When Health Meets Food

By Jenna Bathgate
QubeCore Sports & Rehab Nutritionist & Kinesiologist

What is nutrition?

Nutrition is the biochemical and physiological process that is necessary to fuel life. It provides us with nutrients and building blocks that the body utilizes to maintain good health and provide for its many needs.

Why might you need a nutritionist?

Nutrition goes hand in hand with physical activity and sleep as factors contributing to your overall health. Everyone eats. But not everyone eats well, and even those who do may still be over or under consuming certain nutrients. The nutritionist will use a dietary analysis to help you understand what aspects of your diet you should change, as well as why and how it will benefit you in the pursuit of better health and wellness.

What are the primary benefits of working with a nutritionist?

Working with a trained nutritionist takes the guessing work out of improving your health. Nutritionists will clearly define what areas of your diet you could improve or change to yield your desired outcomes. Nutritionists will create an individualized program based on your goals, individual anthropometrics (height, weight, age, etc.), and food preferences to help you improve your diet and health.

Doesn’t the internet have all the information I would need?

Finding good nutrition advice online is like searching for a needle in a haystack. Not everyone can read and understand the scientific literature, and the internet is full of people sharing their personal anecdotes and beliefs about what good nutrition is and isn’t. Nutritionists are trained to read peer-reviewed studies and weigh the quality of the data while also considering your personal experiences and preferences to make informed decisions when creating your individualized program. Working with a nutritionist over a longer term will help you remain accountable and create sustainable, long-term changes to your habits.

What does a dietary analysis consist of?

A dietary analysis consists of a detailed diet history and a detailed dietary log. The nutritionist will ask you many questions about your personal experiences of dietary modifications and personal food preferences or sensitivities. When in the introductory stages of working with a nutritionist, they may ask a lot of questions to gain a better understanding of your dietary background.

This will help the nutritionist determine what you have tried before and what foods will not be included or suggested for you at the point of intervention. Additionally, the nutritionist will require a detailed dietary log. Using food tracking software, you will track what you eat and drink throughout the day for several days. The log will be used by the nutritionist to determine your dietary habits (meal times, meal frequency, etc) and your dietary adequacy – how well you meet macronutrient and micronutrient goals. The dietary analysis will be essential to the nutritionist to create realistic and effective interventions to help you meet your health goals.

What goals can be achieved through working with a nutritionist?

Nutritionists can help you achieve any type of health-related goal you wish. Health-related goals are highly individualized and can range from longevity-focused goals such as avoiding or managing chronic illnesses to sport nutrition related goals such as fueling training in the off-season or dietary manipulations to fuel performance and nutrition protocols to promote recovery. Nutritionists will work with you to help you reach short term behavioural goals such as improving your fruit and vegetable intake or improving water consumption, as well as long term goals such as losing 10 pounds or reducing your blood pressure from prehypertension to normo-tensive.

Do you have to combine a nutrition plan with fitness plans to notice results?

Many health-related goals are impacted by both nutrition and training, which is why combining the therapies is often suggested. Throughout the years, researchers have asked the question of whether nutrition, exercise, or nutrition and exercise together can yield the greatest improvements on health-related outcomes. Time after time, studies have shown that each therapy individually is better than no intervention at all, and that the two together can yield the greatest improvements over time. So while the therapies often go hand in hand, it is not necessary that you take on both at the same time.

QubeCore Sports & Rehab offers Nutrition Counselling services in North Vancouver for a wide range of conditions. To book your appointment with Jenna Bathgate, call 604.210.2274 or simply book online by clicking HERE.