The key to better health and energy is understanding the body’s unique nutrition needs and having an individualised eating plan that fits the person’s health goals, nutrient requirements, lifestyle and exercise.
Dietetics uses the art and science of human nutrition to help people understand the relationship between food and health. With a holistic and personalised approach, our dietitian uses evidence-based research to give nutrition advice for chronic or acute illnesses, fitness/sports performance, plant-based diets, digestive health, general healthy eating. With techniques such as medical nutrition therapy, dietary counselling, nutrition education, and mindful/intuitive eating, a dietitian works closely with patients to achieve their short and long-term goals.
Dietetics is covered by most private health funds and the Medicare Chronic Disease Management/Enhanced Primary Care Plan.
Dietitian available at the Fitzroy location.
Dietitian or nutritionist - what’s the difference?
Both dietitians and nutritionists hold the same overarching vision - promoting nutritional well-being. However, in Australia, there is a distinct difference between both.
Dietitians are university-qualified and regulated healthcare professionals licensed to assess, diagnose, and treat medical conditions by providing advice on dietary changes. Nutritionists, on the other hand, typically do not treat individuals suffering from illnesses. It’s also important to note that the term ‘nutritionist’ is not regulated. Therefore, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist including those who are self-taught or without genuine qualification.
Specific Nutrition treatments
Medical nutrition therapy covers a wide range of acute and chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, gastrointestinal disorders (e.g. IBS), food allergy and intolerance (e.g. FODMAP), and kidney and liver disease. All illnesses can benefit from a nutritional intervention to manage symptoms and improve overall wellbeing. In most cases, the type, quantity and timing of foods and beverages need to be adjusted based on the patient’s diagnoses to ensure they meet their nutrient requirements. This is achieved through examining the person as a whole: diet, blood test results, digestive and bowel habits, weight fluctuation, medications, lifestyle, and mental health.
Sports dietetics analyses the nutrition, hydration, and supplement (e.g. protein shakes, creatine…) needs for a range of physical activities including running, cycling, weightlifting, CrossFit, pilates, and team sports. It also assists individuals with exercise-induced injuries by recommending certain types of nutrient-dense foods for faster healing and recovery. Whether training once a week or every day, athletes require a well-balanced diet to support them both physically and mentally. More specifically, foods and fluids need to be periodised to match with the person’s exercise program and ensure the body is adequately fuelled to maintain performance and promote recovery. This is determined based on the athlete’s training load, training goals, and body composition goals.
Vegan and vegetarian diets can provide a range of health benefits for both the body and mind. However, if not planned carefully, plant-based diets can result in nutrient deficiencies (e.g. anemia) and negatively impact an individual’s overall wellbeing. Our dietitian helps patients develop individualised eating plans with suitable food pairings to optimise key nutrient absorption (e.g. iron, zinc...). As well, appropriate vitamin and mineral supplements may be recommended to correct micronutrient deficiencies depending on blood test results and associated symptoms. If struggling with recipe ideas, strategies for meal variety and flexibility can also be provided while always keeping flavour, and preferences in mind.
The non-diet approach honours body diversity and holds patients as the experts in their lived experience. It aims to break the dieting cycle and avoid dieting behaviours of weighing and measuring food (e.g. calorie counting, intermittent fasting). Importantly, the aim of the non-diet approach is to encourage noticing and acting on internal body cues to rebuild body trust. It also promotes awareness of external eating drivers that may be problematic (e.g. mobile phone, work, laptop…).
Using mindfulness and intuitive eating techniques, our dietitian helps patients get in touch with their hunger and satiety cues so they know when, what and how much to eat while still enjoying their foods guilt-free.