The healthcare field is one of the best industries for finding a meaningful career. If you enjoy helping others, studying nutrition can allow you to help people learn how to manage their medical conditions through their diet. You can also help people lose weight responsibly and learn which foods can help them become healthier overall.
Where to Study Nutrition
If you are interested in studying nutrition, you don’t necessarily need to go to medical school. You can study nutrition at many universities or attend a private school that offers courses in this healthcare field. It will depend on which occupation you’re interested in and whether you wish to teach others about better nutrition or whether you wish to go into research at the academic level.
Occupations in Nutrition
There are several occupations in the field of nutrition and the one you qualify for will depend on how far you take your education in this field. A nutritional therapist may have a postgraduate degree from a university or you can take courses to work as a nutritional coach and earn a certificate to help advise people how to lose weight.
The main courses of study, in both postgraduate and undergraduate courses, will lead students to becoming a nutritional therapist. A nutritional therapist works with people to help them better their health through their diet. They evaluate people’s nutritional habits and needs, then make recommendations for changes to their diet to help them become healthier.
This may involve changes to the diet to help improve medical conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and to help prevent conditions such as diabetes. Nutritional therapists will coordinate with other healthcare professionals who are working with the same patients in helping them overcome any medical conditions that they have.
The nutritional therapist will usually meet with patients on a one-on-one basis to assess their condition, take their family history, and learn about their diet and their lifestyle habits. They will also recommend lab tests that will help them find any nutritional abnormalities, such as vitamin deficiencies or conditions such as anaemia, high cholesterol and other problems that will need to be addressed through changes in diet.
Through taking courses in nutrition, you could work as a dietary educator helping people to improve their lives through their diet. As a dietary educator, you would teach people the benefits of eating healthy foods and changing their diets to improve their overall health. You may work in a clinic, hospital or a classroom teaching people which foods to choose to help improve their energy levels, how to cut calories in order to lose weight and which foods to avoid to prevent making their health conditions worse.
Along with the physical effects that food has on the body, you may also teach clients about how to achieve their nutritional goals through the use of mental techniques. You will help clients understand how their mental attitude can help them lose weight, balance their energy or help them understand what can motivate them to change their habits.
You can give your patients a better understanding of how their mental attitude and lifestyle changes can work together to benefit their overall health. Often without an adjustment in the mental attitude, dietary changes will fail because the client doesn’t believe they will work. However, by showing them how to adjust their beliefs, you can show them how to succeed in changing their habits to lose weight or improve their overall health.
Coursework in Nutrition
There are several courses that you can take at the university level to learn the information you need to work as a nutritional therapist or a dietary educator. Some of the coursework you can need to study to become a nutritional therapist includes both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. They may also offer nutrition courses for other healthcare professionals.
There are courses that will teach you everything about the food industry, from growing food on the farm until it is processed and put on your table. You will learn about food processes and using natural products for food. Many degree programme will have you complete research projects, work in a laboratory setting and within the community to teach others about nutrition.
Many schools offer BSc and MSc degrees in nutrition, along with other diplomas and certificates in the field. Some of the courses may only last for a few days and be an overview of different aspects of nutrition, such as sports nutrition. Most courses will teach you nutritional approaches to healthcare that could help patients improve their health through what they eat. Depending on which degree or certificate you choose to pursue, your coursework could take up to several years to complete.
Some schools allow you to take your nutrition coursework in person or you can also take courses online. For people who cannot afford to attend classes full-time, distance learning options allow them to begin their journey to becoming a nutritional therapist or dietary educator at home. Although it will take longer to complete a degree or certificate, it allows them to learn at their own pace while working and attending to their family duties.
If you do take online classes, you may have to eventually attend classes in person if you are pursuing an advanced degree. Some of the more advanced coursework will involve research and laboratory work so you will need to be able to attend class in order to get your hands on the equipment you need to do the research. CNELM teaching validated nutrition courses are available through both online and classroom courses.
The nutritional field is vast and you can end up helping patients in doctor’s offices, clinical settings, doing research or working in hospitals. You will often work with other healthcare professionals to help their patients learn about food choices and how they impact their health. You can also show them healthier lifestyle habits that will help improve their medical conditions so they can lead healthier, longer lives.