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Cattmogg
Aug 28th, 2007, 02:04 PM
I have recently been considering going to see one for a number of reasons id rather not disclose...But im really interested in peoples opinions on how these professionals work and how useful their help can be?

xrodolfox
Aug 28th, 2007, 08:21 PM
I've never been to one, but I imagine that the dietician is a good as the person happens to be. It's the same for any profession.

My friend, for example, is a vegetarian and a dietician specializing in athletic nutrition. I imagine that she'd be good for many people here... but like with any other professional, I'm quite sure that she wouldn't work for everyone. More importantly, she's at least a vegetarian. I'm sure that most dieticians are pro-omnivore, which means that many dieticians may make your life harder rather than easier.

If you think you need to see a dietician, you really should do it. Just make sure to keep on looking if the first one isn't a perfect fit. You deserve a perfect fit, and there is a perfect dietician for you out there. It may just take a long time to find him/her.

You won't know what you need unless you start with someone. So go ahead and call someone up. (Ask around for suggestions of whom might be good so at least you start on a good foot).

harpy
Aug 28th, 2007, 08:34 PM
In this country I believe dietitians are regulated in a way that nutritionists aren't - anyone can call themselves a nutritionist apparently. So if you see a registered dietitian there will at least be some kind of quality control (though possibly not the kind that makes sure they know about veganism!).

This explains some of the differences in terms of their qualifications and roles:

http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/details/Default.aspx?Id=285

Cattmogg
Sep 8th, 2007, 12:38 PM
I've been to see one and im following her guidelines for the next four weeks, watch this space....:D

Cumin
Sep 8th, 2007, 01:10 PM
I've been to see one and im following her guidelines for the next four weeks, watch this space....:D

Did she make any notable comments about being vegan? Any problems with it for her? I'm not expecting her to, I'm just always curious about how it is perceived.

harpy
Sep 8th, 2007, 01:16 PM
FWIW, Cumin, I met up with an old school friend who's a GP yesterday, and she was going on about what a healthy diet I must have as a vegan. My conscience forced me to point out that there is such a thing as vegan junk food :D but I was pleased that she was pro.

Lazuli
Nov 16th, 2007, 07:45 PM
They fall in line with the globalist agenda and the basic food group nonsense. There are some "alternative" nutritional councilors though that may be much better. Ask around in your area.

Mzee
Nov 16th, 2007, 09:12 PM
I don't understand why would any of us think we might need a nutritionist!
Surely we all have a better understanding of nutrition than most 'omnis'?
There is so much information available in books, leaflets and downloads from the Vegan Society, even without being a member! (I'm a member now, but wasn't when I first went vegan.)
Then we have this wonderful forum - any problem we might have, we'll find people who have been through it before and will give us the benefit of their experience.
How many 'omnis' have this sort of support? We can be their nutritionists and tell them how to eat healthily, not the other way round! :)

eve
Nov 17th, 2007, 07:49 AM
I agree wholeheartedly with you, Mzee. I believe that many of us understand far more than many of these nutritionists, and I've had conversations with a couple, though I've not consulted any.

Helen_Edwards
Nov 21st, 2007, 02:15 PM
I am currently training to be a dietitian, so will offer you my ‘insider’ view!

As Harpy said, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, and they may be very well trained, or have almost no training, and it can be difficult to tell what you are going to get.

(Before I started my training a nutritionist commented on my ‘worryingly low’ cholesterol (actually it was fine) and suggested I eat to raise it. When I asked her what she would suggest that was vegan, she said “how about avocados” :confused:)

Dietitians in the UK must have done a government approved degree programme, and be registered with the Health Professions Council, so you should get someone who knows what they are talking about…but of course you get people who are good or not so good in any job!!

Also, dietitians must provide nutritional information which is based on current research (and government recommendations). This is good, because you are getting the most up-to-date information, but also, of course, there is much less research done into vegan diets than, say, oily fish, so the evidence tends to support the common omni diet and be lacking on details of vegan diets. Add that to the fact that most dietitians are omnis, and therefore have very little idea what vegans eat, and you may find they struggle to advise vegans.

Still, soon I shall be adding to the small but very healthy ranks of vegan dietitians :D

So definitely search around till you find one who is knowledgeable and sympathetic. And let us know how you got on!

harpy
Nov 21st, 2007, 02:26 PM
That's very interesting, Helen - I hope you're going to have a web site that's easy to find, because I've searched for vegan dietitians when people have asked before and not had much luck. (Mind you it could be partly because I have trouble spelling the word "dietitian" ;) )

Heartsease
Nov 21st, 2007, 02:28 PM
I was 'encouraged' to consult a dietician when I became pregnant and happened to mention to the midwife that I was vegan. The dietician, I believe, knew more when I left than she had when I arrived! I left her consulting her manuals!:p

I think it is VERY important that you find someone who is vegan or they may have mental blocks to veganism which will make it impossible for them to advise you. Even the naturopath who helped me cure my son's asthma (from a nutritional angle) tried to persuade me to give him fish.

harpy
Nov 21st, 2007, 03:15 PM
Even if they don't have a mental block, I would imagine they just wouldn't know enough about vegan nutrition to give you any useful advice, unless they had a particular interest in it.

Bit of a cheek, telling you to see a dietician just because you were a pregnant vegan, wasn't it, Heartsease? I suppose it might be a precaution in case you happen to be the type of "vegan" who lives on fruit juice or whatever and nothing else :rolleyes: but that would be easy to ascertain.

BTW perhaps the fish advice is on the way out, although I'm not sure I like this alternative much better: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7097094.stm

Marrers
Nov 21st, 2007, 03:53 PM
I don't understand why would any of us think we might need a nutritionist!
Surely we all have a better understanding of nutrition than most 'omnis'?
I am no more interested in nutrition as a vegan than I was as a veggie or meat eater so it is not true to assume all vegans are experts! I'd much rather have someone look at my diet and suggest changes than read up and become an expert myself but then I prefer the human 'manual' to reading about stuff for everything, even setting up the tv!

I wonder where Cattmogg found her dietician and how she got on with the advice. Please let us know Cattmogg!

AnneCE
Nov 21st, 2007, 04:08 PM
I see a dietitian on the NHS because of physical health problems - mostly the result of eating a non-vegan diet for 40 years (mostly as a omnivore). I was a bit wary at first because I expected some ignorance of veganism but the person I saw was very open and knew a fair bit. She saw me for the first appointment but now I see her colleague who is also very ok about vegan diet. I suspect the first dietician is at least a vegetarian, if not a vegan, who has educated her colleagues.

To be honest, I am not entirely sure I need to see one because I had already made most of the decisions I needed to re: diet but I do find it helpful to have someone look over what I actually eat and make suggestions about how to improve it/maintain it. It also gives me focus.

My GP was also fine about me being vegan, as long as I wasn't just eating junk which happened to be vegan. I've had some bad experiences in the past with GPs, psychiatrists, NHS in general etc. (nothing to do with being vegan) so it is refreshing to get these positive attitudes from people now.

If anyone had been negative, I would have done my best to inform them and if they were not open to doing a bit of learning, I would have not gone back.

Helen_Edwards
Nov 21st, 2007, 04:33 PM
A lot of the other people on my course, despite my many attempts to answer all the typical 'whats-a-vegan' questions from them (what do you eat? Where do you get your iron from? What do you do about calcium?), still panic about all of these things when they hear someone is vegan – especially young kids, despite the fact that most omni kids don’t get enough iron anyway… :rolleyes: I’ve heard comments like “you shouldn’t bring a child up vegan” :mad:

Having said that, most dietitians are really interested in food, and would be interested to find out more. I think Heartsease & AnneCE have the right idea – educate them as you go!!

Harpy, I’ll be sure to let you know when I graduate! (On my website at the moment I already offer a nutritional assessment service. The standard databases used by most dietitians (or dieticians if you prefer!) & nutritionists who do this, just don’t have that many vegan foods in, so I have included extra data in mine to improve the results for vegans.)

The GM animal feed doesn’t sound so good – I thought for things like the omega-3 eggs, they fed the chickens linseeds. Hmm, sounds like we could cut out the middle man (or chicken!). :D

harpy
Nov 21st, 2007, 04:37 PM
I think algae is meant to have something that linseeds don't - DHA, EPA, I'm afraid I've forgotten - so the body has to do less work in converting it? Splicing an algae gene into rapeseed seems much preferable to splicing in a fish gene but I'm still chary about unforeseen effects of genetic modification.

I don't know why they don't just grow more algae, as used in V-Pure. Less money to be made perhaps, as it would cut out both human and chicken.

Helen_Edwards
Nov 21st, 2007, 05:23 PM
True, linseeds only have the shorter chain omega 3 fatty acids.

I'm not keen to conduct a genetic experiment with my food either. I think you’re right though, the obvious answers are obliterated by big industries drive to make money.

Cattmogg
Jun 12th, 2008, 08:26 PM
I am no more interested in nutrition as a vegan than I was as a veggie or meat eater so it is not true to assume all vegans are experts! I'd much rather have someone look at my diet and suggest changes than read up and become an expert myself but then I prefer the human 'manual' to reading about stuff for everything, even setting up the tv!

I wonder where Cattmogg found her dietician and how she got on with the advice. Please let us know Cattmogg!


Ok here's the truth. She prescribed me a lot of vitamins and protein shakes etc, which i priced up and then balked at the price of it all. Plus she gave me guidelines arether than meal plans, etc and i think it wasnt clear enough for me. I need to be treated like a complete ignoramous and given daily menus and measurements for all the ingredients etc. The free style thing was too loose for me. Im sure it might work for someone with more money and time than me. She made a lot of sense at the time.

Marrers
Jun 13th, 2008, 01:04 AM
Thanks for the update.

Funnily enough a friend of mine has recently seen a nutritionist and feels like the advice was helpful although the one supplement type thing suggested is quite expensive. Too soon to say if it is helping at all yet.

I'm thinking of going as well. She asks for a record of what you eat over a few days as well as filling out a health questionnaire. Since I have to do a 10 day food diary for the EPIC study anyway I'm going to use that.

treaclemine
Jun 13th, 2008, 01:13 PM
Greetings,

If you need the kind of advice which can be given over the phone, you can contact vegan dietician Sandra Hood via The Vegan Society.

http://www.vegansociety.com/