What is Nutrition Month?
Nutrition Month is a special health awareness campaign from Dietitians of Canada that is held every March. The event is dedicated to bringing attention to various aspects of nutrition. This includes the importance of making informed food choices as well as developing and maintaining good eating habits. Since conflicting information about food and nutrition from many sources can make be confusing, this Nutrition Month, dietitians are dedicated to busting popular food and nutrition myths – Get the Real Deal on Your Meal! – by bringing truths to Canadians.
What is a Dietitian?
I’ve been asked numerous times how do you become a dietitian and where do dietitians work? Dietitians must complete a University Bachelor’s degree specializing in science, food and nutrition, as well as a one-year internship of supervised training in hospitals and community organizations. After passing a final exam and registering with their provincial body (such as the College of Dietitians of Ontario),they can call themselves a Registered Dietitian and use RD after their name.
RDs are the trusted expert for food and nutrition advice. Similar to me, RDs can operate their own businesses and can provide their services to teach you how to create a food and nutrition strategy, shop smart, lose weight and prevent diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Most often in Canada, RDs work in disease management and population health in hospitals, long-term care, health-units and community health centres. Some work in the food service sector and for the food industry.
Are nutritionists RDs?
Don’t be confused; nutritionists are not the same as RDs. The term nutritionist can be used without any specific formal training, so their level of education varies. You can identify a Registered Dietitian (regulated by a provincial college) by the designation letters RD at the end of their name. Also Registered Holistic Nutritionists (RHN) are not RDs, as they do not have the same extensive and in-depth University based education.
Get the Real Deal on your Meal Myth Buster Time!
- “Multigrain” means there are several different grains but it doesn’t mean they’re whole. You’ll get the greatest benefits from eating whole grains. To know, check the label for “whole grain” before each different grain listed.
Myth or Fact: Frozen vegetables are not as healthy as fresh?
- Frozen vegetables have been harvested at their nutrient peak and a flash-freezing process seals in the good stuff, often the same day. It allows Canadians to enjoy a variety of vegetables and fruit year-round and is a practical choice for people living in remote areas.
Myth or Fact: If a food is low in fat or fat-free, it must be healthy?
- Just because a food is low in fat or fat-free doesn’t mean it’s healthy. In fact, a lot of foods that are low in fat are definitely not healthy choices, such as candy, pop, low-fat cookies and fat-free frozen treats. While these foods may have little fat, they can still be high in sugar and calories and offer few, if any, nutrients.
National Dietitian Day is March 21, 2012
National Dietitians Day celebrates dietitians as health care professionals, committed to using their food and nutrition knowledge and skills to improve the health of Canadians. This March 21, 2012 marks the third anniversary of Dietitians Day.
It reminds us that dietitians are the smart choice for advice on proper eating, good nutrition and healthy living.