It’s hard to find the right professional for your needs, it’s a real headache to search and filter all the options. There are so many plumbers or accountants out there.
It’s the same for private health care professionals – how do you find a good nutritionist that will be reliable, trustworthy and effective?
There are so many people out there ‘doing nutrition’. Some are called Nutritionists, others are Nutritional Therapists or even Nutritionalists!
So if you’re looking for someone to help with your diet how do you choose?
Here are my top tips on how to find the right person for your needs:
1. Your Nutritional Therapist is PROPERLY qualified
You wouldn’t trust an unqualified lawyer, builder or accountant, so why trust your health to someone who wasn’t properly qualified.
This is really important. There are multiple courses online that claim to teach people how to be a nutritionist.
Some of this training only lasts a few hours. Personal trainers, chiropractors and other health professionals all have some nutrition training.
However, they haven’t spent 3 years solely learning about nutrition. There are so many complexities with nutrition, and research emerging all the time, even most GPs don’t have a good grasp of what nutrition does to the body.
A proper nutritionist has studied for at least 3 years with a reputable provider.
You want someone who immerses themselves in nutrition to get you the best outcomes with any dietary changes.
2. Registered with BANT and CNHC
Similar to the point above, it’s important that your nutritionist adheres to the strict code of conduct that being part of a professional body requires. The British Association for Nutrition & Lifestyle Medicine is the main body for Nutritional Therapists and the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council is an independent UK register of complementary healthcare practitioners set up to protect the public.
For example, high standards to managing your data storage, communication, standards of care and mandatory ongoing professional development are all part of belonging to an association like BANT.
Registered Nutritional Therapist is the term that we use for 1:1 consultations, and registered Nutritionist is for talks / workshops etc. I know it’s a bit confusing!
3. A good Nutritionist is someone you can talk to
Qualifications and membership of professional bodies are the basics, that just gets you someone who knows what they are talking about!
But you also need to feel comfortable to sit in a room with this person, and talk about your health. So it needs to be someone you feel safe and relaxed with.
After all, nutritional therapists ask about your bowel habits, your sleep, your diet. These are pretty personal things so you need to feel the nutritional therapist is someone you can trust.
A phone call prior to booking is a good way to get a feel for how each therapist works, most offer a free 15 minute consultation. Check out the tone of voice on the website too.
4. Keeps up to date with research
It’s really important that the latest research recommendations and papers are understood and followed.
There is a lot of general healthy eating advice out there, and the media love to grab facts and take them out of context. You want someone who knows how to cut through the noise.
It’s important to get under the skin of the research that comes out, and look at the limitations of what we know and what we don’t know.
5. Has relevant experience
To get the best results you want to work with someone who has experience of working in the area that you need help with. For example, I work with people with IBS, gut health and bloating issues.
Other Nutritional Therapists tend to work with people in old age for example, looking at brain health and healthy ageing. Or others will focus on thyroid health. It’s about finding the right fit in terms of skills, experience for what you are looking for.
Look for local Nutritional Therapists blog posts to see what they write about. Does it line up with your health goals?
6. Is recommended – get social proof
If you can get a friend or family member to recommend someone that’s a great start, but also check out the Facebook Reviews or Google Reviews online. If you’ve had a good experience with a therapist, make sure you leave a review.
Word of mouth is a great way to spread recommendations, small businesses will always been happy for your support!
If you’re looking for a Nutritional Therapist to help you find a diet that works for you, please get in touch
Hi I'm Anna Mapson, registered Nutritionist (mBANT, CNHC). I help people with IBS, gut health and digestive issues.
I can help you to:
- understand your digestion better, so you recognise your triggers
- eat a well balanced diet, with tasty meals that are simple to prepare
- develop healthy, sustainable habits for life
“Anna is amazing! I feel totally transformed"
To find more about 1:1 nutrition consultations or my group membership see my IBS Diet support page