Thursday, 27 March 2014

Maximizing your appointment - Registered Dietitian

Maximize Your Appointments!
…with your Registered Dietitians

With the recent expansion of nutrition counselling services offered through the S.M.I.L.E. Healthcare Program at the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network (PCN), we thought it would be a good idea to offer some tips in “maximizing” your appointments with the Registered Dietitians at the PCN.

What do we mean by “maximizing”?  

It means to make the most use of the nutrition knowledge and resources your dietitian can offer you in your 30-60 minute appointment.

A good way to think of it is that you are the C.E.O. of your own health and the S.M.I.L.E. team is your group of advisors or V.P.s.   Your dietitian is your advisor and provides tools on nutrition-related matter.

Some people may think that dietitians only teach Canada’s Food Guide, or provide a shopping list and meal plans or “diet” plans, but dietitians provide much more than that!

The dietitian’s role is to:

1. Provide current and scientifically-based nutrition information and knowledge.
2. Teach nutrition-related skills, such as label reading for nutrients, or how to plan nutritionally balanced meals.
3. Teach how to evaluate the pros and cons of  “diets” or current eating patterns.
4. Provide support in making behaviour/lifestyle changes to benefit your health.

Maximize your appointment time with your dietitian with these top 3 tips:

1. Come with nutrition-related questions.  You can make a list if you’d like! They are here to help answer your questions.  If they don’t know the answer, they will help you find out the answer.
2. Bring a 3-7 day food journal of what you usually eat.  They are not here to judge you for what you eat.  They just want to help you by objectively teaching you to review your own diet/eating pattern (see #3 above).  The food journal is just a mirror for you to see how you eat.
3. Be open and active in trying strategies.  Not all strategies for lifestyle change works for everyone, but give them a few tries.  If the strategy doesn't work for you, your dietitian can help you modify the strategy so it does work for you.

Click here to print a copy of our 3 Day Food Journal.

Sally Ho is a Registered Dietitian at the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network. 

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Are you a Prescription to Get Active participant?

In addition to utilizing partner recreation facilities, the Prescription to Get Active program encourages participants to engage in activity such as using community trails for walking, running and biking, public tennis courts, boating clubs, outdoor fitness parks, local ski hills, cross country skiing trails, mall walking and at-home programs as ways to get active. See our links under Get Active tab for ideas on how to participate.

With each “Prescription to Get Active”, PCN health professionals are able to prescribe the amount of activity you need to help improve your health and prevent disease. The participating facilities are supporting you by providing certain services when you bring a prescription to them. It might be a tour, some free access passes or a free month of access to their facility. Please click the Participating Facilities tab and click the List View button to see what each participating facility is offering.

Don't forget to register! Registering allows you track your activity online so you can see where you started and how far you have come! You can register by clicking the link above or visiting and clicking the "Get started and track activity now" button in the upper right hand corner.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

National Dietitians Day!

March 19th marks the 5th anniversary of National Dietitians Day!

Once a year, a special day is dedicated to all dietitians across Canada. It celebrates dietitians as health care professionals, committed to using their specialized knowledge and skills in food and nutrition to improve the health of Canadians.

National Dietitians Day spotlights the profession and reminds us that dietitians are the smart choice for advice on proper eating, good nutrition and healthy living.

Dietitians Day also raises the profile of dietitians and helps encourage and attract others to this worthy, satisfying and respected profession.

Dietitians translate scientific research into practical solutions. They work with you to help you feel your best.

Dietitians can provide:

• Tips and healthy recipes to help you plan, shop for and cook healthy meals for your family;
• Information to help you interpret food labels, the latest food trends and diets;
• Support to improve your relationship with food;
• Customized meal plans to help you:
   - manage your weight, food allergies and intolerances or digestive issues
   - get the most from your workouts
   - prevent and manage chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and
     kidney disease;
• Individualized counselling on how to feed your baby, a “picky” eater, or an active teenager;
• Advice on whether you need a vitamin or mineral supplement based on your health needs.

The Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network offers our patients the services from our two Registered Dietitians, Sally and Ginette. If you would like to access their services, please talk to your LBD PCN family physician.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

The difference between a Dietitian and a Nutritionist

A common question that we as dietitians get asked by patients and even other healthcare professionals is, “what’s the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?”  It’s a valid question, especially with all the different types of “nutritionists” in the media, opening up practices to provide counselling or strategies and in various businesses.  It’s an important question to address because not all nutritionists are dietitians, but all dietitians are nutritionists.

What or who are dietitians?

Dietitians are health care professionals who hold a Bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition science and have completed practical training in hospital or community settings. After rigorous education and training, dietitians are also required to complete a registration examination to ensure competence in practice in their province, and are required to maintain competence with the latest nutrition research and guidelines, which is regulated by a provincial regulatory body.  In Alberta, this regulatory body is the College of Dietitians of Alberta.

Government protection of the public against poor nutrition advice.

In Alberta “Dietitian”, “Registered Dietitian” and “Registered Nutritionist” are law protected titles (under the Health Professions Act) for health care professionals who are registered with the College of Dietitians of Alberta.

The title “nutritionist” is not protected or reserved in Alberta for exclusive use by dietitians, though in some provinces it is.  In Alberta, the term “nutritionist” is not a law-regulated term, so there is not the same level of accountability as “dietitians” in providing quality health care for the public. Essentially, anyone can call themselves a “nutritionist”.

Some people may use variations of the terms “registered” or “nutritionist” or “certified” to describe the services they provide, but they do not have the same degree of training and accountability as a dietitian.  The accountability is for public protection for safe health information, and quality of service provided by a qualified health care professional.

To be sure if someone is a qualified health care professional specializing in nutrition counselling, go to Dietitians of Canada ( or the College of Dietitians of Alberta ( to find out if they are qualified and regulated.  In Alberta, there are no other provincial government recognized boards to provide the same level of protection to the public against unqualified nutrition practice other than the two listed above.

What does this mean for you as a patient?

Look for the following titles when looking for reliable, evidence-based nutrition advice from a qualified health care professional:

• Registered Dietitian
• Dietitian
• Registered Nutritionist (not just nutritionist)
• R.D.

What about the term “Registered Holistic Nutritionist™?”

You may see there is a “TM” after the title “Registered Holistic Nutritionist™.”   This is a trademark name that is protected under the Trade-mark Act, but is not the same as the Dietitian title that is under Alberta’s Health Professions Act.  Just as Coca Cola™ is a trademark product, the “Registered Holistic Nutritionists™” are providing a trademark service that is not regulated by a health professions college.

Sally Ho is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator at the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

March newsletter

Our March 2014 Patient Newsletter is now available on our website. Included in this edition is information on:

  • Prescription to Get Active regional launch and see pictures from the event;
  • Expanded nutritional counselling services at our PCN;
  • Heart Healthy classes open up the to public - how to register;
  • Leduc Lifestyle Medical Clinic (formerly Leduc Obesity Clinic);
  • Leduc Mental Health;
  • Get Out, Get Active activity challenge - how to get involved.

Please sign up to receive future editions right in your inbox.

March 2014 Patient Newsletter

What falls under a Pharmacists scope of practice?

Below is a chart that shows the pharmacists scope of practice by province/territory.

click the chart to enlarge.

Monday, 10 March 2014

World Salt Awareness Week

World Action on Salt & Health (WASH) continues to campaign for everyone to eat less salt. Part of the campaign is to help educate the public on how much salt they are consuming and by encouraging better nutritional labeling. 

There is strong evidence that links our current high salt intakes to high blood pressure. High blood pressure is the main cause of strokes and a major cause of heart attacks and heart failures, the most common causes of death and illness in the world. It is also widely recognised that a high salt diet is linked to other conditions, such as osteoporosis, cancer of the stomach, kidney disease, kidney stones, obesity and exacerbating the symptoms of asthma, Meniere’s Disease, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes.

Read more about salt and your health and learn about maximum daily salt intake at the WASH website.

There is strong evidence that links our current high salt intakes to high blood pressure. High blood pressure is the main cause of strokes and a major cause of heart attacks and heart failures, the most common causes of death and illness in the world. It is also widely recognised that a high salt diet is linked to other conditions, such as osteoporosis, cancer of the stomach, kidney disease, kidney stones, obesity and exacerbating the symptoms of asthma, Meniere’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and Diabetes. - See more at:

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

March is Nutrition Month!

Simply Cook and Enjoy!

Let’s help Canadian families to simply get cooking! It’s a perfect way to connect together, eat better and enjoy. The 2014 Nutrition Month Campaign – Simply Cook and Enjoy! – is dedicated to serving up practical advice on cooking and food skills from dietitians, the food and nutrition experts.

Dietitians of Canada is also dishing up inspiration to get Canadians cooking with the new free iPhone and iPad app - Cookspiration. For more information visit to download the app or to find all of the details and recipes. With Cookspiration you can:

· Get unique ideas of what to make any day or time of the week.
· Access a wide array of recipes with photos. 

· Find out the nutritional details of the recipes you choose.

The Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network has Registered Dietitians on staff to provide education and support to our patients. To access their services, please talk to your LBD PCN family doctor.