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Eat Well in March and Enjoy National Nutrition Month

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March is National Nutrition Month, a great time to dust off those New Year's resolutions, spring clean your pantry and get the family back on track with healthier eating.

This year's theme is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” and dietitians across the nation are devoting time to educate people about the important role of healthful eating and physical activity to manage weight and prevent chronic disease. 

There are medical nutrition therapies available to help people manage or reduce myriad risks for heart disease, hypertension, cancer diabetes, kidney disease, digestive disorders and much more, said Julie Bender-Sibbio RD, LDN, manager of Sarasota Memorial's outpatient nutrition counseling program.

“Whether you want to slim down, lower your cholesterol, gain weight, improve your athletic performance, manage a disease or illness, or simply eat better, a registered dietitian can help you weed through the murky waters of nutrition misinformation and provide an individualized approach that meets your health and lifestyle needs” Bender-Sibbio said.   

Here are just a few benefits of working with a registered dietitian:

  • The highest level of nutrition counseling  – Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, but only a registered dietitian or registered dietitian nutritionist has completed multiple layers of education and training established by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This typically includes at least 5-6 years of training.
  • Personally tailored advice  – When you meet with an RD or RDN, the last thing you’ll get is one-size-fits-all diet advice. After learning about your health history, favorite foods, eating and exercise habits, an RD or RDN will help you set goals and prioritize. Follow-up visits will focus on maintenance and monitoring your progress.
  • Help managing chronic diseases and ensure safety and success following bariatric surgery – If you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes,  cancer, or just have come through bariatric surgery it may be challenging to know what and how to eat. An RD can review your lab results with you, help you understand your condition and provide education about the nutrients that affect it, and help create an eating plan that includes the important nutrients for your condition.
  • Guidance navigating food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances – When you suffer from conditions such as celiac disease, food allergies or lactose intolerance, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by what you think you can’t eat. That can translate into a difficult eating plan that may lead to nutrient deficiencies. An RD or RDN can teach you how to read food labels so you’ll know which ingredients to avoid and a help you find substitutions to keep your diet balanced and tasty, too.
  • A weight loss program that really works – Fad diets may sound like the quick ticket to weight loss, but they rarely work. An RD will partner with you to develop a safe, effective weight loss plan that is realistic long-term using not only nutrition education but behavior change theories.  An RD / RDN will use creative strategies to help with meal planning, grocery shopping, food journaling and mindful eating.

For more information:
If you would like to learn more about what an RD can do for you, contact Sarasota Memorial's Outpatient Nutrition Program at 941-917-7468. Or click to view educational videos hosted by Sarasota Memorial dietitians.

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