Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.- Hippocrates
There is no set roadmap to life–it is filled with twists and turns and ups and downs. Fortunately, with the help of qualified health professionals, the average person get guidance on important matters, such as our health. Just as we have personal trainers to help us with exercises, psychologists to support our emotional lives and general practitioners to aid us with day-to-day concerns, professional nutritionists are our guide to a healthier life.
There are many reasons to adopt a different diet, such as allergies, intolerances, deficiencies, weight loss or gain and so on. Nutritionists are experts in the field and can help guide their clients based on their health concerns and goals with diet plans and recipes.
Nutritionists advise people of all demographics on diet, wellbeing and health management and educate the Australian community on healthy lifestyle and eating habits. They are qualified professionals who provide evidence-based services. Nutritionists create and monitor diet plans, designed with the client's health and goals in mind.
Nutritionists can work across fields including the media, food industry, community and public health, government and education.
If you have an interest and passion for health, wellness and helping others, becoming a nutritionist could be a rewarding career path for you.
How do you become a professional nutritionist in Australia?
Most nutritionists undergo a university degree, certificate or diploma in order to gain employment as a nutritionist, however, there is no formal qualification or degree required. Multiple universities and TAFEs around Australia have courses in health and nutrition, with practical experience and placements so you have time in the field to prepare for employment. Many clinical healthcare professionals study nutrition to complement their field of work, including nurses, psychologists, dietitians and fitness professionals. Studying nutrition broadens their knowledge about the human body and how diet can affect our physical and mental health.
Even though there are no formal qualifications or a set degree to become a nutritionist, it can take years to develop the knowledge and experience to provide proper care to the community. Depending on experience level, education, training, years of service and employment hours, nutritionists in Australia can earn a salary of up to $80,377 per year.
For students who plan to or are completing a qualification or degree within the field of nutrition are strongly advised to apply for the Nutrition Society of Australia’s Voluntary Register of Nutritionists.
Find a nutrition course in Melbourne VIC, Sydney NSW and across Australia.
Public health nutritionist jobs
There are plenty of employment options for a nutritionist to work in public health services in Australia. Job opportunities may pop up in hospitals, schools, universities, aged care, disability support and gyms, depending on what you're interested in!
Nutritionists working in public and community health work across areas including education and development, consulting, media and policy development. Their main goal is to encourage others to live healthier lives, and advocate for accessible health care for everyone.
Generally speaking, nutritionists in both the public and private health sectors undergo these tasks in their work:
- Design, monitor and implement personalised diet plans and menus based on their clients' health goals and needs.
- Educate clients on the importance of understanding how the nutrition of their diet plays into their health.
- Calculate the nutritional value of food in clients menus and meal plans to ensure they are reaching their nutritional goals
- Consult with clients to discuss their health concerns and diet habits, to assess any potential nutritional deficiencies or allergies
Although nutritionists working for themselves or in private health may earn more money, working within the public health system is very rewarding. As a nutritionist, you will be actively helping and changing the lives of the community in Australia, and make positive changes towards people living a healthier life.
Want to help others live healthier lives? Search for nutritionist courses in Australia here.
Employment as a private nutritionist
Nutritionists may opt to work for themselves or for a privately owned company. As a private nutritionist, you could start your own health and wellness practice and spend your days helping clients to change their lifestyles and become a healthier version of themselves.
Nutritionists may choose to work in fields including the food industry, media and marketing, nutrition research and education.
Within the food industry, nutritionists may find a job:
- consulting with companies on food
- analysing food
- working within food development and science
- undertaking research on nutrition and dietetics
Nutritionists working in the media and marketing industry may work as a food commentator, on TV or radio, a columnist nutrition related content in magazines or newspapers, or create nutrition content for social media, books or websites
If you're interested in delving deep into the field of nutrition and have a hunger to understand more about how nutrition affects the body and mind, you may want to look into nutrition research and education. As a researcher and educator, you will have the opportunity to educate others on health management and wellbeing, conduct important research, travel the world and publish your work. As an academic researcher and educator, you will have the opportunity to work at universities, hospitals, research institutions and the food industry.
Difference between nutritionists and dietitians
The main difference between a nutritionist and a dietitian is their training and qualification. Both have skills and knowledge within the field of food and nutrition but there are no strict guidelines to follow or a degree one needs to hold in order to provide service as a nutritionist.
Dietitians, however, register with the Dietitians Association of Australia and abide by the National Competency Standards for Dietitians. Practising dietitians must follow these standards in order to practice.
Nutritionists provide health management advice to athletes, children, elderly people and people with disabilities. They provide health management advice to the community who are seeking information. Dietitians often work as a team with clients who may have medical issues including diabetes, obesity, allergies, food sensitivities and cancer.
Tips From Professional Nutritionists
Nutritionists have the expertise to guide others on their diet and lifestyle choices. It's easy for the average person to fall off the health wagon every now and again and nutritionists can help us jump back on again.
Following a healthy, nutritional diet full of fruit, vegetables, grains and protein sources including legumes, eggs, chicken, turkey and fish is a great start to living a healthy life. However, everybody has different diet requirements.
Here are tried and tested tips that nutritionists live by:
- Drink water first thing in the morning: staying hydrated throughout the day is incredibly important for our bodies to function well. Health experts suggest drinking at least three glasses of water upon waking up. Hydrating first thing in the morning has many health benefits, such as increased energy, a boosted immune system, eased aches and pains and clearer complexion and is a great way to flush out waste and toxins, prevent constipation, and fill you up a little before breakfast so you can avoid overeating in the morning. It's an easy way to start off your day right.
- Add herbs and spices to meals to cut sodium: many people in Australia use too much salt in their meals. Too much sodium can increase your risk of high blood pressure, fluid retention, heart disease and kidney disease. Instead, it is recommended to use herbs and spices to meal to add flavour! Herbs and spices like basil, parsley, oregano, cumin, paprika and turmeric are flavourful alternatives to salt, not to mention they each have health benefits.
- Eat slowly and chew your food well: with such busy lives, it's too easy to eat our food too quickly. Eating too fast can cause gas, indigestion and bloating. Eating slowly and mindfully helps use to chew our food to ingest nutrients, avoid indigestion and enjoy our food for longer.
- Make sure your veggie cover half your plate: in order to get our adequate nutrition needs, professionals suggest filling half of our plates with vegetables. Not only will you be absorbing great vitamins and minerals, but you will be consuming less calories without trying, helping us to maintain a healthy weight.
- Eat protein and fibre filled snacks to keep you fuller for longer: the best kind of snacks are ones full of protein, fibre and water so that you stay fuller for longer. Regularly going to get snacks such as chips or chocolate may reduce your hunger for a little while, but soon you'll find yourself wanting more. Health professionals suggest snacks such as nuts (almonds, peanuts, cashews and walnuts, all unsalted), fruit (bananas, apples and grapes), vegetables (carrots, celery, cucumbers) and proteins such as hummus, hard-boiled eggs or a lean piece of turkey. Replacing sugary snacks or drinks with healthy snacks will reduce your sugar intake and help you to feel more satiated, ultimately helping you to consume fewer calories.
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