Saturday, January 14, 2012

How To Find Good Diet and Nutrition Advice

With the New Year underway, many of us are resolving to start eating healthier foods (some of us will even keep our resolutions).  But just what is a healthy diet?  Everybody knows there are a million diet books out there, and many of them give terrible advice.   Who should we listen to? How do we know which ones are providing us with the proper information?  One thing we can do is get the opinions of people with formal training in diet and nutrition, called registered dieticians.  These are people with extensive training and certification in scientific principles of human physiology and nutrition. 

The professional organization for registered dieticians, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, has an excellent website with good information on nutrition and diet:

Here you can find professional advice on dieting, eating right, preparing healthy meals for your family, and more.  One of the most valuable sections of this website is its Popular Diet Reviews, which evaluates the merits (or lack thereof) of popular diets and diet books.  Each review is broken down into four different sections: Claims, Synopsis of the Diet Plan, Nutritional Pros and Cons, and Bottom Line.  This feature can help guide you in the right direction to get the most knowledgeable science-based information regarding diets.

Another thing to keep in mind when evaluating diet and nutrition information is the distinction between registered dieticians and nutritionists.  Some registered dieticians may refer to themselves as nutritionists, but not everyone who claims to be a nutritionist is a registered dietician.  In many states, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist.  These self-proclaimed "experts" may have no training, or they may have gotten their degree from a “degree mill” that required nothing from them but a fee.   To show how dubious this is, some doctors and dieticians have obtained bogus degrees in “Nutrition” for dogs, cats, and even hamsters.  If a school is giving diplomas to hamsters, you probably don’t want to trust the advice of anyone with that diploma on their wall.  For more information about telling registered dieticians from untrained “nutritionists”, see the FAQ section of  

Have healthy and nutritious 2012! 

Jardon Thomassie and Ross Mays


Other Recommended Resources:


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