Dietitian

Dietitian in Cranbourne

What is a Dietitian?

According to the International Confederation of Dietetic Associations a Dietitian is 

“A professional who applies the science of food and nutrition to promote health, prevent and treat disease to optimise the health of individuals, groups, communities and populations.”

Definition of Dietitian-Nutritionist, ICDA By-Law
– September 2016

The differentiation between nutrition and dietetics is not universal. In Australia all dietitians are nutritionists, as all dietitians must have studied nutrition and nutrition science. The key difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist is that, as part of their qualification in human nutrition, a dietitian has undertaken additional study that included extensive theory and supervised and assessed professional practice in clinical nutrition and medical nutrition therapy. 

When choosing a dietitian, make sure they are an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD). HealthMint’s Saabira Wazeer is an Accredited Practising Dietitian with a Masters of Counselling and Certificate in Paediatric Nutrition from the Royal Children’s Hospital. Read more about her below

Dietitians are trained professionals who work with you to develop improved eating habits and a better relationship with food.

What does a Dietitian do?

Food plays a key role in our physical and mental health and wellbeing. We all have different health challenges so there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to food and nutrition. Accredited Practising Dietitians (APDs) provide personalised nutrition advice and support.

Dietitians understand how nutrition impacts the body and use this knowledge to treat a range of medical conditions. Trained in medical nutrition therapy, dietitians translate scientific nutrition information into dietary advice. They use specialised coaching strategies to improve wellbeing through lifestyle and diet changes.

 

Is a Dietitian right for me?

Accredited Practising Dietitians (APDs) are university-qualified professionals that undertake ongoing training and education programs to ensure that they are your most up-to-date and credible source of nutrition information. 

APDs understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to diet and nutrition (in other words, what works for one person may be different to what works for another). And the truth is that there are many ways for people to have a healthy diet.

And it’s at this individual level that an APD can help. They consider the whole person – that is, each person’s unique profile, such as their medical history, as well as their needs, goals and lifestyle. They also assess the body of scientific evidence, and are flexible with the advice and support they offer, on a case-by-case basis.

Being able to tailor nutrition advice to find the best approach for each person is the cornerstone of ‘Medical Nutrition Therapy’ – it’s what Dietitians are qualified to do.

 

What does a Dietitian treat?

Dietitians help treat a wide range of conditions including 

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Cancers
  • Gastrointestinal diseases
  • Food allergies and intolerances
  • Weight concerns 
  • Endocrine issues (hormone health)
  • Disordered eating behaviours (including eating disorders) 
  •  Infant and child nutrition 

What is the difference between a Dietitian and a Nutritionist?

In Australia there is a distinction made between dietitians and others in the nutrition and food science field, including that of a nutritionist.

A nutritionist may be a tertiary qualified nutrition professional that has the expertise to provide a range of evidence-based nutrition services related to nutrition, public health nutrition, policy and research, and community health. It’s important to note that the term ‘nutritionist’ is not regulated. Therefore, this title may be used by dietitians, nutrition scientists and nutrition graduates – and also those with very limited qualifications in nutrition.

Dietitians however, are qualified to provide this range of evidence-based nutrition services, but in addition, dietitians have the expertise to provide individual dietary counselling, medical nutrition therapy and group dietary therapy. 

This is why all Dietitians in Australia carry the Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD)

Credential. It acts as a public guarantee of nutrition and dietetic expertise. It is the only credential recognised by the Australian Government, Medicare, the Department of Veterans Affairs and most private health funds as the quality standard for nutrition and dietetics services in Australia. It is a recognised trademark protected by law.

Part of the journey is focusing on problem solving and assisting you to move forward

At HealthMint, our dietitian Saabira practices a very special and unique approach called the ‘non-diet approach’. This is something many patients really love and can benefit from for years to come.

What is the non-diet approach?

The non-diet approach is a weight-neutral approach to improve health and wellbeing, supporting the fact your body shape and size is not indicative of your health. This approach allows you to eat mindfully and intuitive to take care of the body you have now. It shifts the focus from strict eating plan or counting calories, to help you achieve balance and moderation through focusing on health behaviours. It involves understanding, discussing and working on your relationship with food and your body, so that you can work on improving your health behaviours for a lifetime.

Is it really awkward to see a Dietitian?

It shouldn’t be – but that doesn’t mean you won’t feel nervous or apprehensive beforehand. It is okay to feel this way. We understand the importance food and eatings has for you, and the thought of making changes can be overwhelming.  This is why the first step in meeting with a dietitian is for them to help you feel comfortable and at ease. Our practitioners understand that more often than not you may be nervous and not sure what to expect. Discussing your relationship with food can be confronting and our practitioners are here to foster a non-judgemental and supportive environment, to help you feel comfortable,  meet your goals and optimise your health. 

HealthMint Cranbourne Dietitian

Saabira Wazeer 

(B.NutriDiet & M.Couns) 

Saabira Wazeer HealthMint Medical Centre Dietitian

Saabira is a kind and compassionate Accredited Practicing Dietitian & Counsellor. She uses her unique set of skills and experience as a dietitian and counsellor to provide holistic care to her clients addressing both physical and mental health concerns. Using behaviour change techniques such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Motivational Interviewing, Saabira helps client put in place long-term health promoting behaviours without diets. 

Saabira is aware of your needs and tailors the sessions to help you meet your goals. She has experience working with culturally diverse groups and people from all walks of life. Her caring, empathetic and non-judgmental nature helps her build a supportive environment so you can be supported to work on optimising your health and enjoy the moments of life. 

Using evidence-based information and techniques Saabira specialises in: 

  • Disordered eating behaviours (emotional/comfort eating, binge eating, & chronic dieting) 
  • General Counselling for mild- moderate stress, anxiety, depression, self-esteem and confidence and body dissatisfaction 
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) & Hormonal imbalance 
  • Pre and Post pregnancy (including Post Natal Depression and Anxiety Management) 
  • Gut Health Issues 
  • Eating Disorder management (including Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder and ARFID) 
  • Weight Concerns (HAES aligned approach) 
  • Chronic Disease Management. 
You can book an appointment with Saabira here