Do you spend most of your evening preparing your food for the next day? Do you gravitate to the nutrition magazines when you’re waiting in line to pay at the grocery store? Are you meticulous about what you eat and follow a clean eating plan? If you answered yes to these questions, you should become a nutritionist. But how do you go about this? What subjects do you need to study to become a nutritionist? Read on and we’ll tell you how you can achieve your nutrition dreams!
Nutritionist required knowledge
A good grasp of nutrition basics
One of the main jobs of a nutritionist is developing healthy eating plans for their clients. Such a plan needs to incorporate elements of the major food groups: carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables, milk and dairy, fats and sugars. Sometimes a person may be allergic to a certain food (a common example is milk among people who are lactose intolerant). This means that nutritionists need to know what the role of eat food is in a person’s diet because so that they can suggest a substitute for the allergen. So when you study nutrition you need to know the fundamentals of good nutrition like the back of your hand.
Nutritionists need to know about GI
As we progress further into the 21st century, the accelerator pedal of life is constantly being pushed further to the floor. To cope with this frenetic pace of life, we need sustained energy levels so that we can keep going for longer periods of time.
The Glycaemic Index – or GI – is the scale on which food is organised according to how quickly it is absorbed into your bloodstream: a high-GI food will be absorbed quickly while a low-GI food will take longer to be absorbed into the bloodstream. The significance of this is that the slower the absorption rate is, the less time it will take for you to feel tired and you’ll also feel fuller for longer. So, if you eat whole-wheat bread (which is low GI) you’ll find that your lunchtime sandwich will keep you satisfied for more hours than if you opted for a white-bread option.
It’s important for nutritionists to study and understand the GI as, for weight-loss clients, prescribing them low-GI foods will be beneficial as this will keep them fuller for longer and not prompt them to eat extra calories as they are hungry. This means that the GI needs to be a fundamental when you study nutrition.
A knowledge of how special populations should be eating
As we progress though the various stages of life, our nutrition requirements vary quite significantly.
A child needs to eat unrefined carbohydrates – such as butternut and sweetcorn – so that they have enough energy to grow into adults. As their hearts are developing, parents should limit the bad fats that they eat – such as junk food – so that they don’t run into problems later in life. (Read our article – entitled The Secret to Good Nutrition for Children – for other good ideas of what to feed your children.)
During pregnancy, a woman’s system has to adapt significantly to accommodate her growing baby. For example, her heart has to beat for her growing foetus so that blood can circulate into the baby’s budding body. Because everything in her blood gets pushed through the baby she has to be very careful about what she eats and drinks. Alcohol in her blood can cause Foetal Alcohol Syndrome in her baby, which is incredibly debilitating after the child is born and can decrease life expectancy.
There are many age-related diseases that one could end up suffering from as we get older, for example osteoporosis which is characterised by a degeneration of the bones. To counteract this, people who suffer from osteoporosis or who have a familiar history of the disease should take calcium to strengthen their bones. (Follow this link to learn about the other benefits of calcium.)
On Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Specialised Nutrition Certification, we give students an in-depth grounding of all the above aspects. Or even consider our newest course the Sports Nutrition Diploma. It’s some of the best nutrition course out there! Armed with this nutrition qualification from us, you’ll be a nutritionist in hot demand! For more information and to register, follow this link.