How to Make Better Food Choices for Optimal Health

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There are many factors that affect what we choose to eat: Food choices are based on personal preferences, health issues and disease, religious beliefs, family traditions and background, income, social groups and where we live.

Personal preferences and circumstances also play an important role in what we expect from a nutrition consultant. This is where Registered Dietitians have expertise. They are trained to create healthy meal plans for all cultures, age groups and circumstances. They can take into account your personal preferences and beliefs to help you eat better for health. Registered Dietitians understand that healthy eating and well-being can mean different things to different people.

Dietitians can help you make better choices to suit your needs

A dietitian is trained to recognize and consider how culture, traditions, values and beliefs affect food choices. They know that there are no ‘cookie-cutter’ approaches to healthy eating. Expect that a dietitian will listen, and be open and non-judgmental about your values and beliefs. A dietitian will ask questions to make sure they understand you and to customize your nutrition plan. If something is important to you, it will be important to your dietitian too.

Work together for better results

Registered Dietitians are accountable to not only provide quality dietetic services, but to do it in a way that’s respectful to you, your family and your community. It is important that you make sure your dietitian is aware of your viewpoints and understands you so that you can work together to meet your health goals. Share your health information, personal preferences and any beliefs or health issues that affect your food choices. For a dietitian, there is no one type of client and no single way of treating everyone. Working together brings better results.

Make the most of your visit with a dietitian

Before your visit, have a list of questions ready; write them down if you need to. During your visit, use your time wisely by dealing with your most important issues first. Be clear about your nutrition goals. Ask questions and make sure you understand the nutrition plan that the dietitian is suggesting for you. You can bring someone along to help if that is more comfortable.

The College exists to protect the public interest

In the interest of the public, the College of Dietitians of Ontario has a legal obligation to support dietitians to offer safe, competent and ethical nutrition services. With public safety in mind, the College provides learning tools and guidance to help dietitians respect diversity and to deal with the different issues affecting nutrition and health. The College also monitors dietitians through its Quality Assurance Program to ensure safe, client-centred nutrition services.

The College of Dietitians of Ontario exists to protect people in Ontario. If you feel you have not received safe and competent services from a Registered Dietitian in Ontario, you can call the College for help or to make a complaint.

Verify that your Registered Dietitian is qualified to practice in Ontario by checking the Register of Dietitians at