Nutritional Therapy is an individual-centred approach to healthcare that applies the principles derived from current biochemical and physiological scientific knowledge for the purpose of promoting optimal health and wellbeing whilst recognising biochemical individuality. The Nutritional Therapist assesses a person’s nutritional needs through discussion, observation, physical signs, laboratory testing and nutritional and lifestyle analysis to determine an education nutrition programme.
Educational protocols recommended by the Nutritional Therapist may include nutrition and lifestyle changes, vitamin and mineral supplementation, explanation of physiological, biochemical and regenerative processes. The use of food and lifestyle changes is recognised as a principle component of achieving and maintaining optimal levels of health. A qualified Nutritional Therapist will work with you to achieve the best food selection for your personal needs.
Nutrition and lifestyle approaches to healthcare have been repeatedly shown to support the health of all the major systems of the body (skeletal, muscular, nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive, endocrine, immune, reproductive skin, hair and nails). Typical priorities in nutritional therapy consultations are support to achieve optimum energy levels, healthy blood‐sugar balance, emotional and psychological wellbeing, optimise gastrointestinal health and tolerance to a broad range of food groups.
Food supplementation is sometimes challenged by people who recognise that a balanced diet should meet everyone’s unique and biochemcal needs. Whilsts Nutritional Therapists are trained in the application of food as a health modifier, they also recognise, as do more and more scientists that there are distinct benefits to the use of specific food supplements in conjunction with both a healthy and well balanced diet and a specific lifestyle programme.
What is the difference between a Nutritional Therapist, a Dietician and a Nutritionist?
A Nutritional Therapist works with food, supplements and lifestyle to create individual programs to help promote health and wellbeing. Treatments are based on the individual. Nutritional Therapists are trained in clinical practice to work on a one-to-one basis. Nutritional Therapists must meet National Occupational Standards for Nutritional Therapy and can opt for voluntary registration with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council.
A Dietician works primarily in the NHS with patients with acute and chronic medical conditions. Dieticians often work in specialised health areas or with specific groups in the community. Dieticians are regulated by the British Dietetic Association and are clinically trained.
A Nutritionist usually works in the food industry or in academia and offers dietary information to the public but may not be clinically trained or qualified to provide therapeutic diets.
Choosing a Nutritional Therapist
It is important to choose a qualified nutritional therapist who has undertaken all the necessary training to understand the theory and practice of nutritional therapy.
You can check whether a nutritional therapist is registered with the Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) by searching the register at www.cnhc.org.uk. By choosing nutritional therapists registered with the CNHC, you can be confident that they are properly trained, qualified and insured.