Individualized nutrition counseling provides guidance for specific needs and preferences of a person. Nutrition assessment includes a discussion about current habits for meals, beverage choices, and lifestyle factors such as exercise, stress and relaxation habits, and sleep quality and amount. Weight, height, and physical symptoms are also considered and medical and lab test history is reviewed as available.
More recently genetic screening information has become more easily obtainable by patients at their own expense (occasionally ordered by a physician but that is only for a few specific concerns). Genetic differences can greatly affect diet needs if metabolic pathways of digestion are under or over active. Breakdown of neurotransmitters or excretion or detoxification of other chemicals within the body may also be over or under-active. Sometimes changes in the diet or health habits can help bypass the metabolic problem.
Specific chronic conditions may be better managed with dietary changes. Prevention of chronic conditions is ideal because reversal of damage may not be possible unless it is still early stages of the disease process. The DASH diet, Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension, has been found helpful to reduce or prevent high blood pressure, the initial goals, and also may be helpful for weight management and cardiovascular health.
For more information:
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a service for locating a nutrition counselor near you at the website eatright.org: (eatright.org/find-an-expert)
Virtual Nutrition Counseling, Today’s Dietitian, (todaysdietitian.com).
The Future of Nutrigenomics, Today's Dietitian, (todaysdietitian.com).
The Celebrated DASH Diet, Today's Dietitian, (todaysdietitian.com).
/Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./
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