What does a nutritionist do?
The aim of your Nutritional Therapist is to help teach you strategies to achieve and maintain optimal health. This starts with looking at your health history via a questionnaire and food diary as well as results of blood work from your doctor if you have this. A well qualified and experienced Nutritional Therapist may then also decide further biochemical tests may be needed to help you work together to find the root causes of your health problem or lack of wellness, rather than just plastering over the surface cracks and treating the symptom.
The nutritionist's ultimate aim is to re-balance your body's systems, make sure your body has adequate supplies of the raw ingredients it needs to do its job efficiently and make optimal health more easily achievable.
Qualifications and accreditation
The minimum training for Nutritional Therapists is a three year course, building on previous science qualifications. This is the minimum requirement to become a member of a governing body such as BANT, the British Association of Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy. The qualification is however just the beginning and all registered Nutritional Therapists are obligated to partake in continuing professional development (CPD). This required research and development is essential as no matter how well qualified initially, a nutritionist can't hope to be of any use to patients, journalists, TV producers and businesses if they don't keep abreast of the latest research and studies on human nutrition. The role of the Nutritional Therapist is to make this research usable for the people they work with, helping to find solutions for their health concerns with practical strategies which can fit into everyday life. Dietary and lifestyle recommendations are made and supplement advice is also be given if appropriate.
A good nutritionist will also do a lot of preparation behind the scenes outside of your consultation and this is reflected in the consultation cost of Nutritional Therapy.
At Foods for Life our Nutritional Therapists are fully qualified, members of BANT and actively pursue their continuous professional development.
BANT’s definition of Nutritional Therapist
Nutritional Therapists must meet the National Occupational Standards for Nutritional Therapy. Nutritional therapy encompasses the use of carefully compiled individual prescriptions for diet and lifestyle in order to alleviate or prevent ailments and promote optimal health. These recommendations may include guidance on natural detoxification, procedures to promote colon health, methods to support digestion and absorption, the avoidance of ingestion or inhalation of toxins or allergens and the appropriate use of supplementary nutrients.
Nutritional therapists often work with patients, many of whom have been referred by medical practitioners, who have chronic health problems that conventional medicine finds difficult to treat. These include allergies, digestive and bowel disorders, hormonal imbalances, fatigue, depression or stress, auto-immune conditions, migraine and skin disorders. Increasingly, parents with an overweight child and/or a child with learning and behaviour difficulties seek to support their child with nutritional therapy as opposed to prescription medications.