Ok, it’s been a while but I’m now out of hibernation and finished the most stressful exam of my life (and thankfully passed, YAY!!!) I’ve since had a very productive week off (yes, sadly only one week) and headed back to uni today for the beginning of two weeks of intensive learning (sounds scary, right) and then placement! I’m ridiculously excited and now officially one-third of the way to becoming a Dietitian!
So I kind of dropped off the face of the planet while I went into study mode and when I got back into social media I noticed some interesting things. The first one not being so great, with Australian chef Pete Evans having a dig at the dietetics profession, where he questioned why journalists refer to the DAA for confirmation on certain nutrition issues and why Australia hasn’t yet jumped on the “low carb, high fat” bandwagon. It is ridiculous to say the least as I will soon explain. On a positive note, the new healthy food star rating system is back on, which I think is fantastic as it takes out all the confusion often seen on packaging that is difficult for most people to make sense of. It is instead a really quick and easy way to identify healthy food based on their ingredients and overall nutrition.
The nutrition industry is constantly evolving and I am seeing new ideas, theories, diets and “cures” popping up all over social media on a daily basis. Something I’ve noticed since starting dietetics is how differently people can perceive this industry. Some people think it’s all a joke and would much rather take advice from people with no university qualification in this area, but the majority seem to be quite confused about how and where to get appropriate nutrition advice, and rightly so when I see what’s out there. I often get asked nutrition related questions, however sometimes simple, black and white answers are not enough and you need more information (you can find out more from the links below). Throughout my studies I have learnt the intricate and complex processes that take place in the body and how certain foods and nutrients can affect health. I won’t bore you with the finer details but as I’ve been told time and time again, dietetics is an evidence based practice and basically what this means is that it looks at a number of research papers, journal articles and studies to form an opinion and conclusion based on the best available evidence at the time.
Now, of course I don’t expect that you’ll be sifting through any databases for journal articles (something have now become very familiar with) any time soon, because that research has been compiled into neat and ready to use information and guidelines.
So really, all the hard work has been done for you, so here is my list of go-to websites that contain reliable information.
Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) – advocating for better food, health and overall wellbeing
Nutrition Australia – great for finding out what’s currently happening in the nutrition industry, volunteer opportunities, resources and recipes
Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (AGHE) – an insight into the dietary guidelines and what they’re all about (and it’s certainly not based around ‘high fat, low carb’ eating!)
Heart Foundation – this provides a great run down of healthy eating and physical activity for heart health and info on the ‘Heart Foundation Tick’ that you may be familiar with on certain food products
Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs) – this is getting into the nitty-gritty but if you want some really specific details on sufficient nutrient intake so you can make a bit more sense of the labelling and numbers on food packaging, and better understand how what you’re consuming then this is for you
Better Health Channel – You may want to know more about a particular food or condition, healthy living, recipes or for support & services (of course always speak to your GP or a Dietitian for specific medical and health advice) and this site has some great general health and medical information that is reliable and easy to understand
As always, if you require nutritional assistance for your individual needs, please contact an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD).