Patients, who are critically ill also need adequate support in the form of nutrition. So the nutritional advice can be sought at any point of time, by anyone.[/one_half][one_half_last]Dr. Latha: Nutrition advice does start from the womb itself, and it should be a lifelong process. Alternatively, you can intervene in your health by seeking nutrition advice at any point in time to enhance the quality of your life and sustenance. It could be for weight loss or gain, post-surgery recuperation while admitted to the hospital, women who have conceived or intending to conceive, or for managing specific conditions like diabetes, hypertension, PCODs etc. Anyone, with any of the above problems or more, can seek an expert nutrition advice. [/one_half_last]
4. What should I look for when choosing a nutritionist?
[one_half]Dr. Avanti: Nutritionist should be a qualified one. Seeking help from a post graduate, a registered dietitian, or a doctorate is absolutely essential because of their expertise and sound knowledge of the subject. Having good communication skills is also an important factor. These two qualities of the nutritionist will go a long way in counselling an individual effectively. [/one_half][one_half_last]Dr. Latha: In today’s world where nutrition certifications and credentials flourish, it is not easy to choose. Academic proficiency is definitely one of the main factors. A Registered Dietitian (RD), or a PhD /postgraduate in Nutrition is someone you could count on. The philosophy of each nutritionist differs. If you could touch base with someone who matches yours it would be great. That will also allow you to have a better rapport. Another aspect that I would recommend is the counselling style and skills that are highly essential in choosing a nutritionist. This because the interactions are the prime methodology in providing advice that directly contribute to individual health.[/one_half_last]
5. With so much information available online what role can a nutritionist play?
[one_half]Dr. Avanti: Interestingly with so much of information available online, the role of a nutritionist becomes even more crucial along with authenticity of the information which is overlooked many a times. Practically everyone thinks he/ she knows everything about nutrition. Fancy words and fad diets that are available should be checked and questioned on their credibility. Popular articles by many such ‘nutritionists’ make things complicated. Source of information, authentic sites, scientific information dispersed by an authorized nutritionist is what one must look for. That awareness has to be created.[/one_half][one_half_last]Dr. Latha: Today’s world is all about information and there is plenty of such accessible information around us. More than what it actually exploits is, the human tendency to have everything be credible, unless and until it no longer suits us. What that allows is for everybody to become an expert in the field of nutrition. With no regulatory framework, the environment is all the more conducive for commercial exploitation. With market expanding, the want significantly escalating, the field has become competitive. While acknowledging the advantage of such an atmosphere, the pitfalls are also visibly growing. Reliability, compliance, evidence backed practices take the main hit. For genuine nutritionists, there are major roles to play – a customized nutritional advice to suit the personal lifestyle and dietary profile. They act as the main link between the medical practitioners and patients by affecting the measurable efficiency of service.[/one_half_last]