Nutritionist or Dietician?

BeverlyALJanuary 28, 2004

Over on the cooking forum quiet a few people recommend that I see a nutritionist to help me follow doctor's orders of getting on a low cholesterol diet and loosing weight. Each said they had been to one and it really helped them. I checked the definition of a nutritionist and a dietician and found that practically anyone can call themselves a nutritionist but a dietician must be licensed and certified in both. I was just wondering if anyone of you have ever gone to either and did you find it worthwhile?

I called the only dietician in the phone directory and she told me that the law here will not let her practice without a prescription from the client's doctor. I have called my dcotor and asked him to fax her a prescription but I'm wondering if it is really going to be worth it since it is not covered by insurance. She said the visit would be $40. I feel I am pretty knowledgeable but I do have questions I would like answered by an expert.

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Hi Beverly,
This is a good question. I would go for the certified person. I spent 2 years seeing a dietician in my late 20s. It was GREAT! Customized diet plan, learned about portion sizes, could talk about everything/anything. Learned what to do about mid-morning hunger, learned how to group foods together to get more energy by eating less and feeling full. Developed an really good relationship and made a friend.

I use the term friend because she was really there to help and just a phone call away if I needed a question answered.

I was given all sorts of great recipe ideas for things I loved but needed to find alternatives for. They are also up to date with new foods coming into the industry.

Time well spent if you ask me. Take all the support you can get, and have something to look forward too. I really did look forward to my visits with her and she was a tremendous help. Even now doing my Weight Watchers, I can appreciate how that program works by letting you continue to enjoy your food in moderation.

That's my two cents. Glad to see you posting - I do care how you are doing and I hope we can all help you find a new path and be happy!



    Bookmark   January 29, 2004 at 3:12AM
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I think that the $40 would be money well spent.....even if you have to pay for it......There are always little tweaks that you can learn from many people...I worry sometimes though that the professionals are to "stuck" in one mode of most of them or let's say many of them will tell you to steer clear of Atkins because that is what they were taught.....but those who have bothered to learn about it and physicians are now rethinking their earlier taboos against Atkins...

I say go for it if the $40 is not an issue..

    Bookmark   January 29, 2004 at 7:27AM
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well maybe i can answer some of your questions.. I am a dietitian. Also you can go to all and there are some dietitians on there who are very sweet and happy to answer any questions. It is a free service and it is a personal email..not a forum type thing. Also i have to comment on the comment about us being stuck in one thought. We are not rethinking the atkins thing at all and we never will. yes some of the doctors are because they know jack about nutrition, but while we will agree that the white refined carbs are not the best for you.. it is the people who are buying into the whole atkins thing that are stuck in a frame of mind. I challenge every person doing the low carb diets to go out and buy a clinical nutrition book- see how the digestive system really the body really processes carbs/proteins etc.. and you will understand what i am saying. You can achieve the same exact results people think they are getting from atkins, eating a regular
balanced diet with a carbohydrate consistent diet, without the side effects of kidney troubles, brain fog, bad breath, etc.. and cholesterol levels over over 400 which we are seeing extremely often in atkins users who are eating red meat. Low carb is not the magic weight loss system everyone thinks it is.. everyone says oh read the atkins book..educate yourself before you judge it.. but i have read the atkins book and he leaves out so much information about nutrition and how protein is catabolized etc.. it is misleading and mis-information.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2004 at 10:08AM
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This probably won't add to my popularity, but it has been my experience that nutritionists are more likely than dietitians to recognize that proper diet is a highly individualized issue, and allowances must be made for the widely diverse needs of a large population.

It's my personal theory (completely unproven) that this diversity increases proportionally with each generation, as we inherit various strengths and flaws from those who come before us. The mix can get rather complicated.

State laws may vary regarding nutritionists, but it should be possible to inquire about a given practitioner's education and qualifications. The one I consulted recently was highly trained, thoughtful, intelligent, and kind.


    Bookmark   January 29, 2004 at 12:56PM
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I really appreciate each of you and all of your comments. You have been very helpful.

I am very much a novice where diet is concerned and I would never say the Atkins Diet didn't work for some people because many have said it did/does. All I can say is that I firmly believe the Atkins Diet to be the reason for my high cholesterol and clogged artery today and I have read the book and followed it's teachings. I have been on a cholesterol lowering medication for quiet a few years and it was keeping my cholesterol down well until I got on the Atkins diet. My cholesterol went sky high and then I had to have an arteriogram which showed that I have a clogged artery. I personally would never recommend the diet.

Polarprincess, any of the following questions you can answer would be appreciated. I will also use the website you recommended.

1. They are now claiming that eggs yolks have good cholesterol so you can once again eat eggs. My doctor said two to three a week and the Mayo Clinic says three or four a week. What is the truth about eating egg yolks if your cholesterol is high?

2. Is Canola oil as good to use as olive oil?

3. With both Canola oil and olive oil is the only reason for non use of them just to keep your weight down.

4. What do you recommend: I can't Believ It's Not Butter, Promise or Benecol and why?

5. Is Canadian Bacon okay on this type of diet?

5. With an artery already clogged, just how little cholesterol should I have in a day?

6. There are many books and some websites that lists foods and the amount of cholesterol each contain. Are they to be believed and if not where can I get a correct list?

LOL, you probably wish you hadn't answered!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2004 at 3:37PM
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My cousin is a dietician and she has helped me considerably with my son's diet - food allergies to dairy, egg, food coloring, no nuts due to other known allergies, low-birth weight, slow weight gainer. (Just now on the growth charts at 5% at 2 years of age! Yeah!) If I were to ever repay my cousin for her advice, I would certainly feel it worth more than $40.

Here is just my 2 cents worth on a few of your questions.
1. If you are wanting to bake without egg, you can use Ener-G Egg Replacer - it is completely egg-free but helps baked goods rise. It can be purchased in most health food stores. One box has lasted me over a year (stored in fridge) and I bake bread, waffles, muffins, etc on a weekly basis. If my son is ever able to eat eggs, I will conintue to use this product as I love it. When I bake, I also use olive oil in place of butter or margarine. I have included a link for it, just so you can see what the box looks like, if you are interested in trying it.
4. I would seek out one that is trans-fat free. There are several good ones on the market, but may take some searching.
5. In my opinion, canadian bacon isn't good for any type of diet due to sodium nitrates. There are uncured canadian bacons out there (have found some listed on the internet) but I have been unable to find them at the health food stores I shop at.

I know you said (on the cooking forum) that you are having a hard time giving up cheese. That one is so hard! We were trying to keep some in the house for DH and I, then my son discovered what it was and could say "cheese" and beg for it. We had to go cold-turkey, no more cheese in the house. It was hard for a week or so, but now I don't even miss it. We used to go through pounds and pounds of cheese so this was a major adjustment to my cooking.

Have you bought any good cookbooks? Whenever I feel down about my son's diet, I treat myself to a new (or used - love second-hand bookstores!) cookbook for some inspiration. I love Dr. Weil's cookbook with Rosie, plus the How It All Vegan and Garden Of Vegan cookbooks. I have found that most vegan cookbooks have such wonderful, full-flavor healthy recipes.

Good luck! ~ Suzie

Here is a link that might be useful: Powdered egg replacer

    Bookmark   January 29, 2004 at 9:07PM
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I have hi cholesterol too. I eat EGGLANDS BEST EGGS. They are lower in cholesterol and have omega 3 fats. Three a week is recommended. Sometimes I have more, but sometimes a week goes by and I eat NO it balances out and I don't feel deprived. You can also use EGG BEATERS for cooking breads and such.

BLOOD CHOLESTEROL is NOT DIRECTLY ATTRIBUTED TO FOOD CHOLESTEROL! You body manufacturers cholesterol and just about every body part (skin included) uses cholesterol! Some people naturally have better levels than others.

I have cut down on BAD fats (saturated). I try to LIMIT my intake of cured meats. Sometimes I buy the pre-cooked Oscar Mayer Bacon - it's very thin and not so fatty. Usually in the summer when I want a REAL bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. I've learned to eat tuna a few times a week and I've learned to eat more fish. I love Tilapi and catfish fried in Olive oil! Sometimes I broil it or bake it. Steamed E-Z Peel shrimp boiled with CRAB BOIL is good! It's taken me a few years, but I've gotten more and more away from beef and pork.

I used Canola or Olive oil.

BAD FATS and overeating add to our clogged arteries. But hypercholesterolemia (too much cholesterol) is also GENETIC (called familia hypercholesterolemia) and chaning the way you EAT helps and also taking medication.

Roughage will also help eliminate cholesterol. I eat oatmeal mixed with oat bran, wheat bran in yogurt, whole wheat products...and I try to incorporate Flax seed in things. I use it in whole wheat bread recipes mostly.
Oat bran and wheat bran is available in your grocery store, usually near the oatmeal section.
There is information on reversing clogged arteries...Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Bob Arnet....look for some of their books!

EXERCISE is also a big factor! I asked my Doctor about my high cholesterol and I said, "Based on your numbers, I should be dead". That was over 15 years ago. I found that I LOVE to swim, so I swim. I try to walk also. Working up a sweat get's that blood flowing and as I like to visualize, it doesn't give time for any artery to clog!!

Play with various foods....if you want to eat fish for breakfast, eat it! I was always an eggs and bacon person, but now I eat yogurt, a banana and a home-made cupcake of some sort that is chock full of good stuff.

Hydrogenated oils are REAL bad for us hi cholesterol people. READ INGREDIENTS..and stay away from them.. Almost all cookies have them! Learn to make your own healthy cakes and foods.

You can turn things around! It takes time, just do one or two things at a time....but be'll be surprised at how much you can change yourself!

Good Luck,
June Lynn

    Bookmark   January 30, 2004 at 11:05AM
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Hi Suzie and Junelynn,

Thanks so much for your input! I know that my high cholesterol is partially an inherited problem and that my body makes it. My DM has it and she tried for a long time to get it down without medication and was never able to do so. I saw what she ate and she didn't eat anything she shouldn't have.

Suzie, I'm so sorry your son has all those food allergies. I know it must be heartbreaking for you and worry you that he will get with others and eat something he shouldn't. Sometimes it is so difficult to tell everything that is in food, especially if we didn't get to read the label.

Actually I don't do much baking so I don't have to worry about using many eggs there. I do make cornbread but an eggbeater works just fine in there. It's very good to know that there is a product I can get that will help baked goods to rise because of holidays and birthdays when I might want to do a little baking. I do miss my Hershey Chocolate Kisses! And I miss good dips and sauces. I bought a no-fat dip this morning and it isn't bad.

The main bad thing that I can see in buying processed foods is all the salt they have put in them to give them some taste.

I have stopped all beef, pork chops, pork roast, bacon, sausage, bologna and deli sandwich meats. I wish I liked fish and seafood but I don't.

I'm only using canola oil and olive oil but that was all I used before. I went to the grocery store this morning and bought some Bocca Burgers and other Morning Star Farm products. I am taking it one step at a time to see which products I like before buying a fridge/freezer full.

And I wish all you forum friends good luck on your diets too!


    Bookmark   January 30, 2004 at 12:36PM
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Suzie, I forgot to answer your question about cookbooks. So far I have bought only one. It is the low-fat/low-cholesterol cookbook put out by the American Heart Association. I have not made anything from it yet. DD has loaned me her WW cookbook and I am about the make a Roasted Red Pepper Dip from it.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2004 at 1:37PM
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Beverly, I have been following your posts with interest. You can never know enough about nutrition an d I enjoy reading your questions and the answers offered. I do believe there is a lot of choice out there but you probably have been so attuned to getting the same old type of items that you did not notice other options out there.
Happy to see you are trying new products. Amazon has a book on nutrition which totally flips the nutrition pyramid (it is agriculturally market biased) in to what your body should really have. I have read it with much interest and should read it again. I have put an amazon link for used copies below. Just if you might be interested. I still think that a visit with a dietitian would be the best place to start and as you start becoming more familiar with your 'new environment' you may want to read other opinions available to make choices right for you.

Everyone is different. What works well for me may not work for you. At least we have a choice. Many people in this world don't. I count my blessings every day in that respect.

Keep us posted on some of the products you try and what you think about them!



Here is a link that might be useful: Eat, drink and be healthy

    Bookmark   January 30, 2004 at 1:56PM
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It's almost like I have begun an interesting journey. McPeg, you are right in that I usually went to the grocery store and bought the same items, not paying attention to what else was there. The reason for it was because I had never heard anything good about most of them but now I see that some of them are actually pretty good.

I had been grieving over not being able to use some of my favorite recipes and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I could substitute the fat and cholesterol in them and at least some of the recipes would be still be good. So for dinner last night I decided to make stuffed red peppers. In place of the ground beef and pork I used Bocca ground beef substitute, for the sour cream, I used fat-free sour cream and for the cheddar cheese I used some delicious soy/veggie slices. The best part was when DH told me that he could not tell the difference if I hadn't told him! As for myself, I wouldn't go quiet that far. LOL

I had started using Melissa's Soy Slices but Publix didn't have them this weekend so I bought Galaxy Nutritional Foods Veggie Slices (cheese alternative)in place of them. I wanted to share this with anyone who hasn't found them yet. They are excellent, much better than Melissa's, but have a gram of fat I believe.

Looks like an interesting book McPeg. Thank you for posting it!

    Bookmark   January 31, 2004 at 4:28PM
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sorry it has taken me so long to answer. It is 2 am and i have brain thought i would ask if you had a chance to emai a dietitian yet on the site i recommended, and if she answered your questions. If not.. I will check back and be happy to answer them!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2004 at 2:53AM
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Beverly, this is a very interesting time indeed. The possibilities are endless. You will find new products and old that you like/dislike and your pantry will fill again but with healthier choices. And, if you enjoy cooking, all the better. Experiement. Have some fun.

I am not proud, if I make a recipe and it's horrible - I toss it all in the trash, wave a few flags, do a salute and move on to something else. No love lost and not the end of the world.

In the summer, when I am home, if I have to attend any outdoor parties, I will bring my own non-alcoholic beer (make sure it's ice cold before arriving) and keep it chilled. That way, no one feels obligated to keep trying to be the good hostess with their beers and I can enjoy and ice cold one without the fuss. These days though, I am more likely to take one of the new lovely flavoured waters and fruit juice and mix them.

Beverly, we do have choices. Take your time. I am rereading that book I mentioned to you again, I don't read it page by page, I cover what I can relate to, and in small quantities.

I do enjoy the weight watchers magazines but the local librarys also are a great resource for recipe ideas and if you find some product you like that are new to you

contact their customer support number - they often have recipe suggestions they can send you to try so that you can learn how to best use the product.

I think you are doing just fine and taking one step at a time. Really glad to see you are trying new things. I don't have as many choices in the UK as I did in Canada but there are still enough choices out there to keep me pretty happy.

Keep posting. You are motivating me just as much with your questions and concerns by making me think more.



    Bookmark   February 1, 2004 at 4:11AM
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Polarprincess, I went to the site and on to the health site but I'm not sure where to go from there.

I think the main questions I have now is, do you try for NO saturated fat at all? Exactly how much cholesterol is allowable on a low cholesterol diet?

McPeg, you are the one motivating me! Ever since I found that my cholesterol was high which was probably 8 or 10 years ago, I had been watching what I eat to some degree. Then I went on the Atkins diet and someway, somehow, totally lost sight of what I had been doing. One thing for sure now is I will never go back to the old way of eating. This will be a lifetime change. Perhaps not as strict as right now, but still a lifetime eating habits change.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2004 at 1:44PM
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hi, the guidelines for fat is usually 30-35% of daily calories..40 % if you are eating the good fats like olive oil. and for saturated fat..the amount you eat should not equal more than 10% of your daily fat intake. You do not have to shoot for 0%, it would be extremely hard to do. As for cholesterol, the daily limit should be around 300 mg, but I think reaearch is showing more and more that dietary cholesterol really is not as connected to blood cholesterol/health as once thought.. As far as some of the other questions, where i work we use promise marg,, but anything that says no trans fatty acids on it..would be what you want. Benecol is good but quite expensive..and it has some potential long term problems associated with it that is being looked into..

    Bookmark   February 2, 2004 at 1:01AM
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Thank you Polarprincess. I knew I had heard something about Benecol that was not good, but couldn't remember what it was. The percentage of good fat for the amount of caloric intake was what I really needed to know. Also the amount of daily cholesterol. I doubt if there is much connection between dietary and blood cholesterol too but I have to try what the doctor says.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2004 at 11:40AM
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